Open By Design

Whether it’s the lack of access to tech jobs for minorities, impactful technologies with closed backends like AI and twitter bots, or systems that make it difficult for disadvantaged people to engage with public services, closed doors are all around us. They can hinder people from unfolding their full potential, trick people by disguising false information and increase social inequality.

To engage the Austin design community in a discussion about access, participation, and empowerment, we are hosting ‘Open by Design’, a panel discussion about how design can open doors. We will hear from Austin design leaders how they managed to open doors across fields like project management, inclusion and diversity, AI, and public services.

During the discussion, the panelists will explore questions like:

  • What does it mean to design for open doors? To design for access, participation, and empowerment?
  • What doors have they been able to open and how? How did they overcome the challenges? What are the lessons they learned? What is their process to opening doors?
  • How can other designers do the same? What do they recommend to other designers when they are trying to open doors?
  • Which doors are still closed? What’s the role of the design community in this? How can we as a design community, open them?

Attendees will leave the event with a first-hand impression of how Austin design leaders tackle challenges around access, participation, and empowerment. They will have connected with others in the Austin design community and have a few more tools in their toolkit to open doors in their own field.


  • Jennifer Sukis, Design Principal for AI Leadership and Design Practices, IBM
  • Kerry O’Connor, Chief Innovation Officer, City of Austin
  • Nichole Burton, Designer and Regional Lead for Diversity and Inclusion, Atlassian)


Jannis Hegenwald, Designer, Trello, Atlassian

  • 701 Brazos St. Austin, TX 78701
  • DAY
  • Monday November 5th
  • TIME
  • 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
  • Atlassian
  • Yes
  • Limited parking (paid street and garage parking) | FREE B-cycle | CapMetro downtown | Rideshare

  • Free

701 Brazos St.
Austin, TX 78701