Four Continents Join Forces in a Research Project on Design for Sustainability

LeNSin, the International Learning Network of networks on Sustainability (2015-2018), is an EU-supported (ERASMUS+) project aiming to improve the internationalisation, intercultural cross-fertilisation and accessibility of higher education on Design for Sustainability (DfS). The project focuses on two models with the potential of coupling environmental protection with social equity, cohesion and economic prosperity, namely, Sustainable Product-Service Systems (S.PSS) and Distributed Economies (DE).
LeNSin involves 36 universities from four continents which engage in the development of five seminars, ten pilot courses, the setting up of ten regional LeNS_labs, a (decentralised) open web platform, and the final event, a decentralised conference in 2018.
The First LeNSin Seminar on Sustainable
Product-Service System and Distributed Economy


The 1st International Seminar on S.PSS and Distributed Economy took place on the 31st May and 1st June in Curitiba, Brazil. The goal of this two-day meeting was to develop an agenda of work in order to obtain inputs for the development of the didactic curricular Pilot Courses which aim to implement S.PSS and Distributed Economy in design education worldwide.
The seminar encouraged Brazilians to share wide and most advanced knowledge on Design for Sustainability focused on S.PSS and Distributed Economies. This knowledge will then contribute for design of future activities.


31st May: Proposition of the pilot courses
On the day one participants from various parts of Brazil, Finland and United Kingdom were focusing on gathering insights for design of the Pilot Courses. Academics from six Brazilian universities presented the state of didactic contents and approach regarding the topics of S.PSS and Distributed Economy in their institutions. Presentations were followed by discussion and brainstorming focused on the contents and implementation of the Pilot Courses.  Activities took place in the bucolic interdisciplinary facilities of UNILIVRE (

1st June: Listening to community
The second day of the seminar was open to public and took place in Paraná Federal University. Presentations and discussions on both S.PSS and Distributed Economy were carried out with representatives from industry, academia and NGOs. The agenda included keynote speeches from academics: Prof. Dr. Leonardo Castillo (UFPE), Dr. Fabrizio Ceschin (Brunel University, UK), Prof. Dr. Aguinaldo dos Santos (UFPR, Brazil), Dr. Cindy Kohtala (Aalto University - Finland) and Prof. Dr. Viviane Nunes (UFU, Brazil). It was followed by the Round Table discussion with Rafael Carlos (Tigre), Ana Carolina and Luiz Mileck (Coletivo Alimentar), Juliana Buso (Centro Brasil de Design), Luísa Bonin (Aliança Empreendedora), Bruna Rasmussenn (Fleety) and Paulo Miranda (Curitiba City Council). After a technical session dedicated to the authors of extended abstracts, five keynote speakers presented industry perspective on S.PSS and Distributed Economies: Rodrigo Kruger (Movelaria Paranista), Guilherme Akio and Mauro Abati (Curitiba Messenger),Ricardo Anders (Fator Solar), Alexandre Oliveira (Meu Móvel de Madeira) and Luiz Panhoca (ITCP/UFPR - Technological Incubator of Popular Cooperatives).

More information about the event and speakers:

Video lectures from the seminar available at:
The first LeNS Lab opened in Paraná University in Brazil!
We are happy to see the door of the first LENS regional Lab open! The Lab works as a space where students, researchers and teachers can have access to equipment, resources and tools to support teaching activities and research development in areas of Design for Sustainability.

For further information, please contact: Prof. Dr. Aguinaldo dos Santos
Forthcoming LeNSin seminars:
The 2nd International Seminar on Sustainable Product-Service System and Distributed Economy will take place on the 11th and 12th August in Cape Town, South Africa. It will be hosted by Cape Peninsula University of Technology, and it will focus on the following topics: Distributed Renewable Energy, Distributed Manufacturing, Distributed production of Software, and Distributed production of Information

For further information, please contact:
Andrea Broom <>
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