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Welcome to the fourth Stephan Weiss Lecture in our 2006-2007 series, I am Meg Armstrong, Chair of Design and Management. The program in Design and Management provides students with the business education that integrates design thinking and strategy. We emphasize the strategic importance of design thinking to new product innovations, sustainable business models and new business creation. Our courses in Design Research and Development instructs students in the importance of qualitative observational research to development of useful, usable, beautiful and sustainable product services and environments. The lectures in this series explore the relevance and impact of design thinking and design processes in business strategy and innovation. We are very grateful to the Karen-Weiss Foundation for the generous grant that makes this series possible. Tonight I am introducing to you Bruce Nussbaum, the Assistant Managing Editor of Business Week; he is responsible for coverage of Design and Innovation. He is an essayist and commentator on economic and social issues and he edits the magazine's weekly Economic View Point column and also writes frequently on design. He analyzes the annual Industrial Designers' Excellence awards and the Business Week Architectural Record AIA awards for the magazine. Mr. Nussbaum joined Business Week in 1977 and started the International Finance section. In 1980 he became head of the foreign news service section focusing on International Finance, International Business and Technological Change. Prior to joining Business Week Nussbaum was a reporter for the Far Eastern Economic Review in Asia and the American Banker in New York. In addition to his numerous cover stories for the magazine Mr. Nussbaum is the author of two books, "The World After Oil-The Shifting Axis of Power and Wealth", and "Good Intentions", an inside look at medical research on Aids. His essays have appeared in the best business stories of the year 2002 and the best American political writing, 2004. Mr. Nussbaum is a recipient of awards from the Sigma Delta Chi Journalism Society, The Overseas Press Club, The West Point Society and the Hofstra University's School of Business. He has received the Bronze Apple and Personal Recognition Award from the Industrial Designer Society of America. He holds a B.A. in political science from Brooklyn College and a M.A. in political science from the University of Michigan. He is a member on the Council on Foreign Relations and has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines. Mr. Nussbaum has also appeared on ABC, Fox and CBS and now on our web cast. So, without further adieu I introduce to you Bruce Nussbaum. What does that guy know anything about design, right? It's funny, yeah media, my my industry is changing as much as any industry, so it was very interesting to hear my old biography. Well, I have a new bio, which is you know totally reshaped around design, you know I was one of the ID, 4D and this and that in design that but it was nice to hear about my previous incarnation before, we dropped the Editorial page, we dropped the Economic View Point, we remain ourselves at Business Week writing online and blog, there was that person too, very interesting. So with that very bizarre beginning let me start by saying, in the name of provocation I want to begin by saying that designers suck. I am sorry, its true, designers suck. There is a big backlash against Design and Innovation, but mostly against design, going on today and it's because cute that they are, designers suck, all right. And I will tell you why. Designers suck, primarily, because they are arrogant. I am not looking at you Tucker, I can't even find you and it's not true for you. But its true many designers do suck because they are arrogant. The blogs and websites are full of designers shouting out how awful it is today that thanks to Macs and Web 2.0 and YouTube, everyone is a designer. That's a terrible thing. Core77 recently ran an article on this backlash and we did one on our Innovation and Design site as well. You know big name designers are out there saying that design is everywhere, design is being done by everyone, design therefore is being debased, eroded, insulted. The subtext, of course, is that real design can only be done by great star designers, Philippe Starck, okay. Now I think that this is simply not true. I think Design Democracy is really the wave of the future. Now may be that exceptional design can done only by great star designers but to design of our music experience, the design of our MySpace pages, the design of our blogs, the design of our clothes, the design of our online community chats, mothers with twins, The design of our Class of 95' brochures, the design of our screens - be they big or little ones and the design of the designs on our bodies we are designing more and more of our lives. And with more tools, we the masses want to design anything that touches us on the journey - the journey of life. So people want to participate in the design of their lives. In fact they insist on being part of the conversation of their lives. So lesson one here for me is that the process of design, the management of the design process is changing radically. Egos and silos I think are coming down, with some exceptions. Participation is expanding and everyone wants to play in the design sandbox and that's the good thing. But it is a huge challenge. So let me just for a moment talk about the arrogance of architects. When I began covering architecture at Business Week about I don't know a decade ago kind of covering and not really we launched an annual contest with Architectural Record which is also owned by the McGraw-Hill. And we did it, it was pretty good, it was a different contest, we insisted on having you know, business people on the same panel with architects in judging projects you know, the clients and the architect. And it was pretty good and we had I think six or eight winners the first time out. We wanted to publish the winners. Okay, so we went to I went to all the fancy architecture magazines to see how that's done. And to my surprise, you know, there were no people at any of the architecture shots. You know, there were only the