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Being a Digital Do-Gooder (IxDA Berlin Event #53)

As digital designers we are constantly being told that we have the power to change the world.

But other than repeating this over and over again in our comfortable bubble of tech meetups, conferences or self centred documentaries how many of us actually use our perceived super powers for something more than making rich companies richer, selling more shoes online or creating something like "Uber for coat hangers"?

In my talk at the IxDA Berlin Event in September 2016 I will look at examples of applied digital do-goodism and discuss some strategies for how we can use our UX and design skills for social good.

Slides may contain traces of half baked philosophy, social romanticism, self guilt and hopefully inspiration.

Being a Digital Do-Gooder (IxDA Berlin Event #53)

  1. 1. Being a 
 Digital Do-Gooder IxDA Berlin Event # 53 I 2016 @cklavery
  2. 2. Quiet please. 🙊
  3. 3. Shush! !!! 🙊 !!!
  4. 4. Are you all feeling good? You sure look great.
  5. 5. I’m going to change that in the next 20 minutes. At least I’ll try my best.
  6. 6. This talk may contain traces of half baked philosophy, social romanticism and self guilt. Disclaimer.
  7. 7. And there will be no cat content or Star Wars references. Sorry about that.
  8. 8. Watch video: LoveIy to see so many beautiful people here tonight. I’d like to welcome you all by saying “Fuck the Poor” and show you a short video to illustrate my point: watch?v=eBuC_0-d-9Y)
  9. 9. Feels familiar? Mea culpa.
  10. 10. So this is where we are currently living and it probably won’t change in the next couple of weeks. Does it work for you?
  11. 11. For many of us, working in a „cool“ digital agency or “disruptive” tech company or similar environment it probably does.
  12. 12. We love our products and care for them…
  13. 13. …without caring THAT much about how they are made.
  14. 14. We travel the world to stay in cute rooftop apartments in trendy areas like Berlin Kreuzberg.
 That’s if you happen to be a newcomer to Berlin and are labelled “Expat”, “Tourist” or “Zujezogener”.
  15. 15. Source: unknown The purple blobs on this map denominate available AirBnB flats, the red blobs show flats available for rent on the housing market (that’s 3 in total).
  16. 16. Again that’s if you happen to be a newcomer to Berlin and are labelled “Expat”, “Tourist” or “Zujezogener”.
  17. 17. Source: unknown If you happen to be a newcomer to Berlin and are labelled “Refugee” that rooftop view might not be so cute and your last, desperate resort to avoid eviction or deportation. Both rooftop views and realities are located less than a mile from each other in Berlin-Kreuzberg. Source unknown
  18. 18. Feels familiar? Seems like we are part of the problem(s).
  19. 19. How might we use our skills & privileges for “something good”? My HMW challenge for a few years now. Not discussing tonight since we’ve only got 20mins: deeper philosophical or political questions e.g. is
 for profit inherently evil, are NGOs inherently good etc. It’s complicated.
  20. 20. Hard Easy High Low Ease of implementation Impact Quit daytime job to join social company Switch to an ethical bank Switch to Green EnergyGo vegan Help social project in spare time Donate money on a regular basis Consume less Only buy ethically sound products Donate at Christmas Buy organic products Raise awareness at conferences / universities I started with thinking about what I could do to be a better person both in my private and professional life. The traffic light colours show roughly where I am right now.
  21. 21. Becoming a Digital Do-Gooder (in progess) So let me take you on my personal journey to becoming a Digital Do-Gooder. 
 This is very much in progress and a constant challenge on many levels.
  22. 22. Without being a complete pain in 
 the arse (in progess) Another challenge is talking about doing good without sounding too pompous or full of yourself. I’m Clive not Bono (and it’s spelled arse not ass!)
  23. 23. It’s also easy to be like those guys who you might have come across when being involved in some kind of activism.
 The kind of people that live in their ivory tower, love preaching and in-fighting over minute details and semantics and seem to forget what they set out to do in the first place.
