Impressions from Abroad

10 Jun 2007|Darrel Rhea

The world of design is maturing at a very fast clip. I’ve keynoted several conferences outside the US this year (Copenhagen, Montreal, Auckland, Toronto, Sydney, etc.) and the growing importance of design around the globe is clear. Europe is ahead of the US in many ways, with Scandinavian countries leading in the theoretical understanding of customer-led innovation (but weaker on the systemized implementation of that understanding within organizations). Meanwhile, countries like New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, and China are aggressively adopting design practices to boost their competitiveness. It has been exciting to see the eagerness of all types of organizations to use design as a basis for innovation. This surge of interest will be pushing the field of customer-led innovation to innovate itself. After meeting literally thousands of business leaders and designers from around the world this year, I am excited not just with the enthusiasm for the field I love, but by the incredible work being done by practitioners around the world.

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