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Spotify Design and It’s Nice That team up for event taking a close look at ethics in design

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It’s been a tough few years for the ethical standing of the tech industry. From data breaches and fears about user privacy to concerns surrounding addictiveness and the so-called “attention economy” to worries about the influence of certain platforms on our political discourse – the sector has had to face stern questions in recent years about where the line is between right and wrong in a digital space. And it’s fair to say that the answers have sometimes been less than satisfactory.

In the spirit of open discussion and in an effort to present some better answers, Spotify Design has teamed up with It’s Nice That to host an event focused on the subject of ethics in design. Join us on Monday 21 January at the Oval Space in East London for a free evening panel discussion, moderated by It’s Nice That, which will address the kinds of ethical trade-offs that inevitably influence our work as designers.

The stellar line-up of panellists will be made up of graphic designer Lucienne Roberts; author and designer Laura Kalbag; Zander Brade, Lead Product Designer at mobile bank Monzo; and Alex Macleod, Design Lead for Platform and Partner Experience at Spotify (more information on all of these speakers below). Over the course of the discussion, these speakers will set out a definition of ethical design and tackle some of the thornier issues surrounding ethics in design, particularly in a tech context: How can we encourage meaningful consumption and build real trust with our users? Does there always need to be a business case for ethical design? Do we as designers need to re-evaluate our work to make sure concerns around ethics are considered? Plus, they’ll also offer up some approaches for how to address these issues in your own workplaces.

After the panel discussion, attendees will be able to enjoy food and drinks courtesy of some of London’s top sustainable and ethical suppliers. Food will be provided by Karma Cans, an eco-friendly food-delivery brand that was inspired by the super-healthy tiffin tins that are delivered to workers across Mumbai, creating minimal waste and pollution. Beers will come courtesy of Jubel, which makes its brews vegan-friendly, gluten-free and naturally infused, while PUNCHY will be providing delicious – well, punch. But fear not, all you Dry January folks, because there will also be thirst-quenching soft options from ethical drinks brands Lemonaid and ChariTea. All of our speakers will also be sticking around, so you’ll have the chance to ask them any questions that might have arisen during the discussion.

To sign up and get your free ticket, please click on the link below. Or, if you’d like more information on all of our speakers, scroll down and read on. Plus, you can follow Spotify Design on Twitter. We look forward to chatting with you, exchanging ideas, and planning for tomorrow!

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Lucienne Roberts: Hope to Nope – Graphics and Politics 2008-18 at the Design Museum

Lucienne Roberts

Lucienne is the founder of graphic design studio LucienneRoberts+ and is committed to making accessible, engaging work with a socially aware agenda. She is also co-founder of design advocacy initiative GraphicDesign&, which is dedicated to creating intelligent, vivid books, events and exhibitions that explore the value of graphic design. Influenced as much by feminism as Swiss typography, and believing that graphic design is fundamental to how society informs, educates, entertains and provokes, Roberts’ practice and research activities are characterised by an abiding interest in the role of the graphic designer in the wider world, and in definitions of ethical design. On top of all that, Roberts is also the author of Good: An Introduction to Ethics in Graphic Design.

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Laura Kalbag: Accessibility for Everyone

Laura Kalbag

Laura is a British designer living in Ireland, and author of Accessibility For Everyone, published by A Book Apart. She’s co-founder of Ind.ie, a tiny two-person not-for-profit working for social justice in the digital networked age. At Ind.ie, Laura follows the Ethical Design Manifesto and works on a web privacy tool called Better Blocker, as well as other initiatives to create a federated personal web where everyone owns and controls their own piece of the internet.

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Monzo

Zander Brade

In early 2016 Zander wrote an article on the topic of designing a product for those who face mental health challenges. The post was a statement on Monzo’s approach to supporting some of their most vulnerable customers and a conceptual exploration of how technology could be used to do this in practice. Since then, they’ve released several features in this vein, such as self-disclosure, and a gambling blocker that’s led to some fantastic outcomes from customers and movement from other banks.

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Spotify

Alex Macleod

Alex is the design lead for Platform & Partner Experience at Spotify; she and her team are responsible for Spotify on desktop, web player, TV, games consoles, speakers, and wearables, as well as in the car and for third-party app integrations. She is a British citizen who is currently resident in Stockholm, where she highly appreciates the opportunity to wear black at all times. Amongst other things, Alex works with the experience of Spotify data-sharing permissions and GDPR compliance.