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Local Design Summit

Engage locally on Country with First Nations Peoples and Knowledges to learn how design and technology can be used to help empower First Nations enterprises.

Inspired by EWB’s Humanitarian Design Summit program, the Local Design Summit seeks to highlight the role of First Nations Peoples here in Australia, addressing the importance of local community engagement and designing on Country. 

Through an immersive learning experience, it offers participants the opportunity to develop their skills in design, appropriate technology best-practice, teamwork, and cross-cultural engagement.

Driven by the local EWB-ACT Chapter and partner organisations, the Local Design Summit is a non-intensive study tour with workshops and site visits held over a two-period on Country. The itinerary aims to accommodate the study or work schedules of program participants

The Local Design Summit is a 1-2 week immersive experience that provides students and professionals with experience in:

  • Working on Country
  • First Nations engagement
  • Cultural awareness
  • Appropriate technology best-practice
  • Rapid prototyping and development
  • Cross-cultural engagement, teamwork and project management

The Local Design Summit is split across pre-Summit workshops and training, the Summit weekend site visit and hackathon, and a post-Summit reflection. 

The costs for the Local Design Summit are:

  • Corporate tickets: $600 
  • Student tickets: $100
  • First Nations People: $0

All ticket prices include costs for First Nations catering over the Summit weekend, as well as for the pre-Summit welcome dinner and mid-week training evening. You can find out more about what the ticket price includes in the detailed itinerary in the information pack.

The Local Design Summit activities are scheduled over two weeks and include:

  • A welcome dinner and evening ‘pre-departure’ workshops in week one
  • A full-day site visit and on-Country learning experience
  • A full-day facilitated reflection and ‘hackathon’
  • Closing activities and group farewell

The specific itinerary for each program is outlined in the relevant Info Pack.

“Throughout the teaching and practical experiences of this design summit, we were able to learn about a range of challenges and opportunities that exist in the native grains industry and gain some insight into the potential activities that could take place to support its development… Discussions surrounding perspective and the social and cultural implications of design have also given new insight into the importance of thoughtful and sustainable engineering practices.”

Rebecca Craine

2022 Local Design Summit participant

Eligible Applicants

The Local Design Summit is open to anyone interested in learning about First Nations Knowledges and developing their ability to collaborate with First Nations Peoples in designing our future systems and technology. We therefore actively encourage all to reply (students, designers, scientists, aspiring politicians) from a wide variety of backgrounds and fields both within and outside of STEM. 

It is important to note that we expect all participants to commit to attending the full Summit as it has been carefully designed to ensure the experience is meaningful and impactful for all who attend. We are unfortunately not able to provide support for inter-state participants, however, welcome applications from those who are inter-state and able to support their own travel and accommodation to Canberra for the duration of the Summit.

Past Summits

Ngambri-Ngunnawal Local Design Summit 2023

15-25th January 2023

Nguluway – Meeting each other

Nguurruu farm, located 40 minutes north of Canberra.

View Info Pack.

“I gained an incredible amount of knowledge over the last week…  Having no knowledge on this subject previously, it was extremely eye opening to learn about engineering practices that are so well connected with the earth that have been around for thousands of years. It really gave me a new perspective on agricultural practices (and) the interconnections between engineering and agriculture.”

2022 Local Design Summit participant

Local Design Summit Stories

Exploring opportunities for native plants at the ‘Nguluway’ Local Design Summit 25 May, 2023 - The cultivation of native grains through careful land management was once central to Aboriginal life. However, following colonisation, the shift to European foods and farming methods damaged native grasslands and… read more

Contact Us

Have a question? Please contact us at act@ewb.org.au and someone will be in touch with you shortly.