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Daily design steps towards preferable futures

Sam Hoey, Emma-Sofie Kukkonen, Pablo Alaejos, Hannah Mills

02 Feb, 4:00 pm

2 h

A practical framework and examples of how to begin the journey of embedding the lenses of sustainability, ethics and diversity into daily design practices.

Sponsored by


In recent years the issues of social inequality, mis-use of technology and an environmental crisis have shifted from the fringes into mainstream social consciousness. Activism from Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion, police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement, fake news and breaches of data security resulting in regulatory changes like GDPR.

In 2020 this has played out against the backdrop of the Covid 19 pandemic. The status quo has been disrupted, presenting an opportunity for us to re-shape why, how and what we design with a set of new perspectives.

As designers, we can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. We are in a unique position to influence the way these problems are tackled by the choices we make in our daily work, no matter what position we are in.

In this workshop we will introduce a framework for considering diversity, ethics and sustainability against three phases of design work; understanding problems, creating visions of possible futures and crafting design solutions.

We will bring inspiring examples of the impact designers can have in each of these phases and focus our activities on 3 of the intersections. Our team will facilitate participants practicing some of our recommended first steps. The aim is to share simple, practical ways for these essential considerations to move past being occasional optional extras to being practiced every day.

We all want a fairer and more sustainable future, and the way to reach that future is by designing it.

Meet the speakers

Sam Hoey, Emma-Sofie Kukkonen


Design Lead, Senior Service Designer

Sam is an experienced design leader who combines a strategic perspective with sensitivity to craft and attention to detail. He focuses on customer and employee experiences as an outcome across new businesses, services and products. At Designit Sam has shaped and lead teams on new ventures, rapid prototyping and digital experiences in the energy, health, and financial sectors. Sam draws on over 16 years working in design, ranging across digital products and services, immersive experiential branding, interactive installations and sustainable furniture design for commercial, hospitality and domestic spaces.

Emma is a designer with over 8 years of work experience in developing digital products and services. A natural explorer and divergent thinker, Emma is passionate about people, services and sustainability. At Designit, she works at the intersection of design research and service design, helping clients in food, energy and financial sectors. In her work, Emma is curious about understanding how we can unlearn some of the old ways of designing and better explore the social, cultural, and ethical implications of design work.

Pablo Alaejos, Hannah Mills


Design Lead, Designit

With a background in craft but with a mind for strategy and technology, Pablo is a creative leader who develops delightful physical and digital products and services that are nevertheless grounded in reality. In his experience, successful projects start with understanding culture, people, business, and data then responding by appropriately weaving together physical, technology and storytelling enablers. More than 12 years of diverse work has equipped him with multiple skills whilst his experience leading product design, research, service design and creative tech teams has given him the ability to deliver successful business solutions with meticulous craftsmanship. Furthermore, Pablo has participated as a member of the judging panel at international design festivals, lectured at prestigious educational institutions and given talks at a number of industry-related events and conferences in the UK, Europe and South America.

Hannah works at the intersection of research and innovation to creatively address social and business challenges. She draws on 9 years experience working in NGOs, social enterprises, start-ups and global corporates, using design to improve peoples’ lives and the world around us. This has taken her from working on mobile behaviour change projects in East Africa, to designing the plant-based brands of tomorrow closer to home. At Designit, she has applied her critical, empathetic and creative approach to projects in energy, food, healthcare and media. An expert in uncovering peoples’ implicit needs, wants and behaviours, she champions both user and planet to create products, services and visions that help to build better futures for us all.

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