TRP 2020 Europe

Form Submissions

Below you’ll find copies of all participant submissions. Click on the participant’s name to view their full submission.

Questionnaires

Your NameDany Snokx
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1. What do you see as your primary work at this stage of your life?

I am founder and managing director of SNOKX BV.

SNOKX is a team of passionate talents who are committed to creating meaningful solutions for people and the world. Not just any other solutions, but solutions that resonate with what people really want and aspire to, with a clear long-term perspective as well as a sustainable positive impact.

We drive change through an iterative process of co-creativity and refinement, translating fuzzy ideas into tangible results. Our scope ranges from product and service innovations to business models and societal transformation.

2. What role do you see as yours to play?

I provide creative leadership that combines sharp, analytical thinking and holistic creativity with strong design orchestration talent, enabling individuals, organizations and organization clusters to consciously make responsible decisions.

3. What goals or aims do you have in regard to the above?

Although we are already able to present strong projects with sustainable results in which we provide answers to complex dynamic challenges at a system level, we feel that this is not enough.

We are destroying our planet and the way how our societies function today is not sustainable at all.
People are aware of this and know that things have to change, and that we need a collaborative approach in which everyone is committed: individuals, organizations, companies, governments. And yet it turns out to be incredibly difficult to break through our entrenched patterns.

We want to learn how we can renew and improve our approach so that we are able to engage different stakeholders to transform the way we live, work and study. This with a higher purpose, a common goal in mind: creating a thriving life.

4. Where do you feel your next arenas for personal growth are?

- Redefine my role as designer / co-creator.
- Gain understanding how nature works and how this can help facing complex adaptive challenges.
- Break through a linear model into a complex adaptive model that is one with nature.
- Strengthen my vocabulary on Regenerative Development and Design. How to turn the message around?
- Gain a solid and reliable knowledge base to further develop and use for action.
- Be able to better recognize false information and misleading beliefs, propaganda.

5. And for professional growth?

- Familiarize with a practical framework to the thinking
- Learn what aspects of a living system to address in order to have real impact
- Learn how to mobilize actors (such as industry leaders, organizations, governments, academia…) to work together towards a higher purpose that at first sight lacks (short term) economic benefits?
- Learn how to identify opportunities for regenerative development and design, and how to define the scope
- Learn how to shift the mindset of others
- Learn how shared goals get shape from a regenerative development approach
- Learn how to valorize and/or finance the practice of regenerative development and design
- Finding ways to break through the traditional commissioner–supplier relationship (so that we can work as equals, instead of according to the wishes of the ones with the biggest wallet)

6. What have you invested in to get you where you are?

- We walk the talk and connect our learnings with our practice: as we learn, we apply.

- So far, the scope of our actions ranges from product and service innovations to business models and societal transformation; working on any design horizon (operational, strategic, aspirational) and on any organizational scale (meta: multiple organizations -clusters-, meso: a single organization, micro: one or more departments).

- As our projects became more and more complex and challenging in nature, we now have naturally arrived at delivering answers to complex adaptive challenges.

- We see both an opportunity and a necessity, in working with the emerging social space. That’s why we have – over the past 2-3 years – invested in setting up collaborations (with mixed success) that have the ambition to create solutions that increase prosperity, are meaningful, and at the same time reduce the pressure on raw materials and the climate. The circular economy, industry 4.0, and inclusivity are important themes in this respect.

7. What fields of learning and which thinkers have been important in your life?

Fields of learning
- LUCA School of Arts/ Design Academy/ Product design
- Philips Design/ High Design
- Ideo, People Centered Design/ Design thinking
- Humanovation/ building the Humanovation organization to deliver programmes that establish design thinking in the strategic business operations of SMEs
- Circular Economy/ TU Delft/ Ellen Mc Arthur foundation
- SNOKX – Our own projects and partnerships
- Auto-didact

Thinkers
- Francis Smets. Art philosopher, professor.
- Stefano Marzano. Italian architect and designer, Chief design officer and CEO of Philips Design (1991-2011).
- Yasushi Kusume. Vice president, Head of Brand Design and Creative Direction at Philips Design (2005-2012).
- Yuval Harari. Philosopher, historian and professor.
- Reon Brand. Director Design Research at Philips Design.
- Ken Webster. Head of Innovation at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in the UK.
- Martin Stuchtey. Professor at University of Innsbruck.
- Walter Stahel. Founder-Director at The Product-Life Institute Geneva.
- Grant Davidson. Regenative development and design practitioner.

