The first BEDA Members Gathering took place in London on Friday 21 September 2012, at the stunning DESIGN COUNCIL’s premises in the Angel Bldg in Islington. BEDA is Europe’s largest network of CEO’s, Directors and Presidents of leading design promotion and professional associations from 23 member states. The aim of this gathering was to enable BEDA’s members to learn from each other and other experts through workshops, case study presentations and keynotes with a view to driving up BEDA’s members’ capabilities to deliver their objectives and goals both effectively and efficiently and to enable greater collaboration between members across Europe. Jovan Jelovac was the only representative from speaking solely from the standpoint of a design week, amidst key European design decision makers representing all the important design centers and institutions. The keynote lectures were provided by BEDA’s own president Deborah Dawton with Marija Popovic, presenting the next stage of the vision and strategy for BEDA, and Isabel Roig of the Barcelona Design Center, presenting the recommendations of the European Design Leadership Board and what this means for BEDA and BEDA’s members. They were followed by many outstanding exposés on various aspect of global creative industries, such as the Design Leadership Programme by Ellie Runcie, the Design Council’s Director, to the amazing Laura Lee, who’s case study about her integrated design strategy for South Australia brought the audience to fretting about possible application in their own countries.

Needless to say, everybody was immediately invited to present their lectures and studies at the 2013 BDW conference, and perhaps even stage the first ever JOINT CONGRESS of BEDA and DESIGN WORLD* (name in development), the association of global design weeks in foundation, aimed at sharing experiences and the promotion of cooperation between festival organizers and representatives of design weeks from the whole world, who desperately need to get to know each other and start collaborating very close! Jelovac was the only delegate at both meetings, BEDA in London and DESIGN WORLD* in Helsinki, and felt like he was obliged to spread the message and initiate the meeting in June 2013 in Belgrade. Follow the BDW Newsletter for updates, as many of the key global design people will meet again on Saturday October 21st in Eindhoven at the annual DDW.

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Running in the morning through the city (down what the germans call a fussgangerzone) and being amazed by all the grand empty old buildings that reminded me of my Berlin beginnings. Grafitti on buildings. Lovely broken walls with acne'd facades from decades of reverse engineering. Discovering that all the ships on the river were party boats and open till the morning. Sweating so much in one of the clubs, my phone got messed up. Losing phone in said club. Visiting belgrade police station to report a then stolen phone to a twenty-something cop with a doctor's lab coat, listening to Rammstein (loudly) while hacking out my report on a pre-electric typewriter that looked (and sounded) as if it was from some era before typewriters were invented.   Thinking of Naked Lunch. Thinking of Die-Hard. Listening to architects talk about porous facades. Thinking of old smart bombs. Imagining the flash and crunch of several floors of reinforced concrete collapsing in on themselves. Wondering why I'm the only interactive guy here. Why are there so many beautiful women in Belgrade? Why are there so many beautiful women in Belgrade?!