I wrote that (above quote) back in August, and I published it on my last day at the Stanford d.school. I had spent the year prior working on "Design for Worldview", a design thinking and unconscious bias awareness experience I wanted to bring to newsrooms across the country this year.
I knew that bias awareness was a problem in media due to so many factors, including the sheer stress and complexity of the work. I theorized that the creative process, design thinking, that many editors and senior media executives were turning to in order to improve the business of media was an opportunity to teach awareness from a position of agency.
Now, media organizations are engaging in a process of self-reflection and analysis as to how blindspots in polling and reporting could have been so large. My work with Amy Lazarus this past year has shown me how that likely came to be. Bias is sneaky, and the tricks our minds play are incredibly subtle. Our subconscious is a powerful and incredibly quiet force.
The funding for my work at the d.school ended, unfortunately, but I published it (as finished as it could be) so that others might share it and pick up where I left off. The quote has been sitting in my head the past few days as I hear more and more about bias, xenophobia and, most disconcertingly, hate.
The fact of the matter remains: the work to bring awareness of unconscious bias and creative agency knows no politics. It is not only work worth doing; it is some of the most important work we can do. I look forward to that work receiving greater attention in the coming days, months and years.
Now, on to the reading!