Design Professor Jiabao Li Named to Forbes China 30 Under 30, Speaks at TEDxBoston


February 1, 2023
Poster featuring Jiabao Li with Forbes China 30 Under 30 logo

School of Design and Creative Technologies faculty are artists, designers, technologists, and innovators who not only excel in the classroom but are recognized in their fields of expertise. Assistant Professor of Design Jiabao Li is no exception.

Forbes China 30 Under 30

In November 2022, Li was named to the Forbes China 30 Under 30 2022 cohort in the Entertainment category. About the cohort and selection criteria, Forbes China writes [translated]:

"[The candidate] is usually an excellent entrepreneur, an innovation promoter in a key position of the company, a leader of a larger team, a person in charge of a key project, a leader of a certain technological invention, and not limited to the above situations...

This year, a total of 154 young people from 5 industries were included in Forbes China 30 Under 30. The average age of these candidates is 28.2 years old, 1.5 years higher than last year, and more than half of them have a master's degree, doctoral degree or above. In terms of gender, about 30% of the candidates this year are women."

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That same month, Li spoke at TEDxBoston on the topic of "Interspecies Co-Creation":


Human-centric thinking has caused irreversible environmental disasters and numerous species to become extinct. As the Anthropocene rampages, our challenge is to shift our perspectives from human-centered, ego-centric, profit-driven industrialist thinking to a transpecies, eco-centric world view.

New scientific research enables humans to understand more deeply non-human species (animals, plants, fungi, artificial intelligence). Many of our preconceived notions about our human exceptionalism are being challenged – animals have language, use tools, express emotions, learn from each other, show love to other species, and act in selfless and socially-minded ways. In addition, there are numerous types of intelligence beyond human intelligence, such as distributed intelligence of octopuses, swarm intelligence of ants, bees, and birds, collective intelligence of mycelium, and microbial intelligence. Co-design with non-human species helps us probe into different intelligences, shift perspectives, and interrogate ourselves.

I explore "Interspecies World Sharing," where for a brief moment a human and another species acknowledge and honor each other's unique worlds and share the world through the act of art creation. Today I have three meditations on how nature experiences human phenomena: Squid Map, Chthulucene, and Once a Glacier.

Learn with Jiabao

In the midst of these achievements last fall, Professor Li taught a class on Ecocentric Design. This spring she continues to impart her ecological expertise through her Biodesign: Speculative Futures course.

Interested in challenging human-centric thinking? Jiabao's Ecocentric Future Lab is currently accepting students.

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