Post-human Centered

alicia dudek

Alicia Dudek, Chair


ian bogost

Ian Bogost

Georgia Institute of Technology

susan moylan coombs

Susan Moylan Coombs

Gaimaragal Group

tricia wang

Tricia Wang

Sudden Compass

We invented our world at human height, with us in the middle. Much of our work is designed even more narrowly, with a particular kind of human at the middle. What happens when we go beyond the limited “user-centric” or “human-centric” scales? What does it look like, feel like, move like when humans are not in the middle of the system?

About the Panelists
Alicia Dudek is an experienced design ethnographer and futurist. Her work brings the customer’s point of view and human voice to any group’s innovations and decisions. The work she does with teams brings empathy into the organisation to help inform, inspire, and initiate innovation. Central to her ability as a change agent is a capability to illuminate absences of customer understanding and to build powerful projects to rally teams and decision makers around their client’s needs. She is the founder of Mycoreality, a fungi-focused, mycelium inspired management consultancy focused on improving and increasing human fungi collaboration to help save our world.

Ian Bogost is an author and an award-winning game designer. He is Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and Professor of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he also holds appointments in the School of Architecture and the Scheller College of Business. Bogost is also Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC, an independent game studio, and a Contributing Editor at The Atlantic. He is author or co-author of ten books, including Alien Phenomenology and Play Anything.

Susan Moylan-Coombs is founding director of Gaimaragal Group’, a company established to create a new story of connection and wellbeing for all Australians. Its aim is to facilitate the voice for our Elders in the contemporary social space, empower our youth to realise their full potential, and provide two-way cultural translation to bring individuals and communities together. Susan’s ancestry is Woolwonga and Gurindji from the Northern Territory. She has extensive experience working with First Australian communities nationally and internationally, and expertise in community consultation, empowerment and the facilitation of voice and storytelling. Susan is also a founding board member of PTSD Australia New Zealand and a board member of NSW Indigenous Chamber of Commerce and COTA NSW (Council on the Ageing). She has previously held the positions of Executive Producer ABC’s Indigenous Programs Unit and Head of Production, NITV a division of SBS.

Tricia Wang is a global tech ethnographer living at the intersection of data, design, and digital. Her passion is to help organizations uncover how our bias towards the quantifiable comes at the expense of profits and people, and how to fix it.  She is the co-founder of Sudden Compass, a consulting firm that helps enterprises move at the speed of their customers by unlocking new growth opportunities in their big data with human insights in their digital transformation. Organizations she’s worked with include P&G, Kickstarter, Spotify, and GE. She also co-founded Magpie Kingdom, a consultancy that helps globally minded companies gain actionable insights about the Chinese consumer. Their newsletter, Magpie Digest, unpacks trending conversations in China to reveal insights about youth culture and macro social implications.

Design and White Supremacy Culture: A Call and Response

autumn sanders foster

Autumn Sanders Foster, Chair

Quire Consulting

nancy douyon

Nancy Douyon

Douyon Signature Labs

angela gist mackey

Angela Gist-Mackey

University of Kansas

William Lex Henry

William Lez Henry

University of West London

Melinda Weeks Laidlow

Melinda Weekes-Laidlow

Beautiful Ventures

Within the growing global discourse around race, whiteness, and racial injustice lies a call to address the ways systemic racism and normalized whiteness continue to shape our work. Many organizations have issued formal statements but struggle to identify and implement meaningful next steps. Through this panel, we will discuss how change works in concert with or opposition to dominant norms, values, and culture in our research and our organizations.

About the Panelists

Autumn Sanders Foster has worked with Fortune 500 companies, start-ups and non-profits, helping them grow their businesses by understanding their customers. She launched Quire Consulting in 2017 to provide clients access to qualitative research and design strategy that brings real people into the center of the design process. She leads clients through experiences with end-users to develop effective, scalable solutions to the challenges clients face. Autumn has worked with clients across a range of industries including education, arts, health care, retail, human resources, CPG, consumer electronics, and food. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio University (Athens, OH) and master’s degrees in design management and graphic design from the Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, GA). Autumn sees community engagement as essential to her work and role as a citizen. She has served on the board of Space One Eleven, a contemporary art gallery and center for arts education and as a member of the YMCA of Greater Birmingham marketing advisory team. She coaches local entrepreneurs through CO.STARTERS.

