The AIGA: Moving into China, Social Networking, Business Strategy

I recently went to a lunch hosted by Richard Grefé, the executive director of the AIGA (the acronym stands for the American Institute of Graphic Arts; today, the 93-year-old organization refers to itself as “the professional association for design,” broadening its reach beyond graphics). We discussed how the 19,000-member AIGA is redefining itself to evolve with designers of all stripes who are increasingly embracing roles as business strategists (think IDEO or Smart Design). And the AIGA now publishes how-to brochures targeted for C-suite executives who are curious about the use of design as an innovation tool. I went home with a cute little booklet titled “What every business needs. And how,” featuring a 12-step framework for folding design thinking into a business strategy.

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