#FoossaFinds – 13 August 2014

#FoossaFinds curates insightful readings, awesome events, #SpiritAnimals, and other inspiration. Look for it weekly. Reposted from Foossa.com/blog.

ARTICLES

Who’s Getting Rich Off Profit-Driven ‘Clicktivism’
Nithin Coca, Motherboard
Follow the money behind the clicks.

The Economics of Jane Austen
Shannon Chamberlain, The Atlantic
In her fiction, the 18th-century novelist wrestled with the same question that preoccupied Adam Smith: Does the pursuit of wealth diminish a person’s moral integrity?

Why Startup Urbanism Will Fail Us
Leo Hollis, Shareable
“The city is not a company; community is not a brand; citizenship cannot be mistaken for consumption.”

Artists’ brains are structurally different, study finds
Lindsay Van Thoen, Freelancers Union
A study published last week in the journal NeuroImage confirms that artists do indeed have different brains — and regular art practice can permanently change our brain structures.”

EVENTS

Be Social Change Class: #DesignThyself – Applying Design Principles to Personal Growth
Monday, September 15, 2014, 6:45-8:30 PM, Centre For Social Innovation, 601 W 26th Street, Suite 325, New York, NY 10001
Are you interested in learning about design principles to affect change in the world? Why not start with yourself? #DesignThyself brings design thinking and design doing to a personal level. Learn how to use design as a tool for changing your own creative habits and behavior. Learn how to use design principles and methodology to cultivate a new creative habit and to make an intentional and proactive change in your life. We will draw from the fields of interaction design, activism for social/cultural change, as well as cognitive psychology. This class is based on material previously offered at the School of Visual Arts MFA Design for Social Innovation and on Skillshare.com. Register today.

TEDxGramercy | Grit 
Saturday, 27 September 2014, 4-8 PM, Mason Hall, Baruch college, 17 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010
Get early-bird tickets and suggest speakers.

#SPIRITANIMALS

Wikipedia refuses to delete photo as ‘monkey owns it’
Selfie Monkey

World’s oldest eel dies in Sweden
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Energy Duck could generate solar power in Copenhagen
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Rwanda Reflections

Word Associations.

If I say “Rwanda,” the first thing most of you will say would be “genocide.” Or maybe the animal lovers and adventure travelers among you will say “gorillas” as a distant second.

Rwanda for me is haunting memories and unforgettable images, seared into my consciousness. Twenty years since the genocide. Two months since my trip there for UX for Good. Rwanda is still on my mind. My words can hardly express my thoughts and feelings, but allow me to offer some thoughts about my experience in the Land of a Thousand Hills.

So, how was Rwanda?

Awesome. Awful. Both.

Do these words even mean anything relation to the best and the worst of the human experience?

On one end, the trip of a lifetime and a life-affirming experience for a designer like me. On the other, the mass murder of a million people to the pain and suffering of those who survived.  Twenty years have past, but deep scars remain.

Words fail again. I wish I could edit together a documentary video of my memories, but until that’s possible, I offer you a series of snapshots.

For me, Rwanda is:

Having the honor and privilege of meeting and working with the most amazing people, from my fellow UX for Good designers to colleagues working at the Kigali Genocide Memorial.

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Seeing the Memorial for the first time. Learning about how decades of hate bubbled over into a bloodbath. 100 days, almost 1 million people killed.

As John Petrie, our client and host, pointed out, it was not 1 million murders, but 1 murder of a human being with a family, with a story, followed by the murder of another human being with her own story, and another, until you get to a million.

A million. That’s half of Manhattan. Slaughtered over three months. Beaten with bats, slashed by machetes.

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The blood and brains-encrusted wall of a former church Sunday school building, against which children were bludgeoned to death. A wooden spear used to rape and impale women and girls seeking refuge at the church. The overwhelming feeling and smell of death, even though twenty years have passed. All brutal reminders of mass murder burned forever in my memory.

Leaving the final room of the Kigali Memorial, the Children’s Room. Speechless.

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The quiet dignity of the genocide survivors. The humility of heroes.

Attending Rwandan song/dance/percussion performance. And being invited to join in the dancing. The songs were pure energy, pure joy, pure life.

Goat Burrito with Mango Salsa and Habanero hot sauce at Meze Fresh.

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Fried sambaza, small whole fish from Lake Kivu with just the right amount of salt and grease, enjoyed al fresco on a balmy evening, washed down with a cold Mütsig beer, accompanied by a panoramic view of Kigali and surrounded by the company of new friends: artists, activists, designers, dreamers.

Meeting Grace Uwamahoro and hearing her story. Grace was 10 years old in 1994, the year of the Genocide. While fleeing from the confusion with her family, Grace walked by a dying woman clutching to a baby. The dying woman implored Grace to take the baby. Grace did, and raised the baby, Vanessa, as her own sister/daughter. Vanessa is now a 20 year-old woman. The best of humanity in the worst of times.

Witnessing for myself a brief snapshot of the story of Rwanda’s rebirth.

First you have to die to be reborn.

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Inzovu” means “elephant” in Kinyarwanda.  It’s our design response to what we saw and the stories we heard. It’s a framework and narrative strategy for moving visitors from the memorial from a state of empathy to compassionate action. It’s a way to turn a museum that memorializes genocide into a place that can help prevent genocide? How does it work? How can we test it?

