IDSA @ The White House

Members Promote ID at Manufacturing Summit

IDSA had a strong presence at the US Economic Development Administration’s 2nd annual Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) National Summit, held Oct. 21‐22, 2015 at The White House and at the US Department of Commerce in Washington, DC.

Paul Hatch, IDSA, founder and CEO of TEAMS Design Chicago (along with his co-founding partner of the non-profit Design House in Chicago, Susan Estes); Carole Bilson, IDSA, president, Design Management Institute; and Jacklyn Woniger, IDSA, of Escalade Sports attended the two-day summit.

They were invited to the summit by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), which was represented at IMCP 2015 by Katryna Carter, design consultant and senior associate, visual arts at NEA, and Courtney Spearman, design specialist, visual arts at NEA. The NEA has been offering input to IMCP on the impact of industrial design and manufacturing supply chains, including statistics relating to the role Industrial designers play in US manufacturing, technology and innovation from a report prepared by the NEA: Valuing the Art of Industrial Design. “Designers are prolifically inventing new products, processes and systems that have a profound impact on our economy and civil society,” states the report.

A March 2015 report by the White House and the Commerce Department cites “US manufacturing is in the midst of a potential resurgence…. small manufacturing firms have played a key role in this resurgence, adding the majority of new manufacturing jobs every year, while forming the backbone of US supply chains.”

The IMCP is designed to revolutionize the way federal agencies leverage economic development funds, encouraging communities to develop comprehensive economic development strategies that will strengthen their competitive edge for attracting global manufacturer and supply chain investments.

“I am a firm believer that design thinking is truly the best competitive advantage in business and my recent invite to the White House/IMCP Summit is proof that design deserves a seat at the table,” says Woniger. “It was such an incredible honor and an invaluable opportunity I could not pass up—I never thought in a million years that design would take me to our nation’s capital!  I believe it really demonstrates the vital role of industrial design and the power we all possess—and along with that, the responsibility we hold in representing the design community.”

“What a great opportunity that we all hope will bear fruit for design, design management and ultimately US competitiveness, moving forward," said Bilson.

On the first day of the summit at The White House, Sharing Best Practices was followed by informal networking and breakout sessions on topics including: Private Capital and Partnerships; Place-Based Initiatives–Building on Strengths; Workforce Development: STEM Education–Equipping the Next Generation and Building Pipelines; Tracking and Evaluating Performance of Manufacturing Community Plans; and Community Best Practices for International Trade and Inbound Investment.

The next day at the Commerce Department, keynotes were delivered by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker; Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary Matt Erskine; and Honest Tea CEO Seth Goldman.

More speed networking and breakout sessions were held, on topics such as: National Digital Engineering Manufacturing Consortium; Community Best Practices for International Trade and Inbound Investment; Strengthening Innovative Capabilities of the US Supply Chain; Keeping America on the Cutting Edge of Innovation; Rural Communities–Perspectives, Opportunities and Challenges on Regional Planning; and The Nuts and Bolts of Working with Non‐federal Funders.

That was followed by a Workforce Development Panel; Exploring Financing Mechanisms and Partners for IMCP and Manufacturing Communities; and Looking Forward to the Future of IMCP and Manufacturing.

“I believe in the coming years it’s absolutely imperative that designers get and stay engaged in initiatives such as these and continue to play a key role in this type of diverse collaboration,” adds Woniger. “We need to make sure our voices are heard and our community is represented. We all have the ability to take action in creating the kind of business environments and world we want to work and live in.”

See the conversation on Twitter @US_EDA #IMCP2015