I'm with you, at least, in part - sorry, maybe it's the heat (or was it Friday?), but I just found the whole DATA thing a bit ridiculous, esp. the name - almost Pythonesque - like some absurb extremist group from 'Life Of Brian'.
I'm up for praising design initiatives concerning serious issues but I found this one particularly lame. If it's just to make other designers aware then we really are in bad shape.
That conference sounded pretty depressing - but I can understand that response because up until now that's the way it's always been - I suppose people have the right also to pass the buck - it's just that NOW is not like THEN, the future will not to able to sustain that line of thought - fact! Those people shouldn't be designing if they're not considering important issues, such as climate change, etc, - every piece of work, be it commercial or non-profit, should be transmitting, where possible, our concerns for the environment/mankind/the future. Graphic design, on its own, is NEVER going to save the planet/make things better, but as a means together with others it can go some way to making a decent contribution. The sooner we understand that then we maybe we'll be on to something good.....
It saddens me that there are so many (young/intelligent/well-known) designers not aware, or pretending not to be, of all of this because it's going to be one hell of shock for them when they'll be oblidged/forced to do something about it.
Re: my/our work, thanks very much, I'm trying my best, though could try harder.