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Rachel Romano

Rachel Romano is a storyteller and strategist for Microsoft Design, where she writes and thinks about how to leverage technology to create more equitable and ethical futures. She’s published two books with HarperCollins under a pen name and has written for the New York Times and The Atlantic. She currently lives in Seattle, where she is the proud mom of several plants and a fur child.

Green Design Principles that every designer can use to combat climate change

Digital = Physical
  • Recent Microsoft’s Green Design Principles can prevent us from fueling a climate crisis:
    • Get started backpack on digital sustainability — the climate crisis doesn’t happen in a vacuum, big change starts small, talking about climate can be hard, digital is physical
    • Think bigger before you start — challenge the status quo, put care first
    • Build better by default — optimize, transparent, adaptable
  • “The Cloud” doesn’t exist — every design has physical implications and this one is a massive warehouse causing the environment harm.
  • Well-intentioned designs often result in unintended consequences that’s why designers need better ways to visualize their impact.
  • Designers can train AI in order to preserve the planet by employing the energy-intensive cloud and the AI it enables to understand environmental impacts.
  • Some of the most engrained paradigms of the tech industry are the least sustainable and product makers need new ways of working.
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