march 19, 2020 - World Design Organization

WDO President - Response to COVID19

Dear colleagues and friends,
 
As the COVID-19 continues to spread, our thoughts go out to all those who have been impacted. On behalf of the WDO Board of Directors and the entire Secretariat team, we hope that you, your family, friends and colleagues are safe and well, and are taking the necessary precautions to continue doing so.
 
As an international organization with activities across the globe, our greatest concern is the heath and safety of our team, our members, our project partners and the communities in which we operate. As we keep a close eye on the rapidly evolving situation, we are developing continuity plans for our programmes and have put protocols in place to allow us to operate with as little disruption as possible. Effective immediately, we have:

  • postponed all WDO related travel as recommended by health and safety officials,
  • advised all Secretariat employees to work remotely for the remainder of March, for the benefit of their safety and well-being, and
  • ramped-up our use of teleconferencing and other remote administration management tools.

During times of uncertainty like the one we are witnessing, organizations around the globe must develop alternative methods to continue their mandate and adopt these measures quickly. WDO is no exception and we are working on alternative processes in our day-to-day communications, project management and outreach to our members with a mission to join the global movement and do our part to help "flatten the curve". Also, in partnership with other organizations, we are currently preparing to conduct virtual workshops to get designers to tackle some of the issues brought by this pandemic. We will keep you posted on this initiative.
 
We were in the midst of announcing the bid process for the upcoming 2021 World #design General Assembly, but due to the prevailing situation across the globe, we are moving the launch date by a few weeks. We wish to officially inform you that we may not be able to meet our constitutional obligation to inform members of our location in a timely manner. We realize that many communities are on lock down and under strict travel restrictions; therefore we will re-evaluate the launch process and revert with a new date quickly. We remain optimistic by the enthusiasm of our members to apply to host our 2021 World #design General Assembly.
 
We will continue to keep you informed of any changes that may affect our programming and/or projects. We also, urge you to stay connected with us and to help continue a positive dialogue on the impact that #design can have not only on solutions but also on processes. At this very crucial moment in time, I encourage you to share with us any best practices or examples of 'design for a better world' that you have witnessed that we may share in turn with our global networks.
 
In the meantime, please continue to stay informed and keep safe.
 
Sincerely,

Srini R. Srinivasan
President