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  • Lucy Grant

#BeyondCOVID Town Hall - USA 03

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Full Series information and registration for future episodes

#BeyondCOVID is the new mindset we have all had to adopt… how do we operate in this new changed state? I've gathered together some amazing Design Executives to share what they are doing now and in the coming months to survive and thrive in these difficult times.




Contributors:

  • Taammy Amaize - Strategy Director at COLLINS

  • Rick Bell - Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University NYC

  • Melissa Cullens - Chief Experience Officer at Ellevest

  • Bill Dowzer - Principal at BVN

  • Dan Formosa - Designer at Dan Formosa!

  • Lynnette Galloway - Visual Designer at Apple

  • William Knight - Director at The Renew Consultancy

  • Julia Monk FAIA FIIDA - Hospitality Thought Leader, Architect, Interior Designer, former SVP at HOK

  • Julie Ockerby - CEO, Creative Director and Principal at Meli Studio Australia

  • Eddie Opara - Partner at Pentagram

  • Ronnie Peters - Creative Director at 360 Design & Hyperloop Transportation Technologies

  • Sean Rhodes - Executive Creative Director at frog

  • Michael Tam - Global Associate Design Director at IBM iX

  • Harry West - Professor of Practice at Columbia University and Principal at Invisible Design


Resources:


Quote Bank:

