Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in 2011: Design Anthropology and Indigenous Knowledge

Here is the press release on our invitation to host a Bellagio Center Conference in 2011:

Associate Professors Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall and Norm Sheehan have been invited by the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center to host a conference on Design Anthropology Indigenous Knowledge, and Culture-Based Innovation in March 2011.

CIKADA, the Faculty of Design’s Indigenous Knowledge and Design Anthropology research group, will be the first Swinburne group to be honored with such an invitation. Swinburne joins other Australian universities (e.g. Australian National University, Queensland University of Technology, Monash University, University of Sydney, and University of Western Australia, La Trobe University) in winning this honor.  

Aligned with the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center's spirit of innovation to solve social problems, the five-day workshop will bring together 19 participants representing a global network of design anthropologists, Indigenous Knowledge experts, and industry innovation consultants. The workshop will embody the methodologies of design anthropology (e.g. experience grounded ideation and prioritization) and Indigenous Knowledge (e.g. respectful engagement, deep listening, emergence and knowledge tracking) in order to (1) create and disseminate both theoretical and practical knowledge on the methodologies of design anthropology, Indigenous Knowledge, and culture-based innovation, (2) develop collaborative projects demonstrating its value among global communities, and (3) establish a network of scholars/practitioners to scale its ideas. The Rockefeller Foundation intends to observe CIKADA’s process as a best practice for future Bellagio Center conferences. The Rockefeller Foundation treats all Bellagio meetings as part of an ongoing learning process for effective convenings, and CIKADA’s innovative approach will help advance the Center’s legacy of creative and impactful techniques for problem solving.

About Swinburne Faculty of Design’s Indigenous Knowledge and Design Anthropology Research group.

The focus of CIKADA, the Faculty of Design’s Indigenous Knowledge and Design Anthropology Research group, is advancing culture-based innovation. This is defined as a process by which strong cultural values aligned with communities are used to generate innovations in products, services, environments, and processes that are beneficial to those cultural communities.  Because of its focus on groups in contexts where social cohesion is of greater value than individuality, culture-based innovation is a more appropriate approach for generating cultural, industrial, governmental, and social innovation among Indigenous communities, minority communities, migrant communities and communities living in contexts of social and/or environmental disruption.