Webinar: Using Design Thinking to Employ Smart Systems to Decarbonize Our Future

 Thursday June 4th, 2020 – 1:15 to 2:45 PM EDT

The New LightWorks’ Series

Watch LightWorks at Arizona State University and the Security and Sustainability Forum and our series partners IBM, Microsoft and Siemens in a new webinar program on How “Smart” Systems Can Power Our Decarbonized Future. The series focuses on the potential for society to use artificial intelligence to reduce GHG emissions while improving productivity, maintaining or increasing profitability and identifying the technological, business, policy and social challenges in its application to a decarbonized future.

The First Webinar

Design thinking uses customer input and transdisciplinary collaboration to erase silos and re-imagine archaic processes, opening opportunities to build smart system tools for decarbonization of operations and supply chains.

In this webinar we pose the question to design leaders Karel Vrendenburg, Director of Design at IBM and Cheryl Heller, Director of Design Integration with Arizona State University – How can design be used to transform the culture and operations of an organization to embrace AI, blockchain and other smart tools and thrive in the New Carbon Economy? Learn the principles of design thinking and its incredible power to free your creative thinking and hear how companies can use it to transform their carbon footprint and impact on the planet. 

Using Design Thinking to Address Global Challenges… AI June 4th .pdf


Distinguished Designer at IBM Design
Adam Cutler is a founding member of IBM Design and one of the first three Distinguished Designers at IBM. He was responsible for the design and build out of the flagship IBM Design Studio in Austin, TX. He was also responsible for the competency, culture and practices of design and designers at IBM. This includes Enterprise Design Thinking by IBM, the IBM Design Language and IBM Design Research. For his Distinguished Designer mission, Adam is driving development of IBM’s point of view on the practice of AI Design. He recently gave a TED talk on creating meaningful human/machine relationships. He is providing artifacts and education that integrate AI, design and design thinking to assist others in bringing true creativity to AI-driven solutions.

Susanne Jones, Executive Partner, IBM iX
A creative business and team leader with 20 years of experience in digital marketing, products, and services. Susanne has worked at a global, regional and local level, and is accomplished at galvanizing diverse teams to deliver impactful results and transformational customer experience. She is skilled at driving strategic business transformation and creating the right culture and capability to sustain it. Energetic and resilient, she is a champion of positive change and the potential of advancing technology.

Professor of Practice, Arizona State University
Cheryl Heller founded the first MFA program in Social Design at SVA, an experience-based program whose graduates are working as creative leaders in government, industry, healthcare, technology and global NGOs. She is President of the Measured Lab, which she founded to investigate the contribution design is making to human health, and founder of the design lab CommonWise. Heller is a recipient of the AIGA Lifetime Medal for her contribution to the field of design and is a Rockefeller Bellagio Fellow. Her book, The Intergalactic Design Guide: Harnessing the Universal Creative Energy of Social Design, is a manual for anyone wanting to use design to create a resilient future. She is currently leading an initiative to diminish the flow of young people from foster care to homelessness and is an advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Three other webinars in the series were hosted through the summer

  • Webinar 2: How Companies are Using Digital Technologies to Meet Their Carbon Reduction Commitments
  • Webinar 3: Decarbonization Using Natural Capital Solutions – Smart systems to link stakeholders with farmers, ranchers and foresters
  • Webinar 4: Can I trust Alexa: What is a Trustworthy Smart System?

Smart systems has a good reputation for providing value to health and finance industries. However, it also has the capability to save our planet from human activity including global warming. In the future, we may be dependent on AI to monitor CO2 levels, calculate our carbon footprints in real-time, and natural disasters. With advances in machine learning and deep learning, we can now tap the predictive power of AI to make better data-driven models of industrial and environmental processes to improve our ability to study current and future trends, including water availability, ecosystems wellbeing, and pollution and develop appropriate business practices and environmental policies.