I'm going to start off by saying, 'I don't know', and I think that is the correct response for anybody in a leadership position right now, to acknowledge that you don't know - Harry West
The only way that each one of us can be safe, is if others are safe - Harry West
Those organisations that reflected a higher design and customer experience maturity within their organisation tended to rebound in the vicinity of two to three times faster than their peers - Rod Farmer
Those organisations that were heavily agile and customer oriented...work twice as fast at responding to changes within their business and getting new products and services out the door - Rod Farmer
These three things coming together are really starting to typify who is outpacing their competitors and returning to help from a business perspective: You're really focused and anchored on your customer; two you've got some sort of mechanism in place that allows you to make more holistic, faster, more measurable decisions; and three, you're putting in place a dedicated team, that's not just a forward looking strategy, but it's a forward looking, action-oriented, set of individuals who are helping you make very specific decisions - Rod Farmer
The situation that we're actually in we've known about for many, many years, you could even say decades, centuries - Eddie Opara
We as designers need to get into these communities and look at it from this point of view: that design is not just a profession, it's a way of life. We can show these budding, young people that it's a way of life - Eddie Opara
I believe that change is coming, and it may actually come through aspects of voting, but we also have to think federally and locally about changing the way that our representatives represent us in government - Eddie Opara
It's time for the 28th amendment, you need to have one, it's pretty obvious, there's a known horizon - Mark Bergin
There's just exhaustion of being black right now - Lynnette Galloway
Black people are looking to finally have their full humanity realised - Lynnette Galloway
This is not an issue that can be dealt with overnight... there are centuries of things that have been put in place. This is a very deeply rooted problem. This has a lot of layers to it that need to be dealt with. There's a lot of education that needs to happen. There's a lot of conversations that need to happen - Lynnette Galloway
If we were in the office together we'd be too embarrassed to face each other after you've seen marches or protesting or looting, we'd be too afraid to be face-to-face and say how we really feel, but being at home, you feel like you're in your safe space - Lynnette Galloway
we've been seen as property, animals, all sorts of things but a full human being with a full human experience - Lynnette Galloway
You have to recognise the humanity of black people to really understand that their voice matters, to really understand that they need to be in the room. What they're saying, what they're thinking, what their experiences have been - the wealth of their experiences, need to be part of that conversation - Lynnette Galloway
We still bring a diversity of voices within our own community, to design, to filmmaking, to art. Understanding that we're not monolithic and understanding why that's important, is the first step - Lynnette Galloway
The amplification of our voice is important, the amplification of our humanity is important and that happens in voting, that happens in art, that happens in all sorts of spaces where we need more representation - Lynnette Galloway
You fix violence against women by fixing men, not by fixing women. You fix racial inequality, not by fixing the people who have been racially vilified or separated, but by fixing everyone else - Mark Bergin
We're living within an invisible system that we are so used to... people have used the analogy of a 'fish in water', if you've been born into the system and live in it your whole life, if you ask the fish 'what does water feel like?' the fish will say 'what's water?' - Taamrat Amaize
You have to look at a system that creates so many 'others', and for what purpose? To potentially exploit, to build upon, to extract value from - Taamrat Amaize
We need to recognise the problem that we are having and then of course, only after you recognise it can you envision what the way out it - Michael Tam
A lot of us have been able to observe and understand and try to use techniques like design thinking to envision future problems and solutions, but at the same time there's not enough action - Michael Tam
Though we don't know what the answer is most of the time, taking actions, creating prototypes, trying different ways... is the only way forward - Michael Tam
Although we made a lot of impact on the world back then [in the 60s and 70s], we never made any of the real changes that are required to have started working on these systemic problems... so I find it exciting that in my one lifetime, there's going to be a second chance to go back and try to make these changes permanent - Julie Monk
You only have to walk anywhere through Manhattan, and actually many other cities in the US, and see the messaging and the artwork that is actually raw, it’s phenomenal...just being able to walk through the city as a gallery at the moment is extraordinary - Bill Dowzer
The answers are simple, and we've been talking around them, you know, education, employment, opportunity - Rick Bell
We need to go fix up those systemic problems which are enshrined in law, because laws give people liberty to go and actually do things - Mark Bergin
There is a lot of danger but there's a lot of potential in those types of tools [social media] to start to get the word out, start to organise on both sides of the fence - Sean Rhodes
When we think about the 28th amendment we have to talk about reparations. There cannot be progress until we solve for the 401 years of stolen labour that our country is built on - Melissa Cullens
What is capitalism doing for us? Is the drive for growth at the cost of all else? Is the drive for assets at the cost of all else really building the world that we want to live in? Is this really what money means? It's really what commerce means? It's really what business means? I think that we have an opportunity to come up with a better answer than that - Melissa Cullens
Individuality in the narrative of the American culture around being the person who rides off into the sunset and saves the day is such a part of who we are, it's a part of how we identify... we're recognising that that narrative may have reached a turning point and it might be a moment to re-investigate whether this idea of self-determination, that is such a part of who we think we are as Americans, is really the foundation that we want to continue to build upon - Melissa Cullens
There is this combination of yes, asking institutions to change; yes, asking our policies to change; but we all also have to recognise the narratives within ourselves that create the interactions and the relationships and businesses and the commerce that we build between ourselves - Melissa Cullens
There hasn't been a moment where all three of these things have come forward: climate change; global pandemic; finally acknowledging 401 years of oppression. It's an incredible opportunity to reinvent what we want to be meaningful - Melissa Cullens
You don't know what water is if you're a fish and I think the way to innovate is to identify those things that we're so used to, that we just accept - Dan Formosa
Design should be for everyone. Design is a form of segregation. It can alienate people, It can exclude people... design itself really determines who's included and who's not included - Dan Formosa
I can't go back to that discussion and say 'this is how I grew up', because really things haven't changed and it really is bizarre to me that we are 50, 60 years later, and boy, we're still facing the same problem - Dan Formosa
We've been searching into ourselves and we know there's a lot of change that needs to be taking place and we want to respond, as does the rest of the world, to have a fairer society and to be more representative and to have better role models and to empower and to cherish the talent - Will Knight
We've started to consider across different countries how this trauma and exhaustion exists everywhere. The systemic problems exist everywhere. They're going to take contextualised responses to make sure that we go get somewhere - Mark Bergin
As a designer, suddenly you realise you're actually in the moment. We're actually being involved with these things, and they're there, they're actually in front of us - Ronnie Peters
We all have a social responsibility to talk about the things that we don't want to talk about - Julie Ockerby
COVID-19 and beyond has taught me and those in my industry that the courage is for us to share and collaborate, rather than compete - Julie Ockerby


