Guangzhou, 14 December 2018 - The first World Eco-Design Conference (WEDC) kicked off today in Conghua, Guangzhou Province, China. With the support of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the People's Government of Guangdong Province, and the China National Light Industry Council, WEDC represents a flagship event in the field of eco-design industry development initiated by the China Industrial Design Association (CIDA).
Bringing together 1,000 participants from government, international organizations, design associations, universities and the private sectors from more than 30 countries under the theme of "Ecology of design, field of hope", the conference aims to promote the integration of design, ecology and society on a global scale so as to contribute to advancing green industry and achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The conference also saw the launch of the World Eco-Design Industry Development Conghua Initiative, and the inauguration of the International Eco-Design Promotion Center. The aim of the Center will be to create a global eco-design promotion network to encourage the international exchange of successful experiences, creative ideas and innovative practices in eco-design.
The opening ceremony was addressed by senior Chinese officials, including the Chief Engineer of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Feng Zhang, the Vice-Governor of Guangdong Province, Liangxian Chen, and the Major of Guangzhou Municipal Government, Guohui Wen, as well as former Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Michael Rudd, and former Prime Minister of Greece, George Papandreou.
Speaking on behalf of Director General LI Yong, Ralf Bredel, UNIDO Representative in China, delivered an opening address. "The World Eco-Design Conference is taking place at a critical juncture. The global economy in its current form is not sustainable. The capability to innovate and design will be a crucial determinant of the environmental sustainability, economic competitiveness and social integration power of nations over the coming decade, " he said.
Simultaneously to the WEDC, UNIDO and CIDA are jointly conducting an Eco-Design Leading Talent Training Programme in Conghua from 13 to 17 December 2018 with focus on how design can innovate. Fifty-one participants from fourteen countries in the Asia-Pacific region are taking part in the programme, among them government officials, professors of higher education institutions and senior management personnel of relevant enterprises, as well as staff from the field office and HQ of UNIDO. The training programme aims to help trainees gain more knowledge of innovation with design thinking in the context of industry 4.0 and circular economy.
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Representative and Head
UNIDO Regional Office for China, Mongolia and DPRK