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William McDonough: “Design as Optimism” | Talks at Google

As a part of Google’s Environment Day on April 25th, we invited architect, designer, thought leader, and author William McDonough to Google NYC for a talk on “Design as Optimism.” Moderated by Mary Davidge.

Design is the first signal of human intention. We are all designers because we all have intentions. What if our intention is to do good and make the world better because we are here? William McDonough shares real world examples of materials, products, buildings, communities, and economies that were designed in the search for good.

About William McDonough
William McDonough points the way toward “more good, rather than less bad” values and practices for businesses in all sectors at all scales—showing how a positive future of continuous improvement is possible now. He is an architect, a global leader in sustainable development, and serves on the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the Future of Environment and Natural Resource Security.

For more than 40 years, McDonough—through McDonough Innovation, William McDonough + Partners, Architects, and MBDC—has defined the principles of the sustainability movement. He is co-author of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things (2002) and The Upcycle: Beyond Sustainability—Designing for Abundance (2013). He also co-founded the not-for-profit Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute; and in 2012, he became the subject of Stanford University Libraries’ first “living archive.” McDonough has received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development (1996), the first U.S. EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (2003), and the National Design Award (2004). In January 2017, he was awarded the Fortune Award for Circular Economy Leadership at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting where he was hailed as “the father of the circular economy”. In 2009, he co-founded the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, to scale up the rigorous product certification program. Time magazine recognized him as a “Hero for the Planet,” noting: “His utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that—in demonstrable and practical ways—is changing the design of the world.”

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