Transcript:

Mark Bergin 00:02

Hi, welcome to another Design Executives Club Town Hall. This is the third that we're doing in the US, and I've been joined by a panel of experts from the US, the UK, Hong Kong and Australia. We're going to be talking about how do we actually go and get through some of the challenges that are in our world at the moment. Around about a day after we did the last US Town Hall, we saw the murder of George Floyd come around, and for many people, it will change and will never be the same. You know, in the last Town Hall, we reflected on the fact that Scott Galloway had actually said that this is more of an acceleration event COVID-19 rather than innovation-bent, but what we've seen is that we thought we were in Rebound about a month ago. Now we actually need to go and deal with some other challenges with this, so I'm really glad that I've got the panel of people that I've got here. But first I want to go across to Rod Farmer, and I want to ask you as far as that rebound, and re-imagine in the future, what is it that you can offer as as insights from the McKinsey world?

Rod Farmer 01:11

Yes. So maybe just some really recent research coming in that we will publish shortly about who is outperforming others in terms of organisations from the rebound, or what you're calling rebound and reimagine? So, two things that I'll call out one is, well, three things. Let's call out design specifically here. Right, so we'll talk about that in a second. We'll talk about design, we'll talk about agile, and we'll also talking about plan-ahead teams. So three very big things that we've found. So what we've seen is we're starting to correlate emerging out of COVID-19 with what we also saw, similarly in patterns from GFC - which is those organisations that reflected a higher design and customer experience maturity within their organisation tended to rebound in the vicinity of two to three times faster than their peers. The rebound slope was sharper and faster, within each of the examined geographies. So that's number one. So being customer-centric in design or being design led, what we've always said that the value of design research McKenzie has indicated that you outperform your peers in the vicinity of 30% increase revenue and about 50% increase total shareholder return. What we're now seeing with COVID is it's actually a recovery mechanism as well, to help you accelerate through a crisis, back towards health by being customer centric. So that's a great sort of early insight we're getting.

The second one which is just about to be published, I can't say too much, but I will give you the headlines - we had a look at agile organisations' remote working. What we saw is those organisations that were heavily agile and customer oriented, so full-agile organisations, not just sort of Scrum practices, work twice as fast at responding to changes within their business and getting new products and services out the door. We also found that almost all organisations that were seeming to 'recover' rather than sort of 'decline out of COVID' were all adopting some sort of Agile mechanisms, but the ones that were outpacing others were those that had the institutional enterprise-wide agile constructs. They've moved to QBRs, they've moved to different organisational structures that broke down the silos. So maybe they weren't full agile enterprise organisations, but they had adopted the big mechanisms for making faster, more collaborative decision making. And now we're saying that this is sticking. This research will come out very, very shortly.

And probably the third thing that I'll talk about is the plan ahead teams, because we're talking about reopening and reimagining. So when a lot of organisations went into crisis mode, they started putting in place the, you know, what McKinsey was also recommending and was the right thing to do, crisis centres, right? So everything from how do I look at my organisation? How do I have business continuity, cash flow, etc.? Very, very, very important. But probably the most important thing to accelerate coming out of COVID was having a dedicated team called a plan-ahead team, that was head and almost like a dedicated squad. So let's just use agile terminology because it's topical right now, a dedicated cross functional squad that wasn't just giving strategy, but was saying what are we needing to do in the next one, three, six, 12, 24 months and these dedicated timelines, how we plan ahead and then feeding that back into the organisation. So again, if you have that agile structure in place, very quick decisions can be made about what the next couple of steps are going to look like, like a game of chess. And so these three things coming together, are really starting to typify who is outpacing their competitors and returning to help from a business perspective: You're really focused and anchored on your customer; two you've got some sort of mechanism in place that allows you to make more holistic, faster, more measurable decisions; and three, you're putting in place a dedicated team, that's not just a forward looking strategy, but it's a forward looking, action-oriented, set of individuals who are helping you make very specific decisions. Those three things we're finding are making the bulk of the differences. Let me stop there.

