Northumbria University alumni feature in international Disruptive Innovation Festival

The University will feature in the four-week "virtual" festival that focuses on how design has impacted business

The Northumbria University Campus at Manors, Newcastle
The Northumbria University Campus at Manors, Newcastle

Northumbria University is taking part in an international virtual festival focused on disruptive innovation and how it has impacted businesses’ bottom lines.

The first Disruptive Innovation Festival (DIF), which runs to November 14, will bring together senior designers from major firms and top design agencies .

Speakers will include Northumbria University alumnus Mark Delaney, who is now head of Design Strategy & Foresight for Microsoft Phones; Richard Stevens, creative director of British Airways; and Paul Howells, vice president of Packaging at Unilever.

The ‘festival’ will comprise a series of webinars, videos and live streaming, produced by the University, which feed into the programme - available via the DIF website.

Northumbria University is one of only sixteen institutions worldwide to be involved in the festival, which also features Stanford University, UCL and the University of Edinburgh.

Mark Bailey, Northumbria University’s director of Innovation Design programmes, who has played an integral part in organising the University’s involvement with DIF, said: “The topics that Northumbria University will be exploring as part of DIF are broad: ranging from how designers can influence economic thinking; through to how 3D laser scanning can be used to challenge traditional approaches to building conservation.

“The scale of DIF and the aims of the festival, in terms of bringing together such a diverse range of thinkers, are unprecedented. It is an incredibly exciting thing for the University to be part of and we hope that it will further cement Northumbria’s reputation as a progressive and forward-thinking institution.”

The event is curated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and runs for four weeks.

Jules Hayward, Education programme lead at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said: “The Disruptive Innovation Festival is about inspiring a generation to rethink how the global economy functions and discover the emerging opportunities within it.

“We are pleased to welcome Northumbria University as a Big Top Tent and welcome their involvement in offering education opportunities that are fit for a changing future.’

Northumbria University, in conjunction with Design Network North, will be hosting Design Means Business; a national conference designed to communicate and advance the value and benefits of design to business and the wider community.

The conference, which will be held at the Northern Design Centre in Gateshead on November 13, will be streamed via a live video link on the DIF website.

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