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Designing with purpose

Keynote lecture Sean Carney

In his keynote for Dutch Design Week, Sean makes a call to arms: with the world facing some of the toughest healthcare challenges of our lifetime, designers can and must step up and design with purpose.

As the Chief Design Officer (CDO) of Philips, Sean deeply believes that radical empathy is the birthplace of design thinking. He’s responsible for the overarching creative and design thought leadership at Philips and leads a team of over 600 designers across 13 studios across the world.

To compliment his CDO responsibilities, he’s also the Business Leader for the Healthcare Transformation Services (HTS) Business. HTS collaborates with doctors, clinicians and patients to provide patient-focused consulting services.

Under Sean’s leadership, Philips Experience Design and HTS strive to create and design exceptional patient and clinician experiences, ultimately reimagining and redesigning the future of healthcare in this modern, connected and ageing world.

We are starting to understand that major events just don’t happen “over there.” We are all affected by these challenges. And we must all be part of the solution. Thanks to the unique way in which designers blend an understanding of science and technology with creativity, intuition, and empathy, we have the potential to bring about fundamental change at a global level. But to do so, we be must be ready to get our hands dirty, create new value networks based around fair value sharing, and partner up.

In a world where the loudest often get the most, designers need to advocate for those without a voice. We must design for everyone, not just the privileged few.

But how? How can designers help to solve some of the toughest healthcare challenges of our lifetime? Join us as Sean explores three design approaches as well as shares real-life stories of how we already do this today. We will also hear from the winners of the Student Design Challenge, and close with a Q&A session.

Simply visit this DDW eventpage which will go live on the 17th October.

Sean’s keynote will livestream from DDW TV on Saturday 17th October 13.00 – 14.00 so be sure to book time in your calendar! Look forward to seeing you then.

Please note: Viewers from China can join the stream via

Dutch Design Foundation Ambassador

Sean is honoured to be one of the official Dutch Design Week 2020 ambassadors. He realizes that we need to bring the best and brightest minds together in multidisciplinary approach to redesign the future of healthcare. He believes we can harness the power of experience design in making healthcare more accessible and sustainable, with an emphasis on truly caring for people.