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Design, innovation, work, and the future of humanity :: with Joel Fariss

In this episode, Joel Fariss - a design research and strategic futures associate at Gensler (https://www.linkedin.com/in/joelfariss/) - and I discuss the nuances of the word “design” in light of 2020 and the future of work and innovation. Based on his experience at Gensler and in the nonprofit world, we dive into the connection between design and value for humanity, the need for time and space for humans to innovate, and the role of grief to create a more equitable work environment.

You can watch this episode below or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts (search for “Ventures”).

In this episode we cover the following:    

2:40 - Joel intro, design and his journey into Gensler. Design “as a mental model for perceiving the world”.

6:18 - How does Joel think about and define “Design” more broadly? In thinking about the trajectory of human civilization, check out The Ascent of Humanity by Charles Eisenstein.

11:53 - Thoughts about design as a software engineer.

19:30 - Why we do what we do. The importance of the heuristic of “how am I contributing to humanity”? In thinking about the trajectory of human civilization, check out The Ascent of Humanity by Charles Eisenstein.

21:43 - Will as a grad student, thinking about time efficiency, practicality, contributions to society, and designing experiments.

23:18 - Standing on the shoulder of giants. Where good ideas come from. The adjacent possible.  

25:28 - Thoughts around the future of work and humanity in light of the pandemic.

36:48 - Where does humanity need to go? What needs to be introduced into the Future of Work conversation to benefit humanity? Some great reads regarding work: Brave New Work, Theory and Practice of Resistance to Work, Bullshit Jobs, Can't Even, Dying for a Paycheck, Humanocracy, and Reinventing Organizations. On data, value creation, and future economics check out Who Owns the Future, Radical Markets, Neo Feudalism, Debt, and The Post American World.

43:04 - Doing what we can as society to give people more time, which can lead to adjacent possibilities. At the heart of innovation, what has Joel seen “not work” and what has he seen that is promising?

49:06 - From a DE&I perspective, what has Joel seen in light of the pandemic and changing landscape of work and design? We talk about the role of grief as an important part of the work environment. To learn more about what grief is and why it is so important, read The Wild Edge of Sorrow by Francis Weller.

55:01 - Where can people find more about Joel online? http://joelfariss.com // https://twitter.com/joelfariss // https://instagram.com/joel.fariss/