Toronto’s Inclusive Design Research Centre contributes to Prosperity4All, a global initiative to increase global prosperity and inclusion. A research team headquartered in downtown Toronto are contributing to a global initiative to increase global prosperity and inclusion using newly created economic models and tools, and inclusive design models and techniques.
In February of 2011 the European Commission provided 7 million euros to a consortium of 25 members and collaborators in Europe, Canada, and the US to begin building and testing additional components of the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII).
Prosperity4All builds on and extends the work of Cloud4all, UIITA-RERC, Fluid/Floe and Preferences for Global Access projects in building the GPII. In particular Prosperity4All is building the foundations for a robust evolution of the ecosystem to lower the cost to create and market new solutions (products and services) internationally.
In our global society, access to information and communication technologies and services is increasingly becoming essential for everyone, leaving those who cannot effectively access and use these technologies at risk of exclusion from education, employment, commerce, health information, and almost every other aspect of daily living and civic participation. Those at risk include those who cannot use ICT and services due to disability, low literacy, low digital-literacy or aging related barriers.
Prosperity4all aims at a paradigm shift in eInclusion. It focuses on developing the infrastructure to allow a new ecosystem to grow; one that is based on self-rewarding collaboration, that can reduce redundant development, lower costs, increase market reach and penetration internationally, and create the robust cross-platform spectrum of mainstream and assistive technology based access solutions required. This will be done through a process based on true value propositions for all stakeholders and resulting in a system that can profitably serve markets as small as one, at a personally and societally affordable cost.
Partners in Prosperity4All include universities, large corporations, small businesses, research groups, design firms, and volunteers interested in accessibility. The team at the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University is actively engaged in key parts of the Prosperity4All ecosystem. The team has conducted innovative and extensive research into European markets, disruptive economic models, and metrics for increased inclusion (economic measures of benefits to individuals and to society).
The work has also resulted in innovative tools and models for conducting inclusive design regardless of industry. The team created inclusive design cards to easily engage those new to the field who might be interested in how to start and what to do. The design team found that inclusive design principles, practices, tools, and activities can be used beneficially in just about any activity, in any industry: group meetings, workshop planning, workshop activities, design, development, building, planning, collaborating, outreach, etc. The team has been creating toolkits so that others can easily take up inclusive design and learn to apply it to their work. These innovations have the ability to change organizational culture and individual bias. The team has been approached by some of the largest technology corporations in the world who are interested in using an inclusive design approach to improve their own culture and their creation processes.Collaboration