09.21.21
Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt | Audio

S9E10: Quemuel Arroyo


Quemuel Arroyo is the first ever chief accessibility officer at the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Arroyo explained his job is not to take on all the work of making North America’s largest mass transit system more accessible to everyone from people with disabilities to tourists who don’t speak English:
I need people, everyone, all 70,000 of our employees, to understand their role in creating an accessible MTA. And I need them all to have the resources that they need to be successful in that exchange. The day that I leave — because I'm not here forever — this work will continue without me.

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If you enjoyed this conversation with Q, you might want to check out Jessica and Ellen’s earlier conversation with Nikil Saval or  the conversation mentioned in the episode with Grace Jun.

This season’s theme music is from Solar Echoes, by Nigel Stanford.

And a big thanks to this season’s sponsor, Mailchimp.

TRANSCRIPT

Ellen McGirt
Hey, everyone, I'm Ellen McGirt,

Jessica Helfand
And I'm Jessica Helfand,

Ellen McGirt
And this is The Design of Business | The Business of Design. The Design of Business | The Business of Design is brought to you by Mailchimp. So you want to grow your business. Now what? Mailchimp's all-in-one marketing platform allows you to manage more of your marketing activities all in one place so you can market smarter and grow faster. Now what?

Jessica Helfand
Mailchimp. That's what.

Ellen McGirt
Learn more at Mailchimp dot com. So I was going over my notes for our next guest. And I'm coming to you with a bold insight.

Jessica Helfand
Hit me.

Ellen McGirt
I think he's going to run for office someday. I think he's going all the way.

Jessica Helfand
Oh, my goodness. What an incredible thing that would be if he were to run for office. I think of his background. I think of his challenges. I think of his accomplishments.

Ellen McGirt
And he's ridiculously charming.

Jessica Helfand
His name is Quemel Arroyo and he goes by Q.

Ellen McGirt
He sure does.

Jessica Helfand
He cut his teeth at the DOT which stands for Department of Transportation, the agency of the government of New York City, responsible for the management of so much of the infrastructure. But what does he do now?

Ellen McGirt
He is the first ever accessibility officer at the MTA, which is the Metropolitan Transit Authority. And it is a very big job. And he comes by that honestly in a bunch of ways. He has an accessibility component to his background. He learned design. He has an urban planning background, and he also acquired his disability at a relatively formative age. So he needs and understands the services that he is now working to make sure everybody knows how to provide

Jessica Helfand
Quemel Arroyo for president.

Ellen McGirt
I'm telling you. Let's take a listen.

Jessica Helfand
Quemel Arroyo is the first ever chief accessibility officer at the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Ellen McGirt
Quemel, welcome to the podcast.

Quemel Arroyo
Thank you for having me. And it's a pleasure to be sharing the space with you, too.

Ellen McGirt
Even as I was preparing for this conversation, I became overwhelmed as I start to think about what it must be like to take on the charge of accessibility for this magnificent and well-established, you know, with ancient technology transportation system for the first time. So could you talk to us a little bit about why you took the job, what you thought the mandate was, and how you just the first few weeks, months that you took to assess what you thought your next steps should be?

Quemel Arroyo
The first part of your question— why did I take this job, was I served as the chief accessibility specialist at New York City DOT for just shy of six years. And every day I woke up and I head down to 55 Water or anywhere in the city that I was going that day. Because a million New Yorkers with disabilities relied on me to cross the street and 10 million tourists a year with disabilities come to New York and it was on me to tell them we're open for business, we welcome your stay, come spend your money, hang out, enjoy all that New York has to offer. I, too, am a New Yorker with a disability, but I wasn't always. I acquired my disability and seeing that diverse experience and understanding the difference was enough to get me out of bed. Every day people tell me I'm crazy because I don't believe in work life balance. I insitute work life integration, which means I bring my job everywhere I'm at.

Ellen McGirt
Alright.

Quemel Arroyo
Because I love what I do. And what I do gets people to enjoy all that New York has to offer. I left DOT because I saw an opportunity to bring the conversation about equity, diversity, and inclusion in the private sector where no one was really driving that dialog. And we did it successfully at the company that I joined and served as interim president at for some time. And I just had the best time talking to government and different cities around the world about how they were or weren't folding in accessibility into their products, into their services and helping them understand what it meant for these silent voices to not get the service that they deserve. And what it meant was people didn't have a choice on what quality of life meant for them. And I wasn't OK with them. As someone who used to be a banker traveling the world, then found himself in a wheelchair and said, wow, this is a very different universe.

