Skip to Main Content
of desiGn

careerID: Fred Dust on Making Conversation

February 17, 2021
6:00-8:00pm CST
Fred Dust talks with ID about how meaningful communication can drive change.

Fred Dust talks with ID Dean Denis Weil and student Stephanie Meng (MDes + MBA 2021) about how meaningful communication can drive change.

At ID we believe in building cooperative futures. To do so, we must be able to relate and connect with one another, creating citizen-centered strategies and convening networks to drive change. Enter Fred Dust’s new book Making Conversation: Seven Essential Elements of Meaningful Communication. Join a Zoom conversation of particular interest to design students, job seekers, and design practitioners as the two explore navigating virtual communication at a time when conversations are under attack by polarization. Dust calls us to restore the power of conversation to foster understanding and action—because our future depends on it.

Fred Dust works at the intersection of business, society, and creativity. As a designer, author, educator, consultant, trustee, and advisor to social and business leaders, he is one of the world’s most original thinkers, applying the craft and optimism of human-centered design to the intractable challenges we face today. Using the methodology in his book Making Conversation, he has been working as the Senior Dialogue Designer with The Rockefeller Foundation to explore the future of pressing global needs; and with The Einhorn Collaborative and other foundations to host constructive dialogue with leaders ranging from David Brooks, Reverend Jenn Bailey, and Vivek Murthy to rebuild human connection in a climate of widespread polarization, cynicism, and disruption. Fred has worked with the US Agency for International Development, the US Office of Personnel Management, and the US Social Security Administration to create citizen-centered strategies and the structures to implement them. Fred collaborates closely with nonprofit and philanthropic foundations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Knight Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and Bloomberg Philanthropies to create new frameworks for engaging with stakeholders to improve the impact and reach of their programs.

This talk is part of ID's careerID Confab, a place where practitioners and students come together to learn about current and future roles for designers.

IIT Institute of Design (ID) builds responsible, cooperative, intelligent futures. Founded by László Moholy-Nagy as The New Bauhaus in 1937, ID is known for pioneering human-centered design and systems design. Today ID is home to the only US design school devoted completely to graduate students. But ID is more than a graduate school. ID is an international community of learners and practitioners who are addressing the biggest issues of our time by eliciting a power unique to humans: creativity. Learn more about ID at