How Can Design Serve

Successful Europe. How can Design Serve?

Set within the context of BEDA’s on-going work in developing next generation design policy for Europe, and highlighting the critical question, ‘Successful Europe. How can Design Serve?’, BEDA is inviting 100 European and international policy experts to come together in Helsinki as a part of the official side programme of Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, to explore how design can serve in an age of complex global challenges.

Organised together with BEDA Member Ornamo Art and Design Finland and with generous support from the Finnish Ministry of Science and Culture along with the City of Helsinki and the Arts Promotion Centre of Finland, the conference will elicit forward-looking policy content and recommendations from AI, business, policy-making, government, science and technology, design/design policy and experts in the three conference themes below.

The conference format will support maximum engagement around identifying and confronting, in a multi-disciplinary manner, the critical challenges arising out of the Conference’s three thematic areas:

Climate change & the circular economy – uncovering new insights and approaches through design

Digitalisation & artificial intelligence – designing in human values and social purpose to harness good

Shared European values – shaping together the future we want to have

Keynote speakers
Each workshop session of the day will be preceded by an inspirational dialogue between leading voices in their field focused on evoking, through their discussion, the key challenges to be tasked to the mixed working groups. Keynote speakers already confirmed include Erkki Liikanen, Chair of Trustees of IFRS Foundation, Governor of the Bank of Finland (2004-2018) and EU Commissioner (1995-2004) and Timo Pesonen, Director-General of EU Commission DG GROW. The day will be opened with a welcome from Hanna Kosonen, Finland’s Minister of Science and Culture.

If you wish to nominate yourself as a part of the expert group, please register here.

If you know a world-class expert in any of the three fields mentioned above who you feel would be a worthy invitee, please forward their name to

Please note that submitting a name does not necessarily guarantee attendance. In addition to a broad geographical representation, the final list of 100 invited participants will represent as reasonable a balance as possible between design, policy, areas and level of expertise in the three conference themes, and of course, BEDA members and non-members alike.