Putting people first; why is it so important?

People First; Why Is It So Important?

At the Fast Company annual meeting for innovative leaders and creative people in business, the focus was on how important it is to put people first in technology, design, cities, and sustainability. Why? Because ultimately, we create these things to improve our lives. If we make sure to think about people first, we can also ensure that new technology and ideas will help rather than hurt us. Futurist Liselotte Lyngsø was invited to share her thoughts on the topic.

The Future of Design

What exactly is human-centred design—and how does it help to solve actual human and community needs?

According to experts, a human-centred approach is crucial in designing for a future grounded in human well-being and user satisfaction. Futurist Liselotte Lyngsø says that we will move into a precision age, where data is needed to create well-being.

“This means we can use all this holistic data and be precise in what we think is creating value. We can use data to re-humanize both humans and the planet.”

Liselotte Lyngsø.

Trust is key to any effective AI implementation

Technology has become an essential part of our lives. It affects the way we work, communicate, and even think. However, as we rely more on technology, it becomes increasingly important that we understand and trust it. Ultimately, by understanding technology, we can use it to its fullest potential. And when we trust it, we can rely on it to enhance our lives.

Discussions on this topic revolve around several important matters. Two fundamental ones are algorithm-based bias and the importance of a team that can effectively use data to create meaningful results.

The key takeaways from this discussion are as follows:

1. For AI to be reliable, we need to use data carefully and avoid mistakes caused by bad data or algorithms. To do this, companies need a team that can use data well and work closely with the business side of things.

2. Data scientists are very important in setting up a good data system for businesses and helping with decision-making. Universities also have an important role in training people to work with AI, so they can find good jobs in this field.

Food Waste: A Humanitarian and Sustainability Issue that Begins at Home

Did you know that an estimated one-third of all the food produced worldwide goes to waste? This was what another discussion revolved around at the Fast Company panel debate.

Food waste is not just a humanitarian issue. It’s also a sustainability concern. It leads to wasted resources such as energy and water. Adding to that, it also produces methane – a potent greenhouse gas. Experts suggest that a key way to tackle the challenge is to change human behaviour. This might be done by raising general awareness of the problem through education.

An additional point of the discussion is that the food industry significantly contributes to climate change. It’s therefore argued that businesses must take a human-centred approach to implement sustainability goals. Finally, the UN climate negotiations in the Middle East and North Africa region prioritize sustainability and seek to address challenges such as waste management and changing human behaviour.

Smart Cities: Using Technology to Improve Life and Services

When building cities and urban environments, keeping the needs and desires of people at the forefront leads to more livable and sustainable communities. This means prioritizing walkability, public transportation, green spaces, and affordable housing, among other things.

Technology such as AI, big data, IoT, and autonomous vehicles are changing cities, workplaces, and homes. This makes them more efficient and improves the quality of life for people.

The pandemic also proved the importance of smart homes in adapting to remote working. To animate the whole city around humans, a human-centric approach is needed. The focus should be on creating spaces for people to be better, promoting health and well-being. Smart city solutions are key in measuring data and improving transparency, inclusiveness, equity, and trust.

Ultimately, keeping humans at the centre of all areas ensures that we can create a world that works for everyone, not just a selected few. When we prioritize the needs and experiences of people, we can build a more equitable, just, and sustainable future. Read the whole panel debate from the 2022 Impact Council annual meeting right here.


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