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Sociobiologist Rebecca Costa: Thoughts on the Next Era of Design

by Jessica Deseo on 08/05/2014 | 3 Minute Read

Sociobiologist Rebecca Costa: Thoughts on the Next Era of Design

We are thrilled to properly introduce our Keynote speaker for The Dieline Summit, Rebecca Costa. She is an American sociobiologist, author, and radio host. In her book, The Watchman's Rattle, she connects the dots on the emerging issues currently facing society today. As designers we are committed to properly adapting to these emerging changes. 

The Dieline Summit is set out to discuss these challenges and help solve today's global problems. The mission is to prepare the next generation of designers and brand leaders by asking one simple question:

What is the Future of Packaging?  

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Rebecca Costa is an American Sociobiologist, author, radio host and keynote speaker at The Dieline Summit. 

We are pleased to have Rebecca Costa as our keynote speaker on November 16th in Paris, France. We had the privilege to ask her a few questions about design, packaging, society and everything in between. 

JS: The Dieline team has read The Watchman's Rattle and we all agree it is incredibly thought-provoking book which addresses a lot of current issues - as well as future issues - that will impact society. Can you summarize to our readers what the Watchman's Rattle is about?

RC: We live in a time when the velocity, volume and variety of new data, regulations, processes, discoveries, technologies, etc., are exponentiating faster than at any other time in human history.  But what happens when change moves faster than humans are biologically equipped to adapt?  How do businesses and institutions respond?  How do we meet the challenge?  For the first time, the repetitive symptoms which appear when complexity exceeds our biological limitations have been identified - as well as the secrets to fast adaptation and adoption! 

JS: You mentioned that you believe we are entering a Golden Era of Design. Can you elaborate on this? 

RC: Never before has design mattered more. The interface between increasingly feature-ladened, complex products, and the limitations of the human organism has become the deciding factor between products which experience fast adoption and those which fail.  

JS: How do designers, marketers, and product creators play into this? 

RC: Designers, marketers and product creators are fond of saying that they are building products for specific markets and applications - but how many are acquainted with the basic principles of adaptation?  When a market is viewed as an "ecosystem," and consumers viewed as organisms adapting to changes within that "ecosystem," the design and introduction of new products take on entirely new priorities.  

JS: How important is it for creative people to prepare for this next era? RC: Millions of years of human evolution have led to the greatest biological asset any living organism has acquired: the ability to look ahead, conduct thought experiments, then act, in the present, to minimize, or avert, a future danger which has yet to occur.  No other creature has the ability to volitionally preempt. Yet, how often do we use this remarkable biological asset?

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