Each click satisfied. When I was about 8, one of my prized possessions was my Dymo label maker. You rotated the dial from letter to letter, squeezed the handle, and it spit out a raised-letter plastic strip that could be affixed to anything. As a kid, this activity gave me some sense of agency when I felt I had little. The world seemed imbued with knowledge that was constantly shifting and outside my reach, but not others'. I was determined to learn how things worked, and still am. Labeling things helped create a sense of order and stasis, however temporary. There is a difference between power and control, and the ability to influence. There are also elements that resist a designer’s conjecture more than others, like personalities, feelings, behaviors and beliefs. Labeling won’t change their nature, make them something different and better. Most of the time, I feel like I’m still growing up. The more I practice yoga, the more I realize what a beginner I am. The more I pursue sustainable innovation, the more deeply I appreciate the distance we have to travel, what I still need to learn to do, how difficult evolving ingrained systems can be. Those thin plastic labels were cool, unambiguous, and tactile. I would rub my finger across the raised surface thinking that if my vision were impaired, perhaps I would still be able to read, and in a way see. I’m grateful for this technology, the ability to create and affix a mark that not only I, but also others can follow.
Insights, inspiration and opportunities to create a more vibrant and resilient future.