1. 1. Experiment. Learn. Adapt. Repeat.

    Having attended UX Week and industry Meetups around San Francisco, the major thing I’ve gleaned from people I consider design leaders is: no one agency has yet cracked the code for the design of their teams. There is no secret-sauce.

    Working in Australia, often for younger agencies, I thought it was a case of our inexperience or naivety that no-one seemed to know the single best way to assemble teams. Cross-disciplinary? who leads? how many on each team? But in fact, no one knows exactly what they are doing - including the people and agencies I consider my design heroes.

    The future belongs to those willing to experiment and collaborate in differing forms, adopt new practices without getting too attached to the process. Shared vision is the key. It unites. Create a learning culture. As in all things, when putting teams together: Experiment. Learn. Adapt. Repeat. 

    2. Bring the customer experience into your office

    Break down silos, break down walls. Bring as much of the CX as you can into the fabric of the organisation. It’s a stroke of genius learnt from Airbnb. Show the team who they are designing for, let them live the experience. It creates a culture of shared-responsibility and empathy, keeping the team focussed on the people they are designing for. It breeds commitment to the vision. 

    In agencies working on multiple projects at a time, with limited office space, this might not be feasible, but having a dedicated space for each project (a wall, a meeting room, a table), means traction doesn’t get lost after each meeting, or lightbulb moment. There is always a space to return to for inspiration.

  2. My mission has always been to promote a vision of the future that is not only viable but thrive-able and enticing. Recently, I’ve heard some incredibly moving stories from teachers tasked with educating our young about current world events and it occurs to me that we put an enormous burden on the shoulders of our children, imparting our knowledge and apparent helplessness in the face of climate change, while inadvertently we risk creating a generation of nihilists.

    To this end, there has never been a more important time to be a skilled communicator. To mitigate this potential sea of apathy, we must share stories of hope, improvement, new ways of thinking and the ideas of people and organisations already hard at work to create a better future. We need to galvanise people into action, rather than bombard them with visions of a dystopian future that robs them of their agency and threatens their very humanity.

    We need to rapidly seed and spread these ideas and messages of hope in our communities and across the planet. We need to strengthen our networks so we can be more resilient in times of rapid change. This is my ‘Why’ in life. This is what gets me up in the morning. And this is what gets me excited about the potential power of the intersection between tech, business and sustainability. As communicators, user-experience strategists, designers, inventors, business owners and coders there has never been a more important time to use our skills for good. 

    Now, to work.

  3. For my final assessment item I’ve been asked to devise a strategy for achieving a sustainable future in relation to a particular ‘sustainability’ issue (I’ve chosen plastic waste and toxicity). The thing about futures work and sustainability though is that it recognises that the answers lie in the cross-pollination & collaboration of lots of diverse people and ideas… which is where YOU come in :-) I’d love to hear your ideas on the following questions (using the comment box below):

    • What would a preferred (ie sustainable) future look like in terms of plastic waste and toxicity (think in 25-30 years time)?
    • Is the future radically different from the one we are now living in?
    • How would you go about planning it?
    • Where would you start?
    • Who would you involve?
    • What methods would you use to bring people together and effect behaviour change?
    • Can you envisage any resistance to this future?

    Thanks for getting involved :-)

  4. “When what we do is inseparable from who we are. We spend much of our lives in institutions that force us to be someone we are not. We commit ourselves to the company’s agenda
    agenda. We act professionally. After a while we have lived so long in the house of mirrors that we mistake the image we are projecting for who we really are.”
    (Peter Senge, 2001)
  5. By Leona Fietz graphic comms student at Sunshine Coast University Sent from my iPhone so please excuse shorthand / typos!
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    Sent from my iPhone so please excuse shorthand / typos!

  10. Sent from my iPhone so please excuse shorthand / typos!


Musings of a digital optimist

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