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Can design save the world? Ann Longley, 18 Oct 2017
Topics for today
Creating a
shared vision
How are we going
to get there?
10 things
you can do now
Topics for today
Creating a
shared vision
How are we going
to get there?
10 things
you can do now
Imagine if….
We lived in a lush fertile world producing everything we need
Coral reefs and sea life are thriving
People’s basic needs are met
Image Source: McIntyre Drive social housing, Australia, Photo: Trevor Mein
Resources are distributed fairly
Our work and working relationships fulfilling
Technology improves our health and quality of life
Image source: Enabling The Future
The world is full of peace
How does that make you feel?
What is the reality of our situation?
We are destroying our forests
Our reefs are being bleached
Climate change incidents are becoming more frequent
Famines and man-made disasters are on the rise
65+ million people displaced - 500K in Myanmar
Child labour and slavery still exist - 200M child labourers
- 120M of them are engaged in hazardous work
Source: The World...
1 Billion people = close to 1in 8 of the world’s population live in slums
Source: Slum Almanac 2015-2016 – UN-Habitat
Technology is moving faster than our institutions
and we’re not really sure what that means
How does that make you feel?
And yet….
“We have, today, accurate, complete equations adequate to provide the foundation of
nuclear physics, materials science, ch...
We are planning to take rockets around the planet
Do we want utopia or dystopia?
Topics for today
Creating a
shared vision
How are we going
to get there?
10 things
you can do now
What is it going to take for us to solve our most
serious existential problems?
We are at a decisive point in time
Our existential threats are based on these complex
ecological and social systems
Human
economy
Climate
Change
Exponential
...
Most of these systems have one or more tipping points beyond which change is irreversible (Catton 1982).
Passing a tipping...
We may be able to change the trajectory of climate change
if we mobilise globally
Desertification may be reversed if we act now
Our interventions can make a difference
Source: Gates Foundation
Our brainpower is about to get supercharged
We are at a tipping point to make a difference:
let’s make it our time to flourish
Pursuing profit without any responsibility is hurting us.
700 marine species may become extinct due to plastic.
Source: Ply...
5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris are in the ocean. 269,000 tons float on the surface.
4B plastic microfibers per squar...
Promising signs of progress
Countries with intent: Sweden has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2045
Brands with purpose: Unilever is committed to working towards
the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
B Corps certification exists for businesses that have social
and/or environmental outcomes as part of their mission
Which brands do we want to support?
Non-profit
For-profit
Collective focusIndividual focus
Do we need a new global council to combat these
existential threats?
Skills for the 21st Century
Source OECD Forum 2016 – Skills for the Future
Advanced Digital Problem Solving Skills are in demand.
Andreas Schleicher, ...
Systems thinking provides the multi-level perspective
needed to solve complex problems.
We can use it to assess the impacts of technology
Source: Forum for the Future, Tech Catalyst
Design Thinking has become widely accepted as a way to
deliver innovation and business transformation
It can also be used to solve some of our most pressing challenges.
Its built in optimism (how might we?) helps overcome in...
Kick Start Model
to end poverty
Kick Start has been using this sustainable design-led model since 1991
Other sources of inspiration
Frugal Innovation
• Applies design thinking and
lean start up practices to do
more with less
• We can apply it to our big
...
Aravind Eye Hospital
Founder Dr. Venkataswmy’s aim
was make eye clinics accessible to
all eliminating needless blindness.
...
Design skills can accelerate progress - agility is important!
Topics for today
Creating a
shared vision
How we’re going
to get there
10 things
you can do now
Small changes in your design solutions
can make a big difference
1. Be mindful of the SDGs: promote them whenever possible
2. Be principled: ‘Let us move from human-centered design
to humanity-centered design’.
Source
3. Be irreverent when needed
Source: Adbusters
4. Design with impacts in mind
5. Apply design thinking to real world problems
6. Run design sprints to save the world
Source: Google Ventures
What if the DEC was created in 2017?
7. Offer pro-bono services to a charity
8. Say no to unethical stuff
9. Engage in design activism
Source: Liberate Tate
10. Make ‘design for good’ mandate a magnet for clients and talent
Thank you!
WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
• We can change the world for
the better, but we need to act
now

