2023 Q3 CEO Update

SEGD: Building Our Foundation for the Future

Designers have the remarkable ability to envision a better world and to create it with practical optimism. They are the architects of change, reshaping our world with innovative solutions. In the words of Bruce Mau, FSEGD, from his Massive Change Network, “The biggest leap in Massive Change was to be positive and optimistic when the rest of the world was feeling that we’re going to hell in a handbasket.”

I recently had the privilege of spending time with our newly inducted SEGD Fellow, Bruce Mau, at our 50th Anniversary celebration. He shared how profoundly moved and inspired he was by the entire event—the speakers, the community, and the mission of SEGD. Bruce spoke highly of his co-Fellow, Wendy Evans Joseph, and the brand refresh that reflects our community’s vision.

As I listened to Bruce, I reflected on my three years at the helm of SEGD and shared my deep sense of gratitude and admiration for our experience design community. The passion, generosity, and talent that define this unique group of individuals has been nothing short of extraordinary. I told him how profoundly fortunate I feel to have had the privilege of leading this small but bespoke community into the next phase of its evolution.

Bruce smiled at me and said, “Use that, end with that, that’s what you need to share when you close out the conference.”

Even now, as I recount that conversation, I am flooded with memories, insights, and learnings from the unforgettable days in DC this August. We celebrated our 50th anniversary, paying tribute to our history while also embracing the challenges and opportunities of the next 50 years.

Building a Foundation for the Future

First and foremost, I want to express our deepest gratitude to our 50th Foundation Members and all our 2023 Sponsors and partners. Your unwavering support and financial commitment have been instrumental in helping us reach this incredible milestone. Your contributions enabled us to complete the new website, launch the new membership platform/app, and unveil our refreshed identity. These tools amplify our ability to produce essential educational initiatives and programming for our members, reflecting our dedication to innovation and growth.

A Unique Community of Changemakers

Throughout the DC conference, a recurring theme emerged—the uniqueness and impact of our SEGD community. We were reminded time and again of the extraordinary power that lies in our collective efforts to enhance the human condition through design. It’s inspiring to see how our community shares a common purpose—to make a positive difference in the world through our work.

New Connections, New Beginnings

The 50th celebration year and the conference were not just a celebration of our past achievements but also a catalyst for forging new connections and partnerships. We witnessed the birth of numerous new relationships and collaborations during the event. These connections serve as a testament to the vibrancy and dynamism of our community, and we eagerly anticipate the remarkable projects and innovations that will emerge from these newfound alliances.

A Fresh Start

At the heart of our 50th celebration was the launch of our new brand, website, membership platform, and merchandise. These milestones mark the beginning of an exciting new chapter for SEGD. The new website and membership platform have been carefully designed to enhance your experience within our community, making it easier for you to access resources and connect with fellow members. Our merchandise offers a tangible way for you to proudly represent SEGD.

Continuing the Journey Together

As we reflect on the talks and themes of our gathering and 50th year, we are reminded of the importance of setting our priorities for what lies ahead. In a world that constantly calls for our empathy and action, let us remember that we hold the tools to build a better future. The experiences we curate, design, build, and share serve as interpreters of solutions to the world’s challenges.

We invite you to join us at our upcoming 2023 Branded Environments and Xlab event in New York City, taking place from November 1st to 3rd. Together, we will explore how storytelling and technology can bridge gaps and drive meaningful change.

In closing, I want to express our sincere gratitude for being part of SEGD. Let us continue this incredible journey together, committed to our mission, and dedicated to serving your needs. Your feedback and engagement are essential as we shape the future of SEGD. Together, we will build a brighter tomorrow through design.

With heartfelt thanks and a call to action for the future,
Cybelle Jones, CEO, SEGD