Presentation feedback

Thesis defense

  • Passion for subject evident, good
  • Way too long before getting to your idea
  • Military background and morale interesting, keep that morale thread alive
  • Don’t abbreviate “PM” for audience
  • Don’t say “for the purposes of time I’m only…”
  • Podcasts, personalized – really? Or you mean you have a few with keywords Kumii wil pick from
  • Graphic flowchart confusing, crowded – need to redesign and/or animate
  • “Women called girls” example powerful, be clear how this works in Kumii
  • Show more clearly how you tell Kumii stuff, how you can trust it, when it intervenes with someone else to help improve communication
  • Put Janet’s top pros in presentation as testimonial
  • Show example from boss POV too!
  • I was waiting for you to get back to the importance of morale and your military service.
  • Which types of companies say they want inclusivity? Explain your specific target company set.
  • It’s smart to want to connect with users’ existing tools!
  • Is “personal” supposed to be “personnel” at the bottom of your chart?
  • Does this sync with a user’s calendar? Would it ping them when they are most likely to be able to read/listen vs. when they are headed into a meeting?
  • “Ethics and conflict” are (plural)
  • You’ll rarely get all of the survey responses you solicit. Consider how to gather feedback throughout your future projects and at the end of in-person sessions (with physical surveys if needed).
  • How will you encourage habit building/regular usage? It’s easy to imagine someone “falling off” while they’re on deadline.”


  • Really great intro, want to hear more pausing between thoughts/slides
  • Psych safety – good but leave out google stuff, cut to the content of quote only
  • Only look at conf mon when you forget or blank, otherwise stop glancing at it!
  • Don’t say “I won’t get too much into it” or “this is just a little look at” – just show it!
  • Don’t say “really quick…”
  • Whole thing feels too rushed. Better to cut stuff and talk slower.
  • Will you play podcast?
    • Oh ok. It’s awkward to play such long audio with no visuals.
  • Don’t say I’ll go through one last …”

Final chat with SoHarlem

Hi, bitterswee t time today at SoHarlem. it was out last meeting at

Here are notes and thoughts from my final meeting with Janet at SoHarlem. We are thinking to continue the research after IxD.


  • Since our last meeting, Janet implemented a letter of agreement that all members of SoHarlem needed to agree upon. This is essentially outlining a method of tracking the goals for SoHarlem members.
  • I think this is a good start, but it is not meeting them in the moment.
  • How are members of the space building a culture of experimentation?
  • Janet made it mandatory for members to attend a Columbia U workshop that helps members with basic business skills.
  • The incentive to get them involved was to make it mandatory. From ther , once they saw the impact of attending the workshops, they enjoyed and continued going to thew workshops. Collective learning around their daily skills.
  • Members were also encouraged to interact with other orgs to see how they matched up to them
  • Setting up the Sunday market – building culture of experimentation
  • How do you set up goals for people to reach these visions?
  • There is immense opportunity to celebrate wins and build community around collective progress.
  • There is also a need to think about how leadership might feel this role

Final form: feedback

So today I hit a potential pivot. I had  a really good presentation at SVA today and thinking of a way to make my project to another level. I was thinking about a way to make this a product that is not just a Slack integration, but much more. Is there way that this product can be turned into a larger piece of work.