@annmargaret
ann@annlongley.net
Can Design Save the World? - Ann Longley | Interact London 2017
Can Design Save the World? - Ann Longley | Interact London 2017
Can Design Save the World? - Ann Longley | Interact London 2017
Can Design Save the World? - Ann Longley | Interact London 2017
Can Design Save the World? - Ann Longley | Interact London 2017
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Can Design Save the World? - Ann Longley | Interact London 2017

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As a planet and a species we are facing many imminent threats:

climate change induced disasters are increasing
65+ million people are displaced due to man-made conflicts
preventable diseases continue to plague us
almost half of the world live in poverty

Rapidly evolving technology can help us overcome many of these problems, but it is also a catalyst for further societal disruption. We are as yet unclear how robots and automation will play out in the workforce. Our institutions are not prepared for the massive societal changes these technologies will bring.

What is the role of design in the problem solving equation? Design has created some game-changing solutions to very specific problems, in particular, those in less developed countries. From poverty reducing water pumps to gravity powered lights, design can incrementally improve lives and undoubtedly transform our future. But what are the barriers which prevent it from reaching its full potential and how we might overcome them? How does design unlock its inherent ability and scale up to solve the world’s most pressing and complex problems?

-

Ann Longley is a digital transformation expert whose career in digital spans 20 years.

She has worked across sectors and continents modernising businesses, enriching public services, and helping save lives through the strategic and creative application of digital technology.

She has worked with the DEC and its member agencies including Oxfam, Save the Children, and the British Red Cross planning, incubating and co-creating pioneering approaches to delivering aid to disaster affected communities.

She is a visiting lecturer at Greenwich University, and the founder of Something New Together, a consultancy designed to futureproof organizations by co-designing new products and services.

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Can Design Save the World? - Ann Longley | Interact London 2017

