Category: Conferences


Global Summit on Social Innovation

From the 14-15 of March 2017 I will be representing the Design Society Development DESIS Lab at the Global Summit on Social Innovation in Bogotá, Colombia hosted by the The Rockefeller Foundation and the Multilateral Investment Fund of the InterAmerican Development Bank Group.

The Summit is an exciting opportunity to bring together leading actors from across the social innovation spectrum – from labs to social enterprise accelerators – to learn, share, inspire, and collaborate. The Design Society Development DESIS Lab was one of a select group of key actors, stakeholders, and practitioners in the social innovation space that were identified as being able to help drive truly systemic social change.

Today’s global challenges are more complex and rapidly changing—traditional approaches to problem solving can’t keep pace. But at the same time, social change agents have more tools at our disposal, and more diversity of ideas to draw from through processes like crowdsourcing or social innovation labs, to create change at a transformative scale. As a result, the social sector has recalibrated its approach to innovation to harness these new dynamics. Because change happens so rapidly, and implementation and scale can take time, we must be constantly anticipating and solving for problems of the future. By thinking of innovation as a proactive process we can better spot good ideas when they emerge and feed a pipeline for continuous innovation. But we must work together to drive this change. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a number of spaces and conferences in the US and Europe dedicated to the dialogue of catalysing innovation to address social problems, but not as much elsewhere around the world. There is a desire and need among social innovation organizations working closest to the problems to come together to share how they are addressing challenges and driving innovative solutions to learn from their diverse experiences, create a common agenda, and ultimately, enhance their ability to effect change at a systemic level. Social innovation organizations like the Design Society Development DESIS Lab play a critical role in the construction of more inclusive systems, both locally and globally.

This gathering sparks a broader effort between The Rockefeller Foundation and the Multilateral Investment Fund to develop a globally connected community of key social innovation organizations that share their knowledge, experience and resources in order to drive change at a systemic level. Approximately 90 social innovation organization leaders and other key social entrepreneurship ecosystem actors from all over the world have been invited to participate in the Summit that is being hosted by their local partner, Compartamos con Colombia. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in highly interactive workshops, learn from leading innovators, be inspired by stories of impact on the ground and build lasting connections for future collaborations.

For more info please visit


World Information Architecture Day 2017

I will be speaking at World Information Architecture Day on Saturday, 18 February 2017

The topic of my presentation is “Exploring Human Activity: Technology Innovation on the Periphery”

Professional designers often disregard users’ design agency. Negating the power of “lay designers” thus, is arguably at the cost of the relevance of a final design for its intended users. This is nowhere more evident than in so-called “developing” contexts where people have always been driven to design and innovate due to inequality, poverty, and unmet needs. Utilising the framework of activity theory, I will explore exceptional examples of grassroots innovation in South Africa. The aim of this is to encourage expert designers to shift their gaze and align their skills to amplify the efforts of lay designers in order to result in more sustainable and appropriate change.

Tickets for the event can be bought at: 
– General admission: R200.00pp (includes lunch, snacks and refreshments)
– Student admission: R50.00pp *must have a valid student card* (includes lunch, snacks and refreshments)

For more info go to:

Program Schedule
9.00 – 9.30     Registration and tea

9.30- 9.50      Welcome (‘IA Today’ with Jason Hobbs)

9.50 – 10.20    Thandi Guilherme (Freethinking – Gold Sponsor speaker)
10.20 – 10.30   Nicholas Hobson (Accenture Interactive)
10.30 – 11.00   Terence Fenn (University of Johannesburg)

11.00 – 11.30   Tea

11.30 – 12.00   Helga Stegmann (Mantaray)
12.00 – 12.30   Lindi Maritz and Robin Turner (Greenside Design Centre)

12.30 – 1.30    Lunch

1.30 – 2.00     Dean Broadley (Barclays Africa Group)
2.00 – 2.10     Ayomide Onasanya (Acumen Media)
2.10 – 2.40     Angus Campbell (University of Johannesburg)
2.40 – 2.50     Yael Gold (University of Johannesburg)

2.50 – 3.10     Breather

3.10 – 3.20     Raeesah Karriem (Greenside Design Centre)
3.20 – 3.30     Stuart Windram (University of Johannesburg)
3.30 – 3.40     Guidione Machava (MozDevs)

3.40 – 4.00     Thank you & give-aways

4.00    After party hosted by the Greenside Design Centre At ‘Rim & Rubber’ on Gleneagles Drive, Greenside


ACU Commonwealth Summer School

The 4th ACU Commonwealth Summer School: Global Food Security: Can We Feed a Growing World?

I have been granted one of ten partial bursaries internationally (valued at £350) to attend the fourth ACU Commonwealth Summer School: Global Food Security: Can We Feed a Growing World? together with 80 other post-graduate students from Sunday 17 – Sunday 24 August 2014 at the University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus, Semenyih.

