About the newsletter 💌
“Tech Without Losing Your Soul” examines the booms and busts of the tech industry, the motivations and processes behind its products, and the pressures, moral dilemmas, and burnout facing tech workers today. The goal is to explore, process, and challenge unhealthy and exclusionary ideas about innovation and restore the parts of ourselves that are getting lost in a world awash with screens, algorithms, bots, oligarchies, and infinite information.
You can expect a range of writing and conversations exploring timely tech industry analysis and lived experiences, delivered directly to your email on a bi-monthly basis. Recent essays have examined tech worker burnout, moving towards an industry that isn’t led by billionaires, and an interview with Prasanna Venkatesh, Design Director at India’s largest food delivery app, Swiggy, on the long fight for accessible technology and the pressures of an economy driven by convenience.
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About the author ✍🏼
I’m Lauren Celenza, (she/they, SE-LEN-ZA).
I'm a writer, software designer, and educator based in Seattle. My work generally involves observing, reporting, and designing new technology and industry practices that demonstrate an ethic of care for our environments, our communities, and ourselves. My essays and commentaries on tech and design have appeared in Fast Company, Forbes, In These Times, and The Economic Times, among others. I’m an alum of the Tin House Summer Writing Workshop.
In the last year, I’ve partnered with organizations like the World Resources Institute, PlatformAbuse.org, and Hmnty Cntrd, on design and research projects related to land restoration, internet safety, and wellbeing in the workplace. I’m an adjunct design professor at Harbour.Space, a new school for emerging tech makers worldwide.
From 2016 to 2021, I was a Design Lead at Google Maps, where I helped make navigation more inclusive for motorbikes, public transit, and communities new to the internet, by way of dismantling silos and developing relationships with grassroots communities, startups, and activists. This process resulted in millions of previously excluded addresses, routes, businesses, and several languages and transportation modes becoming visible for the first time in Google Maps history. I also served as an early member of the Alphabet Workers Union, where I advocated for better workplace conditions at data centers across the US and protested the discrimination of ethical AI researchers. In 2022, I petitioned for the Silenced No More Act in Washington state, making it the second state in the nation to prohibit employers from using non-disclosure agreements to silence workers on issues of discrimination, retaliation, and wage violations.
The finite nature of life and the infinite information around us makes our attention a remarkably powerful thing, and I feel grateful that you’d consider giving this newsletter yours.