About Me

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I co-scope challenges with project sponsors, engage stakeholders to understand all points of view, highlight insights to reframe perspectives, generate alternative solutions and find moments to test ideas, iterate, build in feedback loops and develop plans of action to execute on ideas. Currently I am an experience designer for Kaiser Permanente. Previously, I was the Associate Director of Design for America where under my leadership the program grew from 40 college students at one university to 1,000 students at 29 universities throughout the US where interdisciplinary teams used creative problem solving for local and social good. My past work and students have been discussed in publications and blogs such as Fast Company, Chicago Tribune, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Core77 and more. I have given talks at conferences such as TEDx, IDSA, IxDA, Better Word by Design, and given workshops at college campuses across the country. I earned my masters in Organizational Change from Northwestern University and a BFA in industrial design at the Rhode Island School of Design and have taught design and engineering at both universities.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Palin vs. Biden

In reference to this week's VP debate, Newsweek asks a pertinent questions that to me, typifies the two sides of this year's election:

"Do we want leaders who are everyday folks, or do we want leaders who understand everyday folks? "

The Republican ticket seems to have succeeded in appealing to the American public through their "straight talk" language and hockey mom personalities. But yes, are these the people we want to lead our country?  Do we want leaders that we can respect, trust, and learn from, or do we want leaders that we can go out for a beer with?

It wasn't until I saw both Democratic and Republican conventions that I realized how divided this country really is. The scary thing is that there are a lot of people that would prefer to have a hockey mom leader, than a Harvard alum community organizer. That being a "Maverick" is somehow enough to lead us out of our disastrous situations- financially, socially, and environmentally. 

There were several statements that Palin made that greatly concerned me. To name a few: 

1- On Climate Change, Palin inferred that it was not man made and part of the Earth's natural cycles. She insists that drilling in Alaska, along with "nuculear" energy, and clean coal is the answer to oil independence, and does not recognize the need to invest in alternative energy such as wind and solar. She refers to the "all of the above" energy plan without giving any real specifics of what that means. 
2- On same-sex-marriage, Palin is "tolerant" of gays but would not implement policies to protect their equal rights. This to me is just as bad as segregation before the 1960's. The government could say they are "tolerant" of black people, but wouldn't put any policies in place to desegregate or ensure equal rights. Doesn't everyone deserve equal rights?

Palin and McCain are stuck in the past and clinging to the old ideals of patriotism and the identity of America. That we are the greatest nation on Earth and victory is our right and duty in every situation, using brute force and without hesitation. Obama and Biden recognize our shortcomings and that we as a nation actually need to catch up so that globalization doesn't pass us by. If we don't invest in research, technology and education, we will surely be overpassed by the upcoming super powers of China and India. 

People have been criticizing Palin as being stuffed with information and slogan like statements to prepare for the debate. So much so that her words have become somewhat predictable that people have made a game out of it: 

I unfortunately found this,  Palin Bingo game, a little too late after the debate, but it sure would have come in handy.  Some words and phrases I found Mrs. Palin to use frequently were: "Darn right," "What Americans Do" "heated up" "rear their head" "all of the above" "straight up" and of course our favorite, "Maverick."  

Here is this week's SNL skit. I have to admit, the Palin bits are much funnier. 

Friday, October 3, 2008

Couric and Palin SNL Interview

For those of you who missed it, this is the SNL Couric and Palin Interview. Not to far off from the real thing... Thanks Liam for the heads up on it.