27-29 Sept.

Friday, 28 Sep. 14:20–15:05


Humans, Heat & Hygiene

/ Ellie Ereira

Ellie Ereira


What role does design play in an overpopulated world, where temperatures are continuing to rise and there are mass movements of people due to conflicts and natural disasters? How do you create technology when the problems we are designing for traverse borders, sectors and cultures? To answer these questions, we will unpack some of the systemic issues involving humans, heat and hygiene.

We will share our experiences of exploring problems around sanitation design in refugee camps, building resilience for cyclones and floods in coastal cities and coordinating emergency humanitarian responses. Through co-designing solutions with large NGOs we will explain how we applied a systems thinking approach and critically examined the ethics of our methods.

Though these problems may seem insurmountable, we believe that we can apply and adapt our design-led practices to make a positive difference in our ever changing world.



Ellie Ereira

Ellie is a senior Product Manager and co-lead of Pivotal Act at Pivotal. Pivotal Act is a new initiative focusing on design and technology in the humanitarian and social impact space. She has tackled this problem from many different sectors, including at the World Bank, UK based startup OpenSignal, the US Department of Energy, and in academia. She has worked on projects such as setting up incubators in the Caribbean for clean tech entrepreneurs, and distributing mobile apps to map cell signal in West Africa during the Ebola outbreak in 2014. 
She has a masters in Technology and Policy from MIT and studied physics for undergrad at Oxford University. Ellie spoke at Interaction 18 about bringing iterative, lean & design-led approaches to problems relating to climate change resiliency and sanitation in refugee camps


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