Emotional and Social Intelligence as ‘Magic Key’ in Innovation: A Designer’s call toward inclusivity for all

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Joern Henning Buehring
Patricia Moore


This paper draws attention to the emotional and social intelligence of individuals - encompassing self- and social awareness, empathy and social skills; when applied to innovation, it can boost employee creativity, diversity, risk taking, learning, adapting, and strategic decision making which is deemed as critical in meeting the challenges of the 21stCentury. Meanwhile, Design in business and innovation have become increasingly synonymous in both meaning (e.g. design and futures thinking) and reach (e.g. products, services, business models, and systems), placing renewed focus on creative human capital as the organizations’ greatest asset. Expanding the conversation of Design in business as a strategic role to develop user-centered innovations through ‘inclusivity for all’, it is proposed that an organization’s emotional and social intelligence may well bear the 'magic key' toward competitive resilience and long-term survival.

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Author Biographies

Joern Henning Buehring, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

School of Design, Research Assistant Professor

Patricia Moore, MooreDesign Associates

Dr Patricia Moore is credited as a founder of the Universal Design Methodology and recognized for the promotion of global Design Inclusivity. She is a Fellow of the USA Industrial Designers Association and has been named as one of the world’s 40 Most Socially Conscious Designers, one of the 100 Most Important Women in America and one of the 50 Americans Defining the 21st Century.