FBD panelists foresee bright future for designers in a world of increasing consumer engagement
Connecting via webcast from Toronto, Vancouver and LA, panelists Sabaa Quao (/Newsrooms), Michael Tippett (HootSuite) and Nicole Jacek (NJLA) shared an optimistic outlook for the role of designers at RGD's latest Future By Design event. 


Broadcast to online attendees and live screening venues in seven cities, the discussion explored how design and creative thinking will help shape the future of consumer engagement and how new tools and platforms will impact brand experience, content marketing, storytelling and other forms of creative communication. 


The event began with individual presentations from each panelist sharing their own perspectives on the topic of consumer engagement, followed by a group discussion with questions submitted from screening groups in Hamilton, Kingston and Cambridge. 


"I really enjoyed this event as it tickled a part of my brain that hadn't been touched yet in my studies." - Student Attendee in Kingston 


"Big thanks to all of the panelists for a great discussion!" - Justin Dzama RGD (@Dzamage), Sault Ste Marie 


"It was an interesting discussion and the panelists were great! Nicole Jacek is always interesting to listen to." - Benjamin Lory 


"Great to connect with other attendees -  not all designers, which helped to have an interesting conversation on the break and even after the webcast ended. So great to see!" - Wendy Millard RGD, Kingston  


Top 10 insights from the event: 

  1. "People want to know that you can change their lives. It's not about creating work that will win awards or make you look cool to other designers - you need to accomplish something beyond just 'pretty'." - Nicole Jacek
  2. "Start-ups deal with incomplete information. Like Christopher Columbus, you're venturing out into unchartered territory." - Michael Tippett  
  3. "There is no escape from the Hell of Measurement - the data that's available creates pressure for everything we create to succeed right away. It's up to the designer to know when the data needs to be ignored to make room for innovation." - Sabaa Quao
  4. "We're seeing social media evolve from a very solitary exercise to one that is embraced by organizations...There needs to be feedback and interactivity, not just a single person blasting out content." - Michael Tippett 
  5. "All the cool stuff that's happening right now started with a thought. There are so many tools and platforms, but if you don't have that spark of creativity, nothing is going to happen." - Nicole Jacek 
  6. "We live in a period of almost immediate obsolescence. There are always new things coming down the pipeline that could undermine or disrupt what you're doing, and we need to be prepared for that." - Michael Tippett
  7. "Creativity is the most important operating system - it can keep up with changing platforms. We know how to think, which makes us better equipped to respond to disruption and chaos." - Sabaa Quao 
  8. "Today we have an almost super-human capacity to build things - anything is possible. It can be overwhelming, but the role of the designer is to think about what people want to achieve and provide the best possible solutions." - Michael Tippett 
  9. "The term 'engagement' is dangerously close to being a vanity metric - it is different from a business objective." - Sabaa Quao 
  10. "We have a really bright future ahead, and a huge canvas to play with. I don't know what it's going to be like, but I know it will be f*cking awesome." - Nicole Jacek 


RGD Members are invited to view our recording of the panelists' presentations (Part 1) and the discussion (Part 2) on Vimeo. Visit the Members Only section for links and passwords. 


For more discussion from Future By Design: Consumer Engagement search the hash tag #rgdFBD on Twitter.  


Our next Future By Design will be on September 30. Interested in hosting a screening venue in your city? Contact to find out how to participate.