About this Event
How can we optimise our design efforts today to achieve progression toward better futures in the most critical areas? The Design Futures Forum 2023 is a special-edition event marking the DesignSingapore Council’s 20th anniversary, and 20 years of design’s evolution and potential as a multiplier for impact across contexts.
Featuring a diverse line-up of distinguished speakers from Singapore and around the world, the forum will examine three key areas in which design can – and must – address when it comes to designing for better futures: the future of sustainability, emerging tech and care.
From investigating how designers can play a key role in addressing the urgent symptoms of human-caused environmental breakdown in the areas of how we work, travel, feed and house ourselves, to ways in which design can be mobilised to shape a more inclusive and meaningful future of technology, to how care can be reconceived as a multi-layered exchange between care services and personal direction, the forum will present the embodiment of Singapore design in a global context, where design is born from a strong sense of creative purpose and crafted for positive impact.
The Design Futures Forum will also be a platform for the worlds of design, business, and the social and public sectors to come together, empowering each individual and organisation to recognise their role as we design for better futures, together.
This event is accredited 3 CPD points from SIDAC (SIDS); CPD accreditation for architects (BOA-SIA) and landscape architects (SILA) are pending confirmation.
Check out the first line-up of speakers and moderators below:
Designer and Author of Creative Leadership: Born from Design
Rama Gheerawo is an international and inspirational speaker, author and designer. As Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, he uses design to address issues around age, ability, gender, and race. He is a serial innovator in the fields of Inclusive Design, Design Thinking, and Creative Leadership. He has personally led around 100 projects, working internationally with governments, business, academia and the third sector with clients such as Samsung, Tata Consultancy Services, and Panasonic.
Photo by Ezzidin Alwan.
Sports, Health & Fitness Innovation Executive
Dr Tom Waller is a pioneering industry executive with over 20 years of experience leading innovation and driving global growth for major brands including adidas, lululemon and Speedo. His human-first philosophy and unique integration of creative, scientific, and technical disciplines have impacted athletes and consumers on the world’s biggest stages. His teams have created iconic products, novel brand positioning and business ‘unusual’ developments, generating billions of dollars, winning gold medals, setting world records, and impacting the culture of sports, health, and fitness at a massive scale.
Photo courtesy of Tom Waller.
Founding Executive Director, Tech for Good Institute
Dr Ming Tan is the founding Executive Director of Tech for Good Institute, a non-profit founded to catalyse research and collaboration on social, economic, and policy trends accelerated by the digital economy in Southeast Asia. She is concurrently a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Governance and Sustainability at the National University of Singapore and Advisor to the Founder of the COMO Group, a Singaporean portfolio of lifestyle companies operating in 15 countries worldwide. Dr Tan was previously Managing Director of IPOS International, part of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore. Prior to joining the public sector, she was Head of Stewardship of the COMO Group.
Photo courtesy of Ming Tan.
Structured & Generative AI Technologist for Developer Programmes, Asia Pacific South, NVIDIA
Dr Deb Goswami is currently responsible for growing NVIDIA’s Accelerated Data Science and Machine Learning developer practice in the Asia Pacific South and ANZ Regions. With over a decade of expertise in scaling and enabling enterprise AI in the region, Dr Deb is passionate about supporting the developer ecosystem in their AI journeys. Prior to joining NVIDIA, Dr Goswami worked on challenging AI problems across a variety of verticals in the APAC region, including Media (SPH, Head of Data), eCommerce (Traveloka, Head of AI), AdTech (Dentsu Aegis Network, Data Scientist) and Telco/Oil and Gas (Reliance Industries, Data Scientist).
Photo courtesy of Deb Goswami.
Co-founder and CEO, BillionBricks
Prasoon Kumar is the Co-Founder and CEO of BillionBricks, pioneering the world’s first income-generating, net-zero home and community. Kumar originally founded BillionBricks in 2013 as a non-profit, impacting the lives of over 15,365 homeless people in nine countries. In 2020, Kumar strategically shifted BillionBricks to become a venture funded for-profit enterprise, extending its influence and impact as a leading innovator for sustainable and affordable housing.
Photo courtesy of Prasoon Kumar.
Co-founder, Forest & Whale
Based in Singapore and Berlin, Wendy Chua is an interdisciplinary design researcher, curator, and educator. Her practice Forest & Whale, co-founded with Gustavo Maggio, envisages design as an agent of change to create an impact in social and environmental care. As a design anthropologist, swimming between the fields of marine science, environmental humanities and design, Chua is currently exploring how we might model art-science climate inquiry to make sense of the coastal threats of marine heatwaves and harmful algal blooms.
Photo by Michelle Mantel.
Lee Poh Wah
CEO, Lien Foundation
Radicalised during formative careers in the private and public sectors, Lee is the CEO of Lien Foundation where he developed the grant-making approach of Radical Philanthropy. Prioritising risk-taking and relationships with partners over theories of change and KPIs, the Foundation is recognised as a first-mover driving improvements in early childhood development and eldercare. Over the years, some of the Foundation’s projects were mainstreamed while others failed spectacularly, providing humus for future shoots and lessons in “fool-lanthropy”. Lee believes in enlisting the unique intellect of designers, scientists, technologists and artists to create new solutions for the health and social care sectors.
Photo courtesy of Lee Poh Wah.
Director, School of X, DesignSingapore Council
Tamsin Greulich-Smith is Director of School of X at DesignSingapore Council, building human-centred design skills whilst tackling social challenges. She also leads the Council’s organisation transformation design agenda and is a faculty member at the National Centre for Healthcare Innovation. Previously, she founded and led the “Smart Health Leadership Centre” at National University of Singapore's Institute of Systems Science, to transform health outcomes through design, data, and digital technology. She also guided the development of the transformation roadmap for Yishun Health (previously Alexandra Heath System), led the first Sector Design Challenge on behalf of the National Council of Social Service, and developed SG Enable’s Social Outcomes Measurement Toolkit for the Enabling Lives Initiative.
Photo courtesy of Tamsin Greulich-Smith.
Event Venue & Nearby Stays
Drama Centre Theatre, National Library Building, 100 Victoria Street, Singapore, Singapore
SGD 50.00 to SGD 100.00