Inaugural issueVol. 1 No. 1 (2020)
Welcome to the inaugural issue of ‘DISCERN, International Journal of Design for Social Change, Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship’. It is said that mighty oaks from little acorns grow…
For this first issue, the Editorial team did not seek to focus on a special theme but instead sought contributions from a broad spectrum of interests encompassed in social design, an area that is multi-disciplinary and multi-faceted. The eight articles in this issue represent this width of interests coming from cross-sectoral authors, including postgraduate students.
This issue starts with an article that describes a design framework under development to promote circular and sustainable products and services. The author – a doctoral student – elaborates on the three aspects that comprise the model, that is design management, project development and the business perspective.
The second article is a case study on how design thinking was applied in remote villages of India that are confronted with a lack of employment opportunities and migration of residents. The author emphasises the value of her community-based participatory approach in seeking to develop a deeper understanding of the issues confronted by the locals that would allow for possible design interventions.
The focus of the third article is on the educational needs in cultural and arts entrepreneurship of women from marginalised backgrounds. It is part of a European-funded project under Erasmus+ to develop a social design intervention comprising the development of a framework for adult education for the creative and cultural sectors across Europe.
The toolkit described in the fourth article was developed from a participatory conference and through a series of workshops with the aim to come up with a prototype toolkit – the Toolkit for Designing Actions in Times of Multiple Crisis. The authors describe both how the toolkit was developed and how to use it towards preferred rather than probable or possible outcomes.
As the title reveals, the fifth article is timely in comparing methods of transport in the age of social distancing. As the authors state, they seek to open the discussion on the opportunity offered by the pandemic to redesign and rethink our mobility in a more adaptive and sustainable way.
The sixth paper introduces a novel application of design thinking in the form of the Anti-Oppressive Social Work Design (AOSWD) framework that integrates the principles of anti-oppressive social work practice and Human-Centred Design (HCD).
Another novel approach to social design is described in the second-last article of this issue. The authors employed participatory action research and combined it with an ethnographic co-design approach in the context of a group sharing a walk. The aim was to develop among the members of a social enterprise team responsive and empathetic attitudes among themselves.
Lastly, this inaugural issue ends with an article that explores the complexities of the Circular Economy and elaborates on the role of the designer in the multifaceted process.
The Editorial team reminds you that the next issue of Discern is due in March 2021, and – consistently with the themes of the journal as described in the ‘About’ section – we seek both contributions and reviewers to help us grow.