8. Can you frame your philosophy or cosmology of life? What role(s) do humans play in it?

What are the conditions necessary for life to come into being? What conditions are necessary for life to flourish?

From my observation at least two seemingly diametrically opposite conditions play a crucial role: stability and instability.

Life needs sufficient "stability" to be able to survive, as everything is interconnected and interdependent. And in order to evolve and flourish, life also needs sufficient "instability". Evolution arises because life adapts to a new situation. Without instability no evolution is possible.

In other words: Life thrives by the grace of the tension between "preservation" and "change" in a subtle balance of interdependency. When the balance of this field of tension tilts extremely to one side or the other, we suffocate life. When there is extreme stability, there is no stimulus to adapt and evolution stops. When there is extreme instability, Life is no longer able to sustain itself because the interdependent relationships get broken.

Is there now a connection between humans in this balance between stability and instability? What role does humans play in this?

I do not think that human's actions are 'indifferent'. In recent decades we have seen a profound influence of human behaviour on life on our planet. That is why I put aside the theorem of neutrality from the beginning.

So, there remain two possibilities:
1. The way in which humans are engaged (or disengaged) on earth is proportional to the increase in vibrant and happy life. More human activity equals more flourishing life. But, as we shall see, I doubt that this is no wishful thinking.
2. Human behaviour is proportional to the decrease in happy and prosperous life. The more humanity continues to "develop" itself, the more destruction and death.

For the time being I choose for the standpoint: human behaviour is proportional to the disappearance of happiness and of life as a whole.

If so, it is truly alarming for all of us, especially the designer, who in his naivety thinks to improve the world, and life, by creating more and better "solutions".

By the way, this is not an original idea. I am not the first disaster prophet to say this. In fact, I am surprised to read the same thesis from about 60 years ago: "An der Zeitmauer" by Ernst Jünger (1959). "At the same pace at which the West is developing methods and products," says Jünger, "disappears happiness" (Das Glück nimmt Abschied). Proportional to the increase in things, "entschwinded die Zufriedenheit". Since then, there are indeed more and more indications that seem to confirm these prophetic words.

Both trends of human behaviour and of a happily flourishing life are drifting further and further apart, running away from each other. This is not to say that there is a connection between the two. But nevertheless...

We are witness to the fact that the current system of growth has succeeded in creating unprecedented prosperity for billions of people in recent decades. Today, we live in an experience paradise. Technology and science seem to make everything possible.

At the same time people are increasingly sceptical about the cost this model entails. It is impossible to escape the overwhelming signs regarding inequality and the destruction of our natural habitat, Earth, at a breath-taking speed and scope.

Unpredictable sudden events such as the COVID 19 pandemic show that we are not invincible and have life-changing consequences worldwide that challenge us to our core, personally, socially and professionally.

Another catastrophe threatens in the foreseeable future. Specialists warn and show us that the 'The natural' world is in decline. And the proof is everywhere.
Our planet is small, lonely and vulnerable. Nature is not infinite. The wilderness is finite and if we (the humans) continue to live as we do now, the most optimistic prognosis of scientists is that in 90 years' time the world will be ‘consumed’ and inhospitable to the majority of fauna and flora, including humans.

Recent scientific research shows that living nature is probably about to tip over and collapse. David Attenborough makes horrible predictions for the years 2030, 2040, 2050, 2080 and 2100.

However resilient nature may be, it is high time that we look in the mirror and realize that we are not above or next to nature, but that we depend on it. Humanity alone will not be able to cope if it continues like this. Our children and grandchildren will end up in a dystopia. Maybe that is a stick behind the door to act.

If our role on earth is to be part of a flourishing life, then it is essential to see the evolution of mankind not in isolation, but as co-evolutive with nature: as “one with nature”.

(This question was a tough one 😉 )

Entry DateNovember 1, 2020

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