  24. 24. Bratwurst! Put the kettle on! BTW: I’m Clive, son of a British (technically Cornish) father and a German mother. Born and bred “an Rhein und Ruhr”.
  25. 25. • 41 years on this earth • 10+ years in the industry • 6+ years in Berlin Clive in numbers.
  26. 26. • Freelance UX Person • Research, Strategy & Design • Education & Social Good Stuff I do for money and that I care about. Get in touch if you need UX support for interesting projects in Berlin or all over the world (happy to travel for great stuff).
  27. 27. • UX Mentor at Career Foundry • Co-Organiser UXcamp Europe • Co-Organiser UX Book Club I also don’t mind a bit of UX on the side. Still working on my UX/Life balance…
  28. 28. Source unknown The honest elevator pitch would sound something like this. Bit of a party pooper, really. So what do you do as a UX Designer, Clive? I move Sticky Notes around and draw grey boxes so rich corporations can get richer.
  29. 29. Super awesome! We think a lot about HOW to design, disrupt and innovate things. But we generally do not spend too much time thinking about WHY and for WHO. Source unknown
  30. 30. We generally seem quiet pleased with ourselves and tell each other (or anybody who can’t run away quickly enough) how much we are changing the world and solving problems with design…
  31. 31. … without thinking too much about what kind of problems we are actually solving.
  32. 32. You might be disrupting and solving some of the world’s most coolest problems - who cares about the boring UN Global Sustainability Goals Simon Stegemann just mentioned sustainable-development-goals/ ?
  33. 33. Perhaps you have also backed Kickstarter projects like these and thereby helped solving other 
 substantial human problems.
  34. 34. Feels familiar? Still seems like we are part of the problem(s). Agree?
  35. 35. Is it just me? Or am I just a white, middle aged, middle class, self-hating hipster in a midlife crisis? At 41 it’s about time for that anyway, I guess.
  36. 36. Based on ethical reasons - have you ever… What about you? Let’s compare your answers to a survey I sent out to UX professionals in 2014.
  37. 37. … had second thoughts about a client or project? Surveymonkey survey answered by 100 UX Professionals in 2014 Quick show of hands before I show the survey results…
  38. 38. … designed something for a client you really hate? Surveymonkey survey answered by 100 UX Professionals in 2014 Quick show of hands before I show the survey results…
  39. 39. … refused to work for a certain client or project? Surveymonkey survey answered by 100 UX Professionals in 2014 Quick show of hands before I show the survey results…
  40. 40. … quit your job? Surveymonkey survey answered by 100 UX Professionals in 2014 Quick show of hands before I show the survey results…
  41. 41. 80% IBelieve UX can play a role
 in contributing to Social Good Surveymonkey survey answered by 100 UX Professionals in 2014 That’s a great result - but mind the gap…
  42. 42. 75% IAre not involved in any activities
 for Social Good Surveymonkey survey answered by 100 UX Professionals in 2014 Remind you of the „Fuck the poor“ video earlier on?
  43. 43. Not impressed.
  44. 44. What I learnt so far on my journey Work in progress.
  45. 45. Learning 1 It’s nothing new No surprise there.
  46. 46. – Theodor W. Adorno “There is no right life in the wrong one." So is this guy right?
  47. 47. “A business that makes nothing but money 
 is a poor business.“ – Henry Ford Or this guy?
  48. 48. “The problem with internet quotes is that you can’t always depend on their accuracy.“ – Abraham Lincoln He is definitely right.
  49. 49. Thinking about your professional ethics has been around for thousands of years…
  50. 50. … and has been considered by „traditional“ design associations, too.
  51. 51. IXDA Manifesto Even an organisation called the IxDA (you might know it) has it in its mission statement - check out the last bullet point.
  52. 52. Learning 2 There’s no good 
 excuse not to do something. Especially in Berlin Although there are of course many distractions - especially in Berlin.
  53. 53. Perhaps you feel like this?
  54. 54. Find your cause Good starting point: find your cause and match your skills on a platform like
  55. 55. Get inspired Watch inspiring talks by thought leaders who have all been there before.
  56. 56. Get inspired It may sound crazy: but you could read a book, too.
