Can information architects help shape global society?

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Talking to a room full of information architects and user experience designers at the 2014 World IA Day event in Ann Arbor, Dan Cooney gave a talk on what information architecture might contribute to improving – or re-architecting—the designable aspects of our shared global society.

What do we know from doing project work with clients that we could bring to bear on the wicked problems facing the world today?

Could we use our skills of identifying & exposing the goals & needs at the heart of a project, organization, or information system, and turn those skills toward finding the goals & needs at the heart of our shared global society, so we can establish a foundation on which to start designing our human social infrastructure?

Titled “Architecting the information of society: from projects to pursuit,” this talk was my first foray into this topic, and it is by no means a polished presentation. But I am hopeful the ideas within can serve as a useful conversation starter for discussions on how we can apply information architecture toward making the world a better place.