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Eastman Partners With US Think-Tank to Promote Design Education

Specialty chemical company Eastman is expanding its commitment to design education.

The Kingsport, Tennessee-based company on Wednesday announced a partnership with nonprofit think-tank Aether Global Education. In an effort to highlight the importance of training and how creative students and professionals can improve local communities around the world, the Eastman Foundation and the Eastman Innovation Lab are set to invest in Aether’s unorthodox approach to problem solving.

“The collective potential value of public-private partnerships is dramatic,” said David Golden, senior vice president, chief legal and sustainability officer and corporate secretary for Eastman. “Aether’s project-based approach of exposing future leaders to real world problem solving across cultures and geographies combined with their support of improving quality of life complements Eastman’s strategy of delivering value to our global community.”

Aether has three teaching platforms: Shift Design, an open community of makers, connectors, designers and creators; Meta, a co-curricular experience for college graduates that’s slated to launch next year; and Prsm, a program designed to help mid-career professionals and executives foster newness within their own organizations.

Earlier this summer, Eastman Innovation Lab spent five days at Shift Design Camp in Tuscumbia, Alabama, participating in workshops and discussions about not only the design process but also community, reflection, teamwork and collaboration. Clearly, the experience made an impression.

Said Tom Gattis, director and chief operating officer for Aether, “[Our] mission is to create freethinking, empathetic practitioners who will passionately lead their local and global communities through logical discourse, impeccable craft and sound strategic direction.”