March 30, 2011

SIUC Synergetics symposium set for April 7-8

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Making innovation and sustainable development work for durable product businesses of all types and sizes is the focus of “SIUC Synergetics: Where Innovation and Sustainable Development Meet” April 7-8.

The Southern Illinois University Carbondale symposium begins each day at 7:30 a.m. and wraps up at 7 p.m. after the dinner on the first day. The event, at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 150 E. Pleasant Hill Road in Carbondale, concludes at 5:30 p.m. on the second day. The symposium explores the important trends of the 21st century and helps participants tool the concepts to fit their unique operations.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover the “SIUC Synergetics: Where Innovation and Sustainable Development Meet” conference. Media are welcome any time between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. but organizers say the best time to attend to get a story, video or photographs is between 8 a.m. and 1:30 pm. each day. Media may conduct interviews during break times set for 10:20 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Find the complete agenda online at For more information, contact Jenni Janssen at 618/453-7788 (e-mail

The Center for Innovation and the School of Art and Design at SIUC are hosting the event to help businesses and professionals succeed today and in the future. Experts will discuss creative problem solving, innovation team building, methods and tools for sustainable design development and how to brand and market new sustainable products. They will also utilize their expertise in helping workshop team participants develop new concepts and business plans based on content from the presentations.

The theme of the conference is embracing the ideas and concepts of the late R. Buckminster Fuller, the internationally known designer, architect and sustainability proponent who taught at SIUC 1959-1971. The event includes team-based workshops, expert presentations and discussions with panels of experts. Collaborative sessions will explore consumer products, built spaces, artifacts and technology-based concepts. Participants will also network with business peers and learn about SIUC research resources.

“The SIUC Synergetics symposium is the first event of its kind on the SIUC campus, a truly special occasion bringing together a range of SIUC campus entities, area community groups, University alumni, regional business participants, world-class presenters and SIUC students and faculty. The theme of the symposium recognizes the legacy, precepts, principles and prescience of R. Buckminster Fuller as they now apply to the many pressing challenges of sustaining life on earth during the 21st century. The two days are dedicated to exploring and applying state of the art principles, tools and methods that can help achieve Fuller’s vision of making the world work for 100 percent of humanity,” said Steve Belletire, SIUC professor of industrial design and symposium presenter.

Belletire has served as a design consultant since 1971, and has worked with dozens of international clients including 3M, IBM and Whirpool. You can find the complete list of symposium presenters and their credentials at

“The symposium will help participants transform their thinking about future possibilities and our collective responsibility to manage sustainable growth to better serve a growing, global population. We believe by coupling collaborative team innovation with principles of sustainable development, businesses can prosper through the intelligent use of precious resources and improve the lives of many. Underlining the collaborative nature of this event is the fact that three SIUC colleges -- Liberal Arts, Business and Applied Sciences and Arts -- are all major sponsors of SIUC Synergetics,” Belletire added.

The complete symposium agenda along with details about other special events occurring in conjunction with it are online at For more information, contact Jenni Janssen, assistant director of the SIUC Center for Innovation, at 618/453-7788 or by email at