Human centric design and the future of work – throughout the development of our industrial society, the reality is that people have adapted to fit the technological environment and not the other way around. We went from farm to factory, to mines and mills, we learned to adapt to a mechanized culture and, for many of us, to be housed in cubicles tapping commands into a new type of technology – computer terminals.
There was always this idea that we should be more human centric, but we never quite got there. As we move from the industrial to the digital age, can we imagine a world where that is truly human centric?
A friend of mine used to keep a quote on his whiteboard in his office that said, the best way to predict the future is to invent it. That quote has been attributed to everyone from Abraham Lincoln to Peter Drucker.
Regardless of who said it, the idea is an enduring one that I couldn’t get out of my head when I was first introduced to our guest, Dr. Shane Saunderson from the Human Futures Studio, a global design, innovation and strategy research company. Shane’s goal is to “evolve how humans leverage technology and to reimagine how technology interacts with humans.” Here’s my discussion with him about how we could create that human centric future.
Saunderson defined his work as looking at “present needs and desires of people today” but also through a “futures lens.”
What makes that work “human centric?” According to Saunderson, “so much of modern business is conducted is with the thesis that technology is a given, or a business first perspective. A lot of the work we do is really human centric in nature.”
To Saunderon, Human centric design says, “technology is not a given. People are the things that matter. How do we put them at the centre of any future business or societal conversations we are having?”