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Conference insights from Vancouver and Boston to Paris and Beijing.

Project Mwana: Shifting the Health Ecosystem with Mobile Technology

Robert Fabricant, frog's vice president of creative, speaks with the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) about Project Mwana and frog's partnership with UNICEF. Project Mwana was recently recognized by IDSA, receiving two of the organization's International Design Excellence Awards.

Project Mwana is a mobile service that delivers HIV lab results in real time to rural clinics. It is also a messaging platform between clinics and community health workers to ensure that results are communicated directly to mothers. Project Mwana is currently serving as a demonstration project for a new approach to collaborative design to enhance the use of real-time data within UNICEF.

frog Earns Three IDSA IDEA Awards

frog is honored to accept three International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) from the International Designers Society of America (IDSA). IDEA is recognized as the preeminent international design competition and referred to as “the Oscars of Design.” frog will take home three awards, two in the Design Strategy and one in the Social Impact Design category:

The Politics of Moving Minds

Innovation is not a science. Much of it has the elusive qualities of art, dressed up as useful things. But business leaders continue to try and invest in innovation as if it were a science. And too often, the designers they employ as consultants engage with these leaders not only as if it were an art but also as if their clients understood how to speak in “creative” terms. So we find these two parties speaking different languages, in need of a translator. And as often happens in translation, important context or nuance can be lost.

Envisioning the City of the Future

For the first time in human history, more people live in cities than in rural areas, and in the next 20 years the urban population will grow from 3.5 billion to 5 billion people. The social, economic, environmental, design, and engineering challenges of this transformation will shape the 21st century. The lives of the people living in those cities can be improved – and the impact of this growth on the environment reduced – by the use of “smart” technologies that can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of urban systems. Given that cities are, and always have been, about the clustering of people, digital innovations are now undoubtedly accelerating human interactions in urban environments and readying citizens for contributing to inclusive growth. By unlocking technology, infrastructure and public data, cities can open up new value chains that spawn innovative applications and information products that make possible sustainable modes of city living and working.

MADE4YOU

Last week, MAK in Vienna, saw an opening of a much-acclaimed exhibition in the Industrial Design sphere. Guest-curated by Hartmut Esslinger, game changing approaches to product research and development will be show-cased at the Museum for Applied Arts. The overarching theme focuses on the main capability of design as an applied art facilitates solutions in the social, ecological, and economic challenges.

Unseen Narratives: The TEDSalon in London

unseen narratives TEDSalon May 2012

Books, film, art, food — and science and social issues — were at the center of the talks at the sixth TEDSalon in London. Frog partnered with TED to co-host the salon on May 10 in a packed Unicorn Theater.

"Our bodies are made of atoms, but our lives are made of stories”, host and TEDGlobal curator Bruno Giussani said, introducing the event’s theme: “Unseen Narratives.” We are our stories, he suggested, our memories, desires, passions, dramas. Stories are what our imagination projects, what our creativity produces, what helps us to make sense of the world and relate to others. And an eclectic set of little-known stories the Salon presented.

Stories of Change

Recently, frog Senior Interaction Designer Alex Tam and Associate Creative Director Dave Chiu were invited to participate in the Stories of Change Impact Lab held at Tomorrow Partners in Berkeley, California.

Since 2007, the Skoll Foundation and Sundance Institute have brought together social entrepreneurs and documentary filmmakers in their Stories of Change partnerships. The goal has been to take organizations that have a social impact on the world and pair them with filmmakers who can amplify their story. By making documentaries of social impact organizations that are already established, people who responded strongly to the film would have a place to direct their energy once they were moved to take action.

The Economist's Technology Frontiers Conference

The Economist's Technology Frontiers conference took place on March 22nd - 23rd 2012 in London. Over 250 business leaders attended thought provoking sessions, networking and exploration on advances in technology and how it transforms our work, lives and world. The summit was the first event to combine an exploration of cutting edge technology with The Economists insights into global trends. Technology Frontiers focused on the most exciting new technologies, but most importantly, it was about helping people understand how technology will affect business and society in the future.

The frog-Microsoft SXSW Party: Recap

This Saturday, for the 14th year in a row, we hosted the official opening party for SXSW Interactive in Austin. For the first time, we partnered with Microsoft’s Coding4Fun team to throw the ultimate “Maker Arcade” bash. Party-goers sweated it out, playing a variety of new interactive games such as Electro Tennis (think Pong, except bigger), Connect Four (a revitalized retro classic where each person represents one game piece), Light Trikes (a physical recreation of the Tron light cycle death race), and the highly popular Boxing Robots (Kinect enabled 6-foot Rock 'em Sock 'em metal bots go at it).  The infamous augmented reality porta-potties from last year’s party could also be found as well as arts and craft/tech tables to make your very own LED throwies.

Death and Our Digital Legacy

“Here it is. I’m dead, and this is the last post to my blog.”