For many years we have heard the call for more design professionals and, importantly, more recognition and certification within the sector. However, the recent global financial crisis has had catastrophic effects on the availability of design resources. Typically, significant downsizing has occurred and design and development professionals have been the first to go. In an effort to save money many companies have adopted a strategy based on extending current product life cycles, as opposed to stimulating depressed markets with new products. Some commentators are suggesting that the downturn has gone as low as it will and the upturn is just around the corner. 'Just hold on for a few more weeks,' may be the message to businesses, but on the upturn, what will differentiate one organisation from the other? The simple answer, as always, is design, but critical questions are now being framed, because there is concern that many of the classical models of business, supply and availability of resource may not apply in the new world economy.