Innovation that is Changing the Most Lives

Human-Centered Design

“Human-centered design [is changing the most lives in the developing world]. Meeting people where they are and really taking their needs and feedback into account. When you let people participate in the design process, you find that they often have ingenious ideas about what would really help them. And it’s not a onetime thing; it’s an iterative process.”

[Melinda Gates]


The focus of Gates work is empowering women and girls. Like the Steven Lewis foundation that is working with grandmothers to help children with AIDS in Africa, Gates discovered that empowering women benefits the health and prosperity of entire communities.

This is something we often forget to reflect upon and to mention, because women in their roles of mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters, nieces, girlfriends find a way to make things work. And they do it quietly, silently helping others break through.

Leaders in their own rights, on the front lines of historical events yet unrecognized, women continue to be an invisible force, hidden in plain sight.

From Madame de Stael (one of Napoleon's principal opponents) to Rita Levi-Montalcini (neurologist), Marie Curie (physicist and chemist), and Rosa Parks (civil-rights activist) to Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin (astronomer and astrophysicist) and Susan B. Anthony (activist), Dr Grace Mary Hopper (computer scientist) to Maria Gaetana Agnesi (mathematician) the important contributions of women continue to be edited out of history and business.

Official stories tend to cast them as support agents while they were instead pioneers who left their mark on what came next.

We live in the age of collaboration, and yet we are constantly seeking to reward just one person, the most visible, all too often someone who matches a still prevalent worldview.

Human-centered as in all humans is a good principle to remember. Until then, the entire world is still developing.



Valeria is an experienced listener. She designs service and product experiences to help businesses rediscover the value of promises and its effects on relationships and culture. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. Book her to speak here.