Tell us a little more about your area of expertise?
Because I work in the public good space, my focus is making the lives of people and communities better in an increasingly complicated world. Over the last few years, most of my time is spent designing new government programs and services, or working on game-changing digital innovations in developed and developing countries.
Currently, much of my time seems to be spent at the intersection of policy topics like health, social protection and environmental management, and technology topics like the rise of big data and the disruptive (good and bad) effects of technology. And of course, on the new experience of being a dad to an amazing little girl, which makes getting the rest of it right feel even more urgent and important.
What does Designing The Future, our TEDxCanberraSalon theme, mean to you?
It’s an incredibly important theme! There’s never been a time where society has been more interconnected, where innovation has moved quicker, and where the impacts of big picture design have carried more opportunity and more risk for people and communities.
The simple notion that we are not at the mercy of the constant flow of disruptive new technologies, social trends and political currents – the notion that we can play a deliberate, intentional role in shaping how society comes together – is a powerful one. And it’s one that will inspire people to be strong participants in their own future, if we can get the message through.
Can you give an example of how your current work has brought positive changes to peoples lives?
Three projects I’ve worked on this year have been very inspiring – one looking at how technology can help people better manage their medication, another looking at how kids can be taught to take an innovation approach to solve health issues, and yet another that was all about how we take a big picture view of some important aspects of safeguarding Australia’s environment. All three were very different, but all three were opportunities to create a better world.
What can our TEDx Canberra audience expect to hear? (without giving away too much!)
The world is moving very fast, and there are emerging trends and forces in design that are at once seductive and fraught with risk. My talk will take a look at some of these, and offer my thinking about how we can make sure that we design for the good of society.
What are you most looking forward to sharing at the event?
I’m excited to share two stories – one of design gone right and one of design gone wrong. I believe they really create a memorable contrast that is applicable not just to the recent past, but to the next two decades’ worth of future.
Why is Canberra great, do you think, for Designing The Future?
I think that Canberra is an incredible city for many reasons, and one of them is that it has the mind-blowing complexity of world-leading public service, groundbreaking educational institutions and a diverse community all in one place. When you put them together, some amazing ideas and conversations tend to surface.
Come listen to the full conversation Sat 3 June at our Salon event. Tickets here.
Article by Helen Roe