Wellbeing Chiasma 2015 – Surviving and Thriving

3 - 5 November 2015

‘Surviving and Thriving – Redesigning Self-Management and Social Support’

Date / Time: 3pm, Tuesday 3rd November – 5pm, Thursday 5th November

LocationNorthern Design Centre, NewcastleGateshead, Abbott’s Hill, NE8 3DF


The healthcare and wellbeing sector is being challenged by an ageing population and those living with long term health conditions.  Self-management techniques and new models for social support are required to help individuals and communities live their lives in the best possible way. At the same time, the leveraging of big data technology in the context of healthcare and the growth of quantifiable-self wearable technologies affirm that public, private, and third sector organisations, markets, and society as a whole have a responsibility to promote active healthy living. The Wellbeing Chiasma, in partnership with Northumbria University, will explore ideas around this challenge, seeking to develop new and innovative approaches that could be applied in contexts such as health education and promotion, primary care delivery, and the commissioning of public health services. The impact of improving personal health and wellbeing provides a business opportunity.

This residential event of two and a half days focused on the changing environment of healthcare and its delivery, exploring how best to reconcile people’s needs with a viable business opportunity. Participants at the event included: health and care practitioners, businesses and charities, designers and academics who worked together in groups to identify and create new thinking leading to solutions in this new era of personalising care. Given the scale of this change, Design in Action identified the following specific areas that were explored during this Chiasma: –


– There is an increasing focus on individuals’ self-care and personal experience in managing their own health. How can this be improved? What is the role of big data and digital health in the context of prevention and monitoring, and how could we re-design models, services, products, and tools to enhance approaches to self-management?

– The relationship between wellbeing, physical activity and nutrition is well documented. What role can the leisure industry play in encouraging and sustaining public engagement with exercise on a regular basis? How can we use design to improve access to inexpensive, nutritious, and appealing food and drink?

– Sustaining healthy lifestyles is undermined by a lack of awareness or denial about the impact behaviour has on long-term wellbeing. How can we creatively disrupt ingrained social and cultural norms around shopping, cooking, eating, drinking, exercising, and body image to encourage better lifestyle choices?

– Public engagement, co-production, and the delivery of personalised services are fundamental to the integration of health and social care. How can design underpin innovative interventions that make use of local and regional connectivity to enhance social support? How can we curate the assets, strengths, and skills from within local communities and empower people to care for one another? How might we position alternative integrative models of care to interface with existing services and play a key role in influencing commissioning groups and health and wellbeing boards at both regional and local levels?

These issues present opportunities for radical new models of engagement. Chiasma enabled the participants to engage in a process of disruptive thinking to create innovative new solutions. Gavin Paterson (Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland) provided a keynote speech which provoked the discussion and drive for new business opportunities.

See photographs from this Chiasma here: –

This Chiasma is now closed. If you have any questions related to this Chiasma, please contact us.