Charles Austen Angell FIDSA

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Virtual, Artificial or Real: Defining the Next Wave in Tech.

The future is formed through the resolution of tensions; climate change and industry, healthcare equity, connectivity and privacy. This notion is too often ignored within the innovation community. Will AR/VR/MR have the impact that is being touted? Will Artificial Intelligence drive drive a new wave of innovation or become bogged down in a maze of inconsistent consumer desires, government regulations and industry complications? What are the real short term opportunities? 

If we are going accelerate positive growth and change in society, then the manner in which we value and evaluate new innovations will have to become more holistic. We will have to incorporate design thinking principles into our approach and embrace our responsibility as change agents rather than simply benign innovators.


Charles Austen Angell FIDSA is President and CEO of Modern Edge, a research and design firm based in Portland, Oregon

In 2015 Austen was inducted into the Academy of fellows for IDSA, and in January 2016 in a national vote of designers he was voted as one of the 50 most notable Industrial Designers over the last fifty years - a list that includes the founders of Continuum, ZIBA, and IDEO, as well as Raymond Lowey, Sharon Thompson, Henry Dreyfuss, Patricia A. Moore, and Walter Dorwin Teague. 

Modern Edge creates products and services in health care, wearable tech, connected devices, active lifestyles, and the specialty vehicle market. Modern Edge’s clientele is a mixture of Fortune fifty companies and start-ups. Austen’s collaboration include NASA, John Deere, Harley Davidson, The US Air Force, the Kenyan Government, Eastman Chemical, Samsung, SC Johnson, Medtronic, BMW, Gillette, General Motors, Ford, St. Jude Medical, Sunbeam, as well as many Portland start-up companies. 

Austen is one of the original trustees for the design foundation, a 501C3 in Washington, DC that focuses on grants for design education, and he has been an honorary chair of the international design conference chair for IDSA. He is also Former Chair of the executive board of the Industrial Designers Society of America. Austen is also a former director at Intel corporation, and known internationally in field of technology design, experience design, and consumer research. 
He is a sought out speaker on design and innovation all over the world, and is known for his commitment to design for positive social impact.