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Michael Tam - Better Future SPOTLIGHT

Updated: Aug 10


In this episode of the Better Future SPOTLIGHT, our Founder Mark Bergin catches up with Michael Tam - Global Design Director at IBM iX. Michael is equal parts generous, humble, and brilliant and he and Mark have a future-oriented conversation that spans topics of embracing change, maintaining relevance, the beauty of constraints, the importance of action, utilising emotion, and much more. Michael is innovation personified, and it is a great joy to have him share his insights and musings on design and the world beyond.


Resources:

The Rise and Fall of Nokia - Arto Kirskinen, 2018

Gillian Armstrong: I used to think, 'I did it, why can't all the other women?' - James Robert Douglas, The Guardian, 2016

IBM: Design Thinking Adaptation and Adoption at Scale - IBM, 2019


Quotes from Michael:

Our remote human connections have been enhanced by technology
more and more of these traditional large-scale enterprises are now willing to invest in design, not just with money but with resources and time
it's really important for companies to cultivate the right kind of hunger... obviously the most obvious kind of hunger is to grow the business and increase sales but that is about much more than that
Designers need boundaries... we need the envelope to be able to push it, without that it's just no fun... that is what human creativity is all about!
If you think about the nature of design, it is like philosophy, every person looks at it differently
until AI can produce a kind of artificial emotion then they will not get to the thinking abilities of humans
to get to a true better future, it takes all of these considerations - diversity, equality, sustainability, emotion...
we are not just talking about equalling the playing field for success, but equalling the playing field for failure


Quotes from Mark:

there has been a dramatic change and the pace of the change eclipses people's imaginations
between 2010 and 2015 design began to take on a very different meaning, it became less about the style of design and more about the solve of design
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