Speakers: Nichole Pitts (Host) and Sandra Camacho (Guest, Inclusive Design Strategist)

Nichole Pitts

You’ve created, what’s called Inclusive Design Jam, which I am totally fascinated by how do you define inclusive design?

Sandra Camacho

So inclusive design jam. It’s a learning community for people who would like to use and harness the power of inclusive design to create a more just society.

And so if I were to break down, so what exactly does inclusive design mean? I think we have to start first with the word design. Many, many different things can come to mind when you think of the word design. So actually maybe I’ll throw that back to you, Nichole. When you hear design, what comes to mind?

Nichole Pitts

Before I went and read up on it, I’m thinking more from a technical piece you’re designing maybe hardware or some process, and not looking at applying it to everything, but something more tangible.

Sandra Camacho

Yeah. So that’s a really good point. And I think there are many different ways that we can define design.

I think a lot of the times what people tend to think of are kind of a very professional definition of design. So what you described is like industrial design or product design, fashion design graphic design. So these are the sorts of objects, whether they’re digital or physical that we encounter in our day-to-day lives, where someone behind the scenes has brought in a certain level of craft, certain level of expertise into intentionally bringing something to life that we, as people will use.

And I think that kind of gets us closer to the definition of design that I like to use which is pretty broad. It’s basically being able to bring some sort of imagined idea that we have to life, to be able to make that concrete, and to do that with certain intentionality.

When we use that definition of design, it means that anything can be designed. We can be intentional about designing an experience. So for instance, our conversation is something that can be designed with intention to structure it in a specific way, have it flow naturally, have the audio sound a certain way.

You can have control over the visuals over the sequencing. All of those are design decisions that you’re making that make it so that whatever you imagine in your mind, becomes something concrete that we live and experience as people. And in that respect when we add inclusive onto it, it’s all about thinking whatever I’m designing, whether it’s a product, a service, an experience, an environment, or physical space. How can we ensure that people across the full range of human diversity can fully access what I’m designing or what I’m building? And that they can fully benefit from it. And this is where my definition of inclusive design actually even goes beyond just inclusion. I do intentionally bring equity into the fold as well.

So it’s like whatever I’m building, how can I ensure that not only as many people as possible can use, access, and benefit from the solution? But also how can I be intentionally breaking down barriers to access? So anticipating ways that my solution may not be able to be accessed by especially the most marginalized groups in society and how can I make specific design decisions so that exclusion doesn’t happen?

If I were to wrap it up with a bow, it’s an approach. It’s a mindset. It’s a practice that ensures that everyone, regardless of their identity or background can fully access and benefit from product services and environments that we built.

What this means is that you don’t have to be a designer on paper to be able to practice inclusive design. We can all be much more intentional about how we make decisions, how we bring solutions to life to ensure that they are inclusive and other equitable.

Nichole Pitts

So what are the benefits of inclusive design? Both for us personally, and as a society?

Sandra Camacho

Yeah, to me, if we practice inclusive design in our everyday lives, we’re contributing toward driving change in society. I mean, if you are an architect and you’re creating plans for a new building, and you’re thinking about inclusivity from the very start. So it’s not something that maybe is enforced on you by the rules and regulations of your industry or of the project you’re on. But it’s something that inside of you, it’s an important value for you to integrate inclusivity and equity in whatever you do in the world and in what you build to me, like if we were to amplify that and multiply that across all professions in the world and across even our day to day experiences I think that we would get, I mean, I’m not trying to be an idealist here, but I think we could get to a world or a society where are cultivating belonging through not just culture and organizations and where we see DEI traditionally, but also in the day to day decisions in our practices, in our interactions with other people.

So to me, you can design a conversation. Like how can I be much more inclusive if I’m gonna be on a podcast with Nichole? How can I ensure that I make this experience as inclusive as possible? What are the ways that I will do that? It’s that level of intentionality behind it that you’re really being thoughtful.

You’re experimenting with different kind of iterations of your idea. You’re prototyping them. So you may be bringing them to life in different ways, testing them and see what actually has an impact on people. And so to me, I feel like the benefits are that you’re gonna be much more innovative, um, whether it’s in your personal life or in the workplace, you’re going to be building products that can extend to a larger group of people in the world.

They’re gonna be able to serve many more use cases you’re able to address many more needs because you are bringing in those perspectives into your design process. So instead of saying like, how can I design for the majority of people or for the average user for the default user? And we know that maybe some of us don’t know this, but what’s problematic about the traditional way or the typical way that people design is that they’re designing for this average user that actually embodies certain sorts of identities that are dominant in society.

