The Power of Staying a Beginner

Sarmishta Pantham

About the Talk

We were fresh out of design school once upon a time. As soon as we were out, freshly minted, we sprinted from the status as far away as humanly possible– charging through time and space, putting in the hours, collecting experience, filling up the CV and climbing the proverbial ladder, assuming the rungs kept going one way or another. And that was until the last two years, when suddenly, we were faced with giant slithery snakes thrown at those ladders– surviving, burning out, reevaluating…boy, has it been a ride.

Standing at the start of a new path is powerful. It makes no promises and it is very likely going to be messy, but it is powerful. And returning to stand there again and again and again is even more powerful. There’s no greater teacher than the curiosity-filled, optimism-pumped state of being a beginner to humble even the greatest expert, while holding the hand of the most insecure learner. Sarmishta Pantham will share how she stumbled upon unexpected inspiration for seeing the process of starting fresh as a continuum, how we might lean on it to navigate work in times of great change– and reshape our approach to work.

About the Speaker

Sarmishta is a user experience designer, creative director and consultant collaborating with companies to uncover strategic opportunities and shape them into purposeful experiences for customers, organisations and teams alike. Over the last 18 years, she has worked both in-house and agency side in fashion, brand strategy, trend research and user experience design for brands like Levi’s, eBay, Blinkist, Marley Spoon in India, the United States and Germany.
Backed with multi-disciplinary experience, her work bridges purpose, culture and experience, seeking whatever object, environment, or experience most effectively and appropriately addresses the audience.
Alongside her practice, Sarmishta runs a parallel design practice exploring interdisciplinary experiments between visual language, culture and food through writing, photography and community– including her pop-up dinner series serving up traditional Indian delicacies, Indian Standard Time.