May 05, 2020

Now on Video from In/Visible Talks 2020: Antionette Carroll on “Design No Harm”

Antionette Carroll, President and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab, challenged us to cultivate empathy and bring equity to every aspect of our work.

“I’m here!” Antionette Carroll announced with great enthusiasm as she took the main stage at the 2020 In/Visible Talks conference. Major travel delays didn’t dampen her spirit, and she pumped us up for the post-lunch talks.

And she got right to her point: “Just showing up isn’t enough,” she said as she opened her talk on “Design No Harm: Why Humility is Essential in the Journey Toward Equity”. Our work, she said, touches everything, and it’s crucial that we look at our own biases and privileges to make sure we better represent equity in what we produce. It’s a challenge she faces regularly in her role as President and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab. “We impact how people perceive themselves,” she said. “This is extremely powerful.”

We need to listen before we ask questions. We need to value the experiences of the people living them. We have to build our own empathy with a healthy dose of humility, and Antionette explained the difference: “If empathy doesn’t have humility, it’s still about you. If empathy has humility, it’s about us.”

We can hope for positive change, she assured us. “The inequities were designed, therefore they can be re-designed.”

Watch the video of Antionette’s talk below or on Vimeo here and consider how you might use your empathy—and your design skills—for good.