How can we use design and contrarian thinking to overcome historical bias and inter-racial blocks? Always looking at the human and the systems that surround us, what we have neglected to do is to stop, be still, and understand the causes for the problems we are trying to solve. While action seems to be the only true recourse, acting with haste or urgency creates blind spots and often poor decisions. Problem-reaction-solution historically does not bring us to the better place. Human Centered Design and Afro-futurist principles in dialogue can emerge as powerful communication tools applied from within social justice and a new era of automotive — finding an inter-racial voice in the intersection of two progressive women leaders.
For over twenty years, Ingrid LaFleur has been working to cultivate and expand the cultural movement Afrofuturism. Her mission is to use Afrofuturism to tackle socio-economic inequities by exploring the frontiers of social justice through new modes of government, economies, and technologies such as blockchain technology. LaFleur is currently traveling throughout Africa conducting research on decentralized governance and community-based economies.
With a degree in Human Environment and Design and 20+ years of design-related practice and leadership, Shel Kimen is currently helping the 200,000 employees of Ford learn about and practice Design Thinking. It’s a system with values deeply aligned with how she lives her life —collaboration, curiosity, optimism and empathy.