More coming soon. Stay tuned.

What did we do in Rwanda?

Via UX for Good:

This year’s Annual Challenge will take place June 1st – 7th in Kigali, Rwanda and London, UK with Aegis Trust, the organization that established the Kigali Genocide Memorial on behalf of the Rwandan people in 2004.

Like genocide memorials around the world, this site produces powerful feelings in all who visit it. UX designers have a unique capacity to understand the steps that take place between emotion and action. In Kigali, we’ll ask them to apply that skill set on behalf of all humankind.

As part of the Annual Challenge, UX designers from across the globe will visit Kigali for several days of exploration, research and debate. Then the team will reconvene in London, where they’ll design an original way to translate the feelings evoked by genocide memorials into sustainable action. Finally, they’ll share their findings to leaders from Aegis and other advocates for human dignity.

In addition to a presentation to Aegis Trust, the findings will be publicly shared and be used as the starting point for a day-long virtual event in August. As part of that event, UX for Good will work together with experts and volunteers to refine the concepts developed and explore how they could be applied in many different contexts.

Designer Voices

Here are personal accounts from the trip by my UX for Good colleagues:

#DesignThyself comes to Be Social Change

I will be offering my #DesignThyself class again on September 15th. Register on EventBrite.

Join Be Social Change for Design Thyself on Monday, September 15th at 7pm w/ Lee-Sean Huang, Co-founder and Creative Director at Foossa

Are you interested in learning about design principles to affect change in the world? Why not start with yourself? #DesignThyself brings design thinking and design doing to a personal level. Learn how to use design as a tool for changing your own creative habits and behavior.

* Doors open at 6:45, class starts at 7:00 sharp *

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

Learn how to use design principles and methodology to cultivate a new creative habit and to make an intentional and proactive change in your life. We will draw from the fields of interaction design, activism for social/cultural change, as well as cognitive psychology. This class is based on material previously offered at the School of Visual Arts MFA Design for Social Innovation and on Skillshare.com.

WHO THIS CLASS IS FOR

  • People interested in cultivating a new habit or modifying existing behaviors.
  • People interested in applying design (thinking/doing) and cognitive psychology to their own lives.
  • Designers and aspiring changemakers looking to “be the change” the way they want to see the world.
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#FoossaFinds – 6 August 2014

#FoossaFinds curates insightful readings, awesome events, #SpiritAnimals, and other inspiration. Look for it weekly. Reposted from Foossa.com/blog.

ARTICLES

Hitchhiking robot is halfway across Canada
Brandon Griggs, CNN
“Part performance art, part social experiment”

Who Stole the Four Hour Workday?
Nathan Schreiber, Vice
How do we undo the “nationwide amnesia” for an alternative American Dream?

Why Fender’s Interactive Design Team Wireframes Its Site By Hand
Tina Amirtha, Fast Company
Pen + Paper = Analog Oldies but Goodies.

How Successful People Stay Calm
Travis Bradberry, TalentSmart
Breathe, sleep, and a little bit of perspective.

There’s a Bizarre New Selfie Trend in China With an Uplifting Message
Tom McKay, Mic.com
#SelfieFeminism #Flawless

VIDEO

Obama Campaign Designer On How To Create A Winning Political Brand

EVENTS

TEDxGramercy | Grit 
Saturday, 27 September 2014, 4-8 PM, Mason Hall, Baruch college, 17 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010
Get early-bird tickets and suggest speakers.

#SPIRITANIMALS

National Geographic: Can airlifting rhinos out of South Africa save the species?
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Buzzfeed/Bored Panda: Japan’s Shiba Inu shop assistant.
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Diving Monkeys

#FoossaFinds – 1 August 2014

#FoossaFinds curates insightful readings, awesome events, #SpiritAnimals, and other inspiration. Look for it weekly. Reposted from Foossa.com/blog.

ARTICLES

The Relationship Between Creativity and Mental Illness
Maria Popova, Brain Pickings
The science behind the “tortured genius” myth and what it reveals about how the creative mind actually works.

What Fonts Tell Us About the Global Economics of the Internet
Nikhil Sonnad, Quartz
Everybody Kerns.

Black Homeowners Are Worse Off Today Than They Were 40 Years Ago
Kriston Capps, Atlantic City Lab
A new study finds that African Americans are dramatically more likely to transition back to renter status than whites.

How to Build a Feminist Workplace
Elizabeth Segran, Fast Company
Companies need to “lean in” towards the needs of women.

EVENTS

Feijoada, Friends, and Fundraising Party
Saturday, 2 August 2014, 8-11:30 PM, New York Capoeira Center, 107 Suffolk Street #307, New York, NY 10002
Sample feijoada, the national dish of Brazil. Enjoy an evening of capoeira, Afro-Brazilian-Drumming, and music by DJ Gaudhi. And support the work of a community non-profit brining achievement, leadership, and respect to local youth. Admission (includes food): $20.

TEDxGramercy | Grit 
Saturday, 27 September 2014, 4-8 PM, Mason Hall, Baruch college, 17 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010
Get early-bird tickets and suggest speakers.

VIDEO

What is Design Thinking from Daylight on Vimeo.

#SPIRITANIMALS

Divebombing monkeys beat the summer heat!
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Lion, tiger, bear are best friends at Georgia exotic animal sanctuary
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Tumblr: Confused Cats Against Feminism
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