Design x Politics

Panel discussion

Design x Politics
May 12 2017 - 3:42pm

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Join IDSA-NYC on the 19th of May between 6-7pm at the at the Rudin Conference Center at 3 Times Square to discuss matters of design, politics & governance with a diverse & distinguished panel of experts.

From toothbrushes to taxi hailing apps and smart phones to healthcare services, ‘design’ touches every aspect of our lives today. From the moment we are born to the very end of our lives, we each utilize a multitude of products and services designed by somebody. Design can now claim to have ‘a seat at the C-suite table’ where its role has evolved to developing systems and processes.

One system that impacts our lives in a major way is that of governance. What happens when design meets the world of politics and governance? The terms: innovation, design thinking and prototyping are taking the world by a storm. What happens when the power of design process is applied to the design of power? The value proposition of the Design professions is the promise of betterment of the quality of our lives. What is the voice of design when it comes to the practice and implementation of policy and ordinance?


Marco Perry, Principal Founder of Pensa

Marco is the founder of Pensa, a design and invention firm in Brooklyn, NYC where he leads and mentors a diversegroup of designers and engineers developing solutions that enrich people’s lives. Marco is an information sponge,addicted to the news, tech blogs and audiobooks. Marco has over 20 years of experience inventing, designing andengineering just about everything from diapers to digital fabrication tools, and solar chargers. He has the rareability to synthesize vast amounts of technical information and guide his team to translate it into real solutionsthat work for people.Marco's work has earned numerous awards including multiple IDSA/IDEA Gold, IIDEX/Neocon Gold, Architizer A+,Fast Company Innovation by Design, Core 77 Design Award Category Winner, Chicago Athenaeum Good Designawards, Appliance Design award and Medical Design Excellence awards. Beyond his consulting, Marco’scontributions to the design community include lecturing, mentoring young engineers, organizing designconferences and starting new ventures such as Pensa Lab’s D.I.Wire.

Joanna Peña-Bickley, Global Chief Creative Officer, IBM

Joanna Peña-Bickley, is a true 21st century renaissance woman. Propelled by multidisciplinary acumen in design, data, media and technology, her insatiable curiosity moves design, beyond obvious ideas and products, towards enduring experiences for the cognitive era.
Joanna’s award-winning artist hand has helped the world’s most recognized companies and brands, such as Land Rover, Nokia, Sephora, NASA, American Express, MTV, Pepsi and Jay Z imagine and make innovative breakthroughs, with a philosophy of radical collaboration and remarkable digital craft. Whether creating one of the first streaming video players, that changed the delivery of live news events for ABC, designing the first banking app for the Apple Watch, that made banking personal again for Citi, or reinventing the connected car for General Motors as a cognitive mobility platform & assistant, Joanna’s tenacious creativity disrupts industry and makes new markets.
Named a Power Woman of New York, 2016 Juror at Cannes Lions, Legacy Board Member of The Female Quotient and one of Silicon Alley’s “Top 100 Rising Stars,” her creativity, leadership and activism is fueled by the belief that data and creativity are inextricably linked to designing innovations that matter for business and the world. Joanna stands as a powerful voice and advocate for women in the fields of tech and design. Her inspirational leadership and activism has helped to progress a S.T.E.A.M.D. education movement, putting a woman on the front of US currency, digital literacy for women and girls globally, as well as increased funding for public school music and arts programs, making her a sought after speaker at conferences such as IxDA, CES, The One Show, WNorth, AOL Data Summit, SxSW, TriBeCa Film Festival and C2 Montreal.

Humberto Matas, Global Managing Director, Designit

Humberto Matas builds ecosystems where creativity can thrive and his goal is to help others fulfill their creative potential. In 1995 he started Conver, an online marketing consultancy based in Madrid. After 2 years of hard work and few projects hejoined Teknoland, the company that became the reference for online consultancies in Spain & Latam until 2001. In 2001 he founded, along with Kiko Guiaro, dnx a UX Design company that grew for 11 years before merging with Designit to create the biggest innovation and design firm in Europe. For the past 12 years, he has been designing online experiences and defining new business opportunities for companies like Telefónica, Endesa, BBVA, Santander and Verti among others.

Puneet Kaur Ahira, Co-founder & COO @ Shared Magic

Puneet Kaur Ahira served at the pleasure of President Barack H. Obama. She was Special Advisor to Megan J. Smith - the United States Chief Technology Officer and Assistant to the President. The scope of Puneet's role at the White House included leveraging open technology platforms and communities to debug connectivity deserts across America and abroad, counter violent extremism, expand opportunity for refugees + other marginalized communities, and scale the work of heroic women and men driving forward ingenious solutions to some of our world's most pressing challenges. In her previous life in the private sector, Puneet was the Program Director for Solve for X and a Rapid Evaluator at Google[x] - Google's stealth moonshot laboratory focused on technology-led projects that could positively impact billions of people, especially across developing markets. Prior to her time at Google, she worked as a Portfolio Analyst at Goldman Sachs, where she was part of the founding team that introduced a framework to identify structurally-advantaged companies poised to disrupt their industries over the next 15-20 years. She served on the Board of Directors for Colin Powell's non-profit - America's Promise, co-founded an NGO called Freedom's Answer, and co-authored a book on civic engagement and activism under the same title. Puneet received her BSc and MSc from Oxford University. She is currently in start-up mode and collecting good humans as part of her roles as Co-Founder and COO of a newly-formed company called Shared Magic, and as Co-Founder and Principal of Omission Studio - a critical design practice.

Moderator: Vijay Chakravarthy, Chair, IDSA NYC

A globe trotter, designer & strategist, Vijay's expertise is in developing holistic experiences that include the design of products, services, environments & digital artifacts. His career has lead him on a journey through Asia, Europe, Australia and the United States. Having worked with manufacturers and design consultancies, his projects include process design, change management, brand research, design research and new product development. As the chair of IDSA’s New York City chapter, he serves members, businesses and institutions in NYC. An ardent design advocate, Vijay is passionate about connecting the silos of psychology, business and design. Send him a tweet @vijay_chk

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