Bits and Behavior
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Bits and Behavior

A graduation speech on responsible design

A photograph of the standing 2019 graduating class of the MHCI+D program
The MHCI+D graduating class of 2019.
  • You learned methods for understand the world as it is.
  • You learned to envision new futures.
  • You learned processes for refining those futures.
  • You learned media for creating these futures.
  • You learned ways of knowing that you’ve succeeded at all of these.
  • Which problems to solve.
  • Whose problems to solve.
  • Which world to create.
  • Will you choose a job for how it helps you or how it helps humanity?
  • Will you choose projects for how they advance your career or how they advance society?
  • Will you choose designs for the markets they serve or the people they serve?
  • A lot of people need more water.
  • A lot of places need to be less hot.
  • For many people, it needs to be safer.
  • The information in our lives needs to be truer.
  • Find that solution that makes the world you want to see, but feeds you
  • Take that job at the business making the change you want to see, but pays you
  • Start that business that creates the markets the world need, but enriches you
  • And if you can’t find ways of doing these, forgive yourself until you can
  • And if that’s not enough, advocate for changes that enable you to do these things, in your jobs, in your communities, and in your countries.



This is the blog for the Code & Cognition lab, directed by professor Amy J. Ko, Ph.D. at the University of Washington. Here we reflect on our individual and collective struggle to understand computing and harness it for justice. See our work at

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Amy J. Ko

Professor of programming + learning + design + justice at the University of Washington Information School. Trans; she/her. #BlackLivesMatter.