Endings Summit

Saturday, Sep 7
10:00 — 16:30

Endings Summit

This summit is part of Techfestival: a 3-day festival in Copenhagen with 200+ events on humans and technology.
Interested? Great! Please register to join. Note that this summit has limited seats.

“’Tis impossible to be sure of any thing but Death and Taxes” – Christopher Bullock (1716)

While taxes can be dodged, death can’t; and life is not the only thing that has an unavoidable end. Companies (including their products, services and employment or personal relationships) and anything that has been created by man or nature is ephemeral, will change, and eventually come to an end. So, why is it that on most occasions this catches us unprepared or unwilling?

The ancient Greeks believed that the beginning, duration and end of life were determined by a trinity of goddesses, The Fates: Clotho, the spinner of the thread of life, Lachesis, the allottee of the length of said thread, and finally Atropos, responsible for cutting the thread, thus ending one’s life.  In our modern days, we focus mostly on how to start and how to grow things, but neglect the last phase: the end.

At the Endings Summit we will focus our attention on why and how things end, and delve into how to plan for – design if you wish – endings in four main areas: Products (incl. Hardware and software) ; Services ; Relationships ; Life.

This Summit will require the active participation of the attendees. The day will be structured as follows:

  • 4 short talks outlining experiences of endings in the four areas listed above
  • 2 creation sessions to imagine, design, and outline better endings
  • 1 collective review of the participatory output
  • 1 wrap-up session to formulate a protocol to deal with endings in each of the four areas

Key Questions to explore

  • Why is it important to plan for better endings?
  • What is a better ending?
  • How can we move the conversation on endings from a taboo to the forefront of societal debates?
  • How do endings lead to new beginnings?
  • What are the questions we should ask ourselves when approximating an ending?
  • How can we design/plan for better endings in work and life?

Apply here

Who are your summit hosts?

Gianfranco Chicco (AR)

Gianfranco Chicco is the curator of The Craftsman Newsletter, and the former European Marketing Director of The Webby Awards and The Lovie Awards. He is a marketer, strategist, and writer specialised in creating experiences that bring people together by bridging the gap between the physical and digital worlds. Over the last 15+ years, he has been involved in building, curating, and managing conferences such as the World Business Forum, Social Media Week, the Picnic Festival and Frontiers of Interaction. An Industrial Engineer by training, Gian acts as a cultural translator between different worlds.


Shoshana Berger (US)

Shoshana is the global editorial director at IDEO, where she has worked on projects ranging from the end of life to modern Judaism and school lunch. She was a senior editor at WIRED, and has written for The New York Times, Popular Science, Marie Claire, and Salon. She co-founded the DIY design magazine ReadyMade, later turning it into a book, ReadyMade: How to Make (Almost) Everything.


Dr Joana Casaca Lemos (PT)

Joana is a designer and researcher, dedicated to integrating ethical & sustainability practices in the fourth industrial age. She runs an independent consultancy that supports organisations in this field and has among others worked with Forum for the Future, Sustainable Oceans Alliance and World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Joana has taught at Hyper Island, IDEO’s design thinking school and has been visiting lecturer at Bangalore National Institute of Design and Art Center California. She speaks and writes about Design Dharma; a forthcoming book about the relationship between a designer’s inner life and the work we do out in the field.

Joe MacLeod (GB)

Joe has decades of product development experience across digital, physical and service sectors. Previously, he was Head of Design at the award-winning studio Ustwo, where he built and led one of the industries most respected design teams, with studios in London, New York, Sweden and Sydney. He spent 3 years on the Closure Experiences project researching, writing and publishing the Ends book. This motivated him to found andEnd, the world’s first customer ending business. Helping companies grapple with off-boarding in consumer experiences and countering the numerous issue with consumerism.


Francesca Desmarais

Francesca Desmarais is a Venture Lead at CIID. Across the institute, she leads professional projects with organisations and companies, teaches workshops, mentors startups, and is venturing a specific focus on designing for climate adaptation. A systems thinker and strategist, Francesca has a strong background in environmental and social design. Her passion is fusing disciplines to shape a design process that helps communities and systems adapt to climate change. Prior to joining the CIID team, she was the Strategy and Research Lead for Architecture 2030, a top U.S. think tank in low-carbon architecture. She worked as a project lead, strategist, and spokesperson and was the Director of the 2030 Challenge for Products, an innovative initiative to reduce the embodied carbon of building products. 


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