  • Diversity is huge for companies rn
  • Issues around psychological safety – “who does the work of diversity?” all touched on here
  • Orgs are thinking about how to address diversity
  • Everyone starts diversity initiatives, and it drops
    • Its hard to do work around inclusion
    • This acknowledges that we’re going through this product
  • People do not tell managers that they feel unsafe
  • Do not think you need to tell people this makes more money
  • At a larger level, this is about accountability
  • This is something that allows you continually follow the values of the
  • Don’t want to make kumii into a diversity bot – same thing as Diver
  • This is  a values accountability system
  • If an organization is going to have values, how do you preserve them?
  • Ultimately always up to human beings
  • What is something could check in once a fday or once a week
  • “do you feel personally attacked… feels interesing
  • What you’re expressing seems like:
    • Vicitmasation
    • Problems that people will actually seem  problems
  • You show met the mangager  asking for reports
    • What ineed to see is how the manager acts on that
    • You should  show me some progress
  • Top down, bottom up implementation
  • Show some differentials as this get better over the time period of two weeks
  • You’ve got your narrative
  • Baseline is covered
  • Don’t worry too much abut corporate context
  • They’re either the kind of org who is interested or the kind who is not
  • “cant tel if its a smart suddestion bo
  • Just go for a design fiction – jus  show the progresss –
  • Check in “month one, month two…
  • You can do that!
  • The btt hat stuck out:
    • the research based tips
    • This is where a vast majority of manager feedback is happening
    • Think about this extra
    • If I could type /tip
    • help safety
    • interpersonal/help/safety
  • A little bit of guidance  around how everyone is interacting
  • Be mindful of people who say “why should I listen to these people complain”
    • “everyone needs to get their job done asn shit up”
    • If you build inclusive environments, you get better product
    • How could this be applied to other industries
    • For organizations who are aiming to be inclusive and diverse, and willing to hold themselves accountable, KUMII is your best bet
    • If you build inclusive organizations, you get bette  product
    • You could hint at making this
    • This isa platform for improving accountability, tolerance and awareness on teams
    • How do you interact with it?
      • It might be as simple as you interacting with it on a daily email (tips
      • Might be as simple as taking a poll
      • Might integrate w and HR system
      • Or it might work as a slackbot
      • Where most people are working millions”, this platform needs to work there too
      • Its a big deal
      • Show them a webpage that has a dashboard that is not slack
      • The right altitude for this product is a service based product
      • point to the platform

Re:The Cybernetic Nature of Ecosystems


Thoughts and ideas from an essay on Cybernetics and nature. Currently, I am working on framing the beginning of the book to touch on how connected we are to nature and how nature is connected. First, systems came to mind, then cybernetics. Now here I am, looking through JSTOR for research that deals with these connections.  My response is below.

A single organism is not a cybernetic system as Engelberg and Boyarsky maintained. The cells and organs act together for a common goal, mediated by a common information network. However, the goal of an organism is not merely to coordinate the activities of its cells and organs, but to preserve (proximally) and perpetuate (ultimately) itself. This goal makes sense only in the context of the environment. The organism and its subsystems are only an adaptation to the environment. Since information must flow between the environment and the organism, the organism is not closed to information, and hence it is not a true cybernetic system. The organism is but a part of a truly cybernetic organism environment system, an ecosystem.

The central argument of Engelberg and Boyarsky is that ecosystems are a collection of cybernetic systems, but not an ensemble of such systems and, therefore, cybernetic themselves. Cybernetic systems have three essential properties (Wiener 1948; Ashby 1956):

  • First, they are open to energy and, often, matter, but are closed to information and control.
  • Second, information consists of facts that are communicated and received, but the facts take on meaning only in a certain context.
  • Thus, third, the basic building block of a cybernetic system is a feedback loop that regulates the transformation of matter or energy because the regulator has access to information concerning the state of the system.

A bacterial population whose density in a chemostat is regulated by a turbidometer is cybernetic only between the time someone sets the turbidometer and the time that someone decides the supply vessel must be replenished. Organisms, industrial organizations, and human societies are not cybernetic, but they form components of ecosystems that are cybernetic. We are not embarrassed to acknowledge that ecologists have not yet mapped the global information network for a single natural ecosystem. However, we know of no cell, single organism, industrial plant, or human society for which such a map has been completed. Cancer, bankruptcy, and uncontrollable social disorder are all manifestations of the incomplete understanding of information networks within systems that Engelberg and Boyarsky unaccountably characterized as cybernetic.

We are understandably anthropomorphic when we think of information. 

