DESIS Network originates from three main international activities in the 2006-2008 period: the European research EMUDE, 2005; the UNEP Program CCSL, 2008 and the international conference “Changing the Change, within the framework of Torino World Design Capital, 2008.
In different ways, these activities introduced the notions of creative community and social innovation in several design schools worldwide and created favourable conditions to start an international network on these topics.
The main ideas behind it were that social innovation could be a powerful driver towards sustainability and that design schools could help in supporting and accelerating the process.
In 2009, this network took the name of DESIS: Design for Social Innovation towards Sustainability. In the 2009-2011 period, DESIS spread in several regions of the world, establishing partnerships with other entities and evolving towards a network of Design Labs based in design schools and in other design-oriented universities and operating with local, regional and global partners to promote and support social change towards sustainability.”
Within this worldwide framework, some DESIS Labs located in the same area decided to connect and coordinate with each other to discuss regional specificities and develop regional programs (UK, Asia).
Since September 2014, DESIS is a no-profit and cultural association, with the purpose to promote design for social innovation in higher education institutions with design discipline so as to generate useful design knowledge and to create meaningful social changes in collaboration with other stakeholders.