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RCA talks

Design.Different Week – Inclusive Design for Social Impact

14 October 2020 | 4pm


Part of the Design.Different Week organised by The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design.

The principles and practice of inclusive design need to be applied to areas of global and social need. Inclusive design has tended to focus on the individual, so here, we look at how  to engage with communities. We tend to concentrate on developed economies, but what about the global context? We will discuss how the tools of inclusive design can have social impact, showcasing new initiatives around public toilets and sanitation.

Our panel discussion will reflect 2020 as a time of protest and racial awakening. We will ask … how can we ensure that diverse cultures are valued, enabled and represented? We will look at how to expand the definition of inclusivity and hear global examples of how this is being effected. This session will expand inclusive design beyond its current confines.

Rama Gheerawo, Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design
Rama is an international and inspirational figure within design. He is a serial innovator in the fields of Inclusive Design, Design Thinking and Creative Leadership having personally led over 100 projects working internationally with governments, business, academia and the third sector. He won a ‘Hall of Fame’ award for his work at the Design Week Awards in 2019 and was named a 2018 Creative Leaders by Creative Review alongside Paul Smith and Björk. Empathy is at the heart of his practice. As Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, he uses design to address society’s toughest issues from ageing and healthcare, to ability and diversity. He looks at how to instigate positive change in individuals and organisations through personal research in Creative Leadership, with workshops delivered globally to thousands of people including 700 civil servants. He is in high demand as a keynote speaker, writes, curates exhibitions and runs workshops for audiences that range from students to business executives. Rama advises major institutions such as the UK Design Council, the Design Museum, the Royal Society of Arts and the Design Management Institute.

Angela Bains
Angela Bains is Co-Founder and Strategic Director of TransformExp, Graduate Program Director, Strategic Foresight & Innovation and professor in decolonising Advertising at the Ontario College of Art & Design University. As an instructor of Strategic Design for Business at the British Columbia Institute of Technology was honoured with seven teaching awards of excellence. Angela has over 25 years of experience in design, working on social change, including the Free Nelson MandelaCampaigns. Commercial clients include; BBC Television, Swatch Canada,and The Ritz-Carlton. Speaking invitations include; the DesignManagement Institute, International Council of Design & RegisteredGraphic Designers of Canada.

Gabriella Gómez-Mont
Gabriella Gómez-Mont founded and directed Laboratorio para la Ciudad (2013–2018), the award-winning experimental and creative office of the Mexico City government, reporting to the Mayor. She headed a young, transdiciplinary team: from urban geographers, political scientists and civic tech experts, to artists, historians and philosophers. The Lab was created to tackle urban challenges, creating novel transdisciplinary methodologies and participatory practices (such as crowdsourcing the Mexico City Constitution), continuously exploring ways to find common ground in a gargantuan, diverse (and often divided) city. She is a Yale World Fellow, MIT Director’s Fellow, a GeorgeTown University Global Cities Initiative Visiting Fellow, a TED Senior Fellow, an Institute for the Future Fellow and has received several awards in different disciplines: from 1st prize in the Audi Urban Future Award to 1st Prize in the Best Arts Practice and TED City  2.0 award , as well as recognized as a leading "creative bureaucrat" at the Creative Bureaucracy Festival 2018. 


Priya Sahathevan
Priya is Head Counsel in the legal team at Sky.  Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is part of the Comcast Group.  Sky’s 32,000 employees help connect customers to the very best entertainment, sports, news, arts and to Sky’s own original content.  Sky is firmly committed to inclusion and recently announced a £30 million fund to support anti-racism and improve diversity and inclusion. Since 2017, Priya has been central to Sky Legal’s inclusion initiatives, including internal and external mentoring schemes and education programmes.  In 2019, Priya was shortlisted by the Law Society as ‘In-House Solicitor of the Year’, both for her achievements in law and her commitment to inclusion.

Watch a recording here
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