Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Facebook Engineering VP Explains Why "Cognitive Diversity Is The Most Powerful Tool" - FASTCOMPANY

Originally published: January 9, 2017
Publisher: FastCompany.com 

Regina Dugan, head of Facebook's secretive Building 8, on the importance of diversity to the creative process.

As the head of Facebook’s secretive new hardware unit, Building 8, Regina Dugan leads a team of engineers who are trying to develop breakthrough technologies, much as she did when she was the first female director of DARPA. She’s learned that assembling a diverse group of perspectives is essential to the creative process.

"There’s very little difference between scientists and engineers and artists—they just use different tools," Dugan said at the Fast Company Innovation Festival in November. "We [all] want to make things that haven’t been made before, and that’s tremendously exciting. It’s exhilarating, it’s invigorating, and it’s hard. Diversity is absolutely key to innovation. It’s just hands-down true. When we are working on very difficult problems, it’s essential that we have different voices in the room. In my teams it is common to see Oscar-winning directors working side by side with coders, or physicists working with textile manufacturers.