  57. 57. Get out of the building Featuring
 Clive Take part in Hackathons (quite techie but UX input is highly appreciated) or Design Jams…
  58. 58. Get out of the building … or upcoming Meetups and conferences in Berlin (there’s usually free drinks, too).
  59. 59. Get out of the building Why not visit these social start up and co-working hubs (or check out their regular events) and check out the companies being hosted there for inspiration.
  60. 60. Donate your skills globally or locally You can e.g. create global impact online or local impact by organising online and literally working out socially…
  61. 61. Donate your skills (or money) … and use use online platforms like Youvo (aimed at more Junior Designers) or to donate your skills.
  62. 62. Make it a Win-Win + 600 EUR - 11 kg Learnt Squarespace basics Raised 600 € & lost 11 kg Two projects I was involved in supporting fundraiser and new website.
  63. 63. Change your career Check out companies that support and sponsor social good events and activities or are a certified B Corp 
 (“B Corps […] aspire to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems.”)
  64. 64. Change your career Design agencies with a focus on social good.
  65. 65. Each one teach one Get them while they are young and raise awareness in the industry.
  66. 66. 
 Watch intro video: Each one teach one I aim to be involved in teaching students at ReDi School for Digital Integration. Check out their great approach to the 
 so-called refugee crisis: - they always need support if this appeals to you or your company.
  67. 67. Service Experience Camp Berlin Spread the gospel Hyper Island Manchester Talk about it with your peers and colleagues at events; raise awareness with young designers starting out in the business at design schools and universities.
  68. 68. There are tons of individual efforts but not one go to place or website (AFAIK) and often very similar initiatives don’t know of each other. Seems like a lot of missed collaboration opportunities - a lot of dots to be connected…
  69. 69. Learning 3 Look for the right keywords Google better to do good.
  70. 70. #socialimpact #purpose-driven #socialenterprise #SocEnt #socialgood #socialstartup I started googling terms like „UX for Social Good“ or „Design for Social Good“ - I found some stuff but this strategy seems to narrow and thinking in silos (which as we always preach is bad). Broader terms you can see on the slide yield more interesting results.
  71. 71. Learning 4 No Do-Gooder is 
 an island Suprise, surprise…
  72. 72. Don’t try to do it all: find a cause you really care about and team up with others, ideally with complementary skills. 
 A lot of NGOs / social organisations are like startups i.e. ever changing contact persons, chaos and lack of structure so be prepared for that and maybe that you have to take the lead.
  73. 73. I set up this LinkedIn Group to connect like-minded people - it does feel a lot like me talking to myself most of the time so the future of it is a bit unclear. 
 Perhaps a public Twitter or Product Hunt list is more effective.
  74. 74. Learning 5 Focus & Commitment Surprise, surprise…
  75. 75. When you team up with others ensure there is a reliable commitment from every team member - otherwise be prepared for frustration and low project moral. If you don’t treat a side project like a “proper” commercial project it’s destined to fail and feel more like a burden than something you really want to do.
  76. 76. What’s next? Next steps before we all turn into totally awesome, disruptive Digital Do-Gooder unicorns:
  77. 77. I’ll upload this presentation to Slideshare (and perhaps Speakerdeck) and am aiming to curate some related Twitter lists since I have collected so much more example material and URLs. This presentation might also turn into a Medium article but don’t hold your breath. @cklavery
  78. 78. Lets try to connect the dots in our local design and tech community, perhaps a regular MeetUp or one-off Jam might come out of this. I any case hit me up and let us share ideas and beers.
  79. 79. Hope you’re feeling good again. Thank you! 🐶 Next slide: How to get in touch.
  80. 80. @cklavery I’m @cklavery on most of the internet. I trust you to find me :) 
 And of course feel free to get in touch if you need UX support for interesting projects in Berlin or all over the world (happy to travel for great stuff).