Mark Bergin 05:34

Okay, and so what I found really interesting there is you're giving insights for people who had a level of readiness that they were able to go and adapt their game. I remember from physics that the worst thing was actually, it wasn't getting a nursery, it was getting over the sticking point. And for a lot of corporations, if they haven't had a driven by design mentality, they've still got that sticking point. It doesn't matter how much inertia they put in, they're still going to have some problems there.

I want to want to throw across the Harry Where's because Harry, the last time you and I had a conversation, it was actually very much around AI and it had to do with ethics and where that technology front from was coming from. But we've seen that actually move along and then since then you've moved on from frog and now you're at Columbia doing work there, consulting work. Your expertise is around ethics. Change, ethics, design, they're a very interesting set of bedfellows because it is one thing to have empathy, it's another thing to be able to go and actually do that with an ethical base. How are you seeing the reactions that are occurring in the post-COVID, and also as we're entering the reaction to George Floyd's murder and Black Lives Matter. Where does ethics and where does design and where does change come together? I just gave you a simple one...

Harry West 07:07

Wow, that's a big question, thank-you Mark. Well, I'm going to start off by saying, I don't know. And I think that is the correct response for anybody in a leadership position right now, to acknowledge that you don't know. And when I look at the different stances of leaders in the United States, and I don't want to get into names here, but you can see a clear difference between those who are guessing and those who are acknowledging up front and being transparent about the fact that as a society, we have never faced anything as deep, and as broad, and as traumatic as this. And we simply don't know what is going to happen. That is not to say that we don't have to take our best guess at every step of the way, and as Rod was describing, you have to respond to the information you have in a given moment. But I think that the correct response is to acknowledge that we simply don't know. There's a lot of discussion around how remote work is turning out to be even more productive and efficient than working in an office. That may be true in the short term. We don't know its effect the long term. We are learning on the fly to social distance, to use face masks, etc. to reduce the infection rate. We don't know really whether we're going to be successful in the United States in bringing the epidemic into control, or will we in fact be completely dependent on a vaccine? We simply don't know. We do know, and I think this is a wake-up call for us, and it connects (I just got a note here, my internet is unstable. So if it goes wonky, raise your hand and I'll click disconnect video for a moment). What we do know is, and I think that it's been brought into sharp relief for us that actually, the only way that each one of us can be safe, is if others are safe. For most of my life, and I think most of your lives, there has been a kind of understanding in society that you could look after yourself. You could flee to the suburbs. You could live in a gated community. You could drive an SUV. You could take care of yourself and taking care of yourself was the way you protected yourself. But with COVID it's different, because we realised that the only way to take care of ourselves is to take care of other people too. As when we wear a face mask, it's not to protect ourselves, is to protect somebody else.