And by this, I mean I’m designing a microphone that someone is going to use. And so if I’m a designer that belongs to majority groups, so I might be able-bodied, I might be neurotypical, might be a white man of a certain stature.

Um, I’m not necessarily by default because my design training may not have educated me in this way to be thinking of what are the potential barriers of access to using this product, or what are the potential needs that may not be served if I were to only design for people who look like me and who have the same level of ability or same life experiences and that’s kind of what’s happening today.

So for instance, what about the person who may be deaf? What about someone who maybe an amputee and can actually move the mic around with their hands? This is where the goal is to challenge people to reconsider what does it mean to design for the average user? How could we expand the definition of average user to actually be reflective of like I mentioned earlier, this full range of human diversity? So across ability, neurodiversity, gender, identity, sexual orientation, age, race, ethnicity, language, et cetera, et cetera.

How can we start to bring those internal intersectional perspectives into the design process so that we are not just creating products and services and again, solutions as a whole that cater to the most privileged people in society? And that unfortunately end up being exclusive by design.

Nichole Pitts

I really like what you’ve said about ensuring that you are not exclusive towards and having your ideal client fit into these certain majority buckets, but that you’re looking at expanding the offering. So for that, how do you measure the effectiveness and impact of that inclusive design to show that this actually brings benefit to the organization versus what they were doing before?

Sandra Camacho

Yeah, and I think this is always the hardest part and I mean, a lot of companies that are leaning into inclusive design. You see this in especially large tech companies, mostly in the US, and in conversations with lots of practitioners who are doing this work in-house, they find that it is most challenging to get proof points, to be able to prove that for instance, if we were to do research with a more diversified group of people who represent, many different identities and lived experiences, how can we prove that doing research with those individuals leads to a better product?

And when I say a better product, it means a product that solves people’s problems more effectively because they’ve been able to anticipate the potential barriers that people may face. And they’re able to problem-solve that before the product goes to market. Another aspect is thinking about potential harm that a product can generate.

So there are products that actually hurt people and we can think of harm under many different lenses. So we have not just physical harm, but emotional harm, psychological harm. And when you have products and even all of the imagery associated with products. So thinking for instance of marketing campaigns, messaging, when you have products that are exclusionary. So meaning that you can sense that they’re not made for you, or you literally cannot access them because of your identity that leads you to lose customers that leads you to create a lot of frustration amongst your customers who are then going to, as we see more and more today, vocalize that frustration.

There’s a lot of risk involved in keeping the status quo because people are now being much more forthcoming about the fact that marketing imagery is racist that, artificial intelligence that powers facial recognition algorithms are actually amplifying racial profiling.

So for instance, people are getting denied access to mortgages because they are Black. Or they’re getting denied access to certain healthcare programs because the algorithm has amplified racial bias again because they’re Black. And so when you start to see these patterns of, for instance, racial bias, gender bias, ableism, homophobia.

We start to see that all these patterns that emerge in society get embedded and amplified in products and services that we build. And so to me, the benefits are, you’re not just serving many more people. You’re not just making better products, but you’re also reducing the potential risk to your business of having incredible PR backlash and also of not serving your customers. So you’re risking losing a big chunk of your customers. And when we think of demographic changes all around the world, especially in the US where it’s gonna be a minority-majority country, is it 2050? We see that this is gonna actually make a big dent to your business.

If you’re making products that are racist or that are oppressive, and exclusive. And I think a lot of the times, it’s just we aren’t aware of it. Especially if you’re part of a dominant group, or multiple dominant groups, you’re not aware of the fact that actually, people can’t access a certain product or that they’re being harmed.

They’re being, maybe stereotypes are being perpetuated or their voices aren’t being heard. And so the product just doesn’t fulfill their needs and there’s nothing else on the market that can support them. And so I can give some concrete examples, but yeah, I would like to have some examples.

Nichole Pitts

Yeah. I think, I mean, you’re increasing market share. I would think that one of the major benefits is it gives you a competitive advantage to increase market share because you’re increasing the number of consumers that want to buy your product or service because it works for them. They have a benefit there. but I would love some concrete examples of what you were just talking about.

Sandra Camacho

You see this a lot with retail. I actually, in the inclusive design jam community, like I run an introductory session.