shots of spaces. There were no inhabitants of of these buildings, and I was rather startled by that and then we went to the architectural photographers and said, well can you something different? Can you actually put people in those buildings, in those spaces? He said no, we don't do that. You know we don't do that kind of thing. So we went out and hired a couple of other photographers who put people into the spaces that were designed for them. Interesting, so one big Design Management challenge is how do you switch gears from designing for to designing with? May be the object of design is not either a finished product or service but a set of tools that allow people to design their own experiences for themselves. Think iPod and iTunes. Think TiVo, even Starbucks. Fortunately design has tremendous tools to offer; in fact design for me has evolved from a simple practice to a powerful methodology of design thinking that I believe can transform society. By that I mean design with a capital D, design with a capital D can move beyond fashion, graphics, product services into education, transportation, economics, politics, the legal system. Design can become powerful enough to be an approach to life, a philosophy of life. But you can do so only when design by ego ends and design by collaboration, conversation begins. We can talk a little bit more about that later, I just got to work as I want back and forth, okay. Because good okay. But back to the back clash against design. Designers also suck because they are ignorant, especially about sustainability. Now the rap about designers is that they design crap, okay. That hurts the planet. That's the argument I think we all have heard that argument a lot. - we kind of know it. But my favorite designer who designs crap is Phillipe Stark, who is one of the most prolific designers of our day. Now just recently at the TED conference, at Monterey he gave a strange speech, saying he designs luxury tooth brushes and luxury toilet brushes because we have a luxury of keeping barbarism at bay. Meaning I guess, there is the war in Europe or America and Asia, so designers can go crazy in designing luxury stuff interesting attitude. And he said at the TED conference, designers speaking of designers he said we are almost gods now. Designers are gods interesting - are they really? Well, let's take your favorite toy - my favorite toy - all our favorite, I think, it's our favorite toy. Designed by one of today's design gods, Jonathan Ive and his team at Apple, the iPod. Now Apple does fantastic things with materials. They are really truly into materials and they do great materials. When you pick something up that's made by Apple, it feels great, and it's not an accident. And it also, somewhat sensitive to recycling, the have recycling programs for - I think virtually all of their products. What Apple doesn't do; it doesn't prioritize cradle to cradle design. It doesn't design a long cycle product that you can open and upgrade, it doesn't design a process that encourages the reuse of materials again and again, it doesn't demand sustainability in its process - in its design process or in the products it designs. So I would ask you personally if you demand sustainability in your laptops, in your iPods, in your cell phones, in your cars in your houses, there are mountains of computers and presumably iPods and cell phones and stuff, your own stuff, my own stuff, building up in India, China wherever; you know leaking toxic chemicals allover the place, Greenpeace has launched a Green My Apple campaign, Europe took green in the 80's and the 90's, the US just took green last year I would argue. And I think - I think the broad new paradigm for design, the paradigm you all work for with in the rest of your lives is sustainability, okay. And actually I think, to give them credit that of all the designers in the US design professions architects may in fact be the greenest at this point. Building according to LEED specs is the norm for big corporations now. Bank of America is putting up this enormous tower of at Bryant Park, that is that is really green, I think it is platinum green or whatever, it is the highest level of green there is - highest level of LEED there is. And one of the interesting tricks that Bank of America is using in its tower is that it uses very cheap electricity in the dead of night to create ice to create ice in the basement and then it uses the ice to cool the building. You know my grandmother used to tell me about the ice box. Well, the ice box is back. So again the broad new paradigm of all of us in design - for all of you in design, and I think for the rest of your life, will be sustainability. The recent TED conference you had a venture capitalist, can't remember his first name, his last name is Doerr, - John, thank you. John Doerr was crying in public, he was on stage or what, have you - he was crying in public, he had his daughter there, he is crying in public about the warming of the planet and about how her future - now it should be little serious here - about her future was really restricted by the lack of activity on the greening of the planet. Well, when you have John Doerr, the over venture capitalist a venture capitalist crying about the planet, I think sustainability is in fact are going to be a key part of or lives and a key paradigm within which all design is going to be taking place from now on. So, I would also say that you might want to challenge your assumptions, right? Challenge your assumptions and think about the mink coat. Think about the mink coat. Now, you know, I know it's supposed to not be cool and the iPod is cool. But the mink coat is sustainable. You feed these little rat- y things, right - that are alive, your garbage which you probably throw out or you grow some food, you create something from them that is comfortable, beautiful, and gives you warmth for the rest of your life, you could pass it on to next generation or recycle it or just let it disintegrate, after all, it is organic, okay. Challenge your assumptions. The mink coat may in fact be a better product than your iPod with in a sustainable paradigm. And since I am at Parsons I thought I'd say something, probably not very intelligently about fashion, which is one of the most