Make the World a Better Place:
Design with Passion, Purpose, and Values
The Structure of the Book
The book is written in the style of Jerod Diamond’s books Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse, Noah Harrari Yuval’s Sapiens and Homo Deus, Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now, and Jonathan Haidt’s Righteous Mind. I draw on the classical writings of Aristotle, Locke, Hume, Smith, Bentham, and Mills and the more-contemporary work of Herbert Simon, Elinor Ostrom, John Rawls, and Michael Sandel to weave together a number of historical, philosophical, moral, socio-cultural, technological, economic and political themes to advance my argument. The book is thoroughly researched with more than 1,200 citations.
Unlike these academic works, the book is filled with practical design implications, in the style of Donald Norman’s Design of Everyday Things and Design of Future Things and Tim Brown’s Change by Design, and it has advice for pre-career, mid-career, and retired professionals. In this way, I believe my book weaves together academic research, practical advice and moral principles that make a unique and significant contribution.
My book is targeted to design professionals and students in a variety of design fields, from engineering and product design, to architecture, human services, and public policy. But it is also positioned to a more-general audience, with implications for other professions, foundation funders, policymakers, and the general, college-educated public concerned about the state of the world and how it can be improved. It has implications for professionals around the world but draws primarily on examples in the U.S. and addresses trends that are exhibited in their most-extreme form in the U.S.
It is written in a casual, engaging style, in which questions are directed at the reader, so as to personalize otherwise-abstract concepts. I illustrate concepts and principles with the latest news stories, more than 120 real-world examples, and 14 in-depth case studies. I conclude by challenging readers to think about how they can apply the principles in the book to help design a better world.
No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.