Inclusive Innovation: Who are you excluding?

Inclusive Innovation: Who are you excluding?I was challenged and excited by a presentation by Michael Sui @soundslikesue at Pause Fest, here in Melbourne, on Inclusive Design and it struck me that we need to overlay — or better, underpin — all our creative thinking and work on new product & service design, process enhancement, website design, signs, visuals…by the question: ‘Who am I excluding?” — and constantly strive to iron out the kinks to make whatever we are creating as inclusive as possible.

I work with people to bring awareness to cognitive biases. I focus a lot on ‘fixedness’ and our tendency to see things as a whole or not be able to see alternative uses for its parts. Systematic Inventive Thinking has proven to have a real sweet spot here. I am now determined to incorporate a preoccupation with inclusiveness into this very conscious inventive thinking.

Some tips I took away from Michael today:

1. Simulate friction: Use Funkify to simulate the user experience of a range of people living with disability.

2. Colour code last: Check out the Sim-Daltonism app to see how people living with colour-blindness would see your designs.

Inclusive Innovation: Who are you excluding?

3. Expand your mindset: When you are creating something — ask a person living with disability for their UX. Check out @DisVisibility.

4. We always consider quality but are we measuring the integrity of our products and services?

5. Watch out for “micro-aggressors”; those (seemingly) little things that remind people that the world wasn’t built for them. As Australian Activist, Stella Young, said before she died at the young age of 32, “We are more disabled by the society we live in than by our bodies or our diagnosis.”
We talk a lot about scalability in innovation. But how can we see something as truly scaleable if we are leaving out 15% of the population?

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Rachel Audigé runs S.I.T. Australia, based in Melbourne. With 25 years in international marketing and 10 years driving innovation communities in a corporate context, she is passionate about helping businesses, regardless of size or industry, unleash their innovative potential and learn to innovate on demand. Visit the global website on and follow @SITInnovation

Rachel Audige




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