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Royal Roads Design Thinking

Ledia Andrawes

Keynote: A new bottom line: It’s time to radically reframe the ‘Return on Design’ for social good 

Is design a force for good? Sometimes! When practiced with care, design can help build trust, sustain ownership, reduce risk, increase equity, and challenge dominant power relationships. However, achieving such requires us to navigate a variety of ethical dilemmas, go beyond the conventional value frameworks of business, and embrace new terms toward a ’Return on Design’ for social good.


About Ledia

Born in Egypt, raised in Australia, and having lived in Kenya and the UK, I am humbled by my privilege and constantly outwitted by my choices. I’m a designer, strategist, and anthropologist who loves to integrate rigour with heart to reimagine more equitable social futures. Mindful of how power and privilege can influence outcomes, I am guided by indigenous wisdom and participatory practices to translate ideas into meaningfully co-owned action. 

I have 15 years experience leading interdisciplinary teams and co-designing with communities in over 10 countries. I am co-founder of Sonder Collective, a diverse network of researchers and innovators driven by shared values. Most recently, I have collaborated with 25 peace activists from around the world to imagine what decolonised peacebuilding futures might look like; I have worked with GAVI on co-creating more equitable immunisation supply chains globally; and have explored ways to integrate more qualitative insights into decision-making at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Previously, I set up ThinkPlace’s consultancy in Kenya and developed their portfolio of work in Africa. This included co-designing a citizen-centred national health policy with the Kenyan government, developing digital solutions with frontline community health nurses in Ghana, as well as co-designing the vision, values and behaviours of future humanitarian action with the Overseas Development Institute. 

I hold a PhD in Anthropology, a Master of Business, and Bachelor of Design. When not working, I love getting lost in new cities, trail-walking, foraging, oil painting, slam poetry, dancing to 80s/90s classics, and perfecting my gluten-free cheesecake! 


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