Nancy Douyon is a Global Design Ethicist & Product Philosopher. She is a trailblazer in human experience design with over 15 years of industry experience building scalable user research platforms and revitalizing user interfaces at leading companies such as Uber, Google, IBM, Cisco and Intel. Throughout her career, Nancy has gained a reputation for delivering big results in a culturally honest and purposeful way with hundreds of products deployed in over 80 countries worldwide. She consults globally on remote user research methods and development in emerging markets. Nancy is currently developing the Douyon Signature Labs, Silicon Valley’s first social enterprise research institute focused on bridging the gap between human potential and tech ecosystems for the humane use of technology. She has received numerous technical and leadership awards, is proudly Hatian, has traveled to over 70 countries and speaks fluent sarcasm. In her spare time, she lectures on user experience methodologies, dances in Carnivals all over the world, and is active in community service.

Angela Gist-Mackey, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas (KU) with an expertise in organizational communication. She also serves as a Director for the Multicultural Scholars Program at KU. After her career in the advertising industry where she served as a Senior Account Executive managing campaigns for regional, national, and global consumer and business-to-business brands, she decided to pursue a doctorate in communication. Dr. Gist-Mackey is an interpretive critical scholar who largely researches issues of social mobility and power related to organizational contexts. Her program of research frequently combines these areas of interest: social class, social identity, communication, and power. Her most recent publication analyzed the struggles of unemployed racial minorities (working and upper/middle class) while they managed joblessness through organizational memberships. Much of Dr. Gist-Mackey’s research is engaged scholarship partnering with local, regional, and campus organizations to provide insightful recommendations for improving their community programming. Her scholarship has been published in outlets such as Organization Studies, Communication Monographs, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Management Communication Quarterly, and Departures in Critical Qualitative Research among other outlets. Dr. Gist-Mackey teaches undergraduate and graduate courses about organizational communication, organizational culture, stigmatized identities, and ethnographic research methods.

Dr. William Lez Henry was born in the London borough of Lewisham, London, England of Jamaican Parentage and is Professor of Criminology and Sociology, University of West London. He is the British Reggae Deejay Lezlee Lyrix and is a writer, poet and community activist who is renown as a first-rate public speaker. He has lectured nationally and internationally and featured in numerous documentaries and current affairs television and radio programmes. Prof Lez lectures in the areas of criminology, sociology, anthropology, black history, whiteness studies, race, education, ethnicity, gender, youth justice and cultural studies, and delivers educational programmes in community and grass-roots settings, as well as in universities, schools and colleges. With a keen interest in the counter-cultures of the African Diaspora, especially as recorded through the lens of popular cultural forms such as reggae music, his perspective makes known the historical black British and Caribbean influence / contribution to the social, cultural and political struggles of the global African Diaspora against white supremacist thought and action. He has a passion for martial arts and holds a Shodan Black Belt in IKK Kyokushinkai Karate and is a 2nd Degree, Black Belt, Instructor with London Hung Kuen, Five Animals, Shaolin Kung Fu.

Melinda Weekes-Laidlow is a social change architect, master facilitator, ordained minister, and social entrepreneur. She is President of Weekes In Advance Enterprises LLC, an organizational development firm offering facilitation, strategy, training and collaborative skills capacity building in arts and entertainment, social innovation, racial equity, and social justice spaces. Melinda is also the Founder/CEO of Beautiful Ventures, a creative social enterprise that influences popular culture, disrupts anti-blackness and elevates perceptions of Black humanity. Previously, Melinda was the Managing Director at Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation and Senior Consultant at the Interaction Institute for Social Change. One of her great loves is teaching. As Graduate Professor of Management at Marlboro College, Melinda teaches at the intersections of racial equity, design thinking and collaborative leadership. In 2015, leading social impact fund Echoing Green named Melinda its first-ever Social Entrepreneur in Residence.  She feels honored to render service to institutions that have profoundly shaped her life — as member of the Advisory Board of Wesleyan University’s Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship, the ministerial staff of the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York and of the Board of Directors at the Interaction Institute for Social Change. Melinda holds degrees from Wesleyan University, New York University School of Law and Harvard Divinity School. A native New Yorker born in The Bronx, Melinda flows between the Big Apple and the Big Peach – Atlanta, GA – where she now makes home and community.

Scaling Futures: Foresight that Delivers Meaning and Value

Rich Radka

Rich Radka, Chair

Founder, Fuse Foresight

This session will explore the specific reasons organizations generate ideas about the future, the methods they choose, how they act on foresight, and consequences for both business and society. We will address the theme of scale in various dimensions, such as how to appropriately scale our imaginings, scaling to multiple time horizons, scaling breadth vs. depth of focus, and thinking of scale in terms of organizational value creation. Panelists will be announced soon!

Rich Radka has 20+ years of providing deep human insights to corporate, scale-up and public sector clients in the arenas of  innovation, customer experience, strategy and forecasting. He brings inspired design thinking, and a practical human-centred approach to co-create solutions that involve customers, employees, partners and other stakeholders.