Jessica Helfand
What is the MTA? You were at DOT, which is roadway's, I imagine, infrastructure, the MTA specific to New York, but it includes what, busses, trains, subways? Help us understand what the physical dimensions of that huge responsibility looks like,

Quemel Arroyo
It is the biggest misunderstanding who runs transportation in New York. And the best way that I could explain it to people was New York City DOT owns of surface assets. So sidewalks, crosswalks over six thousand miles of roadway, seven hundred ninety six bridges. The MTA runs mass transit. All that is public transportation, with the exception of the Staten Island Ferry. That's still the DOT, but all that is mass transit is the MTA. So together, because you need both, you need to walk down the street, or roll down the street to get to a bus stop. Together, they get New Yorkers moving.

Jessica Helfand
You didn't study this in school, right? You come out of a background, not unlike my own. And I know that I when I study design and architecture, didn't learn how to talk about policy, to be an advocate, to understand the kinds of complexities you engage with every day. Can you just talk for a little bit about how you made that transition? Was that always part of your goal?

Quemel Arroyo
I am trained as an urban planner. I studied urban design and history of architecture. And in those classes, I was that student that said: Where are people with disabilities in the cities in Corbusier's vision? You know, when are we going to talk about accessible sidewalks and widths of ramps and access to these beautiful bridges? And the teachers were silent. They did not know what the hell to do with me. And that made me realize that, you know, we have a problem in our system because I went to one of the best schools in the world and I can say so. And if those future designers, planners, engineers, architects weren't learning about the basic elements that provide an accessible universal city, then they're going to grow up missing these ethos, they're going to grow up not thinking about all their stakeholders.

Ellen McGirt
To build on what you just said: we're talking on a on a video call and we're all doing our work and we haven't interrupted our work life integration one bit to have this conversation. This is what people with disabilities have been begging employers for for ever. What's your best advice for leaders and employers and designers and all of this other stuff as we get back into life to continue to think about how to include people with all sorts of disabilities in their workplaces going forward? Because if it disappears, if this breakthrough disappears, I don't know...

Quemel Arroyo
It won't disappear, Ellen. And it won't disappear because companies, both private and public, have seen astronomical benefits of telework. Their stocks have gone up. They've been more successful than ever before. They've been lean and mean and spending very little in the resources that it take for them to put up their products and services, goods and services. But to your initial question, people with disabilities were the original hackers. We have to hack our lives every day because very little is designed for us. And we've always been saying, I can do this job. I don't need to be in an office. I don't need to be in the space. We you have access to my mind and or my contributions. Just this morning, I was reading a LinkedIn article about how diverse groups outperform homogenous groups every day out here, you know, and companies have picked up on that. I mean, the MTA picked up on that. This is the first time that the MTA had opened its doors to a visibly disabled person. And they've done it because they understand that representation matters. They now know that the MTA needs to reflect the body it serves and they're all for it. And like the MTA, so many other companies are awakening to that fact. I mean, the city council helped pass legislation, I want to say, in 2017 that mandated a person with a disability to be hired at every city agency with more than 50 employees. And that meant that people with disabilities, talented, prepared people with disabilities, we're now going to have an entry just for them so that they, too, can have a seat at the table. And what that offers organization is the voice of those that have been silenced forever. It's an opportunity, an invitation for their experiences to be shared. And the outcomes are just incredible because people don't know what they don't know. There are people who are our clients, too, that are there not at the table because they're not able to participate in our services, goods and programs, or we haven't made our spaces accessible for them to come in and be welcome to share their experiences. That's changing.

Ellen McGirt
That is so powerful.

Jessica Helfand
Your first 100 days, what surprised you?

Quemel Arroyo
So it was really difficult to meet people in person, but we still did the road show because I am a true believer of understanding the ground before you start making moves, and it was really important for me to learn what was happening at the MTA before I got there, and what I learned was shocking. I learned that people were hungry to move on accessability, people had been moving on accessibility, a lot of work was already in motion. They just needed a steward. They just needed a leader to say, this is important and we're going to follow through with this. This is important and we're going to allocate resources to this. And what you all been doing is the right thing, and I'm going to support you. And most of my meetings, I either start or end by saying: let me be the wind to your sails. I'm a sailor, I sail here in the Hudson, not to throw that in any way I can. But what I mean by that is I am not the person who is going to come into the MTA to check the box and take on all the work of accessibility, because I would be doing a disservice to the MTA. I am the facilitator of this conversation at the MTA because I need people, everyone, all 70 thousand of our employees to understand their role in creating an accessible MTA. And I need them all to have the resources that they need to be successful in that exchange. The day that I leave, because I'm not here forever, this work will continue without me. And that's the gift that I'll leave the MTA, the understanding that we're all responsible for this charge and we will all have the resources that we need to execute it.

