How You Can Make the World a Better Place:
Design with Passion, Purpose, and Values
Something has gone profoundly wrong with design in the United States.
Companies worth trillions of dollars are spending hundreds of millions to design a virtual world, driverless cars, and a space tourist industry. All while the bottom 50% of the country has lost ground since 1980, well-paying manufacturing jobs have disappeared, drug addiction and poverty have increased in the face of a global pandemic, racism is systemic, the world’s climate is at a tipping point, and our democracy is under threat.
Too often, designers are not creating products, services, laws, and public programs that make life better for the greatest number but for the top 10% or even the top 1%. And they design to amuse and distract the rest of us. They are not designing for the greatest need but for the most money.
In short, design has lost its idealism and moral compass.
The operating assumption that all society will benefit from the invisible hand of businesses and everyone else maximizing their self-interest has proven to be deeply flawed. It has made the world worse off, not better.
A prosperous, happy, and just society needs both self-interest and a concern for others; it takes two hands to make the world a better place. The world will improve when all of us buy, invest, and design with passion, purpose, and values to reduce harm, increase happiness, advance knowledge, promote equality, address injustice, and build compassionate, supportive relationships.
That’s what this book is about.
I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.
George Bernard Shaw