The World Design Summit team, represented by the Honorable Sheila Copps (Chair of the Board of Directors), Alain Dufour (Secretary general and Director of Content), Ariane-Li Simard-Côté (Director of Experience) and 11 international organizations – UNESCO, ico-D, IFHP-COFHUAT, BEDA, IFLA, Cumulus, IxDa, OCDE, Service Design Network (SDN), World Design Organization (WDO) – received a warm welcome from Line Beauchamp (Québec Delegate General in France) at the offices of the Délégation générale du Québec à Paris, on March 7 and 8, as part of the World Design Summit’s pre-summit meeting. This was the first opportunity for the World Design Summit Organization and the 11 participating international organizations to address the Montreal Summit’s objectives and main areas of concern. A second pre-summit meeting will take place in June, also in Paris.
While in Paris, the WDSO also took the opportunity to initiate a meeting with Ambassador Jacques Bilodeau, Special Advisor to the Office of the Right Honorable Michaëlle Jean, Secretary General of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), which represents 84 member states and governments. After this meeting between the WSDO and the OIF, both expressed a common desire to ensure a stronger presence from francophone partners and participants at the Summit.
After the first day of international discussions, the participating international organizations were invited by French associations to a meeting at the Ateliers de Paris (École supérieure de création industrielle-ENSCI). The organizations that joined the international organizations for this occasion included VIA Design, D’Days (Le Festival du Design Paris), the Agence pour la promotion de la création industrielle (APCI), the Fédération Française du Paysage (FFP), lille-design, France Design Éducation and the École de Design Nantes Atlantique, as well as the ENSCI and representatives of several French departments. The whole French design community is rallying to come to Montréal (to be continued…)
On the evening of March 8, the WDSO dropped by Hôtel Bachemont for the 8th edition of Tourisme Montréal’s Annual Montréal Association Networking Forum, whose 2017 theme “Transformation Pathways” led to some very interesting discussions. Among the participating speakers at this event was none other than Ruedi Baur, who will be a keynote at the Summit, in October.
Another day, another destination. On the afternoon of March 9, the WSDO team left Paris for Saint-Étienne to take part in the 10th edition of the Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Etienne. It was a great opportunity to visit the Biennale’s various exhibitions and to be impressed by student projects resulting from a mixed workshop of students from the École Supérieure d’Art et Design de Saint-Étienne (L’ESADSE ) with students from the Académie Royale des Beaux Arts de Bruxelles, in partnership with Idealfelt. That evening, WDSO representatives joined an international dinner at La Platine restaurant, in the Cité du Design, as part of the gathering of the UNESCO cities of design.
On March 10, representatives of the WDSO headed to Lille, to meet with the director of lille–design, Ms Caroline Naphegyi and the president of lille–design’s business club and also president of the Rabot-Dutilleul Group, Mr François Dutilleul. Discussions took place about lille–design’s presence at the World Design Summit’s congress and expo, and about the organization’s international presence. It was a great way to conclude this visit to France.
The World Design Summit – Montréal 2017 (WDSM), of which the general theme is “Changing the World through Design”, is a world-class event that will assemble a huge number of design experts, clients, suppliers and enthusiasts from all over the world in Montréal’s Palais des congrès from October 16 to 25, 2017. Architects, designers and urban planners will collaboratively endeavour to develop and share innovative and practical solutions to the social, spatial, energy and environmental challenges of the 21st century, and to present them to private and public sector decision-makers and the public at large.
The World Design Summit has been flagged as one of the “not-to-be-missed” events of 2017 by digital news platform Quartz.