Project Description

Sara Wachter-Boettcher

Founder, Active Voice

Sara Wachter-Boettcher is an author, speaker, coach, and strategist dedicated to changing design and tech for good. She’s the founder of Active Voice, a coaching and training company helping organizations build radical, courageous leadership practices.
Her most recent book, Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech, was named one of the best tech books of the year by Wired. She also wrote Design for Real Life (with Eric Meyer) and Content Everywhere, and has been published in The Washington Post, The Guardian, and McSweeney’s. Find her at home in Philly, on Twitter @sara_ann_marie, or at

Speaking at the conference

Monday, September 27, 11:00-11:50 am PST

Hit Reset: How to re-find your courage and make radical change right now

Let’s be real: everyone’s exhausted, the pandemic is still lingering, and burnout is sky-high. Even those of us who’ve “had it good” this past year and a half are struggling. Yet, we’re also still facing all the same challenges as before: inequitable products that exclude or harm people, understaffed and under-respected research teams, and an industry that prioritizes profit over people.
In moments like this, it can feel like an either/or: Do I speak up for equity and make change in my organization, or do I hunker down and take care of myself? Justice or rest? Self or others?
But recovering personally and making change professionally don’t have to be at odds with each other. In fact, we can’t do one without the other. In this talk, we’ll look at why that is, and explore what it takes to reset and recover, while staying committed to equity, inclusion, and harm reduction in our work.

Key Takeaways

  • How avoiding our own feelings and needs makes us dangerous to our colleagues and users—particularly those from marginalized groups
  • Why binary thinking is so seductive—and keeps us stuck in fear instead of living our values
  • Why “getting back to normal” won’t work, and how to use this moment to make our organizations more humane for the long run
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