Timo Pesonen and Paivi Tahkokallio

BEDA’s ambition to bring design into policies in Europe

The Eagle has landed.

It will soon be 50 years since Neil Armstrong’s voice crackled from the speakers at NASA’s Mission Control in Houston, during the historic Apollo 11 mission.

I was 11 at the time, and with the whole family watching a small black and white television, our first, as were 600 million other people around the world. BEDA was founded that very same year!

I like to think founding BEDA 50 years ago was also a sign of a changing world, even if it was mostly design community who took notice at the time. Design professionals wanted to have an impact that reached further than their daily work, and the 1960’s was a decade of strong societal discourse.

We are again living rapidly changing times. More than ever perhaps BEDA has a need, and a reason, to have an impact in society, in Europe, and actively participate in creating a next generation design policy for Europe, and to show how design can generate added value to European economy and culture.

To this end the meeting with Timo Pesonen, the new Director-General of DG Grow, in Brussels at the end of March was a good step to continue BEDA’s discussions with the European Commission. The Commission will update its industrial policy this year, and BEDA is eager to ensure design is included.

How far we can get, will certainly be reported in the International Design Policy Conference on 5 December in Helsinki this year, to be organised by BEDA in collaboration with our member organisation Ornamo Art and Design Finland, Ministry of Education and Culture, and City of Helsinki during the Finnish EU Presidency.

Päivi Tahkokallio
President-elect of BEDA