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Perspectives

Embracing change to design a better world

We’re all heading into the unknown; the future is an undefined space that can seem daunting and uncertain. But it is also a place of infinite possibilities, creativity and ideas where the only threat to real progress is the fear of making mistakes. Change is happening all around us and it is by understanding cultural change that we, as designers, can identify the ideas that will help make a better future for us all.

With The Feast conference about a week away, we are overcome with excitement. Within The Feast walls, ideas form that have the power to transform our collective future for the better. And great design is at the heart of so many of those ideas. Great design creates change for better. It solves problems, connects, seduces and transforms. Now, more than ever, the importance of great design to improve lives everywhere cannot be underestimated. In order to best prepare for the ideation to come, we’ve compiled 3 key principles for the design of a better future, along with an example that brings each to life.

1. The future should resolve a tension

Our best innovations come from those who set aside conventional limitations to understand real deficit and disrupt categories by leveraging multifaceted expertise.

While food scarcity in Kenya and designing apps may seem to share little in common, The Haller Foundation uses low-tech innovation to provide and promote a model for economic development that is sustainable and environmentally sound. The recent launch of the Haller app provides farmers and community members with the necessary information and community tools to enhance their self-sufficiency and has become a lifeline for rural communities in Kenya.

2. The future should be better AND easier

With expectations ever increasing, the future is about making things less complex and ever iterative. The distinguishing characteristics of visionary thinking are about clarity and being truly useful.

The launch of Nest products is a great example of designers envisioning more beautiful futures by rethinking the “unloved products in our homes.” Nest has also envisioned a safer, more responsible future too, with Nest products that inherently reduce energy usage, are REACH compliant and are recyclable, proving that good design can be a holistic experience, not just a beautiful one.

3. The future should feel uncomfortable

The future is new, which can often feel challenging and unfamiliar, but without change there is no future. Disruption is about setting fears aside and recognizing the unlimited potential in the unknown.

At last year’s Feast we met Lara Setrakian, who left her job as a high profile correspondent for ABC News and Bloomberg in 2012 to start Syria Deeply, a site dedicated to reporting solely on the crisis in Syria. When it was founded, nothing like Syria Deeply existed. While it might have felt uncomfortable or illogical at the time, Syria Deeply is a great reminder of the importance of disruption. Thanks to Lara, Syria Deeply became an alternative media resource for facts on critical human rights issues. Her offshoot, News Deeply, now does the same for other complex global issues and has a broader mission to advance foreign policy literacy through public service journalism.

Pearlfisher is partnering with The Feast to inspire entrepreneurs and social thinkers through future-focused design to create the next movement for social good. To learn more, join Pearlfisher Founder and CCO, Jonathan Ford as he leads a roundtable Friday October 10th, or visit Pearlfisher’s installation for inspiration about what the future could mean for us all.

For more information, click here.

Originally published by The Feast.

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