IMDC 2019 Themes

Themes

Innovation Methodologies for Defense Challenges - 26th February - 28th February 2019

Themes

The world we live in is layered with complexity and its contemporary characterization is dominated by concepts relating to chaos, uncertainty and the rapid rate of technological change. Militarily, one response to this so-called ‘complex world’ has been to develop an education program in design methodologies which are described as a necessary response to contemporary trends. This ‘transformational turn’ is considered a robust response to defence concerns, and an ‘antidote’ to predictive planning.

The design thinking community have high hopes of creating a cultural and political shift in military strategy, towards more experimental, open and creative thinking about defence. This approach is generating some important critiques towards the design methodologies community and these critiques shape the IMDC themes and demand rigorous discussions alongside the broader contemporary global trends, articulated by analysts and academics, military thinkers, economists and climate change commentators; indeed current political contexts such as Brexit is engaging with creative ways through systemic changes in how to manage bureaucratic change within existing global co-dependencies.

It is with a conviction for critical thinking, challenges and interdisciplinary dialogue that the IMDC organizers invite you to choose a category below that suits your style and topic. The presentation style is creative (film, images, joint presenters, panels that relate in interesting ways across disciplines, or art work). A traditional spoken presentation is also very much welcomed. Please: no regular power points full of words are welcome. No complex mind maps and flow charts.  No difficult to follow material. Accessible presentations, that work for an interdisciplinary audience and students is welcomed – complex ideas must be presented simply so as to include those outside the design community and newcomers to the ideas.

Just Talk – write an abstract on your expertise in line with themes which can be accessibly shared with the audience. You have half an hour for this.

We Talk – develop a panel of interest in line with themes and share the hour-long panel time between members.

They Talk – offer to facilitate a seminar group of attendees and participants of and feedback to main conference audience with questions. The seminars will be an hour long with a break in between and details provided upfront as to the content.

In addition, after you have been accepted to present at IMDC, you have access to an IMDC mentor per proposal, who promises to help guide innovative presentations in line with the themes whilst you are working on your presentations. The reasoning for this opportunity, is to support existing ideas and encourage presenters to be faithful to the purpose of their contribution, which is to contribute critically to the tensions in design methodologies with in mind the demands of contemporary defence challenges.

Interested in presenting at one of our "Talk" features? All ‘themes’ will consider limits, dangers and successes within the context of design methodologies:

Designing the Themes

Contemporary Defense Concerns:

It is said that today the world is increasingly more complex and thus requires (partly due to rapid technological rates of change) new methodologies. This idea that there are ‘new’ challenges that radically differ from ‘old’ challenges is an often-cited proposition. The Lilac stream questions this: what is different and are the various community of design thinkers responding in useful ways?

Are there limits to how much we can consider the needs of the ‘enemy’ considering the role of the military is to serve the national interest?

Are there dangers of focusing on the rate of technological change as the dominant threat? How can this be considered in relation to design methodologies and is it useful/accurate to characterise the world of threats as chaotic, unknown, unpredictable? If so why is this ‘time’ considered distinct from the ‘past?’

 

Present a (fictitious or real) case study, that demonstrates where design methodologies supported a new way of thinking about a contemporary defence challenge.

Book a brainstorm - Please email me and I will put you in touch with a ‘mentor’ or help you myself with your ideas! The purpose of this idea is to offer support on ideas, encourage innovative out-the-box presentations and generally support the process. If you would like that support please can you put “Book a Brainstorm” in the subject title for organisational purposes and email me here: k.kyne@lancaster.ac.uk

Now you have considered the Limits, the Dangers and the Successes, it's time to submit your idea to the conference team HERE. All ideas will be considered, and you will be contacted by Karena after submission.

Education, Theory and Practice:

Disconnections between academic ‘ivory tower’ thinking and application in military practice are common complaints; often it is asked by military educators: how can we teach design, and how can we operationalise the theory and translate it into practice? The blue stream explores this tension.

Advanced innovation methodologies involve self-awareness and a reframing of the self as well as of the ‘other.’ What are the limits and dangers of that?

A deep concern is that theory is not grounded in practice. Is this a justified concern and how have educators of design navigated this issue? 

Present a case study that demonstrates where design methodology has been an educational success either as a teacher or a recipient of the training. What worked for you? Why? 

Book a brainstorm - Please email me and I will put you in touch with a ‘mentor’ or help you myself with your ideas! The purpose of this idea is to offer support on ideas, encourage innovative out-the-box presentations and generally support the process. If you would like that support please can you put “Book a Brainstorm” in the subject title for organisational purposes and email me here: k.kyne@lancaster.ac.uk

Now you have considered the Limits, the Dangers and the Successes, it's time to submit your idea to the conference team HERE. All ideas will be considered, and you will be contacted by Karena after submission.

Past, Present and Future

A clean transition from old-to-new thinking and practice, in any system, is often celebrated by agents of change. Can we leave tradition behind, and should we? In what ways can we facilitate thinking about an ‘unknown’ future? Do design methodologies help? The green stream challenges and explores these claims.

How might design methodologies reconcile with institutional baggage? Can they help neutralise the ‘problem’ of institutional inertia? 

In contemporary debate, various academics have critiqued current design thinkers in the military of legitimating design methodologies that enable a transition to a new type of ‘creative’ warfare. Is this problematic?

How do you justify design methodologies as a necessary tool for the future? A case study (fictitious or not) would be useful here to illustrate your justification.

Book a brainstorm - Please email me and I will put you in touch with a ‘mentor’ or help you myself with your ideas! The purpose of this idea is to offer support on ideas, encourage innovative out-the-box presentations and generally support the process. If you would like that support please can you put “Book a Brainstorm” in the subject title for organisational purposes and email me here: k.kyne@lancaster.ac.uk

Now you have considered the Limits, the Dangers and the Successes, it's time to submit your idea to the conference team HERE. All ideas will be considered, and you will be contacted by Karena after submission.

Note for practitioners: You may find the themes too narrow for you because you have very contextualised experiences - in which case Just Talk might suit you. You can also participate in a Just Talk panel. Please book a BRAINSTORM if you want to specialise in something and we will make it fit.