creative professions that we have. And the other thing I could think of when it came to fashion is to try and rethink materials. Now fashion again, is one of most creative of the design field. But what does it mean if we are dealing with a - within a sustainable context, what does it mean to design fashion every season? What does it mean to design fashion that requires ever changing materials. Well, I would suggest that materials is really one facet, one focus in fashion that might work for sustainability. I mean, right now if you went out and tried to buy, I don't know organic cotton or bamboo shoot or bamboo material, it's really very expensive but it may not be in the future. Or you may want to fashion things, design things with materials that in fact you can reuse year after year in some way. I don't really know but materials in terms of fashion are eminently recycled or eminently sustainable. This might be a very interesting area to work on. And that's all I have to say about fashion. Okay. Now I want to stop here just for a moment, change gears just for a moment and challenge another assumption. I would suggest that you skip your next trip to Milano or Miami where you would go for inspiration and head instead for the reservation. I would suggest you go visit the Navajo and Hopi, the Pueblo Indians, the Souix or the Cheyenne. Now these folks have lived their sustainable life style for a long time and long before it became fashionable and necessary and there is still a lot left to their eco culture and we have a lot to learn from them. For example, take the Navajo Hogan a simple six-sided building sometimes eight okay. It sits; Hogan sits very lightly on the land. You don't have 10 or 20000 square foot big mansions on the Navajo reservation. Hogans are easy to assemble. They use very little energy to keep people warm and they also have strong spiritual meaning to the families who inhabit them. Today's modern Hogans are trailers. You find trailers all over the reservation. Now trailers have a really bad rep. But let's think about trailers. They too still lightly on the land, they are kind of prefab, they use very little energy to keep people warm. In a world focused on sustainability is the trailer really worse than a cool building designed by Rem Koolhaas or Frank Gehry. I don't know, I think we have to check that. Now let's look at that for a moment. This is not in my speech. There is something truly appealing about that right. And there is something truly god awful about that. What's god awful about that to me is that, this is in China. Right it has nothing to do that I can see with Chinese context, either we are excited or Chinese culture is just as big beautiful square. That screens modernity, which I guess, is very important to the Chinese. It looks like a gambling artifact. Maybe it is. Maybe Rem did deeply search into Chinese culture and came up with a gambling metaphor and built his building around it and I am totally wrong. It could possibly be true. Okay. So what I am trying to argue is that I think we need to lead, we need to live the lives we design and want to design. Just bear with me with this. I don't want to be very political, it's slightly political. Take Al Gore, one of my heroes probably one of your heroes, 99 percent of you are right. He did a great movie on global warming. Yes it was a little boring and I did fall asleep twice on it. But it was a good movie, as a great movie, an important movie. But does he really walk the talk with a 20 room mansion and does he really walk the talk when he flies in private jets, which he does. What is his real carbon footprint and yes he does buy all kinds of carbon offsets, right. You know, carbon offsets. You go out and you live an extravagant energy using lifestyle and you pay peasants in the Amazon to grow trees, it's a carbon offset and in fact it may work. But is that, the kind of life we want to lead. Is that truly the kind of life we want to lead? You know, at both the TED conference and the World Economic Forum in Davos and the Oscars of course, they are all supposed to be carbon free. You know, you have all these fairly well off people flying-in in their private jets, driving around in their private cars leading a really carbon heavy life and that its all off-set by money transaction and maybe in terms of the ecosystem it does work it doesn't work for me. So okay enough of that and enough of insulting designers. At this point I would like to insult myself and talk about how my world has changed in terms of design and design thinking. In the 90s I was the editorial page editor business week. I was the voice of authority. You know it's really true. They actually did an ad campaign around the voice of authority of business week and that's when you had voices of authority. I did design as an afterthought sort of in the evenings and on weekend then I you know, I focused on design being a force in the business community that was my niche and I had a small following. And that changed a few years ago. To bear with me I will go slow with this but it's important. The commoditization of information, the commoditization of manufacturing and its outsourcing to Asia which has occurred over the last five, 10 years that has left US companies unable to compete to make profits. There was nothing to compete on when everybody was doing really well in cutting costs and improving quality and particularly when you are all sending it over to China and India it was all coming out of the same factory. So they had a problem. Don't forget I work for Business Week so this all sort of wash backed the Business Week. So the business community because they couldn't compete on cost and quality had it turn to something else and what they turn to was innovation. Okay? Driving revenue and profits by turning out a continuous series of new things be they products or services or experiences became the new paradigm in the business community. It became part of the new business culture. But their problem was how do people who have spent their lifetime using their left brain suddenly shift using their right brain. Did I get that right, left brain right brain? Looking at all you right brain people, okay. Don't know what the left brain is. So okay, so this is like five years