On Thursday I begin a nearly month-long journey across Europe as a Marshall Memorial Fellow. It’s a program memorializing the Marshall Plan with the intent of strengthening Euro/American relations. I was nominated and selected as a fellow while living in Chattanooga but my original itinerary had me departing in the fall of 2008, a week after starting at IDEO in Boston. Thanks to the flexibility of the German Marshall Fund and the support of my friends at IDEO (and my wife!) I'm able to go now.
I’m looking forward to the trip because it’s quite unusual for a designer to be among the fellows. The majority are on political cabinets, in public affairs or from non-profits. Bringing design thinking into the discussion to explore options as an alternative to legislating limits excites me.
In each city we'll meet with civic leaders, business leaders, dignitaries and like-minded professionals to learn about their cultural and social challenges. We are also receiving broad briefings from the staffs at NATO, the EU and the UN.
I intend to post regularly throughout the trip so check back weekly if you're interested.
Here’s my schedule.
01: Washington, DC
03: Brussels, Belgium
07: Munich, Germany
12: Thessaloniki, Greece
16: Prague, Czech Republic
21: Leipzig, Germany
22: Berlin, Germany