It is hard to attribute design activities in Cornwall to one person. The Design Councilsupported Designs of the Time initiative (which is currently running in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly), University College Falmouth and the Cornwall Design Forum – one of the first and most active regional bodies representing the local design community – all involve great design activists who put quality first.

But the Hot 50 selectors have singled out Kevin Lavery, chief executive of Cornwall Council since it was formed in autumn 2008, as a kingpin in the most recent activity, particularly Dott.

It is rare for local authority heads to champion design in quite the way that Lavery has done. As former chief executive of Newcastle Council, he has worked with Alan Clarke, the visionary chief executive ofregional development agency One North East, which partnered the Design Council for Dott 07, and so has a sound grounding in design’s potential to effect social and economic change.

Lavery faces tough decisions and public accountability, yet he, former University of Falmouth rector Alan Livingstone and others are determined to put Cornwall on the international map. They deserve our support.

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