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dmi:Design Leadership Conference



dmi:Design Leadership Conference #DLC19

"Reinvention & Renewal"

Join us in Boston in September for the Annual dmi:Design Leadership Conference, a gathering of exceptional leaders in Design and Innovation. Cultural and technological disruption provides opportunities for astute individuals and organizations for reinvention, renewal, and value-generation. Join us for a deep-dive!



Aloft Boston Seaport District
Boston, MA
September 15-17, 2019



Registration Fees for Full Conference Pass:

(Full conference pass includes Design Value Awards Dinner)

Non-Member $1780
Member $1600
Membership and Registration Bundle
- add a membership or renewal now for +$250 ($150 savings)



Register Here



Speaker Topics




Ethics in Design, Innovation and Technology

Craig Walmsley: Senior Director of Design Strategy, Sapient (UK)

 “Move fast and break things.” More disruption, more innovation – it seemed like a good idea.  In fact, we moved fast and broke people, societies, and cultures. Design is intention – our role as designers requires us to recognise the ethical implications of our work and take responsibility for the things we create.  We have to develop and apply ethics in all of the work we do, ensuring we are part of the solution, not part of the problem.



Designing Social Change: Design Activism

Cheryl Heller: Director of Design Integration, Professor of Practice, Innovation Design at Arizona State University
Uday Dandavate: Co-Founder and CEO, SonicRim

Change for the sake of change holds no meaning. Disruptive innovation for the sake of disruption means very little; instead it takes away focus from responsible and ethical change. Sustainable change must be based on values, not on a craving for disruption. It involves slow thinking and slow transitions, so that more people can participate with clarity and conviction. Social Design is a new kind of leadership. It offers innovative approaches for increasing creativity, strengthening relationships, and developing our capacity to collaborate-with the potential to transform everything from corporations to cities, and to design ourselves for change.


Design pioneers Cheryl Heller and Uday Dandavate will each share examples of positive activism: the plans, the actions, and the results. Then join these visionary leaders in a deep-dive Breakout Session to hear more about Social Design initiatives that will inspire you to take action.


UX Strategy Megatrends

Dan Rosenberg: UX Consultant, Author and Educator, San Jose State University


Global megatrends describe the financial, technical and social forces that shape the boundary conditions within which innovation succeeds or fails.  A competent UX strategy accounts for the business constraints that materialize from the powerful influence megatrends have on every market segment.  Designing UX’s optimized for these business constraints is more important than “understanding users” in delivering products and services that will be commercially successful.


The Data-Driven Economy, AI, and Design

Jodi Forlizzi: Geschke Director, HCI Institute, The School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University

The Economist has declared that data is to this century what oil was to the last one. Data has enabled new products, services, businesses, and economies. 

  • What do designers need to know about data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence? 
  • What are relevant trends around data for the field of design?
  • How can service designers thrive as data-savvy innovators in this new economy? 

In this session Jodi Forlizzi, Director of the Human-Computer Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, will draw from multiple research and development efforts to present relevant findings about how to design in a new data-driven economy.

After the keynote, Jodi will join Craig Walmsley, Senior Director of Design Strategy at Publicis.Sapient on a panel to discuss Design Ethics in Technology.


The Evolution of the Successful Design Leader

Mauro Porcini: SVP, Chief Design Officer, PepsiCo, Inc.


Mauro Porcini has spent two decades in design working for companies with products as diverse as 3M, Philips, and PepsiCo. In this keynote he will discuss why design is more important than ever in this hyper-connected, social media-driven, global society. He’ll talk about the new role of design in big and small enterprises, supported by a series of concrete case studies.

It’s not just about the business community changing their mindset and embracing design– but how designers need to evolve their way of working and thinking to gain a seat at the table first and prove their value and relevance in the business world over time. To achieve this goal it's necessary to educate support leaders that protect the integrity of the design culture while integrating it into the existing processes of the business organization. 



Design, AI, Ethics and Technology (Panel)

Jodi Forlizzi: Geschke Director, HCI Institute, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University 
Craig Walmsley: Senior Director of Design Strategy, Sapient (UK) 
Adam Emfield: Senior Manager of User Experience, Nuance Automotiv



12 Types of Design Function

Iain Aitchison: Program Director, Glasgow School of Art and Founder Graft Ltd.

Recent years have seen sustained growth of in-house design teams around the world, in public and private sectors and across all areas of the economy. But who are these mass-ranks of in-house designers, what type of roles do they have, and how are they organised?
Following research into the jobs of designers in 500 leading companies, Iain Aitchison and his team at GRAFT have produced a model of 17 design job types that encapsulate the work of in-house designers today and identified 12 types of design function that represent the scope and missions of in-house design teams today.

Come and find out more about this research, and discuss its implications for design leadership, talent development and more.