Ellen McGirt
I love that vision of leadership that is really inspiring. So let me ask my follow up question in a new way. What did you and the team together decide to hack first?

Quemel Arroyo
The first thing that that we decided to hack was information, I really do think that information is power. And I want every child with a disability to enter a subway station or a bus stop and have access to all the information that the three of us here get. And we get it because it's visible. We see a clock down timetable and a screen that tells us how far the bus is. Well, I want a blind child to come in there and get that same piece of information, because that's going to drastically impact whether they stay at that bus stop. If it's really one hundred and ten degrees or a snowy day, they'll know whether to make alternative plans or to wait. I want everybody coming in from JFK who doesn't speak English to have access to the accessibility information of that subway station and be able to know where the accessible path of travel lies, for them to have a successful experience in our train system. And the way that we hack that was by speaking with our digital customer experience team and ensuring that we use less verbage and more visuals. Because visuals are the universal language, right. And do it in a way that a cognitively impaired person can easily digest and execute, you know, make the choices for themselves. So our role is to provide information in an equitable fashion to empower our users to know what to expect and what to do with the information that we provide them.

Jessica Helfand
The Design of Business | The Business of Design is brought to you by Mailchimp. Let's take a moment to hear from a Mailchimp customer about weathering this period of crisis.

Jenna Doolitle
I am Jenaa Doolitle. I help actors get unstuck. I run a company called Actors Rise and I'm located in Los Angeles.

Jessica Helfand
Jenna talked about starting a newsletter to make new connections.

Jenna Doolitle
So I've been coaching actors for years as a business of acting coach, and I started a newsletter for actors to keep them informed during the pandemic. They didn't know where they were going to get their next paycheck. Our industry completely shut down, but so did most people's day jobs, their survival jobs. So I curated the information and I kept putting it out there like things about open calls that casting directors were hosting creative ways to stay engaged. Actors would send me recommendations all the time, different things that they were creating or producing, tools that they thought would be valuable for other people in the community. And because of that, there would have been no newsletter if these agents and managers and other people didn't do what they did. It's helped me grow my business, my community, and I am now kind of a known entity in our industry as somebody to go to for advice. And it's really taught me that in giving you receive so much more than you could possibly imagine.

Jessica Helfand
Jenna relies on Mailchimp to get her work done,

Jenna Doolitle
As I saw what people were engaging with and clicking on through Mailchimp and what open rates were higher as well, like what did the people care about, that was really helpful for me to see so that I could then make the newsletter better.

Jessica Helfand
Now what? Mailchimp. That's what. Learn more at Mailchimp dot com. I want to ask a question that I hope doesn't sound tone deaf, so I'm going to apologize in advance if it does. Did you find in this difficult year since George Floyds murder that the tolerance or humility around questions of inequality made your job easier? Did you find the appetite for understanding increased at all, widened?

Quemel Arroyo
Oof. We're going to have to, we're going to have to roll up our sleeves on that one because no is the direct answer. In America, we are scared as hell of our mortality and death. And disability is directly tethered to that outcome, and I say that because people shy away from any talk about disability, because it reminds them of how fragile they are and they don't want to think about that. You know, my own connotation of a disability was my mother's patient, my mother was a home attendant. Her patients who were in a home or at their house waiting to die in a wheelchair. Now, when I had my own accident, I said, where do people in wheelchairs live when they're 18 years old? Where do I live? Do I, do I go to now? Because I've never seen someone with a disability that was successful, that was buzzings through New York City, living, thriving. And that's very intentional. I think, you know, if you go to Europe and you see the Paralympics at every bar, everyone's watching the Paralympic Games and they celebrate it. You walk through the Champs-Elysees during the Paralympics and you see billboards of someone playing wheelchair tennis or adaptive swimming. And we just don't have that here. Culturally, we are so scared of our own mortality that we do not want to talk about anything that reminds us of how fragile we are or that the only guarantee that we all have, which is that we're going to go away.

