What is Doors of Perception?

Doors is a conference, website, knowledge network, and cultural accelerator. We bring together innovators, entrepreneurs, educators, and designers who want to imagine alternative futures - sustainable ones - and take design steps to realize them.

Who should attend Doors of Perception 8?

Designers, architects, entrepreneurs, policy makers, educators, city managers.
Our participants come from up to 50 countries; the same goes for the 400,000 people who visit our website each year.

Is Doors 8 in a  tsunami danger zone?

No, it is not. The distance from Delhi to Chennai (the Indian city where the December tsunami hit hardest) is 2095 km, or 1301 miles. That's similar to the distance from Boston to Miami, Amsterdam to Athens, or Tokyo to Beijing. The real danger is that you'll miss this great event and kick yourself so badly that you'll end up covered in bruises.

I'm not a designer. Why should I come to a design conference?

If you ever need to devise a course of action aimed at changing an exisiting situation into a preferred one, you're designing (A definition of design by Herb Simon, given to us by Malcom McCullough).

Why do people come?

These are new times. People participate in Doors who need to imagine sustainable and engaging futures  - and take design steps to realize them. Our shared objective is to enrich our understanding and use of  the design process.

Why should my company send people to Doors?

In order to do things differently, organisations need to see  things differently. Doors is a kind of lens which helps companies look at the world in new ways. We explore next-generation service and product concepts, and develop exploitable insights, tools, and knowledge. See also: What To Tell Your Boss

What should I tell my boss?

  1. The industrial revolution was launched in part by knowledge about textile production brought from India to Europe. The same can happen with knowledge about daily-life services brought from India, today.

  2. Doors 8 is about next-generation service and product concepts.

  3. India is a world-class incubator of new business models. The “Public Call Office” concept enabled hundreds of millions of people to gain telephone access, within a few years. What’s coming next?

  4. India’s software companies are determined to move up the value chain, globally. They need help to do that. Who is going to help them?

  5. Grassroots innovators in India combine bible-age lifestyles with cutting edge technology. How did they do that?

  6. The quality of networking done at Doors is legendary. You'll meet industry experts and working designers willing to help you with all aspects of design.

  7. Tell your boss about the multiplier effect: Offer to make a presentation of your experience at Doors to your colleagues when you get home. 

Doors seems rather on the edge of what I need to do my job

We hope so. In biology they describe as 'the edge effect' the tendency for a greater variety and density of organisms to cluster in the boundaries between communities. As in nature, so too in a networked economy:  variety, density and interaction are success factors. These success factors do not occur naturally inside large companies. On the contrary: stuck in boxes, people in large companies focus on internal issues  (particularly technology, and market share) and miss important developments at the edge.

I don’t have a boss, I have a board. How do I justify the trip to them?

In your memo proposing to sponsor Doors 8, you might mention that “serving the world’s five billion or so poorest people is a $13 trillion a year opportunity”. This, at least, is what management guru C K Prahalad says in his new book The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits. (Pittsburgh,  Wharton School Publishing, 2004). There are many things to argue about in Prahalad’s position – and we will do so at Doors 8 - but the priority now is to get your proposal agreed.

Money is tight. Cost is an issue right now.

Some delegates to Doors split the costs with their employer. You you pay travel, she pays the registration, for example.

Does your company offer tuition reimbursement? Participation in Doors might qualify as continuing education.

If you are self-employed, you should deduct the costs of your participation from your taxes.

Do you offer scholarships?

A very limited number of scholarships is available for students and economically-disadvantaged designers and artists. To apply, please write a max 300 word application that includes:

  • your name, email, phone number, address, URL

  • why you should be given a scholarship

  • how you will help make Doors 8 n a success

Email your application to:
Priya George: priya@ict4d.info

Our decision on scholarships will be communicated to applicants by Friday 25 February. Please note that scholarships do not include transportation or housing.

What will I take away after the conference?

A better understanding of  the design process.
Scenarios for services that meet emerging needs in new ways.
New connections and capabilities among innovative people and organizations

There are hundreds of events out there. Why should I choose Doors?

We bring together different disciplines and communities that would not otherwise meet. These connections lead to all manner of new relationships and projects.

How do I get to speak at Doors?

With difficulty. Doors of Perception is not an academic conference - therefore we do not call for papers. Rather, we spend a lot of time researching our theme, looking for projects, and inviting people to participate in a completely undemocratic way.

Can I send in my name as a speaker?

By all means. If you put a name forward, it is added to our speakers long list, where it will be considered - but you will only hear from us if you are shortlisted as a speaker. Messages with the words "my client" or "our latest products" in them will be trashed automatically by a bot.

What role do sponsors play at Doors?

We prefer the word supporters, to sponsors. Companies and individuals support our work because it deserves to be supported. They are are not allowed to make product presentations.
Details of how to become a Doors supporter are here.

Will you publish the proceedings?

Yes. On this website.

What can I do to make John really happy?

Order his book at: thackara.com/inthebubble/

How do I keep in touch?

Subscribe to our mailing list.