Event Review: Design Against Populism


I had the opportunity to attend an interesting workshop in Arlington, VA called “Design Against Populism.” Co-hosted by UXPA DC, OpenIDEO DC, and Sapient, the event aimed to understand and address the populist movement in the US and across the world. I will break down my review in different categories.

Let’s start with the…

Location: It was perfect for me as I work in Arlington. I try avoid going into DC during rush hour. For those who may have come from the district, the location was two blocks away from Courthouse metro which was convenient.

Venue: Sapient hosted the event and their offices were modern and welcoming; there was ample space for the amount of people who attended.

Food: I typically have something small to eat before events like this as you don’t know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well the event was catered. There was plenty of pizza, beer, and wine to go around. Great job to those who made the food arrangements.


Workshop: It was a 3 hour workshop: 1 hour for networking and 2 hours for the actual workshop itself. It gave us plenty of time to mingle with old friends, and make new ones. The workshop itself was well moderated and started off on a solid footing with a basic overview of populism and the Design Thinking approach. Sometimes the pace felt a bit rushed as we moved from one part of the process to another, but my group handled it well. I was fortunate to be part of a good group of people who I got along with; it really enhances the experience.

I wish…we have more events exactly like this at Sapient, and I’m grateful to them for hosting all of us. I wish UXPA/OpenIdeo DC can offer all participants a “certificate of completion” so we can add the experience to our LinkedIn profile and resume. I wish they turn this event into a three-part series so we can take a deeper dive with the populist wave that is gripping the world. Someone had a comment about the event title itself “Design Against Populism”; he thought “Against” was too harsh and might prevent certain type of people from attending. I didn’t think of that initially when I signed up, but it was a valid point. Maybe try this: “Design For Populism.” I’m looking to get heavily involved in these type of workshops or activities as a volunteer so if there is anything I can suggest or do, please feel free to contact me. Big thanks to Christine Rose, Erin Nicole Gordon, Lisa Goldberg, and everyone else who made this event possible.