As a planet and a species we are facing many imminent threats:
climate change induced disasters are increasing
65+ million people are displaced due to man-made conflicts
preventable diseases continue to plague us
almost half of the world live in poverty
Rapidly evolving technology can help us overcome many of these problems, but it is also a catalyst for further societal disruption. We are as yet unclear how robots and automation will play out in the workforce. Our institutions are not prepared for the massive societal changes these technologies will bring.
What is the role of design in the problem solving equation? Design has created some game-changing solutions to very specific problems, in particular, those in less developed countries. From poverty reducing water pumps to gravity powered lights, design can incrementally improve lives and undoubtedly transform our future. But what are the barriers which prevent it from reaching its full potential and how we might overcome them? How does design unlock its inherent ability and scale up to solve the world’s most pressing and complex problems?
Ann Longley is a digital transformation expert whose career in digital spans 20 years.
She has worked across sectors and continents modernising businesses, enriching public services, and helping save lives through the strategic and creative application of digital technology.
She has worked with the DEC and its member agencies including Oxfam, Save the Children, and the British Red Cross planning, incubating and co-creating pioneering approaches to delivering aid to disaster affected communities.
She is a visiting lecturer at Greenwich University, and the founder of Something New Together, a consultancy designed to futureproof organizations by co-designing new products and services.