Design Jams: Next stop, Paris!

When you put the right people in a room together, some pretty incredible things can happen. In Berlin, Brussels, Dublin, Hong Kong, London and Sao Paolo, Facebook’s Design Jam workshops have certainly proven this. Next stop: Paris, at our very own Startup Garage.

Startups, policy constituents and Facebook teams collaborated at a Design Jam in Brussels

Design Jams bring together policymakers and privacy specialists with leading designers and product experts to workshop solutions for fostering trust, transparency and control of people’s personal data. How companies manage data is, of course, a question that often comes up in today’s digital world, and Design Jams allow us to contribute our expertise to this important issue, whilst partnering with other companies and top innovators. Policymakers typically have little opportunity to work directly with designers. Design Jams aim to change this. The combination of policy and design expertise in one room brings about a completely fresh approach, tackling policy and privacy issues in design-centred, user-focused ways. Results from previous sessions around the world suggest that when these two groups collaborate, they can make some real progress on the biggest challenges facing our industry at a remarkable speed.

During Design Jams, we especially enjoy working with startups. This is for two key reasons: they have small, nimble teams, so they can really benefit from some specialist advice; and they are often at the forefront of innovation, so there is equally a lot that we, and the policymakers, can learn from them. All of the startups we’re hosting at Startup Garage use data in ways that are enhancing people’s day-to-day lives. The School Project uses school pupils’ marks to help create more personalized curriculums; Karos uses location to open up carpooling opportunities; and Riminder is driving a high-quality, efficient recruitment process by matching companies’ needs with users’ resumé data. We’ve chosen these startups, along with the other nine currently at the Startup Garage, precisely because of this innovation with data — they are genuinely improving the way people live their lives by helping them make better decisions. But, with this comes real challenges in terms of data management and transparency. We appreciate how crucial it is that users have full control and visibility over the information companies store about them. This has never been more relevant, given that the GDPR legislation is coming into effect in May 2018. So, with all this in mind, we thought Startup Garage was the perfect place to host a Design Jam that focusses on the use of personal data — it’s of the utmost importance for us and for our startups.

At the Design Jam in Paris on 4th December, we’ll be gathering some of our startups from Startup Garage, along with others from Station F and a diverse team of cross-industry experts. They will spend a day building, testing and exploring solutions to some of the key privacy challenges facing the tech industry today. They’ll discuss policy, debate solutions and challenge conventions. The policymakers’ expertise will give us all a unique insight into the biggest issues of today (and of the future). Then, we’re aiming to tackle them in new ways, by taking the designers’ experience in design thinking and making technology usable, and applying it to data. Crucially, Design Jams take policy and theory questions and tackle them with practical, real-life solutions, that are being designed with people in mind.

Facebook Global Deputy Chief Privacy Officer, Stephen Deadman, shares the vision of the workshop and the changing data economy at each of the Design Jams, here in Berlin

Of course, Facebook experts will be attending too. Our approach to design is about putting people first, and this is something we hope to share with the startups at Startup Garage. Moreover, when we design our products, privacy and transparency are top priorities. We believe people and businesses of all types win when we unite these two things — we need to think about privacy and control for people on Facebook, and also design it in a user-friendly way that will be meaningful and clear to people on Facebook. Stephen Deadman, our Global Deputy Chief Privacy Officer, says “Privacy by design is a mindset and a methodology. We have to be really focused on how human beings interact with data.” What better place to bring this philosophy to life, than in a room full of data professionals and human design experts? We can’t wait to see what our Paris Design Jam participants come up with.

Visit the blog again in the coming weeks to read about how the workshop went!