Mala Kumar has worked in tech for social good for the last decade. Early on in her career, she discovered how critical UX research and design is to helping international development programs address the world’s most pressing issues. She is the designer of an app in West Africa to help youth better engage in local politics, the designer of UNICEF Innocenti’s first native digital research product, she worked with USAID to use data for public health decision making, and has helped several social good organisations rethink their approach to digital content and messaging. In 2014, Mala published her debut novel titled The Paths of Marriage, which sold worldwide. The book explores intersectional identities of being South Asian, female and queer, and was featured in several literary festivals. In September 2018, Mala and her brother Kiran launched a podcast titled Desi Women Diaspora, in which Mala interviews women of South Asian origin who grew up in different countries. Mala Kumar believes digital tech can play an important role in making the world a better place. She is excited to share her experience and discoveries in the ever difficult and always worthy journey of amplifying marginalized voices.
Technologist for Social Good
Would you buy a phone that costs the majority of your annual salary? For most people in the world, that's the question they face if they want to buy an iPhone. Most of global digital design focuses on platforms and products for the world's richest people. But what does design look like for those who have significantly less? In Mala's talk, she'll explore examples of using UX research, UX design and common tech methodologies at the United Nations, international NGOs and in her current role at GitHub to build solutions for the majority of the world, not just those in the top economic echelon.