Women Techmakers Belfast Summit 2018

I had the immense pleasure to be featured at a women-run conference with my talk about – yes, yes – design thinking! This one, however, was not predominantly about the methodology, but about how it can empower you to be better, both professionally and in personal life. I found my superpower (well, besides speaking Polish, gżegżołka, ha!) in applying the general design thinking mindsets in my day-to-day life. Let me show you that design thinking, life-wise, teaches empathy, vulnerability, and courage. It’s only a design-focused trick, per se.


What a day! My first official public speaking gig in Northern Ireland (NI), after being here for almost a year (355 days, calculated on the spot while drinking Prosecco, must be correct!)! The yearly summit of Irish girls in tech was organized by Women Techmakers Belfast, and oh boy, what an event it was. A massive thank you to you, WTB girls – a bunch of „we’re not event organizers” – for putting together a welcoming, friendly, and inspiring event! And not one technical glitch, bravo! But most importantly, you have chosen great female speakers that at some point in their careers said, „screw it, let’s do it!” and became bosses of their own worlds… Worlds that, a few years back, were mostly male-dominated!


Here are the inspirational success stories from my talk. Those projects were possible because the designers used their empathy, vulnerability, and courage superpowers:

Tim Ferriss and his personal suicide story:



There’s so much pressure put on being sympathetic towards others, but we don’t talk about empathy that much. While sympathy deals with feeling for someone, accepting that they can feel in a certain way, empathy is feeling with someone, being with them in their feelings. Since being exposed to design thinking, my question is always about how we can do anything – and I mean ANYTHING – with other people if we don’t know what they are going through? It’s not easy, because sometimes we haven’t always felt the same as our friends, but we should always try.


There are already a few great videos explaining the concept:



I can’t stress enough how vulnerability is crucial in our lives, how acknowledging the fact that we are not invincible can make us… invincible. We might want to be superheroes, but even heroes have the right to bleed! The moment we accept we can make mistakes, and it’s ok to make them, we become free. The moment we accept we can fail, we can then pick up the pieces and try again!


There is actually lots of research on this topic:



Courage is essential. We wouldn’t be where we are if it wasn’t for courage. No computers, no medical inventions, no advanced technology, no city enhancements, no… no nothing. 'Nuff said.


Let’s hear some good stories about courage (or being scared):