So I call it an initiation jam where we start to explore a product that was designed to be more inclusive and all of the ways that inclusion can even go wrong in trying to be more inclusive. And this particular example was for a line of shoes, basically that Nike created back in the day and their source of inspiration was a young teenage boy with cerebral palsy who had sent the letter to Nike’s CEO at the time saying that out of all the challenges in his life, the one that he hasn’t been able to solve is tying his shoes. And so already it shows us that shoes with laces by default are exclusive because if you have any sort of condition that affects your ability to use your hands, or if maybe you’re old and you can’t bend down anymore, or perhaps you may actually be an amputee, at the level of your arms or at the level of your feet, you may not even have shoes that fit your bionic leg.

For instance, brand foot. All of these are examples of the fact that shoe by default is created for people who have two feet and two arms and who have full control of their body. And so this is where, what Nike did is that they, you know, working partnership with disability community to create a more inclusive shoe.

It was a shoe called the FlyEase shoes that came out back in 2015 that were basically meant to be easier to go in and out of. So they created a mechanism so that you don’t have to use kind of, you still have to tie laces but you could easily kind of slip in and slip. And eventually, like, I think two years ago, or a year and a half ago, they released a new line where they got rid of laces together where the shoe itself operates off of a hinge.

They have all this kind of advanced technology that allows for people, anyone really at this point to not even have to bend down, to get into your shoes, you just put your foot in, everything is held into place. You can easily slip it out. There’s really very little effort involved.

And the problem with this approach, you would assume that on paper, like, wow, we’re actually going from a traditional shoe that was designed for the default majority to a more inclusive shoe that allows any athletes of all levels of ability to slip in and out of the shoe, to not have to face the issue that this teenage boy was explaining of I can’t even get in and out of shoes easily. But the problem was that all of the marketing around it was very exclusive and exclusionary. And so in the imagery, you only see very young, attractive people you only have one person, with a disability, who is featured in any of the product imagery.

The price point was really high. It was 120 euros. There was so much demand for the product because they didn’t think ahead of time of supply issues that the people who needed those shoes, the most weren’t able to actually access the product because it ended up on reseller sites at over $700.

Um, yeah. And all of the marketing copy that they use, we’re focusing on the fact that this was a product that was for all athletes, that everyone benefits and they completely erased the disabled community who in the first kind of iteration of the product was an essential kind of, they were the inspiration, for creating the product line and this time disability was not even mentioned at all.

And so we see that there’s actually a lot of potential. There’s a lot of room to do good with inclusive design to make a product that people can use. But in this case, like actually you have to be thinking not just about how do we serve the needs or in this case of people who are disabled, but how can we also ensure that those who need the product that most can access it?

How can we be thinking about breaking down those barriers of access to our product? They didn’t do any of that with this product. So that’s just kind of a concrete example to put it into context. That even things that we use on a day-to-day basis, like our phones, computers, clothes, footwear and environment that we could go into.

It’s usually designed with a default person in mind. And that person tends to be a white man who is cisgender heterosexual, able-bodied neurotypical. A lot of this is unheard and unseen. And so the goal of inclusive design is like, how can we start to bring the bias and the privilege to the floor?

How can we start the question who designs, who do we design for and with, and how do we design, so that we’re not letting these potential kind of ways to create harm and ways to perpetuate bias? We don’t want those to go unchecked. So it’s all about being even more intentional than we are today.

Nichole Pitts

That’s a really great point. And it makes me wonder how inclusive are these companies in having people from those affected communities involved in the whole design process because it’s not that you have to create a sole product that is great for everybody.

But you could have here is this particular product that meets this particular need. And I think about what you were saying with marketing, because was it last month, there was this whole article with Pottery Barn where there, disability line of furniture. And the issue was that they had someone in a typical wheelchair and they were like, well, there’s all these different types.

And it’s for mobility aids. This doesn’t really work. And they talked about the price point, but I’m like all of Pottery Barn’s furniture is expensive. So you expect it to be expensive. But I hadn’t thought about that. You’re looking at this kind of same imagery of someone who has a disability with the same type of wheelchair.

And you’re not thinking about all of the nuances that there is with oh yeah. Disability. And also, a couple of weeks ago, there was this whole thing with Peloton and their tread. And they were pushing out some software to say the new treads are going to have these prompts for those that are visually impaired.

So someone who was visually impaired had bought this treadmill and this software was not on there. And they were saying, I wouldn’t have bought this if you hadn’t marketed that this was available. And so now I have to have somebody that is there to do, like they do with other treadmills, and move the speed and the incline for me.

But it’s the other cues that I wouldn’t have thought about. I never thought about, how do people that are visually impaired exercise on a treadmill. And I found that was something that’s not my lived experience.