  1. 1. Can design save the world? Ann Longley, 18 Oct 2017
  2. 2. Topics for today Creating a shared vision How are we going to get there? 10 things you can do now
  3. 3. Topics for today Creating a shared vision How are we going to get there? 10 things you can do now
  4. 4. Imagine if….
  5. 5. We lived in a lush fertile world producing everything we need
  6. 6. Coral reefs and sea life are thriving
  7. 7. People’s basic needs are met Image Source: McIntyre Drive social housing, Australia, Photo: Trevor Mein
  8. 8. Resources are distributed fairly
  9. 9. Our work and working relationships fulfilling
  10. 10. Technology improves our health and quality of life Image source: Enabling The Future
  11. 11. The world is full of peace
  12. 12. How does that make you feel?
  13. 13. What is the reality of our situation?
  14. 14. We are destroying our forests
  15. 15. Our reefs are being bleached
  16. 16. Climate change incidents are becoming more frequent
  17. 17. Famines and man-made disasters are on the rise
  18. 18. 65+ million people displaced - 500K in Myanmar
  19. 19. Child labour and slavery still exist - 200M child labourers - 120M of them are engaged in hazardous work Source: The World Counts
  20. 20. 1 Billion people = close to 1in 8 of the world’s population live in slums Source: Slum Almanac 2015-2016 – UN-Habitat
  21. 21. Technology is moving faster than our institutions and we’re not really sure what that means
  22. 22. How does that make you feel?
  23. 23. And yet….
  24. 24. “We have, today, accurate, complete equations adequate to provide the foundation of nuclear physics, materials science, chemistry and all plausible forms of engineering.” Franz Wilczek, Nobel Laureate
  25. 25. We are planning to take rockets around the planet
  26. 26. Do we want utopia or dystopia?
  27. 27. Topics for today Creating a shared vision How are we going to get there? 10 things you can do now
  28. 28. What is it going to take for us to solve our most serious existential problems?
  29. 29. We are at a decisive point in time
  30. 30. Our existential threats are based on these complex ecological and social systems Human economy Climate Change Exponential human population growth Ecological overshoot Biotic impoverishment and reduction of biodiversity Renewable resource depletion Energy allocation Environmental refugees
  31. 31. Most of these systems have one or more tipping points beyond which change is irreversible (Catton 1982). Passing a tipping point in any one of the eight, complex systems would produce a ripple effect in the other seven and probably throughout the entire biospheric life support system (Solomon et al. 2009). Image source: World Vision
  32. 32. We may be able to change the trajectory of climate change if we mobilise globally
  33. 33. Desertification may be reversed if we act now
  34. 34. Our interventions can make a difference Source: Gates Foundation
  35. 35. Our brainpower is about to get supercharged
  36. 36. We are at a tipping point to make a difference: let’s make it our time to flourish
  37. 37. Pursuing profit without any responsibility is hurting us. 700 marine species may become extinct due to plastic. Source: Plymouth University, One Green Planet
  38. 38. 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris are in the ocean. 269,000 tons float on the surface. 4B plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea. Source: National Geographic
  39. 39. Promising signs of progress
  40. 40. Countries with intent: Sweden has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2045
  41. 41. Brands with purpose: Unilever is committed to working towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  42. 42. B Corps certification exists for businesses that have social and/or environmental outcomes as part of their mission
  43. 43. Which brands do we want to support? Non-profit For-profit Collective focusIndividual focus
  44. 44. Do we need a new global council to combat these existential threats?
  45. 45. Skills for the 21st Century
  46. 46. Source OECD Forum 2016 – Skills for the Future Advanced Digital Problem Solving Skills are in demand. Andreas Schleicher, Director, Education and Skills, OECD
  47. 47. Systems thinking provides the multi-level perspective needed to solve complex problems.
  48. 48. We can use it to assess the impacts of technology Source: Forum for the Future, Tech Catalyst
  49. 49. Design Thinking has become widely accepted as a way to deliver innovation and business transformation
  50. 50. It can also be used to solve some of our most pressing challenges. Its built in optimism (how might we?) helps overcome inertia.
  51. 51. Kick Start Model to end poverty Kick Start has been using this sustainable design-led model since 1991
  52. 52. Other sources of inspiration
  53. 53. Frugal Innovation • Applies design thinking and lean start up practices to do more with less • We can apply it to our big challenges • We just need to prioritise them and work together - let’s do it Source: Navi Radjou & Jaideep Prabhu, Forward by Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever.
  54. 54. Aravind Eye Hospital Founder Dr. Venkataswmy’s aim was make eye clinics accessible to all eliminating needless blindness. He created a low cost delivery model. • The hospital manufactures its own lenses keeping costs down. • Its surgeons are possibly the most productive in the world. Franchising the clinics makes them ubiquitous & accessible.
  55. 55. Design skills can accelerate progress - agility is important!
  56. 56. Topics for today Creating a shared vision How we’re going to get there 10 things you can do now
  57. 57. Small changes in your design solutions can make a big difference
  58. 58. 1. Be mindful of the SDGs: promote them whenever possible
  59. 59. 2. Be principled: ‘Let us move from human-centered design to humanity-centered design’.
  60. 60. Source 3. Be irreverent when needed Source: Adbusters
  61. 61. 4. Design with impacts in mind
  62. 62. 5. Apply design thinking to real world problems
  63. 63. 6. Run design sprints to save the world Source: Google Ventures
  64. 64. What if the DEC was created in 2017?
  65. 65. 7. Offer pro-bono services to a charity
  66. 66. 8. Say no to unethical stuff
  67. 67. 9. Engage in design activism Source: Liberate Tate
  68. 68. 10. Make ‘design for good’ mandate a magnet for clients and talent
  69. 69. Thank you! WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE • We can change the world for the better, but we need to act now @annmargaret
  70. 70. ann@annlongley.net

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