Ellen McGirt
I think that's a very, very powerful observation, and it then inspires me to dig more deeply into what does it take to actually have a preexisting stakeholder centered approach? Because that's the legacy that you're promising to leave the MTA, because you're not designing accessibility just for your specific needs. You need to think about absolutely everybody. So what does it take to make stakeholder centric decision making a permanent part of how an organization operates? And I realize if you answer that question, you're pretty much going to get a Nobel Prize.

Quemel Arroyo
So the answer to that question is, you know, I have constituents that are never, ever self identified as a constituent of mine. And I speak for them and I include them in all my metrics and demographics. To give you an example: aging communities, people over the age of sixty five, which in New York City we have about one point five million, very few would ever say that they have a disability because there's a stigma around that. They're independent, they don't have a disability. Yet, all of us know that they don't have the vision that they once did or the gait that they once did. And they're part of my constituency. And I need to include them just as much as I need to include parents with strollers in New York City. We see on average one hundred and thirty thousand births a year. That's one hundred thirty thousand strollers hitting our pavement, accessing our busses and subways, our railroads. So I include all these different people, I include tourists in my demographics, because who can go through a turnstile with their luggage? You know, and I do that very intentionally because it allows me to justify my ask. And I'm talking about resources. In so many of the spaces that I move, people said, Q, that's a large sum of money for a million New Yorkers. And I say, actually, you're talking about numbers of people with disabilities. I don't represent New Yorkers with disabilities. I represent accessibility. And accessibility is universal. One of the things I did when I was at DOT was I created the first raised crosswalks in New York City where we've elevated the roadway and made it level to the sidewalk and the burden on crossing that space was given to the vehicle. Because they're the ones in a ton plus car, why should a pedestrian have to step down into a dangerous roadway to get across? And that was not just a benefit for people in wheelchairs like myself. That was a huge benefit for children who were lower to the ground, you know, aging communities and so many other people. That's my demographic. Whether or not they identify as such, I need to look out for them and speak for their needs and include them in everything that I'm designing for.

Ellen McGirt
I'm wondering how you plan to influence private transportation options like Lyft and Uber. There's such an interesting opportunity here for you to cross, pollinate and inspire outside of your incredibly powerful portfolio. What's your plan?

Quemel Arroyo
So here's the background to that question, government and the private sector both operate with this fallacy that the other is evil. And in order for us to have a successful tomorrow, we need to trust one another to say that we're both helping move our community forward. Government is too big to be innovative and to test new things and to pilot. We just don't have that agility because we get one chance to cut. Whereas the private sector has all the money in the world to fail. That's what they were designed for, to innovate and to fail fast in order to do it again. Until they get to that solution, government needs to be more trusting and relying on the private sector's ability to be agile and to deliver solutions that will help the public sector. However, the private sector also needs to realize that, yes, they have a responsibility to raise the stock price for their shareholders. But they also need to know that if they want the money of government, they also need to deliver a public good. So we're all in the business of moving the public forward. And until we start to believe that and trust one another, we're not going to see much progress. I mean, here in New York City, you see a huge success, the only successful public private partnership so far in Citibike, where we have two private entities coming together, a bank and a service provider to deliver a public good. And it's been moving people all around New York City. Its been making New Yorkers healthier, move safely, and increasing transportation in transit deserts to people who never had access to get to their trains, or to get to the subways. Now they're doing it on a bike. And I think that's what progress looks like. We need to trust one another more. And to bring it back to the MTA, you've already seen that during Covid where we were relying on companies like Uber and Lyft to help move people around during those hours that we shut down service to clean the trains at night. And you see that today in paratransit where we've completely changed the formula of the number of people that we move in a dedicated, blue and white accessible vehicles. And the number that we use for-hire vehicles to move are one hundred and seventy thousand people that are eligible for this program, paratransit. Where we used to have 70 percent of people in dedicated paratransit cars, and 30 and for-hire vehicles, now we have 70 percent of our riders moving around and for-hire vehicles and 30 percent in those dedicated access-a-ride vehicles. And that's us trusting the private sector, saying, listen, you've got the answer, you can do this. So we're going to trust you with our money and our clients to do this service. And we need to see more of that. We need to see more of that. But in order for it to continue, the private sector needs to continue to be a good actor and live up to our expectations and know that, yes, this is mass transit, but our priority is the safety and the efficiency of moving our clients around.

