Most environments are not designed to include and value everyone, and as a result such designs fail to center the concerns of those in the bottom rungs of our class and caste systems. So, if we really want to value and include everyone in our teams, in our communities, in our societies, in our polit
Publish Date: Mar 01, 2021
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Most environments are not designed to include and value everyone, and as a result such designs fail to center the concerns of those in the bottom rungs of our class and caste systems. So, if we really want to value and include everyone in our teams, in our communities, in our societies, in our politics, then we have to be intentional in the way we design our worlds. We must be intentional in the way we invent environments and opportunities so we may create different relationships with the self, with the other, with our environments, with our work, and with our life activities. This is where design thinking comes in. How do we create new environments that may assist in valuing, centering, elevating, amplifying, and including those whose concerns have traditionally been left out of the ways we have designed our workplaces, our institutions, and our communities. In today’s episode, I speak with Vanessa Weathers, Founder & Principal Consultant at Conscious Employee Experiences, to further explore design thinking and its relationship to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Vanessa Weathers is an experience designer who has spent nearly 20 years guiding and coaching leaders on becoming more human centered. She uses ethnographic techniques and journey mapping to bring visibility to the people and the issues often overlooked and ignored by dominant cultures. She is an activist, a futurist, and a pioneer who is passionate about the future of work and fostering inclusive work environments. She has dedicated her life to fighting for justice for the marginalized, which has been fueled by her own personal experiences of being in the minority in many aspects of her identity. Having always felt like an “outsider” in corporate America, she is currently embarking on her own journey of self-exploration and continuing to leverage her background in human centered design and diversity, equity, and inclusion to shift attitudes around equity in the workplace. Vanessa Weathers and I spoke on August 22nd of 2020. What follows is the first of my two-part interview with Vanessa, where we introduce what design thinking is and how we can apply it DEI work. Specifically, we explore the importance of intentionally designing environments to cultivate inclusion, growth, and flourishing for different individuals and communities. We also critique the desire to build teams and societies based on cultural fit, and we dissect the difference between managers and leaders. But before we jump into the conversation, Aïcha Martine Thiam and I introduce you to The Nasiona Music Series. Starting today, we will begin every episode by showcasing a BIPOC musical artist from our series, which you can explore at TheNasiona.com. Today's musical guest is Mallika Vie, and she performs her track "Bluebells Still Grow," which you can find in The Nasiona's compilation BIPOC musical album, Volume 1: Petrichor. The Nasiona Podcast amplifies the voices and experiences of the marginalized, undervalued, overlooked, silenced, and forgotten, as well as gives you a glimpse into Othered worlds. Hosted, edited, and produced by Julián Esteban Torres López. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @JE_Torres_Lopez Please follow The Nasiona on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for regular updates: @TheNasiona https://thenasiona.com/ Thank you to <a href="https://www.amartine.