Design Alliance’s partners should govern it

David Worthington

Although I am chairman of Creative & Cultural Skills, a founder member of the group that created the UK Design Alliance and a grateful advocate of the Design Council’s extraordinary contribution, I want to express a personal viewpoint on the alliance as it stands today and what it will surely become.

As letters you published (DW 10 February and below) indicate, the alliance is alive, well and providing a valuable service to its regional partners. I’ve little doubt several of the national bodies will be minded to join as the alliance expands and provides them with a potentially efficient and extended channel to market.

What is clear, too, is that the role of the dozens of people who were founders of the original idea is now drawing to a close and through the course of this year we will see a transition towards an entity and collaboration that is defined by its partners. This will ensure its continued growth.

I believe this is the right course of action, since the alliance can only truly represent our industry if its future is in the hands of the people. After all, it is they who both create the ’traffic’ and reap rewards on a day-to-day basis.

While all mutual societies require some form of encouragement or governance, a sustainable self-governing mantra far better reflects a modern, online society than central, and potentially London-centric, control or influence.

I think it is probably too early to judge whether the alliance will manage to bring our industry together in one place, but my naturally optimistic nature feels we are actually on the verge on achieving that. So let us all support it, please – if we can’t make it work now, I don’t think we ever will.

David Worthington, Chairman, UK Design Alliance advisory group, by e-mail

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