Mark Bergin 10:27

So Harry, I want to pick up there, and what I'm going to do is get you to try to reconnect into the call because your internet is terrible, don't tell us who your carrier is because that- but I'm going to pick up while you're doing that reconnection there, that thread about the only way to be safe is when others are safe. That feels much more like the Japanese culture, it feels more like the Scandinavian culture the idea of the collective well-being becomes my well-being. And when I go look at what we've seen with the Black Lives Matter, and particularly, say, the clarion call, that came to me when I went and watched the 13th on Netflix, to go see that the idea of indentured servitude, and also slavery, is permitted under the 13th if you're a criminal. That is just heinous, and that means that you then wind up having all sorts of things where some people are unsafe, and some people are safe. And I think when you go see the commentary that's coming out about people who feel that because of the colour of their skin that they have less levels of safety, that's colliding in with the idea that we're all trying to be a bit kinder with each other, as we've learned through COVID. And it's not surprising that these matters have come up, and that they've actually collided together. Scott Galloway, as I mentioned, is all about the idea that COVID is actually an accelerator to what's happening in our society, it's not actually an innovator. And I think that these needs here, and there will be others that come behind it, that we're seeing them accelerate. Eddie, I want to pass over to you, because I know that the last conversation that you and I had was we were talking about some work that you've been doing with the Chinese brand Oppo. What I find interesting is you've got a Chinese economy, which is back and it's booming, and it's doing what it does. We've got a US economy, which is like the UK, which is still struggling. And now we've also got some underlying issues, systemic issues and mistakes that are coming around. What's happening in your world at Pentagram and also in your personal world, but what's your circumstance? Give me some insight.

Eddie Opara 12:53

Well, Mark, where do I start? The situation that we're actually in we've known about for many, many years, you could even say decades, centuries. You know, you pointed out a few things in regard to the 13th amendment. I believe that was signed in 1864. You know, I'm not an American scholar, I'm, you know, pretty much naturalised. I'm British as well, born and bred. I just kind of want to start off by saying that the issue here is definitely systemic. I've been on many panels talking about this particular situation in the in the past years, but then I also have to look in the mirror, right? And when I say the mirror, I look at the aspects Pentagram and how Pentagram is set up, and one of the things that people may not know is that yes, we are very well known with, we're one of the most dependent types of companies of our kind in the world, but we are actually made up of 25 individuals, right, that have very small unique groups that can come together, that network together, or can be seen as independent from each other. Right. And so when you start to look at how the company is sort of made up it, because of that uniqueness, that structure makes it hard to penetrate. And when I say penetrate, I mean in regard to the type of designers and employees that we are looking for, right. We have a very distinct and unique issue. But the way that we're trying to deal with that particular aspect is being through the long term, right. It's not just from the point of view of now, it's from the point of view of, and I'll use the term being equitable, equitable from the point of view of women, from the point of view of sexual orientation, from the point of view of race. And it was started by five white gentlemen, in London. It took 15 years for a woman, white woman to be part of it. The second one came about I think five to 10 years later, that was Paula Scher. And then things started to change over the course of time. So the fact of the matter is that for us to change, from the aspects of the mirror, if we start to just say, pick up a designer, a black designer here and start to put them into place at Pentagram, from wherever it's not going to work, it's going to be a short term aspect, is not going to be a long term process.

