Ash Donaldson

Ash Donaldson

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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: a Quest to Consciously Do Good

As designers, we all want to change the world and we have lots of power to do so. We design the digital, physical and organisational environments and even inform policy that shapes people’s behaviours. So how can we make sure what we’re doing is right?

Sure we can knock back work in gambling or other areas that clearly have a negative impact on both individuals and society as a whole, but there are areas where this is not such a cut and dry argument. There are times where our design input could be used for positive or negative purposes, or simply have unintended consequences.

In this presentation, I’ll share our bumpy journey of first realising the need for, then creating our own ethical frameworks and decision making tools. These can help us answer sticky questions when they arise, stay true to our humanistic values and feel confident in the knowledge that we’re consciously working to make the world a better place.


Ash Donaldson

Ash Donaldson
Principal Consultant at Tobias
Sydney, Australia

Ash is Principal Consultant for Tobias & Tobias Australia, a design and innovation studio on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. He has spent the past couple of decades studying and practising all aspects of human-centred design. Ash is passionate about understanding how people perceive and process information, and using that knowledge to predictably affect their behaviours.