And I love those conversations of how do we make things more inclusive to where people can use these products. But also when they see the marketing for this product, they can relate to it to say, oh, that looks like me. They’re solving my problem because it looks like me. It’s almost like the advertising that a lot of personal trainers and gyms use of these really fit people.

And I’ll be like, but that’s not me. he has a little bit more weight on them that shows that they’re here too. And that, I feel like I’m not going to be up here around all these bodybuilders and, you know, and that I belong in these types of communities. So, yeah.

Sandra Camacho

I mean, I love those examples, and especially what’s funny is the Pottery Barn one. We actually, in the community, the inclusive design jam community. We did a jam session on this case study because we wanted to kind of explore it and unpack it.

Cuz I think it’s a really good example again, of companies who want to do more inclusion and who get it wrong. And to go back to your question of how do we get people with lived experience to be part of the process? This is actually one of the key issues, and this is where I’m trying to build bridges between inclusive design, which has multiple names.

We have product inclusion, product equity, there are many different kind of labels that have been applied to the sort of work of building product services, environments that, that are inclusive and equitable. But basically, I’m trying to build bridges between this inclusive design world and diversity equity, and inclusion.

Mm-hmm if we think of even just the design world in general and this surprisingly, this actually reminds me of the conversation we just had about France because the design world is also very elitist and it’s all about okay, what are your accreditations? What school did you go to?

Do you have your degree on paper? There’s already a diversity problem in the design profession. The design profession is very large, everything from architects to fashion designers to interactive designers like there’s all sorts of design that exists in the world, but it does tend to skew towards specific demographics.

And so when you look at representation within design teams and not just design teams, like product teams, marketing teams, just people inside a company outside of HR who are building things and putting them out into the market.

These teams are not necessarily representative of the full range of human diversity and so what happens is that a lot of the DEI work from a talent and a culture perspective tends to be disconnected with the design and product and marketing work that’s happening on the ground.

And so, um, you know in the end of the day, when those product design and marketing teams try to bring inclusion and equity into how they work, they’re not necessarily analyzing what about diversity within our team? What about inclusion within our team? And so to me, this is where there’s an opportunity to really connect DEI work that’s happening from a talent and culture perspective to actual business practices.

So how can we activate DEI principles in marketing work, in design work, and product work? And part of that will means that we need to change how we hire, We need to change, not just hiring for full-time employers, but also our contractors, our partners, our suppliers. We have to also be shifting our practices to think maybe we do user research today.

We tend to default to certain types of people. It’s kind of like with hiring, you don’t have that same level of access to, you know, a larger group of perspectives and identities. And so these principles carry over to the work that design product and marketing teams are doing.

And so to me, it happens on both levels, kind of a culture level. They have to examine the culture within their team. And then they also have to be analyzing and critiquing their practices and figuring out what do we need to revamp and evolve.

And those two have to go hand in hand, you can’t just evolve your methodology without questioning the people and the systems that those people operate in.

Nichole Pitts

So what is the biggest challenge that you see companies face when it comes to inclusive design and DEI?

Sandra Camacho

Uh, the business case. That is to me the biggest challenge. And we’ve talked about this before, Nichole, that to me it’s difficult to accept the fact that for people to want to do DEI or inclusive design, there has to be some sort of business value that’s generated. And why I find this to be such a huge challenge is that it basically says that in order for us to be willing to invest time and resources into creating whether it’s workplaces or products or services that are more inclusive and equitable, we have to yield some sort of financial return from this.

And to me, I find that incredibly disheartening because it’s basically saying that it’s not worth to make people feel seen, heard, valued, and respected unless it brings us more money. And I know that I’m simplifying this quite a bit, but there are a lot of big companies that are doing this work, and kind of the problems that they face is that the senior, senior leaderships need to see proof of impact.

They need to know that well if we invest more resources in diversifying our user research, that we get some sort of benefit out of that. And yes, a social benefit is nice. So serving more people is nice. Decreasing harm is nice. Nice to have is not must have. The must-have is like, well, it needs to drive the business forward in some way.

And I do believe in the power of inclusive design to push innovation forward, to lead to better products and services, to widen the possible use cases that a product and service can serve. But if that is the only reason why you’re wanting to do this work, and if you don’t have clear concrete evidence of that impact, and that means that you won’t do that work anymore, to me, it’s kind of like, why do it in the first place?

Because you’re only in it for business value or business outcome. And I feel that perhaps it’s my idealist and my activist at heart that wants organizations around the world to do better, to embrace ethics, to recognize their role in creating harm in society.

