The challenges our world has faced in 2020 will only be meaningful if they lead to deeper, meaningful, and actionable learning. Project Inclusion, our continuing series of interviews with inclusive design leaders, remains a valuable repository of some of the most important ideas- and examples of powerful, effective direct action- in a domain that will only continue to grow in relevance and importance: how can we structure our economies, organizations, and societies in ways that allow the greatest number of humans possible to participate in the fruits of our work?
In 2021, the voices of Project Inclusion- past and future- will be given the platform they deserve, as we roll out the Project Inclusion podcast. We’re excited to bring this content to the next stage of its evolution, and hope that the insights gained will reach an ever wider audience.
We invite you to visit- or revisit- some of the most compelling topics of Project Inclusion’s 2020 offerings:
Co-founder, Utopia & Token Man
“I’ve learned more from saying the wrong thing than I ever have from saying something that was right. If you create an environment where no one can say anything wrong, you’re never going to learn.”
Frances West Co & Former IBM Chief Accessibility Officer
“Developers, designers, and all the people who make the solutions for the public and their employees, need to have a mindset that doesn’t allow them to accidentally create barriers for certain segments of the population. Digital inclusion is about barrier-free information and technology, so we can have parity in both participation and access.”
Cities are nothing new, but they’re generally a symptom of prosperity. When we see a city we know, there’s already economic activity. This program is about jolting investments and catapulting outcomes, in a non-linear fashion, without waiting for it just to happen, making a proactive effort to be inclusive with the local population.
Inclusive design consultant, Gensler
“My role is to recognize how the built environment plays a part in removing or reducing barriers. It’s always very hard to define what inclusion is, but when you start talking about who’s excluded from the space, that’s what we want to avoid.”
Founder and chief re-framer, reframe.work
“Pivots are common – most of us get to points in our lives when we realize we outgrew what we had before, and want to focus on something that will have an impact on more than just the next quarterly report.”
Director, Brookdale Center for Aging at Hunter College
“We have started thinking explicitly about how we can disrupt age segregation, and that’s going to reap more benefits than expected. These new ideas (which are very similar to a lot of old ones) of putting young and old people together, are turning out to be better than anybody ever imagined.”
Jean Paul Laurent
Founder & CEO of Unspoken Smiles Foundation
“Impact Sourcing is, basically, using the concept of social impact in communities where traditionally there are low levels of employment opportunities, low levels of access to opportunities.”
“…good intentions have nothing to do with the experience of inclusion or exclusion inside an organization; people are people, and they are unaware of their biases. And even if they are aware of them — which is a big “if” — they don’t know how to correct around them, how to adjust their behaviors, or why they should do it.”
“When I think about this journey, which has been completely untraditional, I get excited for anyone that has the opportunity to change –to start with ‘I am’ and move into ‘here’s what I can be.’”
Better Allies / Former VP Engineering, Adobe
“Even the best of workplaces in tech are not the meritocracy the leadership teams want to think they are. They’re not necessarily places where a person will get ahead just based on their merits, hard work, accomplishments or the impact they’re having on the business.”
A Final Note
Although the in-person SXSW conference was canceled this year, Fanny Krivoy led the panel session “Inclusive Design: A New Frontier in the Age of AI,” which is available on video! This fantastic discussion featured leaders in AI and aging research, Project Inclusion alumni all, including Nicola Palmarini of UK’s National Innovation Centre for Ageing, Frances West, Frances West Co. /former IBM Chief Accessibility Offices and Dorrie Rush, Chief Editor at Ophthalmic Edge. You can watch it on the SXSW website >