ago. The business culture began to shift in a dramatic way okay and it began to shift toward what they called innovation. And as that was happening design began to shift as well. As the business culture began to evolve and change design culture began to evolve and change as well. It began to change from a simple practice of designing products to a much more complex practice and methodology of designing process and that gave it tremendous power. It began to be articulated and formalized and in that way it began to be translated to a much wider community within the business community and it became accepted by the business community and that's when my life really began to change dramatically. It was about the same time that things were happening at the magazine, at the editorial page was folding and what have you and all of a sudden the needs of the business community began to be met by the power of the design community, okay and that's when we launched our new website Innovation and Design about three years ago two and a half years ago which turned into wild success in terms of traffic and advertising what have you and it began spending most of my time in this space and one other thing this is by the way is terrific story about acumen which is a social entrepreneur philanthropy Jacqueline Novogratz started about five years ago. She used design thinking in philanthropy. She used design thinking in deciding on which projects in health and water in education to to fund. Design thinking is powerful methodology that has application not only within the business culture and business community but I would argue within a much larger civil society and may be especially in education itself. So we started doing this this is a wild success as the magazine began to shrink because advertising was sort of moving away from print to online. We began hiring a bunch of people for this and we also discovered that lots of senior managers in organizations particularly in business still don't go online, okay? They say they do. If you give them a survey oh yeah, we are all online, we are all this we are up like they don't do that. They barely even do their own e-mail. So we decided that that's an audience you know, that we can address particularly with this great content that they we're putting online. So we launched the magazine off our website and we called it Inside Innovation. And we have a lot of the content we call liquid content, a lot of the stuff coming off online into the magazine. And so we now have this, and we are moving down this weird evolutionary where we don't really know where we are going, but we have a team of about eight people nine people. Six of them women in their early thirties, couple of guys in their early thirties. And we found that, early thirties doesn't even do it any more, so we had to hire someone in their mid- twenties. Because the technology is moving so fast and the culture is moving so fast that, we now have sort of a multigenerational team putting out a stories for both online and in print and changing the forum of how we do it. It's a fascinating process and so we are kind of living the innovation that you guys are living and will soon be involved in or are involved in now. So I no longer you know, edit an edited page that's gone. We have we have an online thing, we have a magazine thing. We open source it, we have partners. You know, we don't have journalists simply writing stories. We have partnered up with Core77, an IT Magazine DUAL, we are partnering up with people in the gaming culture, gaming space, within the car design space. We are having lot of fun. We have sort of a global community for both in print and online. About 20 or 30 percent of that is outside the US, lot of very heavily from India, but also Britain, Germany, China. Latin America seems to be absent from all this. It's a very interesting phenomenon. And that's currently where we are. So my last page is here bear with me and then I will stop. We live a life of beta, okay; we live a life of beta which means it's all a conversation. It's no longer finite, we see ourselves engaged in e-conversation about design and innovation with a large community of people around the world who communicate with us sometimes without cursing and sometimes with cursing, who provide us with lot of information and a lot of story ideas. As partners, they actually provide us with stories. Sometimes we initiate the story, sometimes they do. Everyone is commenting on each other. I blogged earlier today about Philippe Starck and his bizarre speech at the TED conference, within three minutes, I had four comments. Two of them said, you don't know what you are talking about, he didn't say that. Another one said right on, you know, up for leap I have a toothbrush and it never worked. And another one said, - another one commented on the comment which is really what happened. And by this time, you know, I am out of there and they go talk to each other. So, but this is the world that I live in now. I basically curate a conversation. All right, I am no longer an editor; I am a curator. I am no longer a - I never was much of a leader. I am more of a coach of a team that - who are very often, I find myself being coached by lots of members of the team. It's a different world, and it's a fascinating world. Then one final note on language and this is very important. This is the language of innovation and design. Now, businessmen and women don't like the term design. I think, they think it implies drapes, okay. Even top CEOs who embrace design don't want to call it that. They want to call it innovation. That has I think a manly ring to it. Its strong, it's techy. Now these folks are perfectly willing to use the word "vision", whatever the heck vision is. Okay. They even like the word "imagination", however fuzzy imagination is. But they don't like "design" so go figure it. Now, I personally solved this problem by calling it all a banana. Okay. Innovation, design, eco imagination, you know, you could just call whatever they want to call it but do your own design thing. Because, I think, the design thing is in fact a glorious thing that has the potential of changing our lives in a myriad of ways in a myriad of places. And that's all I have to say about that.