It’s been a while. On purpose. A lot has happened. I wanted to pause. Writing a newsletter about product design didn’t seem to rank highly in terms of the effects and movements that everyone is going through.
In my talk at New Adventures in January 2019 (wow, does that feel like a lifetime ago), I spoke about diversity and inclusion. One of my talking points is titled: “Champion others.” Under that point are three sub-points, with the pertinent one being “Engage and amplify.”
In the last I-don’t-remember-how-long weeks, engaging and amplifying has been what I’ve been practicing. In my presenter notes, I wrote this:
“Provide ample opportunity and create a safe space where everyone is welcome to provide their feedback. A good phrase when someone may not be as precise about a topic is to gently encourage along the lines of, “Say more about that.” Be sure everyone gets space and allows space. Be a good mediator.”
The talk was focused on the working environment lane, but the core theme is global and applicable to the way we live. Never did I think my own talk would give me a new perspective. One of the things I had discussed with founder and organizer Simon Collison was how hard to push on the talk. I had an inner desire to go deeper, discussing things outright like racism, but I wanted to also make it… palatable? Diplomatic? Especially since the country I was giving this talk in, was the United Kingdom. I wasn’t sure how it would be received or if it would resonate. To Simon’s credit, I should state that he never once suggested I soften or not talk about what I wanted to.
It’s in hindsight that I’m now aware, enlightened, my mind broadened. I should have challenged myself to go deeper, get more difficult, and trust the audience to take that journey with me.
I’d love to give the talk again, with more fine-tuning (isn’t that always how it goes after you give a talk for the very first time?) and more depth — to trust myself, my experiences, and allow the audience freedom to come along.
Stay safe, stay healthy,