John Bielenberg: What’s the dent you want to make in the universe?

In an interview at the 2013 What Design Can Do conference, John Bielenberg spoke about inspiring creative people to make an impact on the world.

Designer John Bielenberg believes that thinking wrong will lead to creative success. His design philosophy is “be bold, get out, think wrong, make stuff, bet small and move fast”! At What Design Can Do 2013, he spoke about various projects including Project M, Common and Future.

Bielenberg explained that Project M is a programme designed to take young people into unfamiliar places, figure out a project, think wrong about how to go about it and then execute it.

I want to inspire creative people so that they can have a positive impact on the world, says Bielenberg.

Pie Lab is a project that came about due to Project M. Bielenberg explained that he encouraged a group of people to get in touch with their hidden talents. One participant enjoyed baking pies and realised that something magnificent happens when people interact around food. Pie Lab is now hugely successfully and has benefited many residents in Arizona in the US. 

Future is a company co-founded by Bielenberg that takes inspiration and lessons from Project M. Future collaborated with SodaStream to create a branding strategy that made people aware of how problematic waste bottles are. The project manifested into television commercials and sent a message that people could save up to 2 000 bottles per year if they used SodaStream.

Looking at the impact of design and designers is what I am all about. I’m trying to take what I know how to do and apply it to things that actually matter, says Bielenberg.