Session: Designing the Future of Transportation at the Intersection of Innovation and Inclusion
What if you could design a new mode of transportation – entirely from scratch? What functions and features would you prioritize?
As the head of passenger experience at an innovative transportation company – and the first passenger on a hyperloop! – Sara is working to integrate empathy into engineering. In this talk, she’ll address the importance of incorporating inclusion into design from the very beginning.
So many depictions of the future portray a dark, dystopian outlook, with stark lighting and ubiquitous screens. Join Sara as she shares her efforts to shape a more optimistic counter-narrative: a greener, smoother, safer, and more pleasant mass transit experience. She's excited by innovation, but not because of the technology, per se; rather, it's about what that technology enables.
In short: a future that is accessible and welcoming for all.
- Why having a "non-traditional" background is an asset in the field of innovative technology
- Why it's important to consider user experience before a technology is fully developed or deployed
- What accessibility and inclusion might mean in the context of transportation, and how we can improve those features for the future
- Bonus: What it was like to be the first passenger on the hyperloop!
Sara Luchian leads the Passenger Experience function at Virgin Hyperloop. She established this function to drive research and design decisions that improve the safety, comfort, accessibility, and convenience of the hyperloop experience. Her prior experience at VH spanned initiatives related to business model definition, market research, product development planning, investor engagement, and strategic communications
On November 8, 2020, Sara made history as one of the first people ever to ride in a hyperloop. She has spoken at CES 2021 and SXSW 2021, lectured at Harvard Business School, and been featured by The Today Show, NPR, The New York Times, BBC, Forbes, Cheddar, and many others.
Prior to joining Virgin Hyperloop, Sara was a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in New York City, where she advised both Fortune 500 and early-stage companies on corporate strategy. An avid writer, her credits include contributions to bestsellers by Adam Grant and Sheryl Sandberg.
Sara holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from Harvard University. In her spare time, she enjoys rockhounding for minerals, musing on contemporary art, and abusing tripartite lists.