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Lola Oyelayo Pearson

Lola Oyelayo-Pearson is digital design and product strategist, with a wealth of experience running in-house and agency Design and Product teams. Having just completed a stint heading up a multidisciplinary User Experience team at Shopify in Toronto, she’s preparing to take up a new role leading Product at a new Blockchain startup, focused on realising the powerful utility of the technology, for commerce.

Prior to Shopify, her experience includes leading the UK Design team for Capital One, heading up proposition design for a highly regarded blockchain start-up, and leading a successful products and services agency that was consequently bought by Cognizant.

A passionate technophile, Lola operates at a strategic level, helping organisations to see the bigger picture and focus on the outcomes that matter in order to establish high-performing Design and Product cultures.

Lola Oyelayo Pearson

About the talk

Frying pan to the fire, choosing the unpopular path

- SFJAZZ Center

Designers have a tick, we have an innate need to critique. It comes easy to us, it’s always obvious what should have happened, when, and to what end. This tick exists even when we are humbled by a role, dealing with endless constraints and nothing but wicked complex problems. Our spectator eye is perfect and all knowing after all.

The tick dials up a notch when it encounters products, technologies or scenarios that seem to fall foul of our assessment of doing good, being useful, and being human-centred. We ‘ick’ products that seem over-hyped and under-designed and we often celebrate when they fail.

The thing is, we can’t afford to critique from afar in all cases. So many of these seemingly hostile technologies will shape our world. The human-centricity we hold so dear doesn’t come for free, it comes with the hard graft and focus of those on the inside, those willing to tread the unpopular path in the hope that our skills and our values make the right kind of difference.

In this talk, Lola will share her adventures in the world of blockchain, the hostility she experienced in her first go-round in 2018, and why she's chosen to head back to a technology that is going through its largest reputational and social crisis to date.

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