“A Transdisciplinary Approach to Social Innovation”

Written by: Laura McDermott, Design Lead @ IE Centre for Social Innovation

On 12th December, Conchita Galdon, Director of the IE Centre for Social Innovation,  presented her take on “A Transdisciplinary Approach to Social Innovation”.

The event, hosted by the CUNY SPH Center for Systems and Community Design, was held in NYC and panelled by “entrepreneurs and institutional leaders from the US, Portugal and Spain”. These experts debated how the likes of art, engineering, technology and public health play an important role in the next wave of start-ups.

Conchita explored the way in which IE uses a transdisciplinary approach to advance social innovation, highlighting Bikelite, Oliber and Horas da Vida as success cases. All three organisations took part in the 1st Edition of the Social Innovation Awards by Fundación MAPFRE, which are powered by IE.

Bikelite, which is based out of Chile, is the brain-child of Paulina Barría, an architect who has managed to weave mobility, design and her love of lights into a powerful social mission. Bárbara Lopez and Camilla Vivallo are the co-founders of Oliber, a wearable that empowers people who have atrophied hands or dexterity problems to eat, write and even brush their teeth. They took a transdisciplinary, Design Thinking approach to the creation of their solution. Meanwhile, Sao Paolo-based Horas da Vida, founded by João Paulo Nogueira Ribeiro and Rubian Arian, focuses on impacting Brazilian healthcare by looking at problems from a different perspective and creating a powerful network of healthcare institutions, volunteers, professionals and patients.

As an institution, IE has the opportunity to create social impact on a great level by continuing to support transdisciplinary projects, as well as “graduating thousands of students who are conscious of environmental and social decisions they make”.

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