Talking - Designing a better future for Africa

According to the Design Institute’s head, Gavin Mageni, participation in the Innovation Summit will focus on the mutually advantageous relationship or inter-dependence between innovation and design. “Innovation needs design because an invention can only be successful when it becomes available in the market as a sought-after commercialised entity,” Mageni says. He adds that this is where design comes in: “Design input makes an innovation desirable, safe and cost-effective because design is essentially user-centred.”
Design can be seen as a problem-solving process or an improvement process – this could apply to business, to civil society or to government. Harnessing design in the broadest sense of the word holds a social benefit, as well as adding economic value. The role of the Design Institute is to help all users and executors of design in all spheres of society to improve their ability to produce socio-economic value for the country, says Mageni.
He adds: “My topic centres on the ability to unlock entrepreneurship through design and innovation. At the SABS Design Institute we have proven that the critical role of design in unlocking entrepreneurial success through innovation is underrated and misunderstood in South Africa.
Through my talk I will endeavour to provide listeners with the relevant proof that substantiates our claim. Could Africa become the go-to-place for true innovation with economic substance, underpinned by successful entrepreneurs – where we become exporters of value, rather than importers of products produced from our own natural resources?
Our biggest failure is not a lack of policy frameworks, funding and intentions, but our inability to converge our efforts and translate these intentions into targeted actions.”
These ideas are amongst those that Gavin Mageni will share at the Summit during a talk titled Designing a better future for Africa. He will also talk at the Summit’s School Day with a talk titled Designing your life.