I feel that a lot of the times there’s this lack of recognition of complicity. And that’s what to me is the biggest challenge in this work is, how can we drive and motivate people to do this work because it’s the right thing to do because it’s going to uplift and liberate all of us.

We’re all going to benefit from this work. And it’s not just about putting more money in the pockets of shareholders and senior leaders or executive leaders who aren’t personally affected. Cause they don’t represent many people who face barriers in society. So I think for me, it’s how do you create momentum?

How do you get people to buy into this work and how do you start to detach it to that business case? So that if you aren’t able to have these incredibly concrete proof of impact, and I’m just saying there are studies that exist. There are studies that show that this happens, meaning that there is business value to be retrieved from this work or drawn from this work.

But if, again, for me I want us to move beyond that because otherwise, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Any work that you’ll do, if you’re going to always be privileging, profit over impact and by impact, I mean social impact or even just impact on the planet. You’re always gonna fall short.

And I think this is a like, um, something that I was inspired by Michelle MiJung Kim, who is a DEI practitioner who wrote a book, The Wake Up. I hope that’s the right title. I’m forgetting it at the moment. But she talked about how the why behind the work can’t be rooted in capitalism.

And I’m just so completely in alignment with that because if the only reason to do inclusive work or DEI work as a whole is to support the system of capitalism and make more money, we’re gonna do more harm in the process. There are a lot of trade-offs that are gonna be made that put money first over people.

Nichole Pitts

Well, I look at it from a business perspective, there’s always a journey. And I saw this with ethics and compliance to where they were like, okay, this is a cost center. Like DEI is a cost center, HR, if you’re not generating revenue, you’re a cost center so you have to justify your budget to the C-suite and the board.

And part of that is that’s where your business case comes in. And I look at it as how do I bring you to the table so that you understand the value of this? And if you don’t have any touchpoints with this, and you think you don’t understand about intersectionality and how do I get you to personalize this and speak your language so that you can really understand what we’re trying to achieve? Sometimes they don’t know this until you get into it. Yeah. And each year, you know, hopefully, I feel like it’s always, in the beginning, you have to have that business case in order to get the funds, but it should be for something that is proactive from them as they go forward, because what you don’t want.

And I think this is summarizing your issue and that biggest challenge is that performative action. To where they say, we’re going to do this and it’s check the box. Just like with George Floyd, we’re going to do X, Y, Z. And then it’s not systemized, it’s not embedded into the company’s DNA.

So, how do you make this to be sustainable, but also effective? And that is, you know, one of my biggest challenges that I see with companies is that when they don’t invest the proper resources, it becomes more of a DIY DEI and that creates more issues. So maybe they try to self-fix it. With whatever limited knowledge they have, or they’ll say, well, we’re gonna hire a DEI director, but we’re not going to give that person any funds to help build out their team or to hire on people can give you those diverse perspectives.

And then you have something like this one elementary school that made all of their bathrooms non-binary and it was like, okay. But what about these other groups? What about religious groups? What about all these other things? And especially as children are going through puberty and all of that, you do need separated bathrooms as well as non-binary.

So it’s, how do we be more inclusive of all perspectives, instead of trying to go to what’s the loudest or what you’re seeing just as this is what we’re hearing about? So we’re gonna change everything to fit this one perspective. And now to fit one, you’ve got complaints from five and by hiring, exactly we’re seeking out even those multiple perspectives cuz you and I have talked about how diverse just DEI practitioners are and how we all come at this from such a different view based upon our lived experience and how we even approach this discussion.

Some are more powerful in how they want to speak and hold that accountability. Some of us are like, let’s try to bring you to the table because we know this is an uncomfortable topic, but I wanted to get you comfortable with asking the questions. It’s just, we all approach it a different way. And I think there’s value in each of those approaches, which is why I feel like companies need to ensure that they rotate out and get a lot of different perspectives because of that lived experience maybe the neurodivergent experience, the disability awareness, LGBTQ, all of these different things, even the visually impaired, or are we speaking from how are our policies written?

Are they at a collegiate level but this is a workforce that the majority is in manufacturing and maybe they have had just a high school education and we’re using very legalese words? That is very hard for people to be able to say, yeah, I don’t know what this is. And it’s a 50-page document.

And I don’t have time to read and digest this and do my job. Tell me what I need to do. So exactly. It’s getting those types of perspectives.

Sandra Camacho

Exactly. Yeah. And I mean, and I get you. You need the business case to bring people to the table, like you said, it’s about meeting them where they are. Like, they care about profitability. They care about reducing costs.

Like I understand all of that. And I’m in full agreement that we can’t just throw that aside and throw it away and say like, run your business completely differently because you know, we know what system or why, when I say we know like I know that companies operate in a system of capitalism and profitability.

It’s a requirement for many, many businesses. I think over time, if we see, hopefully, we’ll see change within representation and leadership in terms of the types of perspectives that are reflected there. And I think that that can also change how businesses are run over time because you have this kind of fresher take on how to run a business.

Yeah. You have that fresher take at a more executive level. And to me, at least like with my mission with the community that I’m running with, the work that I do, like I wanna raise awareness amongst the general public so that I had already referenced all these people who are engaging in critique, who are calling out these big companies for the crap that they’re doing, for the harm that they’re generating, for the exclusivity of their products and services and marketing campaigns. To me, I want there to be more and more and more of that, so that the leadership and even the shareholders start to see that like, Hey, like there’s some tides of change happening amongst consumers.

They’re onto us. As we see with gen Z, gen Z is also, and gen and alpha, I think that’s the name of the new one, the, yeah, the next one, but they’re also the workers of the future. And so if you think of not just brand loyalty and brand perception from like a consumer perspective, but also employer branding in terms of attracting and retaining future generations of talent, like these values are important.

Not to, I don’t wanna generalize not to the entire, you know, generation, but to a larger proportion of these generations compared to previous generations. So as we see, time move forward for me in 10 years and 20 years, and 30 years, like for me, I think that if we can educate as well, the general public, make them aware of what these bigger companies are doing as they get much more mobilized around social and environmental issues.

I think that there’s a lot of pressure can that be placed on these executives and that with the changes in representation, hopefully at the executive level also all the way down to individual contributor level, I think that maybe we’ll start to see some change. Yeah. But I think you have to create that momentum and it starts now, like we can’t just take things for granted and say, business is business. This is how businesses run.

It’ll never change. I feel that, you know, that’s what social movements are for. And sometimes you need to be, like you mentioned, there’s some people that may be a bit more powerful or assertive and, or even aggressive you could say in their approach in calling for change.

And I think there’s obviously room for all sorts of voices in this. Yeah. But I do think that for the most part, yeah, we need to not be acquiescing.

Nichole Pitts

I love that cuz challenge does equal change. So…

Sandra Camacho

Even if it might be incremental, like in France, for instance, it’s gonna take some time mm-hmm but we gotta, we gotta keep working at it.

Nichole Pitts

Exactly. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So if you could give your 18-year-old self a piece of advice that you wish that you had known then that you know now, what would it be?

Sandra Camacho

Yeah, I thought about this and I would say like, stop, anchoring yourself self-worth in your achievements. I think this has been something that I’ve carried with me a big part of my life.

Maybe it’s the immigrant, like the legacy of being an immigrant in multiple countries that you always have to be working really, really hard and you have to be achieving and you have to kind of prove your worth. I mean, even in that sentence, prove your worth. Your worth does not come from your achievements and from your accomplishments like you are worthy just being you.

And I think that I still struggle with that today, and I wish that I had already started embracing that way, way back when. Yep.

Nichole Pitts

That’s a great one. What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?

Sandra Camacho

Spend less time thinking and planning and more time doing and experimenting. And this is where I learned this from, um, all the work that I was very lucky to do around innovation and design thinking.

And, you know, if you have to have a bias towards action and I love to analyze things and reflect, and there is room for that, I think it’s very important to be reflexive and to be asking questions. But if you’re just in that space, in that head space, and you’re not translating that into meaningful action, especially at least in my career, I found that it really held me back in getting towards joy and fulfillment and, and meaning in my work.

And it’s only when I leaned into hands-on experimentation did things regardless of the outcomes. And there was a lot of failure only then that I realized like, oh, I’m, I’m actually moving forward. And I didn’t need to spend all that time planning and strategizing.

Nichole Pitts

So what was your biggest failure and what did you learn from that?

Sandra Camacho

You know, this one’s a hard one because I there are so many failures in my life and you know…

Nichole Pitts

What about maybe the most defining failure for you? What you categorized as a failure, but actually really propelled you forward?

Sandra Camacho

Yeah, I mean, It has to be failure in more in my personal life. Um, but it’s had such an impact on all parts of my life. I was in a fairly toxic situation in my personal life for quite some time. Um, and I had to leave that toxic situation because it was having a lot of, well, the repercussions were, were ran really deep in terms of