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People get into UX for lots of reasons.

It’s an in-demand career, it’s rewarding, and it can improve how the world works.

We’re celebrating UX leaders who are making a difference. Who’s on your list?

 1. Sasha Costanza-Chock 

Sasha Costanza-Chock is a researcher, designer and activist. They are committed to making design processes more inclusive. The MIT professor, Harvard faculty associate, and Design Justice Network committee member released Design Justice in 2020. It explores how universal design practices can lead to social inequality. 

Follow: @schock

Read: Design Justice

Watch: Author Talk: Design Justice by Sasha Costanza-Chock

 2. Laura Kalbag 

Laura Kalbag is the author of Accessibility for Everyone. It’s about making websites more accessible to disabled people. She believes that technology should be designed with disabled people – not for them. Laura owns the Small Technology Foundation nonprofit, which creates everyday tools to increase human welfare, not corporate profits. 

Follow: @LauraKalbag

Read: Accessibility for Everyone

Listen: Disruptive design patterns with Laura Kalbag

 3. Tim Frick 

Tim Frick founded the Mightybytes agency in 1998. They help nonprofits, social enterprises, and purpose-driven companies to increase their impact. They also created the Ecograder, where you can measure how green your website is. Tim’s also the author of Designing for Sustainability, which examines the environmental impact of the digital world. 

Follow: @timfrick

Read: Designing for Sustainability

Watch: Sustainability and the Web: Are We Tweeting Our Way to a Warmer Planet?

 4. Sarah Fathallah 

Sarah Fathallah is an independent social designer, researcher, and co-founder of Design Gigs for Good. She uses her background in global development to tackle important social issues. She’s interested in the extractive nature of design, and how design can fall short in the social sector. 

Follow: @SFath

Read: Design for good: Tackling social issues with Sarah Fathallah 

Watch: Conducting research with vulnerable communities

 5. Robert Fabricant 

Robert Fabricant is the co-founder of Dalberg Design. It’s a global design practice that focuses on social impact. His work spans from financial inclusion, social impact, public health, healthcare, and media. He’s also the author of User Friendly – a historical look at how design changed the world. 

Follow: @fabtweet

Read: User Friendly

Listen: Robert Fabricant | Driving social innovation

 6. Kat Zhou 

Kat Zhou is a product designer at Spotify with a passion for ethical, accessible and inclusive design. Before getting into design, Kat studied public policy and ethics at Duke University. She’s the creator of <Design Ethically>, a project that gives tips on applying ethical practices to product design. 

Follow: @katherinemzhou

Read: 10 Questions with Kat Zhou 

Watch: Bytes of Good Live: Design Ethically with Kat Zhou

 7. Tim Brown 

Tim Brown is the executive chair of IDEO, a global design company. He’s also the author of Change By Design – an essential read about design thinking. While IDEO didn’t invent ‘design thinking’, they were early pioneers in using it. In a 2010 article, Tim discussed how nonprofits can benefit from it too. He’s also on the board of IDEO.org – a nonprofit design studio. 

Follow: @tceb62

Read: Design Thinking for Social Innovation

Watch: Tim Brown urges designers to think big

 8.  Reginé Gilbert

Reginé Gilbert is a UX designer and professor at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. She’s passionate about making the world more accessible for the end user. Reginé wrote Inclusive Design for a Digital World. The book offers straightforward solutions to designing inclusively.  

Follow: @reg_inee

Read: Inclusive Design for a Digital World

Watch: A11yNYC – Designing With Accessibility in Mind

 9. Per Axbom

Per Axbom is a UX designer and independent consultant. He’s passionate about making tech safe and compassionate. Per writes about a range of topics around digital ethics on his blog and Medium. And he wrote a book called Digital Compassion. Per’s also a podcast host at UXPodcast, which moves beyond the traditional realm of UX. 

Follow: @axbom

Read: Digital Compassion

Listen: Making friends with… Per Axbom

 10. Cennydd Bowles

Cennydd Bowles is a designer and futurist. He’s interested in what’s going to happen with tech and ethics. He has advised companies like Twitter, Samsung, and Accenture. And he’s lectured on design ethics in places like Facebook, Google, and Stanford University. His book Future Ethics is an interesting overview of the ethical dilemmas that tech creates.  

Follow: @Cennydd

Read: Future Ethics

Watch: Building Better Worlds

 11. Alba Villamil

Alba Villamil is an independent design researcher in the social sector. In her doctoral sociology studies at Harvard, her focus was urban poverty, social policy, race, ethnicity, and immigration. Alba is now using her training to analyse what ethics mean in UX design. She’s passionate about solving inequality with immigrants and low income families. 

Follow: @albanvillamil

Read: How We Empathize in UX Matters

Listen: Alba Villamil on UX Research Ethics, Inclusion & Social Change

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