Tech & teens: Striking a balance for optimal well-being

Partner and Executive Director
Associate Strategy Director

About the salon

The digital world has become an integral part of our lives, and for teens, it is especially important. They use technology for everything from staying connected with friends and family to doing their homework and pursuing their hobbies. However, the digital world can also be a source of stress and anxiety for teens. Families are a vital audience for many technology companies, but how can these companies best engage with teens and guardians in the product design process?

Our panelists

Linda Charmaraman is a senior research scientist at the Wellesley Centers for Women and director of the Youth, Media & Wellbeing Research Lab. The lab studies issues related to youth, the media they use, and how media impacts wellbeing, with Charmaraman’s research centered around positive youth development, particularly around social media use. She organizes a free Digital Wellbeing summer workshop for middle school students focused on design for youth wellbeing.

Carissa Kang is a senior UX researcher at Roblox, an online global game platform that brings people together through play. She has a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Cornell and has been conducting research in the kids/tweens/teens space for over 15 years now. Before Roblox, she was at YouTube where she worked on kids’ and families’ products.

Maria Poli is a global public policy & multi-stakeholder engagement expert. Poli specializes in designing and facilitating initiatives that require interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation to address complex public challenges through evidence-based approaches and radical collaboration. She has worked with international organizations, NGOs, governments, and experts for over 20 years facilitating partnerships to address sustainable development goals.

About Richard Whitehall

Richard Whitehall is a partner at Smart Design. He brings expertise in design research and strategy, service design, and product development and has worked across the healthcare, TMT, mobility, and consumer-packaged goods industries. Some notable clients include Amgen, Meta, Ford, Upstream, and Google. He sits on the DMI advisory board and is a judge on the IDEA awards this year.

About Katherine Eisenberg

Katherine Eisenberg is an Associate Strategy Director who is inspired by people, their emotional needs, and behavioral quirks. She brings expertise in mixed-method design research, strategy, and product development and has worked across the consumer goods, healthcare, and technology sectors. Her notable clients include CVS Health, Meta, Novo Nordisk, and PepsiCo and her research has been published in Fast Company. She holds a BA in Health and Societies from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business.

Learn more about our work designing for teens