As our world changes, the challenges to business grow. Old ways of thinking are being replaced by open minds and creativity. Design is playing a central role in helping solve problems and drive the future. We invite you to see how design is shaping the new business.

A Zilver Innovation initiative

Design the New Business – Full online release

By Erik Roscam Abbing

We are very proud to announce that on March 6th, our documentary Design the New Business will be released online for everyone to enjoy. After screening our movie for a few months, and making the official selection for esteemed festivals such as the Design Indaba Filmfest, it is now time to let it go and to open up!

In the spring of 2011, the idea for the movie was born. Through my teaching, writing and consultancy practices, I got more and more interested in how new design approaches are helping large organizations deal with complex issues. I saw product-driven companies work to make the transition to a more service-dominant logic. I saw technology-centered companies aspiring to become more human-centered, with technology as enabler. And I saw large companies struggle with the agility and entrepreneurial spirit that is required for relevant innovation.

So Zilver Innovation and 6 students from Strategic Product Design at TU Delft – Erik van Bergen, Esra Gokgoz, Gunjan Singh, Juan David Martin, Marta Ferreira de Sá and Miguel Melgarejo – made a movie on the topic. It’s time to look back and reflect, and to look forward and anticipate!

First of all, it is interesting to note how the movie itself, the actual 38 minutes of edited footage, seems to be just a little speck in the entire process. This process consists of two halves that are mirrored around the movie itself:

1. The process of the Design the New Business team working together in conceptualizing, shooting, editing and discussing the movie. (see this ‘making of’ clip for an impression.)

2. The process of viewers around the globe screening, watching, discussing and commenting on the movie.

The first half of the process was great: exhilarating, hard, complex, more work than we ever anticipated, but very, very inspiring and a great experiment.

But it’s this second half of the process that is especially nice: people from Sydney to Helsinki, from Cape Town to Singapore, from Barcelona to Philadelphia, have taken the time to gather around a screen and watch and discuss the movie together. And most of them have been so kind to share their findings with us. What we’ve learned is that the topic really jives with people (to quote Maria Bezaitis from Intel at 20:42 in the movie), and fortunately not only designers.

The movie triggers good discussions around the theme of new ways of doing business, and the role of design approaches therein. In that sense the movie is a huge success: as a boundary object to open up the debate, something to group around with various people and exchange learning and opinions.

At the Hogeschool Utrecht last week, students, teachers, entrepreneurs, business people and designers gathered to watch the movie and try out the workshop format we’ve developed. The discussions were extremely fruitful, applicable and inspiring!

And this is actually the part of the whole setup that we want to expand. We want to facilitate the learning process (of ourselves and anyone interested in the topic) and enable the capturing of this learning. Therefore we’ve developed a workshop program and facilitators toolkit that you will find on a new dedicated section of our website. The core of the program will be the movie and the more in-depth interviews we are currently editing. From there, the program offers various topics to explore in more detail, in the form of training, a facilitated round-table discussion or a workshop. We’ve prototyped and tested parts of this new venture and we are very excited by the first reactions!

I’m very excited about this project and all that is still to come. Keep discussing, keep reflecting, and keep doing. And please don’t spare us your criticism, or your compliments!



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