Design story: Designers of the Future

An interview with Roisin Finnegan, Deloitte Ventures NI

Please introduce yourself and your role at Deloitte

My name is Roisin Finnegan and I lead Deloitte Ventures in Northern Ireland. Ventures is focused on new models of working for Deloitte. So, whether that is looking at developing new products and services with tech-focused start-ups or different ways of engaging with our clients or people, our efforts are concentrated around innovative and new ways of working.


What made you decide to sponsor Belfast Design Week 2018?

Deloitte have been involved in Design Week since last year; one of our consultants, Mike Williams ran a UX design workshop ‘Hustle’ as part of it. When we saw the plans for this year we knew it was something we would love to support on a bigger scale. Design Week allows Belfast to showcase our world class design heritage and innovative new talent. It’s a celebration of what we as a city can offer the world in terms of design talent and Deloitte feel privileged to be able to support it.


What do you hope to bring to BDW18?

By lending our support to BDW, we are demonstrating our commitment to Belfast as a global firm and the critical importance of good creativity and design in business. A number of individuals from Deloitte will be helping to lead and facilitate specific sessions during the week-long programme of events.


What are you looking forward to most during BDW18?

BDW is now much more than a few specific design events featuring architecture or clever graphics. The sheer number and range of events demonstrates what is now included under the umbrella of ‘design’. For us it’s about creativity and having the opportunity to be exposed to and take part in events with those creative individuals is genuinely exciting.  

All children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.

How can we encourage people to get involved in design from a younger age?

It was Pablo Picasso who famously remarked that ‘All children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up’. Our young people’s creative talents should be harnessed and nurtured in both formal education and at home. Creativity isn’t just linked to having an unusual talent, it’s about the ability to think or see things in a different or imaginative way and that can be applied to in almost any area of life such as maths, business or art. As technology disrupts our lives and our businesses more and more, as artificial intelligence and machine learning displaces routine based jobs and skills, the ability to be able to think in a different or novel way will become even more valuable.


What type of jobs could the future hold for the next generation of designers?

We know the labour market will transform dramatically in as little as 5 years; a popular estimate states that 65% of children starting school today will have jobs that do not currently exist. We are in the midst of the forth industrial revolution where technology is effectively displacing traditional jobs. It is estimated that the areas of growth will be around jobs found in information and communication technology, engineering and maths. More opportunities for design led occupations in these job ‘families’ will certainly exist as well as the traditional job sets for designer.


What do you hope for the future of design in Belfast?

Belfast is a city in its infancy. It is brimming with potential and positivity; we as individuals and businesses have a collective responsibility to harness that and help raise the city to prominence. Good design is critical as the city grows in order that we can compete on a global level, grow the local economy and make the city one that people are proud of.

Grab your ticket for Hustle Design Talks here


Deloitte: Designers of the Future here