A lot of ladies and one man (gasp!) gathered last week at our last Ladies, Wine and Design event for 2018. The thought provoking topic ‘Using our design powers for good‘ was brought to life by three inspiring speakers: Sarah Alexander (Marketing Manager, Thankyou), Kaan Hiini (Senior Designer, Curative) & Jyoti Morningstar (Founder & Creative Director, WE-AR).
The consensus is that we can meet business goals and still design with ethics (yay!), but that success in business can no longer be measured by infinite growth:
"We have this idea…that a company is healthy if it is growing at a certain rate. But what are we doing when we are chasing after the fastest possible growth? People are gobbling up the world… consuming… but for what, for whom and why?"
Jyoti went on to explain she believes social innovation and a successful business model is actually about a paradigm shift:
"There is just this. We are here together and this is all we have. How do we use it and share it in a meaningful way that creates abundance for as many people as possible and creates regenerative systems."
All panelists agreed: Business growth is only ever implemented when the ethics and values of the business are met first. Put simply and beautifully by Sarah: your business should be "better before bigger".
All three spoke about the importance of designing beautifully crafted products, brands and campaigns for ethical and social change initiatives. Making desirable products and brands just brings more people to your cause. Which does more good.
For Kaan a co-design process is integral in achieving lasting impact. He works directly with communities that aren’t often asked for their opinions, to gain and understand different perspectives and in turn champion the voice of the underprivileged, putting people at the heart of what he is producing.
We finished the evening feeling totally inspired. Good causes need good design. And creative vision can challenge the status quo and do good for people and the world.
"As designers we can’t fall back on what has been done before… the systems we have known to date and worked for a different population, don’t work now. For designers it’s a massive challenge and responsibility, and a huge inspiration to design better solutions to continue to survive and flourish as a species."