Serving others is a lifelong passion.
Since I was a very young child, I have been encouraged to serve others, and I find it extremely personally rewarding. Even though I am now retired from consulting, I will never retire from trying to make the world a better place by serving other people - be they local or across the sea. Mentoring is part of this - serving individuals but also, serving my profession by helping young professionals and academics thrive. But in addition, I have done a number of other things apart from my "day job" - most notably, I have tried to encourage and empower people and groups who have previously been disenfranchised for whatever reason - gender, ethnicity, income, sexual orientation, or anything else.
I am also trying to promote HCI/UX and people who are practicing it in the so-called "Developing World" to help them grow the discipline in their own contexts by supporting their efforts, helping them plan and carry out their initiatives, and assisting them in getting traction within the larger HCI/UX community. They are pioneers who are forging a path for the profession, and, as such, they face a host of challenges - both professional and cultural. How to adapt "human-centered design" methods, what local examples can be used when teaching students, how to get recognized by the profession, how to get traction with local institutions which have never heard of this profession, how to build a cadre of academics and professionals who "get it" whether because of their training, or their inclination, and many more questions all require these folks to deal with extremely difficult situations which most people working in the so-called "Developed World" do not face in the same way because they were answered long ago. It is a deep honor to have the opportunity to know and support these pioneers.
© Susan M. Dray, 2020, All rights reserved.