Cade is the founder of The New Design Congress, an international research organisation forging a nuanced understanding of technology's role as a social, political and environmental accelerant. He studies, writes, consults and speaks regularly on topics such as digital power structures, privacy, information warfare, resilience, internet economies and the digitisation of cities.


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With a background in information security, interface politics and digital systems, Cade and his team at New Design Congress work tirelessly to tease out and weave threads that can be pulled together to build a truly hopeful future.

Cade's influential 2018 essay On Weaponised Design, introduced the titular concept, a term that describes designed systems that harm users while behaving within normal parameters. His critiques on design ethics, decentralisation and open source bring nuance to the complexity of digital infrastructure. His work on the Para-Real, a term that describes the collision-point between digital platforms and the real world, is the focus of a research series about subcultures and solidarity networks building livelihoods in spite of platform exploitation, austerity and crisis.

Cade has collaborated with PEN America, the University College London, the London College of Communication, Signal, Google, Mozilla, Bauhaus Earth, Webrecorder, Eyebeam, C/O Berlin, Art Sonje Center, Open Archive, Superbloom Design, WYNG Foundation, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Furtherfield, Ink & Switch, the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights, the International Institute for the Environment and Development, the European Commission, the World Health Organization, Protocol Labs, the Deutschland Bundestag Prototype Fund, the Center for Digital Resilience, Consumer Reports, the Algorithmic Transparency Institute and many others.

Prior to founding New Design Congress, Cade spent six years leading design-focused digital security projects in Australia, the United States, Korea, Germany, Singapore and the United Kingdom. He was an information security researcher and head of production at the Berlin-based non-profit Tactical Tech, providing security consultation and bringing the NGO’s activism to audiences worldwide. He contributed to early prototypes of the secure messaging app Signal and was Chief Design Officer at SpiderOak, then a Snowden approved no-knowledge cloud storage company.

From 1999 to 2006, Cade represented Australia in international disability swimming, and holds Australian and world records.

Cade resides in Berlin with his partner and two Shiba Inus, Ripley and Kodak.

Press photo of Cade's avatar "Shibco", as depicted in The Para-Real: Finding the future in unexpected places. Credit: New Design Congress. Click to enlarge.