Launch of Oslo Manifesto: UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to be developed into an actual design brief

Tone Skårdal Tobiasson
Posted on
Friday, 29 April 2016
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With a dose of rock’n’roll, Alan AtKisson, CEO of AtKisson Group, launched the Oslo Manifesto at Transformation Day – a conference for designers and architects held in Oslo this week. Based on the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the aim is that all designers and architects will use the Manifesto as a tool in their everyday work.

The Design and Architecture Center (DogA) in Oslo has been instrumental in developing the Manifesto after AtKisson participated at the Forward Thinking Conference last fall and launched the idea during a debate on stage with Paul Dillinger, Levi’s, and Vincent Stanley, Patagonia. 2025Design and NICE (Nordic Initiative Clean & Ethical) Fashion Norway were the first to sign the Oslo Manifesto, and as part of the conference, several new signatories were added. AtKisson told the capacity crowd that he is dialogue with the German and the Austrian government on joining the initiative, but already a number of German design-firms have come on board.

According to “By signing this document, we who work as designers and architects, employ designers and/or architects, or in any way use, have connection with or organize the professions of design and architecture, are declaring that we accept this “commission” from the global community. We adopt the 2030 Agenda as a new design brief for the creation of a sustainable world. We commit to considering all 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals in every project or review or commission we undertake. We commit to promoting the universal adoption of the SDGs by others in our profession, by our clients — and by the generation of designers and architects coming after us.”

The 17 SDGs aim to end poverty, augment good health and well-being, promote gender equality, clean up the oceans, manage the land sustainably, promote responsible consumption and production; to mention some of the tasks that need to be solved by 2030. All 193 countries have signed on for these goals, and the aim of the Oslo Manifesto is to develop design-tools that address all the 17 goals. “You need to do four things,” AtKisson told the audience, “Go to the website and sign the document, download the actual questions we have developed that address the goals, hang them up on your office wall and show them to everyone you work and interact with.”

That simple and that hard.