For about a year now, humanity has been facing a major global threat: the SARS-CoV-2 virus pandemic, usually referred to as covid-19. Governments across the planet have made all sorts of attempts to deal with this threat. However, the task is highly complex and demanding. Confusion and uncertainties abound while the death toll is becoming increasingly dramatic. High hopes are being placed on vaccination while individuals try to maintain a sense of normality through the increasing use of digital technologies.

This situation raises a number of critical questions, for example:

  • Can humanity only deal with threats of this magnitude via high-tech developments delivered by major corporate powers such as the pharmacological and the digital industries?
  • Can threats of this nature be addressed instead (or also) via alternative approaches that use human creativity in ways, and by agents, not yet imagined?
  • Why has this corporate techno-utopia become so dominant?
  • What role plays information technologies, particularly social media, on the perceived risks and impact of this threat on human agency and creativity? Which benefits and which constraints result from these technologies?

This event, promoted by the University of Porto with the support of UMAC-ICOM will contribute to critically address these questions. It aims to trigger debate and disseminate the international competition The Power of Design: Re-establishing embodied conviviality beyond covid-19.



1.   Introduction and welcome

2.   Reflection by Fátima Vieira (Vice-President, University of Porto) on utopian thinking and the international competition The Power of Design

3.   Key note by Olivia Bina (Principal Researcher, University of Lisbon) on alternative imaginaries and their implications for addressing the challenges of the covid-19 pandemic

4.   Debate with the participation of audience

5.   The Power of Design competition: brief presentation by António Ferreira (Senior Researcher, University of Porto)

6.   Conclusions



 Registration is free of charge. To know more about this event and to register, please click here