Jessica Helfand
Speaking of good actors, I want to switch gears and ask you a completely different question. In your work life integration, you've managed to find time to be on the board of a dance company, which I thought was fascinating. How did you get involved with the Heidi Latsky Dance Company?

Quemel Arroyo
So so five years ago, six years ago now, the Heidi Latsky Dance company was commissioned by Lincoln Center to do a installation with disabled athletes to showcase virtuosity, sportsmanship, and dance. And Heidi was struggling to find those athletes. And she and I met at Gracie Mansion at a party and she said, you're a disabled athlete. I need you in my company. I said, well man I'm in a wheelchair, I haven't danced since I got into a wheelchair, I don't know you're talking about it. She made a dancer out of me again. You know, I'm Dominican, so dance in my blood, and I perform for Heidi at Lincoln Center. Six years later, I am now the chair of the board of the company. I don't have the time to dance, but I absolutely love leading this group. For me. I still do it because. For the same reason that I'm on the board of the Hudson River community sailing, I sail on the Hudson almost every weekend and I'm a deep sea diver, I ski —visibility matters and I need children with disability to see me on a newspaper, on a blog and say, holy cow, this guy is disabled just like me. And look at the life that we lived and how exciting it is. And I need to dismount this ehtos of the medical model which says people with disabilities are patients,.

Ellen McGirt
Right.

Quemel Arroyo
And they take from these systems and they see service. I'm not receiving from anybody. I'm over here contributing. I am giving. I am a vessel so that others can live their best life. People with disabilities, giving the access and giving the opportunity can deliver to their communities and can give back. So I do all of this to remind people that I'm not sedentary at home waiting to die. I am living my best life.

Ellen McGirt
Earlier in my career, I worked in the administration of a of an arts organization that focused on inclusion for people with disabilities, artists with disabilities. I mention this because the ADA was still pretty young. I was new to this conversation. It was sort of a transformational experience for me. And the first big scandal that came over the transom was that Barbie finally had a friend in a, who used the wheelchair. Victory number one— problem, the wheelchair couldn't fit through the door of her Malibu dream home. So it was an opportunity to weigh in. You know, I watched the organization leap into action, you know, to get public statements out to talk about this. And I was really struck by just the mixed message of that moment. And you were probably of the age where you were still hanging around with people, playing with Barbies, as opposed to like thinking about the big policy issues there. But I mention it because it seems to me that we're never going to get anywhere on any of the equity issues that we need to talk about, if we don't have people who don't live that way or don't think that they live that way, able to hear and listen and ask the right questions and design things correctly, because honestly, every single person who has ever had even groceries in their hands would know you got to check the doorway before you launched this this other doll product. What is your best advice for engaging people who are not and that don't believe there are natural constituents here to rethink before they actually start plowing ahead with their accessibility ideas?

Quemel Arroyo
Well Ellen, my first comment to that is: the only guaranteed route to failure is to think you have the answer because you rarely do unless you speak to a variety of stakeholders. And the key word there, variety, because my disability is very different to another person who had the same accident that I had. And really, unless you you have conversations where there's tension, there's a voice that's missing from that table and you're not going to get to that universal product. The reason why we should all strive for that tension is because if no other, your leaving money behind. It's stable because the disability community— yes, we're a billion strong around the world. However, we don't roll solo. You know, when I travel, I have a posse. I have friends and family. And guess what? We're not spending a dime, at an inaccessible bar, or restaurant, or hotel. So that is money that is not being gained by the private sector because your products are not accessible. And lastly, I really do think that the key to change that paradigm that you describe is education. We need schools to talk about universal access. It should be a requirement for all engineers, architects, designers. You know, I'm part of Open Style Lab at Pratt and they're really looking at hacking fashion, using technology for people who can't use off the rack because you're either in a seated position and they're really creating new patterns that are universal.

Jessica Helfand
And this is this is Grace Jun's program.

Quemel Arroyo
Yeah.

Jessica Helfand
We had her on the show. Amazing, amazing work.

Quemel Arroyo
And I've said this to a friend of mine who is an NFL player. And he said to me, Q, I can't buy off the rack because I'm too big, you know, and if they're missing out of my chump, they're missing out on his millions.

Jessica Helfand
What's a realistic version of what transportation looks like in ten years?

Quemel Arroyo
In ten years, all information is shared in an equitable fashion and digested by people who speak different language and have all abilities. Children with disabilities have a hightened power where they too can be independent and make decisions about whether they're taking a train or a bus or a car, because transportation is a shared platform between public and private and people are able to opt in to whatever form they so choose.

