About the Forum
The Design Futures Student Leadership Forum is a five-day, interdisciplinary forum bringing together student leaders with practitioners and university faculty who represent some of the most important thought leadership in community-driven and engaged design. We frame the conversation broadly, but try to engender leadership and skill-building for future leaders hoping to use design as a tool for social equity and positive change in undeserved communities.
Our guiding principles include striving to build the next generation of leadership in the field; continuing to diversify the ecosystem of design in terms of discipline, background, race, gender, and scale; elevating the rigor and critical capacity of community-engaged design curricula; and curating a national network of thought leadership drawn from contributing universities and practitioner-faculty committed to the advancement of the field.
We do this through the forum, as well as through the nurturing of our student and faculty (both practitioner and academic) networks, and our consortium of committed member schools. Our goal is to foster peer-based professional development through enrichment and critique and to counter the dispersed nature of this emergent movement by creating opportunities for collaboration and collective innovation
Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders and we look forward to helping provide a solid foundation around which to build a successful career path within this emergent field of design practice. We hope to continue growing the university consortium, so students and faculty from universities across the country passionate about elevating this work to a higher standard of rigor can contribute to the Design Futures learning community.