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ID Researchers Identify Five Urgent Organizational Challenges in the Age of AI

May 8, 2024

Taking Responsibility in the Age of AI print report covers
ID’s new report, "Taking Responsibility in the Age of AI," reveals how design greets these challenges and leads today's organizations to success.

The Institute of Design (ID) has released its 2024 report, entitled “Taking Responsibility in the Age of AI,” which has identified the most urgent challenges organizations face today and how designers can convert these challenges into opportunities.

Building on and referencing ID’s 2020 report, “Lead with Purpose,” the latest report is the product of 29 qualitative interviews with leaders in innovation including professionals from Ford, IBM, IDEO, Microsoft, JP Morgan Chase, Nordstrom, and many others.

In this age of AI, we need strategic designers who can navigate complex, interconnected landscapes to ensure thoughtful and appropriate evolutions in our offerings.
—Mark Jones, Associate Professor of User Research and Service Design, Institute of Design

In a climate of uncertainty regarding the potential impact AI will have within companies, ID’s 2024 report ultimately finds that design can help today’s leaders leverage new technology to satisfy unprecedented consumer expectations. ID faculty advisor and research lead, Mark Jones, transparently references a shift in moods about the state of design following large-scale layoffs across industries.

Through insights from interview subjects, the Taking Responsibility research team identified the five following concrete challenges:

  1. The need to work at speed.
  2. The need for systems thinkers.
  3. The need for facilitators.
  4. The need for updated metrics.
  5. The need to demonstrate values.
We, as designers and design-trained leaders, need to link specific attributes of our skill sets with the specific pressing needs of our time.
—Anijo Mathew, Dean, Institute of Design

Each challenge is presented alongside actionable opportunities to help design leaders thrive in these times. In fact, each organizational challenge calls out for the attributes designers bring to every strategic endeavor. Takeaways are encapsulated in clear best practices related to Partnerships & Practice: the application of systems thinking skills and creative collaborations, as well as good design practice and effective working methods.

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