Design Leader, Entrepreneur & Educator
Jess Kessin is a design leader, entrepreneur, and educator with a deep passion for Human-Centered Design and using design to create a more equitable and responsible future. For the past 25 years, Jess has been driven by using design to change the world to be more inclusive and accessible. Read More >
Design Futures | Jessica Zarin Kessin
Designing Into the Future | Jessica Zarin Kessin
Designers create the products, systems and services that surround us. Traditional methods of design focus on the "average" consumer and the current scenario. We need to think differently so that we are serving ALL people and our planet at the same time. We need to design for the future that we want and need.
As we create products, systems, and services, we are designing the future of society. Traditionally we design for the center of the bell curve, healthy 18–35-year olds of a certain socio-economic background etc. That is not the world in which we live, and by designing in this way, we are denying people access to participate in a society built for them. We need to change the way we are working to create the inclusive future we need.
We are rewarded as smart people in our society to know the answer before we start. By predetermining the destination, we are creating the predictable future and moving towards the obvious solutions. While this works for many things, the big messy problems that we are facing as a society need us to think differently. What do we do when the answer is not obvious, and the paradigm needs to shift in a way we can't yet imagine? That is the power of a designer.
We are working in uncertain times and in new ways with remote teams. Making sure teams feel connected, psychologically safe and supported is much harder than it has been in the past. Whether remote or in person, the health of the team will determine how daring and bold that team can be. To answer the big messy problems of today's world, we can't play it safe.To create an environment where your team can push the limits, will transform the team from being ordinary to extraordinary.
"Jess has served as a guest lecturer in at least 10 class sessions of mine. The passion, energy and approachability she brings to each speaking engagement are inspiring. Students of all levels and ages gave me unprompted feedback as to her excellence. Whether she is running an interactive workshop or doing a keynote talk, her ability to engage an audience impresses me time and time again."
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