Maximum Human Intervention

As the world rushes headlong towards the automation of everything, with the objective of reducing human intervention to a minimum, Susie Maguire argues that we need to design spaces and places in our homes, our workplaces, our societies and our schools where we swim against this tide, where human intervention is intentionally maximised, where connection is the path, where creation and creativity are the process, and where love is the point.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived”

These words from Henry David Thoreau were written during his time living in a tiny cabin on Walden Pond, Massachusetts between 1845 and 1847.

Inspired by these words and the cabin in the woods, Susie made the decision early in life, to live deliberately and encourage others to do so too. In this talk, she tells stories from her own journeys, at home, at work and always around the world, when maximum human intervention made the maximum difference to her, her son and all those that they encountered.

Losing everything in 2008, and faced with confronting the essential facts of life, Susie says “In my nothing, I discovered my everything, and that experience has influenced all that I’ve done since.”

As an early adopting gadget girl, Susie loves all things tech, but she is also wildly in love with being human, and believes that we should cling hard to our humanity in the coming years, or risk losing not just what makes us truly happy, but what also makes us who we are.