Understanding complexity for a (Ful)bright future...
At ThinkPlace we specialise in using design thinking and a design-led methodology to tackle the kind of problems that emerge in the complex systems that we live in as humans today.
It’s an approach that traces back to founding partner John Body who, more than a decade ago, began marrying his academic expertise in chaos and complexity theory with the then-emerging discipline of design thinking.
And it’s a focus that ThinkPlace Chief Innovation Officer, David Ireland, is looking to advance as he takes up a prestigious Fullbright Scholarship in the United States.
We’ll be checking in with David every now and then to see what he’s picking up as he spends time with some of the greatest design and complex system minds in the world today, and how those insights relate to the work ThinkPlace does across the globe.
TP: You’re over in California as a Fulbright Scholar, what does that involve?
DI: I’m based at Stanford University for four months, working with Professor Banny Banerjee, Director of Change Labs. Along with lots of other meetings at Stanford and across the Bay area, I’m also visiting Kansas State University to spend time with their Food Security group, to Harvard to work with Professor Fawwaz Habbal (Executive Dean at the John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences), and Professor Cass Sunstein (Harvard Law School), and to the US Department of Agriculture to work with virologist Dr Tavis Anderson.
I’ll also be spending some time in Washington DC, where ThinkPlace is busily setting up our permanent American presence and partnering with some large global players on some very exciting projects (more on that in the future).
The main purpose of my time over here is to work with some of the best minds and practitioners who are developing new methodologies to solving some of the world’s really complex problems. I want to learn from them and see if I can adapt and apply that to the work that we do at ThinkPlace in complex systems.