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Theme: Ethical Resilience


  • Elizabeth Resnick, Professor Emerita, Massachussets College of Art & Design, USA
  • Jackie Malcolm, University of Dundee, UK


  • Professor Gideon Kossoff, Carnegie Mellon School of Design, USA
  • Dr David Sanchez, Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico
  • Eric Benson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
  • Dr Keith Skene, Director, Biosphere Research Institute, UK
  • Fraser Bruce, University of Dundee, UK
  • Jade Cawthray, PhD Researcher, University of Dundee, UK


This track invites conversations, knowledge, insights and reporting of research that discusses nature-inspired design. The track has a particular focus on the promotion of regenerative cultures and how this relates to emerging ethical considerations.

For example, a level of disruption is required to ensure the biosphere becomes resilient, achieving a balanced ecosystem. But this disruption can have a disastrous, very real effect on the most vulnerable members of society. For example, initiatives for the greater good (such as organic and locally produced food), can have untenable cost implications for society’s poorest members.

How might nature-inspired design shape our own values as designers and citizens, and so shape this landscape of disruption, and its consequences?

In turn, how might this impact us as designers, and as citizens of the world? What theories for change—and tools—might be required to envision a regenerative design culture?


  • Can nature inspired design offer new insights in the creation of new resilient futures?
  • Where do we situate our own values when faced with the real-world implications of the application of these values through design?
  • What are the theories of change that can help achieve societal balance and how can Transition Design contribute to this?
  • What are the human interventions needed to achieve balance and resilience?
  • How can we as designers create new contexts for all design stakeholders to support excluded communities and individuals?
“Resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected.
Sustainability is about survival. The goal of resilience is to thrive.”
Jamais Cascio