We all have to think long term, right? We cannot just say, okay, you know, this is all regrettable, we've got to change things, I'm going to do my bit, waffle one second, or one millisecond or one nanosecond, whatever, that's good. I congratulate that. But it's the long-term aspect. And one of the ways that we're trying to reform and resolve this particular situation at Pentagram is that we're all teachers, we're all educators, right? But we're also finding that, because at the New York office we're all graphic designers, that 3% of the graphic design community is black. In leadership that goes down to 0.028%. Right? So we have to look at it from the point of view of the root, the systemic root aspect. Go to the schools, go to high schools, potentially look at it from the point of view of freshmen. Don't go to the private schools like SVA, or RIDS, or even Yale that I went to. Look at it from the point of view of Brooklyn College or Boise State. Look at it from the point of view of where black students are actually going, because of cost right? That is another issue. The majority cannot afford to go to these wealthy colleges, let alone even getting scholarships. Do you know how much it costs to go to these schools, absolutely exorbitant amounts of money. And then you also have it from a systemic point of view, where you have the parents and the sort of misgivings in the creative area from the parents. For example, how are you going to pay for this art thing that you want to do? Right? That does happen. I've heard it. I've seen it. That's unfortunate. We as designers need to get into these communities and look at it from this point of view: that design is not just a profession, it's a way of life. We can show these budding, young people that it's a way of life, and basically it does change the way that you deal with your life and everybody else's - through design thinking, strategy, visual design, three dimensional, industrial, whatever it is, we need to do that. And the only other way that we can do that is through brands, as well. Getting the support of different brands who've been brand activists as such. So that's another way that we can do this. So I may have sort of trickled off what you've been talking about, but I want to get back to an important factor. And this is the aspect of how does change also work? Well change also works through policy, right? Through policy changing. And yes, we do talk about it from the factors of we need to go vote, in federal, but it's actually also local. Right? We also cannot forget about voting locally. Because that really does affect our day-to-day aspects. How we can actually change the policing. Police is not done federally, that's the FBI. Right? It's done locally. And if we don't- when you say vote, people are like 'well vote what? was it local or federal? I don't understand any of this stuff.' The realignment on a federal level for the gerrymandering approach is just absolutely atrocious. In 2016, right - people were told not to vote, that was that was the fact, they were told not to vote - 55.7% was the voter turnout in United States? 55.7%. That's absolutely ridiculous. When you've got, I think Australia is up in the high 80s, right, Scandinavian countries are in the high 80% as well. The European countries Germany, France, and I think the United Kingdom, come in at around about 66% to 64%. And Britain was lower this time around, because it's had voter fatigue. Right. But it's still in the 60s. Right. It's still higher than the turnout in the United States. The highest turnout, I believe, in the United States was in the mid 19th century. Now, if you're looking at it from the point of view of the 13th Amendment, which is in 1864, but ratified in 1865, voting was an important factor there. I believe that change is coming, and it may actually come through aspects of voting, but we also have to think about federally and locally changing the way that our representatives represent us in government.

Mark Bergin 22:02

I've been really impressed by some recent work that I've seen being done by Michelle Obama in working on how do you chunk down the message just to remind people how your system works in the US. Who votes for the Congress, and how do the amendments work? Who votes for the governor? Who votes for the police commissioner? Who votes for the prosecutors? And then explaining that across different states, because everyone's voice does matter. And that's such an important thing. My thing is I feel like it's time for the 28th amendment, that you need to have one, it's pretty obvious, there's a known horizon. But Eddie, you brought up something which is much longer, you know, it's probably more like a 10 to 20 year pursuit, which is: how do you go excite the imaginations of future generations so that they actually have an equitable position, particularly around your profession? But I think that goes right across the board. Lynnette, I want to I want to throw across to you and have a little bit of a talk with you, because you fit into that 3% as as Eddie was there.

Lynnette Galloway 23:09

Oh do I?

Mark Bergin 23:11

Well you know, I think actually we've got to say that you're actually from a similar cohort. I'd imagine you're both AIGA, or members have been? So for your world, what's been the biggest impact in the last couple of months? Has it been COVID? Has it been Black Lives Matter? Is there hope, is there despair, or is it all mixed in together?

