When it comes to thinking about higher education designers – or perhaps just design academics – seem to suddenly forget everything they know. We teach the value of ethnographic research, 360º stakeholder input, co-creation, yet throw it all out the window when it comes to designing curricula and the institutional structures they are housed within.

To have a crack at tackling this, I am running a new collaborative online project called Creative Waves - COTEN (the COTEN part is short for ‘co-creation 2010’), which aims to take a service design approach to higher education. It builds upon over a decade of successful online creative collaborations bringing together world renown designers and thinkers together with students, experts, practitioners and academics from all over the world. The project will also have a line-up of special guests such as Arne van Oosterom and John Thackara with more to be confirmed.

An army of politicians, bureaucrats, auditors, managers and administrators have failed to offer an innovative vision for higher education – we invite you to apply your most innovative thinking to the problem. It is free to take part, but places will be limited. The deadline for applications is April 30th 2010 – please see the COTEN web site for details.

If you are involved in higher education or some other networks, please pass on the links and information to your students. It’s important that we get a mix of practitioners and students on the project to get a fully-rounded view of the issues. And please blog and tweet the project far and wide!

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