TRANSIT asks for permission for the placement of cookies

DESIS Network (Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability)

Publication date: 2014
Keywords: Design, ICT-revolution, Open Source

DESIS - Design for Social Innovation towards Sustainability is a global network of design labs supporting ‘social innovation towards sustainability’, based in design schools and design-oriented universities (DESIS Labs), actively involved in promoting and supporting social change. In 2017, the network gathers more than 40 labs all over the world. The main ideas are that social innovation could be a powerful driver towards sustainability and that design schools - with all their potential in terms of students’ enthusiasm and faculty experience - could help in supporting and accelerating the process. DESIS Labs uses design thinking and design knowledge to co-create, with local, regional and global partners, socially relevant scenarios, solutions and communication programs. The labs are where new visions are generated, new tools are defined and tested and where new projects are started and supported.

Relevance for TRANSIT

DESIS Network’s main aim is to use design to trigger, enable and scale-up social innovation.  That is: to enhance its potential; to raise its visibility; to facilitate its transferability; to increase its synergy; and to stimulate new initiatives.  With local, regional and global partners, it wants to co-create socially relevant scenarios, solutions and communication programs related to social innovation that are adequate to the great challenges of contemporary society.  


Social Innovation Initiatives in the Critical Turning Points-database 

DESIS Lab Belo Horizonte (Brazil)

DESIS - ID+ DESIS Lab, Aveiro (Portugal)

DESIS - DESIS Lab Florianópolis (Brazil)



Social Innovation Initiatives studied in-depth

DESIS - DESIS Lab Florianópolis (Brazil)




Cipolla, C.; Afonso, R. and Joly, M. P. (2015) Transformative social innovation narrative of the DESIS Network. TRANSIT: EU SHH.2013.3.2.1-1 Grant agreement no: 613169

Cipolla, C., Joly, M. P. and Afonso, R. (2015) WP4 : Case study report : [DESIS network], TRANSIT: EU SSH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement no 613169.


Research Coordination: UFRJ – Carla Cipolla

Stay informed. Subscribe for project updates by e-mail.