Weaving positive Web(ster)s with design thinking and technology

David Webster is a partner at global design and innovation company IDEO, a company which is renowned for applying innovative design to solve complex and pressing problems. So, we wanted to catch up with him to hear what drew him to apply to journey across the pond to speak at our TEDxGlasgow 2018 Rethink… event.

When asked for a fun fact, David told us; “My son has always called me ‘Engineer’ instead of Dad. I’m constantly trying to live up to it.” Which, is perhaps not surprising given the nature of his role and ways of thinking.

David Webster

What is your idea worth doing?

I believe that by bearing some fundamentals in mind while exploring and creating with technology, it’s possible to ensure that innovation is a good thing.

How did you come up with your idea?

It’s based on my experience as a designer in Silicon Valley over the last 20 years.

I’ve seen good intentions for new uses of new technology go awry, I’ve also seen technology massively change things for the better. I believe that with an optimistic mindset and the right methods, the people who are creating new things with technology can set the trajectory for it to play out positively.

How is your idea going to change the way we look at the world?

I think it provides a pragmatic orientation for how we can engage with the truth that new technology will continue to come at us faster and with higher consequence than ever before. A lot of people are understandably skeptical about the benefits of technology at the moment. We don’t get to control whether it happens, but we do get to influence how it happens.

I think that with the right approach at the moment of creation, we can make the pros outweigh the cons.

Who has inspired you?

Generally, the answer is ‘the user’, because at IDEO we always seek inspiration for what we are designing by first understanding what matters to the people we are designing for.

Specifically, the people who have inspired me most as a designer are Kenji Ekuan, the founder of the first design firm I worked for, and David Kelley, the founder of my current firm IDEO. I’m also inspired on a daily basis by the optimism and pure design skill of my colleagues, particularly the ones who have just joined us and bring fresh ideas and perspectives.

Who else are you excited to see at TEDxGlasgow 2018?

I’m particularly excited to see Sethu Vijayakumar’s talk about sending your robot to Mars. As an Edinburgh University Mechanical Engineering alum, robot nerd and general space cadet, that one seems like it will be right in the middle of my Venn diagram.

We’re now less than two weeks away until we get to enjoy David our 19 other TEDxGlasgow 2018 speakers talks as they take to our stage. And as major IDEO admirers, we’re eager to hear more about their design methodology and how it can shape better technology and better solutions.

Make sure you don’t miss out and get your ticket here before they all go.

  • Written by Cat Leaver
  • Posted on May, 23 2018

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