JOHN THACKARA

What I am working on at the moment

I am a philosopher, writer and advisor with a special focus is the design agenda for social and ecological regeneration at the scale of the bioregion. Within this framework,  I continuously search for live examples of what a sustainable future can be like and I write about these stories at my blog and books. My most recent title is How To Thrive In the Next Economy.  

Why I wanted to join the Participatory City GlObal Advisory

With its dual focus on live experiments, and support platforms, Participatory City has the potential to  trigger a phase shift in the scale and connecteness of citizen action projects - across the board.

A little bit about John's background

A Brit who now lives in South West France,  John studied philosophy, and trained as a journalist, before working for ten years as a book publisher and magazine editor. He was the first director (1993—1999) of the Netherlands Design Institute, in Amsterdam, and was founder and director of the celebrated Doors of Perception conference from 2000-2016. He has been program director of Designs of The Time (Dott), the social innovation biennial in England, and a commissioner of Cite du Design, the French design biennial; there, in 2008 he curated City Eco Lab - the world’s first bioregional innovation festival. In recent years,  John has curated place-based professional workshops - called xskools - in 11 countries. 

Appointed a senior fellow at the RCA in 2011, and to the Global Advisory Board of Participatory City in 2016, John Thackara is also a visiting professor at SVA in New York, and an advisor to: Chora Connection (Denmark); Konstfack (Sweden); Dartia Bioregional Learning Centre (South Devon); Cateran’s Common Wealth (Scotland); The Nubian Vault Association (France); Unbox Festival (India); Upstarter (London).