BEDA Elects New President 2019

BEDA elects new President and Vice President and ratifies 6 new members

BEDA continues to build its capacity to contribute to the development of next-generation design policy at the European level.

BEDA’s members from 25 Member States elected its next President Päivi Tahkokallio (centre) of Ornamo Art and Design Finland at its annual General Assembly last Friday in Brussels.

Hailing from Lapland in Finland, Tahkokallio said, “Issues such as climate change, digitalisation and artificial intelligence will transform the lives of the citizens of Europe. Design must play an active part in tackling the huge, horizontal challenges of our time”.

Päivi will be supported in her work by BEDA’s new Vice President, Karen Hennessy, (left), of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) and newly contracted consulting Managing Director, Michael Thomson, (right), of Design Connect (UK).

Hennessy adds: “I am delighted to have been elected as BEDA’s Vice President in a year of significant change for Europe. BEDA will continue to activate and communicate the contribution of design to Europe’s future success.”

New Members ratified
The General Assembly also ratified a further six new members from across Europe:
The Latvian Design Centre, the Estonian Design Centre, the House of Design Management and Innovation (Slovenia), the Gdynia Design Centre (Poland), Lille-Design (France) and the Hungarian Fashion and Design Agency, HFDA (Hungary).



BEDA President
Päivi Tahkokallio is Founder and CEO of Tahkokallio Design+, a design thinking and strategic design agency from Lapland, Finland. With her track record on strategic and social design, Päivi, tirelessly promotes a design approach to support sustainable development of the Arctic. In addition to the Presidency of BEDA, Päivi is also Vice President of Ornamo Art and Design Finland.

BEDA Vice President
Karen Hennessy
is a chartered Accountant, a chartered Director and CEO of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI), Ireland’s national agency for the commercial development of designers and markers and a key deliverer within the Government’s Future Jobs Programmes. Having delivered the Irish Design 2015 programme, DCCoI has been instrumental in the establishment of Ireland’s first Ministerial-led National Design Forum and the inclusion of a National Design Centre into Ireland’s National Development Plan 2018-2027.

BEDA Consulting Managing Director
Michael Thomson established his consultancy Design Connect in London in 1995. Michael helps teams, businesses and organisations around the world evolve their visions and strategies for growth through design. Michael served as BEDA President from 2007-2009.