Ellen McGirt
That's a beautiful vision. Thank you so much for joining us.

Jessica Helfand
Thank you so much.

Quemel Arroyo
Thank you both for having me.

Jessica Helfand
So, Ellen, what stayed with you after this conversation with Q?

Ellen McGirt
Let me tell you what really stuck out to me and I I think about it quite often is when we started talking about the business angle and how he was going to be able to cross pollinate this work outside of government and outside of the populations that he has access to, into the broader community. And he had such a cogent way of describing the different roles of what government can and should do and what they're good at and how they're supposed to protect people. But they don't have the budget or the capacity to innovate in the same way. You just don't have the freedom to make mistakes in the same way. And what responsible private enterprises can do if they are willing to innovate safely with the mind of a greater public good. It is a groundbreaking way of thinking about these partnerships. It's the conversation we're all having in the business community about stakeholder capitalism and being being so fluent in that language and being so excited about what's possible and stitching people together. It just feels like he is on a path to continue to do great things and enable other people to own the experience of winning in this way. And that's important.

Jessica Helfand
For me it wasn't about the specifics, it was about his attitude. So anybody who's ever stood in line at a government agency, the image that comes to mind is of the downtrodden of the world. That they're poorly managed, they're poorly resourced, they're really grim, dismal places to be. When you listen to him talk about the breadth and scope of his ambition and also the understanding he brings from his own life experience through such optimism, there's such care. He's such a humanist. And I felt that that was the thing that made me really stopped in my tracks and try to imagine building back better, a world in which we all care, a world in which a creative thinker uses his capacious intellect and his immense creative drive to try to come up with new ways for looking at old problems.

Ellen McGirt
And he said something else that really got my attention. He said that people with disabilities are the original hackers, and I just love that.

Jessica Helfand
Yes. And interestingly to me, it's a word I hate.

Ellen McGirt
I know you do, I know you do!

Jessica Helfand
It's a word I've written about, it's on my list of never used words. It suggests to me that you're taking something away from somebody else. But in his vision,

Ellen McGirt
Yep,

Jessica Helfand
It's about a kind of troubleshooting and inventiveness and imagining a different way of putting the pieces together that I cannot think of anything more creative than that. And so it made me want to revisit my former antipathy about this word.

Ellen McGirt
Well, some things can be reclaimed. The streets can be reclaimed, hacking can be reclaimed. Being a dancer on a professional dance stage can be reclaimed and rethought. And Q has done all of that and more and turned us all into philosopher kings, queens and royalty for just a few minutes when he talks.

Jessica Helfand
The Design of Business | The Business of Design is a podcast from Design Observer. You can follow us on social media, but we were here long before social media.

Ellen McGirt
Better yet, go to our beautiful website, Design Observer dot com, where you can sign up for our email newsletter to keep up with everything that's going on at Design Observer.

Jessica Helfand
Here's one thing going on: I published a new book of essays that I wrote during the pandemic on self-reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson and what it means to have a daily creative practice. You can find out more about the book and so much more on our website. That's Design Observer dot com.

Ellen McGirt
If you like what you heard today, please follow this podcast. You can find The Design of Business | The Business of Design on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or however you listen.

Jessica Helfand
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Ellen McGirt
At d-b-b-d dot Design Observer dot com. That's DBBD for The Design of Business | The Business of Design, you'll find a hundred more conversations with all kinds of interesting people about business design and so much more.

Jessica Helfand
If you enjoy today's conversation with Quemel Arroyo, or you might want to listen to last seasons with Nikil Saval, another amazing architector trained person who has taken his knowledge into the political sphere. You can find it in so many more conversations at DBBD dot Design Observer dot com.

Ellen McGirt
And please consider subscribing to RaceAhead. My regular column on race and leadership at Fortune dot com slash get RaceAhead.

Jessica Helfand
Design Observer's Executive Producer is Betsy Vardell. Our theme music is from Nigel Stanford's album Solar Echos. Additional music by Mike Errico. Julie Subrin edits the show. Our associate producer is Adina Karp and the executive producer of this podcast is Blake Eskin of Noun and Verb Rodeo.

Ellen McGirt
Come back next time when we'll be talking to Avery Willis Hoffman about the arts and education and so much more. See you then.

Posted in: Design of Business | Business of Design, Inclusion, Infrastructure



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