Worldwide Preparations

Jobs in the Year 2050 Challenge Global Prep at the University of Lincoln, UK
Worldwide preparations for the Jobs in the Year 2050 Challenge took place at the University of Lincoln on February 11, 12, and 13. 
This first of its kind event invited a creative network of industry-leading designers, artists, educators, and design students from the UK, the USA, Spain, and China to collaborate with over 500 K-12 students from around the world. 

As a collective team, we looked ahead to the year 2050 to tackle pressing issues -- with a focus on education, employability, and creativity of the next generation from multiple perspectives including art, design, the humanities, science, technology, engineering and math. 
The event was documented by primary school students who are enrolled in the Young Journalist Academy

In Preparation for the Kansas City Design Week
Launched by Doris Wells-Papanek, Director of the Design Learning Network, and David Bramston, Principal Lecturer Enterprise at the University of Lincoln’s School of Art and Design in the UK, the three-day event follows the success of the team’s inaugural trans-Atlantic collaboration on Aug 24, 2013.

In preparation for the Kansas City Design Week Jobs in 2050 Design Learning Challenge Workshop on 1 March 2014, a set of targeted collaborative challenges took place from 11th – 13th February 2014, tasking participants to contemplate an increasingly entrepreneurial society and mastermind creative employment solutions for job-seekers of the future. Doris Wells-Papanek said: “By 2050, students who graduate from high school in 2015 will be over 50 and babies born today will be in their 30’s. Participants who engage in this challenge with our network of professional designers will therefore be addressing the learning needs of the next generation of creative problem solvers as well as their own.”

The workshop program offered over 500 students a unique opportunity to work with their international peers, sitting 5,000 miles away, in real-time through Skype. Design Learning Challenges, such as Jobs in 2050, have been pioneered to provide a valuable platform for the international creative community to share ideas and experiences, and contemplate design questions that have real potential to impact everyday lives.

David Bramston is the Programme Leader for the MA International Design Enterprise (MAIDE) at the University of Lincoln, an innovative programme that promotes the opportunities available to designers working on a global scale. David said: We are delighted to once again be bringing the creative sector together with our second Design Learning Challenge. Here at Lincoln we share a vision with Doris; to create effective and sustainable links between designers and educational institutions on a global scale. We hope this project will encourage the community to embrace new forms of communication to help solve design challenges of the future.”

The UK Jobs 2050 Design Learning Challenge took place from 10am–2pm on Tuesday 11th February, from 3pm–8pm on Wednesday 12th February, and from 10am-8pm on Thursday 13th February. The challenge was hosted at the Lincoln School of Art and Design, from which the design teams connected with K-12 students and teachers, college design students and educators, and fellow practitioners in Kansas City, Missouri, Lake Forest, Illinois, and Boston, Massachusetts in America, and cities including Nanjing, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai in China, along with the University of Girona in Spain.

Building on the Successes of the Aug 24, 2013 Linked Honeybee Challenge
With this event, Doris and Dave aim to build on the success of the Chicago-Lincoln Design Learning Challenge, which took place in August 2013. The challenge, focused on the Life of the Honeybee in the Year 2050, connected 40 designers in Lincoln with 40 in Chicago, and was co-facilitated by experts from the Industrial Designers Society of America’s 2013 International Conference.

The challenge resulted in high impact on its participants. “The workshop has definitely had an impact on my design teaching,” said Helen Bickford, a member of a U.K. team. “I feel I have a better understanding of sustainable design and how it involves more than just using sustainable materials. In turn, this had led to some changes in current schemes of work and projects for our Design Technology students in all key stages. We are also looking into running a similar honey bee project, as we are lucky enough to have a bee sanctuary across the road, which is happy to get involved.”