Design Forge 2023 to focus on ‘intergenerational community-building’ this week

From March 29-31, the Design Forge will share stories and strategies for cultivating intergenerational design projects that foster pluralistic, participatory communities.

Each year, the Center for Design Thinking hosts the Design Forge, an interactive conference addressing critical topics of interest to higher education, strengthening collaboration across the design thinking community and cultivating opportunities for design thinking to enhance student learning.

This spring, the Center for Design Thinking is excited to announce that the Design Forge will happen from March 29 through March 31. The schedule is jam-packed with amazing guest speakers excited to share their expertise, experiences and knowledge.

Attendees talking at past Design Forge conference.

This year we are building momentum with a speaker and workshop series exploring the following questions:

  • How might we design with and across intergenerational communities? 
  • How might we cultivate pluralistic, participatory communities?

Design Forge will be a transformative three days. This event will allow participants to spend time exploring the “how-might-we” questions in an environment that is part design and part convening, launching new relationships and generating questions, resources, ideas, and frameworks that advance the value and impact of design thinking practices.

2023 Design Forge, March 29-31To increase access, sessions will be offered for free to in-person and Zoom participants.

  • On Wednesday, March 29, the center will be hosting a kick-off community event at the Elon Community Church with special guest Camilo Ramero. Camilo will be facilitating a story-healing toward intergenerational peace and empowerment workshop.
  • Thursday, March 30, features sessions from Ela Ben-Ur, Jasmine Whaley and Sandy Marshall, Foad Hamodi, Rachel Switzky and June He. The center is extremely excited to announce that Ela Ben-Ur will be talking about a tool that is used throughout the Elon community workshops – the innovator’s compass. Ela Ben-Ur has co-experimented with organizations and educators fascinated by the strength of design thinking. She will be sharing her experience with the innovators compass, which she describes as, “five questions that move us forward, distilled from many different practices, which have been used from preschools to global conferences and rural communities.”
  • On Friday March 31, the center will welcome guest speakers Fred Leichter, Executive Director of the Hive and Alden Burke, Program Manager of Design for America, alongside amazing Design Thinking practitioners including Michelle Janning, Lesley-Ann Noel, Alessandra Bazzano, Saad Shebab, Dhvani Toprani and Raja Schaar.


For free virtual registration, visit the Design Forge website.