I'm Mae Leng White, a Singaporean American Service Designer raised in Qatar.
I began my professional journey in Spain where I honed my skills in design, but my true passion has always been in utilising those skills to improve upon social issues through service-oriented endeavours. Since embarking on my Master's degree at the Royal College of Art, I have made it my mission to utilise design as a powerful instrument for uplifting, empowering, and promoting equity, particularly for individuals and communities from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
In my previous projects, I have employed empathy and transparency as guiding principles in the design process when creating solutions. Whether it was through developing tools for the classroom or an app for vendors of The Big Issue to improve communication with customers on a digital platform, all of my efforts have been geared towards enabling people to connect with and understand each other better.
I believe that the greatest legacy I can leave on this world is to address poverty at its source. My design journey will involve taking an educational, entrepreneurial, or systemic approach, or a combination of all of these, to achieve this goal.
Bachelor in Design at IE University, 2021
The majority of Londoners care about wealth inequality, but few know how to tackle it and doubt that their small contributions can have an impact. Meanwhile, those who are struggling financially do agree that while the British welfare system does take care of their basic needs (such as food and shelter), there are other non-essential needs that have been given up in the presence of financial insecurity. This is the case for fitness. Lack of access to fitness activities in one's local neighbourhood can contribute to the isolation of the elderly and the loitering of teenagers, but more importantly, it decreases the number of weak ties in one's personal network. Well Rounded is a charitable initiative that aims to give equal access to fitness while letting affluent residents lead the fight against wealth inequality in their neighbourhoods.
Our proposition for incorporating the role of a "Shared-Experience Mentor" (SEM) within the staffing structure of Oasis Restore is a crucial step towards implementing effective justice reform.
The plan carefully outlines the guidelines for hiring SEMs, their responsibilities, and the tools that will be provided to the children in the facility. By providing these children with a mentor who understands them and can build positive relationships with them, we believe that we can significantly decrease the likelihood of reoffending.