Lynnette Galloway 23:39

So I think right now it feels like everything is just kind of mixed in together. Basically, since this morning, I've written down like a tonne of notes, things that I've been trying to figure out, like what I wanted to say here, but just in general, I would just say it feels like this whole crisis- I'll start by saying I feel like this whole crisis with George Floyd has been exacerbated, but the COVID crisis. I think that we are in a situation where people are already just physically exhausted. The crisis has kind of been a levelling ground for a lot of people losing their jobs and feeling the pain of just like being out of control in general. I think people have a lot more time to pay attention to the news and to really digest everything that's going on. I think people are tired of being in the house. I think that there's a lot of just fear in general, distrust of government, things like that, that are kind of driving people to just be over it, all together. But one of the things that I think- so there's that, and then there's, I'm not sure how other people feel, but there's just exhaustion of being black right now, especially at work. It is a lot of us internally processing how we feel with each other. And then there's been a tonne of like, I'll just say zoom calls, with people trying to process things with people outside of the black community. And I think there's a lot of looking to us for the answers, a lot of answers that we may not have ourselves. You know, we're still trying to figure it out, we're still trying to do our jobs and then answer questions, and deal with things that we know are systemic, but, you know, you don't have all the answers to how that system really works overall. So it's just been a lot of that just, basic exhaustion. But kind of going off of what Eddie said, and what you said, I think one of the biggest things that resonated with me this morning with Black Lives Matter is this idea that black people are looking to finally have their full humanity realised. So what I'm kind of seeing- there's a lot of noise out there, here's a lot of marching, there's a lot of taking down statues, there's a lot of abolish the police. There's a lot of you know, things going on that people are trying to struggle with. I think you said at the beginning, how can we deal with this issue? And this is not an issue that can be dealt with overnight, like you said, there are centuries of things that have been put in place. This is a very deeply rooted problem. This has a lot of layers to it that need to be dealt with. There's a lot of education that needs to happen. There's a lot of conversations that need to happen. One of the beautiful things that's kind of come out of it is that I think because people are at home, they feel free to get on calls, without the video on, and just kind of really tell how they truly feel, I mean of the races and really just say I'm sorry, or you know, within my own community I'm kind of realising this, realising that, and I think that wouldn't happen if we were in the office together. If we were in the office together we'd be too embarrassed to face each other after you've seen marches or protesting or looting, we'd be too afraid to be face-to-face and say how we really feel, but being at home, you feel like you're in your safe space, you can turn off your camera, there's been a lot of crying, there's been a lot of like soul searching and people kind of- and I think COVID also exacerbated that too, because like you said, people kind of are kinder to each other now, they're more willing to listen to how people truly feel on all sides. But back to the humanity thing. I think that we are- the Black Lives Matter thing to me is bigger than just being like Black Lives Matter. Of course, I feel like all lives matter, but black lives have not been recognised as fully human over so many years. I mean, you know, we were deemed 3/5 of a human at some point, you know, we've been seen as property, animals, all sorts of things but a full human being with a full human experience. And I've listed all the ways that that sort of manifested, I won't list that for you all right now, but I think this kind of bridging off of that is the voice. And I think that as we kind of push forward, not only does that matter- so I was writing down like amplifying black voices, and I think that, especially in design, you know, me being part of the 3%, it's a problem. You have to recognise the humanity of black people to really understand that their voice matters, to really understand that they need to be in the room and what they're saying, what they're thinking, what their experiences have been, the wealth of their experiences, need to be part of that conversation. So there's a lot of deeper work, again, to me to really, fully understand black people beyond the stereotypes, beyond what we think they are, understanding that they have, you know, as broad of an experience as any other race. There's a broad amount of thought, you know, that goes between black people, a lot of us we don't think the same way. So we still bring a diversity of voices within our own community, to design to filmmaking, to art. Understanding that we're not monolithic and understanding why that's important, is the first step. So it's just like a lot, like I said, kind of processing through my own mind, and it's been a lot of time just me trying to figure out what this all means. And I do think the amplification of our voice is important, the amplification of our humanity is important and that happens in voting, that happens in art, that happens in all sorts of spaces where we need more representation just because people understand our voice is important. And that's all.

Mark Bergin 30:20

Actually, what's been really interesting in hearing the way that you describe that, and Taamrat I'm gonna throw it over to you in a moment, is you've given me a really interesting, contextual bubble to go and have a look at there. Taamrat, your expertise is as a strategy person - I'm going to throw over to Sean as well in a little while. What I want to say is, what are some of the strategies that we've got to go deal with the immediate things that we can go solve? And you know, I mentioned it's time for 28, you've got an election coming, we've talked about voting. That, to me seems like the most important thing. I think, you know, if I go look at, I've got all of the world's sins: I'm a male, I'm over 50 and I'm white. So you know, as male, there's violence against women; white, there's al