Finn Petrén


CEO, Form&Funktion

Finn Petrén has a MA in sociology and philosophy from the University of Stockholm. For almost three decades, 1977-2004, he worked for the Nordic Council of Ministers, a governmental collaboration between Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. He was the Managing Director of the Nordic Cooperation on Disability 1980-2004 and Secretary General for the Nordic Council on Disability Policy 1997-2004. He initiated and developed both these and a number of other Nordic bodies and programmes.

One of the leaders in the development of the Design for All concept from the early 1990s, he then became a member of the EIDD Design for All Europe Board of Directors in 2001, Vice-President in 2003 and President from 2007-2013. He is also a founder member of the Swedish member organisation Design for All Sverige, having been Vice-President since its start in 1996 and President since 2004. Since 2005, he has run his own strategic design consultancy Form&Funktion and has been an international consultant and acclaimed keynote speaker and lecturer in more than 30 countries, on topics ranging from “design for social innovation” to “sustainable urban development”..

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Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.