Designing for a more equitable world with systems thinking
Whether design thinking can have actual impact in today’s complex world is a real question, and some design practitioners have become disillusioned with approaches that emphasize products and profit over people. In this talk, Sheryl discusses how there is still a spark of value in some of the tenets of design thinking, but to make it really shine, and to design for a more just and equitable world, systems thinking needs to be at the center of the designer’s practice. She will discuss approaches and methods that help designers kickstart or expand on their systems thinking practice so they can make meaningful change and have real impact.
Sheryl Cababa is the author of Closing the Loop: Systems Thinking for Designers. She’s a design researcher and strategist, and is the Chief Strategy Officer at Substantial, an education-focused research, insights, and development studio based in Seattle. Her practice is focused on systems thinking and equity-centered design, and she’s worked with a diverse base of clients including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Microsoft, IKEA, and Khan Academy. Her focus is on using design to help clients reimagine education.
She also teaches at the University of Washington’s Human Centered Design and Engineering program, helping to introduce systems thinking to the next generation of designers.
We can’t wait to have Sheryl back on stage! Sheryl was here in 2019 with a brilliant talk about “Tackling the unintended consequences of design”.