Better World by Design Conference 2015

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I recently attended the Better World by Design Conference 2015. This is the seventh year that the conference has been held and I have attended all but one. I’m sure the questions are bubbling up already. Let me try to answer them.


The Better world by Design Conference is a completely student run event started in 2007. Each year the students select a different theme for presenting how design can make the world a better place. The student coordinating team does its homework, bringing in inspiring lecturers and fascinating workshop facilitators to provide an environment of curiosity and growth. This year’s theme was Design Thinking and the lectures and workshops were aimed at how incorporating this concept can lead to a better world.

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Every year the conference straddles the campuses of Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design, both located in Providence. It’s great college town, with a cool and easy vibe, very walkable and, when it’s not, there’s always Uber.


Why not? The conference is inventive, educational, rejuvenating, inspiring and cheap. The student rate is around $150 and includes breakfast and lunch across the three days of the conference. That registration fee also covers access to evening networking events which are always a lot of fun. But the real reason to go is for the people you meet, fellow students and industry professionals from all over the world.

What’s also cool about the conference is that graphic design is underrepresented. What’s good about that is that we bring a different skill set and thinking to the workshops and discussions, but most of all attendance to an event such as this can open new and exciting worlds for a graphic designer –something we can all use, no matter where we are on our career paths.

But probably the biggest reason for me to make the effort to attend is to witness and be inspired by this small group of student organizers and their commitment to our shared future – the future of the planet and all the people who inhabit it. It’s awesome!

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I highly recommend you all put a note in your calendars for the end of August 2016 as a reminder to look into attending next year’s conference.


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