Per Axbom is a critic of the sole focus of doing things the right way - making tools and processes more efficient. This often makes us forget about doing the right thing, that which can help us stay on the right path. Because of this people are harmed, exposed to injustice, excluded or invest in things that don’t support their goals.
For two decades Per has educated digital professionals and helped organizations with issues around usability, accessibility and UX. He teaches at universities, has co-hosted more than 200 podcast episodes and spoken at conferences across the world.
As a trained coach Per has a a passion for listening and is a proponent of the power that can be unlocked by allowing people to explore their own strengths and abilities. He has a passion for interviews and is experienced in using the visual language of sketches and prototypes to create consensus and insights about both problems and solutions.
Very keen on promoting the concept of design ethics, he is an advocate of responsible innovation: helping digital professionals understand and manage the impact of their work.
Per is a Swedish communication theorist who was born in Liberia and later lived in Saudi Arabia and Tanzania. He believes his background has helped him understand there are many ways of looking at the world.
We have never been better at increasing efficiency and rushing to keep pace with run-away technical developments. But although we may be better at doing things the right way, how do we ensure that we are making the right things? How do we know what harm our designs contribute to? The demand for managing ethical queries, before we let technology make decisions for us, often clashes with the misconception that we are always one step behind technical advances.
Marginalized people are getting hurt because of the decisions we make.
In his talk Per Axbom explains why we as humans make bad decisions, how empathy can sometimes be our enemy, and guides us through methods and practical tools for bringing moral judgment into our decision processes. By taking into account positive and negative impact we can better control not only efficiency but also goal fulfilment. All the while, hopefully, staying on the right side of history.