Guest Speaker: Innovation in Emerging Markets

Organized by Changhong Electric Company, the Sichuan Economic Information Commission, the Sichuan Provincial Department of Science and Technology, and a number of universities across the province, the Advanced Forum of Interaction Design brought together design experts from around the globe to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing designers today as they take a place situated somewhere between business strategy and creative execution. Panelists included Xin Xiangyang, Dean of the School of Design at Jiangnang University; Design Practice Lead at Second Road in Syndey, Tim Fife; Assistant Director of Business Design at BMW DesignworksUSA, Megan Stanton, and Michael Lai of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Erin Eisinger, FourByNorth’s Head of Consulting and Design, was among the featured speakers and discussed the challenges of creating an work environment focused on innovatiing within an emerging market, such as those in China and Turkey. Her argument was that these markets, with so much low-hanging fruit to satisfy short-term market needs (i.e. bringing services and products to Turkey from other countries), many investors and entrepreneurs don’t welcome the risk that comes with creating something completely new. However, despite the obstacles that have been present in the market for the past four years, she feels Turkey is at a watershed moment: with increasing competition, more local know-how, and evolving user needs’, she believes the stage is set for a new breed of design and innovation.