July 15-16, 2020 / Online

Leading Design + Content, Leading Change

Redefine who and what a “leader” looks like

Sara Wachter-Boettcher

The future is bright for us design and content people. UX writing has been hailed as a hot new job in tech. Content design roles are sprouting up way beyond 18F or the Canadian Digital Service. Forty of the top 100 companies have even hired a chief design officer in the past five years. Go, us!

And yet, we’re also in the middle of a pandemic that’s upended our workplaces, and a reckoning on racial justice leading to long-overdue conversations in our workplaces.

So as our practices mature and our careers gain clout, it’s time to ask: what sorts of leaders do we want to be? We could stick to the status quo, working our way to big salaries and fancy titles (even when our companies are doing evil). But what if we instead decided to be leaders in taking responsibility for the ways white supremacy shows up at work? In this talk, we’ll look at how you can show up as a leader toward justice and equity, and take meaningful action from wherever you sit. We’ll also explore the ways we often get overwhelmed, scared, and stuck—and how breaking out of binary thinking can keep us moving forward.

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