Collaborative facilitation mindset

The DFGN team looks after the continuous development and maintenance of the network by facilitating the collaboration between the members, the real heroes of this movie. One of the team’s core role is to facilitate the collaboration between network members. An example of that are the annual events and gathering DFGN hosts, such as the International Design Factory Week (IDFW), the DFGN UnBoxed, and the World Design Factory Day (WDFD). Yes, we love acronyms…

Our small (but mighty) team is based in Aalto University’s Design Factory, in Otaniemi Campus, Espoo, Finland, Europe, Earth.

Balloons
Balloons

The DFGN team looks after the continuous development and maintenance of the network by facilitating the collaboration between the members, the real heroes of this movie. One of the team’s core role is to facilitate the collaboration between network members. An example of that are the annual events and gathering DFGN hosts, such as the International Design Factory Week (IDFW), the DFGN UnBoxed, and the World Design Factory Day (WDFD). Yes, we love acronyms…

Our small (but mighty) team is based in Aalto University’s Design Factory, in Otaniemi Campus, Espoo, Finland, Europe, Earth.

History of Aalto Design Factory and DFGN

The first Design Factory ever was created in Finland by Kalevi “Eetu” Ekman in 2008. In 2010, the first Design Factory outside of Finland was established in collaboration with Tongji University. And then, just one year after that, in 2011, on the 29th of November, the Design Factory Melbourne was launched, which set the official start of the Design Factory Global Network.

What a beautiful story… what else will come?

Who runs the network?

The network is run by itself, with the support of the 39 existing members. We all do our best to create collaboration projects. Each DF drives change in its own institution with the support and inspiration of like-minded doers.

Felipe Gárate

Felipe is a dynamic and passionate individual with a deep commitment to spreading innovation methodologies worldwide. With a background in business specializing in entrepreneurship and innovation, he has been an active participant in numerous activities since childhood and started small businesses early on. A native of Chile, Felipe has led significant projects across Latin America and has been recognized as an Innovation Fellow by Stanford University and one of the 50 World Leaders by the University of Pittsburgh. He often speaks at global conferences, including a TEDx event. Currently, he manages the operational side of the Design Factory Global Network. He recently became an International Visitor Leader from the US Department of State. Known affectionately as "Pipe" by friends and family, Felipe is known for his simple attire, typically wearing one of his nine identical white t-shirts.

Sara Figueiredo

Sara is an optimist chatterbox who sees design as an act to impact society positively. Leveraging her design background, she tackles complex challenges through systemic strategies, aiming to create meaningful solutions. As a Creative Strategist and Doctoral Researcher at Aalto University, she focuses on enhancing multidisciplinary, problem-based learning in product development education, drawing from her international experiences, including the Master of European Design program. At DFGN, her roles span from strategic research to workshop facilitation and storytelling, where she balances logical analysis with creative thought. When she's not navigating the complexities of design and research, Sara is known for her green thumb and yoga love, so you can often found in her personal jungle of houseplants. Pro-tip: she will never say no to a nice chat over a glass of wine, and close friends or family call her Sarinha.