Open Design Studio


Open Design Studio is a design-led initiative of AuditFutures that aims to bring together accountants and designers to solve social challenges. We aim to develop new thinking

The Studio is developed and delivered as a human-centred project that challenges participants to flex their creativity to solve realistic and complex problems that create new opportunities for accountancy in society. It starts with inspiration – the problem or opportunity that motivates us to search for solution and to approach challenges differently, from a human perspective. Then, the ideation process of generating ideas will let participants experiment with the power of human-centered design and help them identify patterns and opportunities for concept development. Finally, the implementation creates the path to the market, by giving hands-on experience in speaking to, prototyping for, and testing solutions with the community we aspire to serve

The participants navigate the design thinking process to originate innovative and workable solutions that advance the profession. Connecting deeply with internal and external customers and transforming insights and data into actionable ideas, the process will outline opportunities for innovation which create and implement new solutions with business impact, faster and more effectively. Design thinking will help participants become more intentional about facing and solving social challenges and to effect meaningful change back in their own organisations.


For this inspiring initiative, we are bringing together people from a range of organisations – large and small accounting firms, academia, regulators, standard setters, civil society, investors, and business. This ambitious long-term collaboration will connect design-thinking with accountancy and will explore new ways for commercial firms to work shoulder to shoulder in order to serve the public interest. The collaboration will inspire and build capacity in the profession for social innovation. Participants will learn new ways of doing things and will become ambassadors for change and new ideas in their own organisations.


The Studio will be an incubator for new thinking and radical innovations. It will establish a safe and creative space where participants can prototype and test new ideas. We will foster a collaborative environment where creative solutions can emerge. The Studio will provide a physical space with exciting and desirable atmosphere that will facilitate meetings and workshops as well as virtual interactions.


The Studio will develop game-changing ideas that inspire collaboration and build trust. We will be looking for the areas which people from the profession find inspiring and want to work on. We will focus on priorities that work in the public interest and restore trust in business and institutions. Such bigger challenges that a single organisation cannot develop alone – will work with real issues facing a wide range of stakeholders. We see this as a value-creation opportunity to identify new markets and build a portfolio of systemic innovations in the four domains of AuditFutures – society, institutions, scope and people.


Partnerships and collaborations are the engine of our work and we see an opportunity to reinvent the public interest of accountancy by building a network of innovators and entrepreneurs from a number of firms who will work together to re-design how the profession works and how it creates value in society. Most value-added propositions of accountancy were designed as services to meet real social needs and we want to reimagine the 21st century profession as a collaborative and co-creative industry. Building such capacity for social innovation in accountancy will restore trust in the profession and will connect with the evolving needs of society.

Related resources

20 June 2014:
AuditFutures Salon on Design & Trust

We invite you to our first AuditFutures Salon on Design and Trust, to be hosted by the Royal College of Art on 20 June in the late afternoon. This stimulating event will highlight our co-creation projects with service-designers and will consolidate the discussion on how audit and design can build trust in society. AuditFutures Salon […]

Accountancy Salon:
Design & Trust

It is six o’clock in the evening, on a gorgeous British summer evening. Over seventy people have flocked to the soft chairs of the sun-bathed lounge. They have all come to a sell-out event on a Friday night. Most surprisingly, the event is not taking place in the City but at the Royal College of […]

Designs for Trust – RCA Student Projects

Often people think about design as something you do at the end of a process to make it interesting and beautiful. When we think about designers, we think about logos, fashion and high-tech gadgets. However, genuine design starts with what is wanted and why it is important. AuditFutures creates a space where challenging questions can […]