“The Commonwealth Summer School was instigated by the ACU in 2011. It aims to provide a forum to bring together high quality students from every corner of the Commonwealth to discuss multidisciplinary issues of global importance. A key element of the School is its desire to mix local/regional students with those who may have never  had the opportunity to leave their own regions. The inaugural School was held at the University of Buea, Cameroon, in July 2011 followed by the 2012 School hosted by the University of Botswana and in 2013, the ACU hosted the School in United Kingdom to coincide with the our Centenary.

Why food security?

The world’s population is predicted to hit 9 billion by 2050, and the UN estimates that food production will have to increase by 70% to meet the growth in demand. Issues pertaining to feeding the world’s ever expanding population will be at the heart of the 4th annual ACU Commonwealth Summer School’s programme, designed to take a multidisciplinary look at one of the major issues of our time. Top speakers and facilitators will help to frame the key issues and challenges allowing participants to learn, interact and work across countries, regions and disciplines to build international research connections. Participants will journey through various aspects of food production, looking closely at distribution, environmental management, migration, biotechnology, farm management, supply chains, nutrition and health policy in the process. Delegates will have the opportunity to observe the reality of food management, experience first-hand the food and supply chain, and immerse themselves in the challenges of food production. Through a series of workshops, group work and field-based learning, we will look at how food gets from farm to fork.” quoted from the Association of Commonwealth Universities

I am really looking forward to this opportunity to explore issues of food security and how to bring about food systems change in another “developing” context!


Innovation in Food, Ag and Integrated Resource Systems

Workshop: Innovation in Food, Agriculture and Integrated Resource  Systems: Creating Sustainable Opportunities in Soweto

Presenters: Sander Mager and Dr. Christopher Peterson

Facilitator: Dr. Naudé Malan

When: Thursday 5 June 2014 11:00 – 17:00 Where: VIP Lounge , University of Johannesburg Soweto Campus , Chris Hani Road

South Africa is not unique in facing social, environmental and economic challenges. To address these three successfully would require innovative solutions that bring together state agencies and departments, non-governmental organisations and private enterprises. Two leading experts in the creation of sustainable enterprises will in this workshop share their experience of addressing these challenges. Dr. Christopher Peterson and Sander Mager are leading the creation of the Global Innoversity which is an innovation accelerator aimed at inspiring and supporting the world’s metropolitan regions in developing and sharing innovations in food, agriculture and integrated resource systems.

The workshop will share the methods used and experiences gained in creating ecological, social and economically sustainable enterprises and innovations in the food system from the Netherlands and Michigan USA. These methods and experiences inform the current work of the Global Innoversity which is a self-sustaining global program for mutual action learning on metropolitan agriculture in, between and for the metropolitan regions of the world. Its goal is to successfully develop, share and implement a globally acknowledged ‘methodology’ for developing metropolitan agriculture in innovation clusters in metropolitan regions. It aims at multi-stakeholder cooperation and innovation and a new approach to transdisciplinary and participative knowledge development. Sander Mager will present the experiences gained from working for TransForum in the Netherlands, which preceded the Global Innoversity. TransForum is a public/private consortium that has invested €60 Million in more than 100 projects that demonstrated tangible results by improving the 3P (People/social, Planet/ecological, and Profit/economic) dimensions of sustainable metropolitan agrifood systems.

Dr. Christopher Petersen is the Director of the MSU Product Center Food-Ag-Bio that stimulates and develops business innovation and economic growth through business counselling, in‐depth market analysis and technical assistance for new entrepreneurs and existing businesses.

Brought to you by Izindaba Zokudla: Innovation in the Soweto Food System; Design Society Development & the Global Innoversity for MetroFood/Ag


Webcast: Finding a Focus for MetroAg/MetroFood: An Analysis of the Johannesburg Food System

Please join Dr. Naude Malan and myself on Monday at 14:30 (South African time) as we present a webcast exploring the Johannesburg food system and the focus of our MetroAg/Food research. You can find a printable and distributable flyer here (please ignore my position at UJ, I am in fact Senior Lecturer in the Department of Industrial Design)… If you missed the webcast you can find a recording of it here.


Global Innoversity for MetroAg/MetroFood

For a visual, textual and sound experience of my trip last week to Detroit please go to the Global Innoversity’s rebelmouse page (with thanks to Dr. Christine Geith for setting it all up and filming/interviewing us as we travelled around Detroit). The result of the meeting/workshop/brainstorm is a very dedicated group of academics from around the world all passionate about setting up local multistakeholder coalitions (education, government, communities and business) to work on accelerating innovations in food, agriculture and integrated resource systems in the world’s metropolitan regions. #innoversity #foodlab all images copyright Angus Donald Campbell