Navigating the Mega Trends
Paul Bennett, Chief Creative Officer at IDEO, shared cases of countries using design to create a hopeful future for their people, from fostering entrepreneurship in Congo, designing a new school system in Peru, fighting radicalism in UAE to nurturing a new generation of creative leaders in China. “A government policy is just the same as a creative brief but in a very big scale,” he said. Government and designers are essentially the same thing – helping people understand their ideas, helping people participate in the future, making stuff happen and doing it in service of the people. We are all serving people’s needs. And “design thinking is essentially big scale thinking with a whole lot of design and optimism and hope thrown in.” He asked whether Hong Kong is ready to join the legion of places using design to create its future.
Deborah Alden, Senior Director of culture OS at WeWork, talked about the importance of shaping and designing culture to unlock the full potential of the employees. Having a great company culture inspires employees to be more positive, productive and fulfilled. Paul added that the new KPI (the acronym for Key Performance Indicators) should be “Keep People Inspired”. “Some people may think of free food and creative space (we call it culture confetti – the sprinkling on top), but culture is influenced by something deeper, more profound and complex” Deborah said. She encouraged us to start building a company culture by thinking about what the employees actually want and need. “Culture change doesn’t always have to be big things, it can be things we can do as individuals. What’s one thing you could do tomorrow?”
Zhe Wang Steve, Co-founder and COO at Tezign, believed technology can be used to empower imagination. Tezign developed an AI engine to help analyse consumer profiles and behaviours, and then provides suggestions to inspire designers to create better work. “Machine intelligence empowers people to go beyond their experience, logic and methods” he said. However, humans have an advantage over machines. They are more emotional, have more experience and can feel things. “Designers will always be the ones who do the most creative work while machines follow rules, do the variations and simple jobs,” he emphasised.