We use the analogies of nerve impulses and hormone flows because we can relate to them. Information, however, can be transmitted through quite simple physical relationships. For example, when you remove the crankshaft from an engine, it fails to function as a cybernetic system. The rest of the engine gathers information from the crankshaft, or the lack of a crankshaft, quite noncognitively. An example was given by Engelberg and Boyarsky of a boy and a steam engine. The boy carries the information which coordinates the parts of the engine. Today we have engines that have no boys. The mechanical replacement in fact requires less energy than the boy, yet it performs the same task. That mechanism has no neural network, yet it conveys (the same) information. The information arises out of the ordered relations between the parts.

What is the psychological affect of having less parts?

Margalef (1961, 1968) has been an articulate advocate of the cybernetic nature of ecosystems. He points out that it is the present state of the system which sets limits or patterns for future states, and hence the present state is in fact a bearer of information. A fundamental idea in system theory is that it is only the present state of the system which conveys information, and for this reason the system state is a summary of the entire history of the system (Forrester 1961, 1968).

Engelberg and Boyarsky characterized industrial organizations, economic systems, and automated industrial plants as cybernetic, but classified ecosystems and the biopshere as noncybernetic. They went beyond that in proposing that ecosystems can be made cybernetic only with the imposition of human organization. This is a serious flaw of perception and logic that is potentially devastating to human beings, indeed all life, if it were ever to become a common belief. Ecosystems and the biosphere are much more clearly cybernetic than any human organization. Ecosystems are relational systems with many feedback loops that are living history of the previous state of the ecosystem by virtue of their self-propagation and evolution over eons of time. They are testimony not only to the existence of controlled organization, but to a degree of organization humans are presently incapable of designing.

Ecologists yet perceive the goals and feedback loops dimly, but perhaps more clearly than many business managers, economists, and engineers. Ampere coined the word, cybernetics, from kubernetes, Greek for governor or steersman, derived in turn from kuberman, to guide, steer, or govern. Wiener concentrated on information flows because such flows are essential to maintaining or modifying system course. We make no claim that ecologists yet understand either the network of information flows in ecosystems or the course that such flows, shaped by evolution, impose on those ecosystems. However, we can think of no ecosystem that has self-destructed, while the pages of daily newspapers as well as history books are strewn with examples of industrial organizations, economic systems, and industrial processes that are failing and have failed to function according to their explicit or implicit designs. No, ecosystems are not organisms or computers, but they are more clearly cybernetic than any human-designed system; rather like the automated steam engine, they surely do not require the boy to operate properly.

Small pivot

There needs to be incentive to create change.

After realizing incentive to build psychological safety stems from personal conviction, trouble, or monetary incentive, I am left feeling that my project is not only speculative but naive. I have said in recent talks on ethics and conversation that there is a need for a need for a new language – a new rhetoric – a new way we frame problems such as psychological safety in the work place and how that is the foundation for many possibilities (thoughtful innovation, ethics, shared values, etc).

I do not want to preach to the choir with my thesis. I don’t want to create something for entry level designers. The problem persists that there is a lack of awareness and incentive for senior leadership to consider the wellbeing of a workplace and create an inclusive culture.

So now I am left with two questions. How and why.

Why do senior leadership choose not to view this as a problem.


  • Philosophical diagnostic that gauges the type of person that you are
    • The questions are philosophical in nature
    • They deal with morality and organizational behavior questions
  • A stitched together video that communicates the personality of the response

The underlying concept is that we are traffic. Through a philosophical diagnosis, we may see things about us in a different way that make us realize how we might act in certain environments.


How do I get their attention and create space and opportunity for them to start a conversation, and integrate tactics into their organization?

I am open to doing something crazy. Something paralyzing. Something simple and profound.


The goal is to show the person what they look like in traffic. Every answer has a bias in it that reveals a bias that they have. Right now I am focused on the following topics regarding design ethics.

How ppl could affect if there is a mirror

Create hypothesis and compare and contrast

getting ppl to talk about