Digital networking, globalisation, collapsing ecosystems and the struggle for social balance – retrospectively, social scientists will see our time as a tipping point, the phase in which smart surfers emerge who know how to ride the wave – and contest the future. Designers could belong to these analytical surfers and decisively shape the image of our society. Designers today challenge existing structures, they seek new answers and transcend the boundaries of discipline. With or without a ‘commission’, they adopt themes and thus give design a new meaning. But where are the opportunities opening up? Which strategies lead to success? What business models result from this? And what does all this mean for the profession, self-image and training in design?

Florian Pfeffer is a curator, designer and author who lives/works in Amsterdam and Bremen. He is the founder of the design studio one/one in Berlin, Bremen and Amsterdam. Between 2006 and 2012 he was a professor at the University of Design Karlsruhe and currently teaches at the Design Academy Eindhoven. As director of the : output foundation, he promotes young talent and organises the international : output Award for students. His book “To Do – The New Role of Design in a Changed World” (published by Hermann Schmidt Mainz) is considered a highly regarded statement in German-language design literature.