Book Club’s Next Chapter: “All We Can Save”

I stumbled upon C-SED through book club. A short post in a newsletter caught my attention, “In what ways do design methodologies promote inequality? What are others in our field doing to address injustice? How might we leverage our own work toward justice?” 

When I was an undergraduate engineering major, I learned about design but never had conversations about inclusivity and the impact that our designs were having on perpetuating inequities. Now, as a graduate student studying business and sustainability and operating in a more interdisciplinary context, I was curious to engage with these conversations around inclusion and design. I decided to join C-SED’s first book club last summer which focused on Kat Holmes’ book Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design.

The C-SED book club ended up being right up my alley. It was a manageable two chapters of reading each week. The content was written in language that did not require prior knowledge or use jargon and concepts I may not have been familiar with. There were guidelines for community engagement which facilitated open conversations and made me feel safe to vulnerably engage with people who I did not previously know. Through breakout rooms, I was able to meet new people who would turn into friends. There was flexibility to join book club sessions as I could. Although I was not able to attend a few discussions, I still felt able to engage and connect to the community at subsequent sessions.

It is with the intentionality and learnings about inclusive design that we are launching the next instance of C-SED book club. I have the honor to support the planning for our next book club and hope that participants will have an experience as welcoming as mine. As an Erb Institute graduate student, I am particularly excited that our next book is focused on sustainability.  In our next book club, we will discuss select works from All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis, an anthology of essays and poems written by women at the forefront of the climate movement. We will continue to incorporate the book club practices that worked well during our discussions of Mismatch. We will also iterate and play with some new ideas for engagement and work to increase inclusivity. We hope that book club does not end with the last discussion about All We Can Save, but that participants may be inspired to take further action together to address our climate crisis.

I invite participants from the All We Can Save book club to share your experiences, reactions, ideas, and stories so that we can learn about how this event has impacted you. We look forward to learning from and growing together with you.

Happy reading,
Carlotta Pham


P.S. If you would like to join us for book club on Fridays from 2-3 PM from February 5th – April 2nd, 2021 please sign up here

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