Today is World Usability Day. It is a day to celebrate how design can make life easy. And this year we are celebrating designs that contribute to a sustainable world.
At my organization, the National Academies, we provide a public service by working outside the framework of government to ensure independent advice on matters of science, technology, and medicine.
We enlist committees of the nation’s top scientists, engineers, and other experts—all of whom volunteer their time to study specific concerns, like sustainability.
“Can the transition to a stable human population also be a transition to sustainability, in which the people living on earth over the next halfcentury meet their needs while nurturing and restoring the planet’s life support systems?”
– Our Common Journey: A Transition Toward Sustainability (1999), National Research Council
Our Common Journey examines this question to draw strategic connections between scientific research, technological development, and societies’ efforts to achieve environmentally sustainable improvements in human well-being.
As designers, we have the power to use the innovations science and technology provides to develop sustainable products.
And we have the opportunity to change behavior in ways that benefit the world–sometimes without people even realizing it: