Five questions with Bridgeable alumnus Galen MacLusky

“Five questions with …” is our chance to get to know our alumni a little better. We caught up with Bridgeable alumnus Galen MacLusky to talk about life after Bridgeable.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done professionally since leaving Bridgeable?

I worked with a collaborative in Leamington, Ontario, to launch a community-wide inclusion initiative. It was a really interesting context in which to apply approaches I learned at Bridgeable while also getting experience in community organizing. It was also a great chance to learn more about a part of Ontario that I’m less familiar with. Hooray for greenhouses, mayflies, and El Salvadoran food!

What qualities do you look for and appreciate in the people you work with or hire?

I have a renewed appreciation for how important it is to work with people who are relentlessly curious. It’s something I took a bit for granted at Bridgeable, but it really makes this community unique!

What’s your favourite Bridgeable memory?

Sabotaging a hotel feedback survey with Minyan at the end of a long day of travel and work. Those moments of connection and play with other Bridgers are very special to me. I’ll let you get the full details on what actually went down from Minyan herself!

How do you manage your work/life balance?

These days I work from home, so it’s a bit trickier! Not checking emails in the evenings or on weekends is very important, as it creates clear physical boundaries between work and home. I have a room just for work, and closing the door at the end of the workday makes a big difference. I’ve also gotten (slightly) better at not trying to do everything (at work), which gives me more time to explore other passions that keep me inspired and weird.

What is one small change each of us can make in our daily lives to make the world a more human place? 

Lengthy soapbox speech approaching! In some ways, I’ve started to see design research itself as a workaround for a broader social challenge. Employees, in general, aren’t often directly connected with the people their work impacts. This also shows up in some of the political polarization and animosity we’re seeing in North America—there aren’t many people acting as bridges between different world views. So I think a small change we all could make would be to actively seek connections with people who are different from us—people who have unique and opposing views and values. Not to convince them of our perspective, but to understand theirs. It’s a practice we inherently value in our work that I think has a great potential to change the world when we make it a daily part of our lives, but it does take conscious effort in practice. It’s easier and more comfortable to run with our own tribes.

We’re looking for alumni to feature in future instalments of “Five questions with …”! Please get in touch if you’re interested in taking part.

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