“Design has the capacity to improve society — but has it been part of the problem?” This question will guide a discussion taking place at 3 p.m. on Sept. 10 as UCI and the creative agency a small studio host a virtual event on Exploring Design + Ethics.
“We have been seduced by the ‘fail fast’ mantra of startup culture, and in moving so quickly have collectively lost our way from an ethics perspective,” says Daniel Blackburn, who helped bring the event to UCI. The founder of Nilll Design works with various companies and organizations to encourage discussions about the role of designers, product owners, technologists and marketers in shipping responsible products.
“It’s my goal to create space and opportunity to talk about timely and important topics in the areas of design, innovation and social progress,” explains Blackburn. The UCI event is part of a series of discussions focused on ethics. Other series explore brand authenticity (presented with GE) and creative leadership (presented with Mastercard).
“There is not a separate world of ethical reasoning specific to commercial platforms,” notes Crooks. “Tech ethics should be made redundant.” Crooks will touch on ways of building ethical reasoning into technology designs, encouraging researchers to look beyond academic endeavors as they consider ramifications of broader technology use.
Additional speakers for the event include:
- Renée Cummings, criminologist & AI ethicist;
- Jinal Shah, vice president of marketing at Feather;
- Damon Deaner, director of employee experience design at IBM;
- Josh Neuroth, senior director of product & marketing at Cyxtera Technologies;
- Ali Hussain, head of user experience & design at American Specialty Health; and
- John B Johnson, identity architect at a small studio.
Blackburn focused on bringing together a diverse group of perspectives for this exercise in exploring ethics. “In my view, embracing all members of the community — thought leaders, students, academia and everyone in between — will result in the richest dialog possible,” he explains. “It’s also important for the students of today, who will be the product leaders of tomorrow, to have a strong foundation in ethics as it relates to their craft.”
You can register for this free event at Exploring Design + Ethics.
— Shani Murray