Design For Desire

Nathan Hendricks: Chief Creative Officer, LPK


Brands can make powerful connections with their audience when they harness the Rational, Emotional and Primal human desires explained in the The Reiss Model of 16 basic desires that motivate action. While most brands are expert at the Rational and Emotional, they’re terrible at tapping into the ancient, hardwired Primal desires that drive the vast majority of consumer decision-making. Join Nathan Hendricks Chief Creative Officer of LPK, as he explains the Riess Model and shares the Primal Brand Canvas - a tool that will take you through your first steps toward getting primal with your user.


HP - The Original Disruptor Disrupts Again

Mike Derocher: Director, 3D Print Experience Design, HP Imaging & Printing

HP is in the Digital Manufacturing business to disrupt the $12 Trillion manufacturing market.  With HP’s 3D print technologies, they are changing the who, how, where, and when the parts are produced that go into everyday products across the globe.  HP’s 3D printing disruptions enable local production, mass customization, and rapid time to market with little or no tooling investments.  And with these come significant creative design disruption as well.  There is a need to rethink the ‘what’ -- by creative professionals to make things that break the old process-driven conventions, and create new and exciting directions in form, aesthetics, weight, and strength.  With global partners like GKN and VW, HP Digital Manufacturing is embarking on a mission that will disrupt how we design, make, and deliver.


Critical Career Strategies for Disruptive Times

Susan Roughley: Founder, Jump Start Consulting, and Executive Coach

You’ve experienced the challenges of a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) business environment and are equipping yourself with innovative strategies to help your organization adapt. But have you thought through the implications for your own career trajectory? Executive Coach Susan Roughley will share how to strengthen your personal marketability by 

  • anticipating the inevitable disruptions to your discipline 
  • adopting an always-on learning mindset  
  • nurturing your network's super-connectors. 
  • delivering continuous value as employment models shift to knowledge-on-demand

Bonus Content: A panel of diverse leaders will share their stories of reinvention and value generation as they successfully navigated early, mid, and senior career transitions.   




Always Solving ™: Transforming a Brand From “Supplier” to “Innovation Partner”

Scott Lerman: CEO, Lucid Brands
Carolmarie C. Brown: Director Global Marketing and Business Communications, Ashland, Inc.

For over a century, Ashland Inc. has supplied chemical ingredients to a broad range of industries including pharmaceuticals, personal care, industrial and residential coatings, and energy storage.
Over time the conglomerate, with annual sales of $3.7 billion, had evolved from supplier to become a sophisticated partner in
developing innovative products. They turned to a team from Lucid Brands to help them articulate the transformation in order to align their culture, reputation, and brand identity. In this session, Scott Lerman and Carolmarie Brown will discuss:

  • The frameworks needed to ensure that brand strategy advances the growth and profitability of a global enterprise.
  • How b2b businesses benefit from consumer brand identity and marketing practices.
  • How brand strategy can unify highly diverse businesses without compromising the performance of its business units.
  • What role brand identity plays in building a cohesive and productive global culture.

Human Experiences (HX) for New Realities

Brett Lovelady: CEO, ASTRO Studios

Connected devices, services, platforms and technologies can disrupt and erode everyday human connections, unless we design relevant human experiences for these new realities.  


ASTRO Studios CEO, Brett Lovelady will share how the firm focuses on humanity when blending emerging technologies into design-driven products & brands; using innovation, design and cultural relevance to improve the Human Experience.



The Operations Side of Design (Panel)

Ernesto Quinteros: Chief Design Officer, J&J Design, Johnson & Johnson
Nigel Storey: Senior Director, Chief Operating Officer, J&J Design, Johnson & Johnson

Some Design leaders are getting dedicated support within their organizations to help them manage the Operations aspects of a Design organization within a larger organization. Join one CDO and his Operations/ Financial counterpart, as they discuss and share strategies and tactics on how to accelerate value to the business.


TAXIS: Corporate Catalysts Driving Innovation to Destination

Gregory Miller: Global Head Marketing and Innovation Excellence, UCB

UCB operates in a highly regulated, very conservative, B2B2C market in a fast-changing healthcare environment. New technologies like wearables and AI, a transformation of the customer base from individual physicians to Integrated Delivery Networks and hospital chains, newly empowered and demanding consumers, and new players in the industry are dramatic forces of change. In his keynote session Gregory Miller, Global Head Marketing and Innovation Excellence at UCB will talk about their corporate organizational capabilities initiative TAXIS “Team of Accelerators for Innovative Solutions”, a 1 year curriculum in a Design Thinking designed to inspire a culture of Design Thinking amongst 9k employees across 47 countries.



The Ins and Outs of Buying and Supplying Design (Panel)

Jack Godfrey Wood: VP Design, native (San Francisco/ Global)
Iain Aitchison: Director Innovation Programme, Glasgow School of Arts + Founder GRAFT Ltd (Scotland/ Global)
Nathan Hendricks: (Moderator) Chief Creative Officer, LPK (Cincinnati/ Global)

A panel of executives from global consulting firms will discuss the ins and outs of both contracting for, and supplying design. Whether you’re an established design executive in a large company, moving up in the ranks, or contemplating starting your own firm you’ll gain valuable insight from these leaders. They’ll cover tips to land the business, how to accommodate qualifying requests, and when to let some of the work go, and more.



Rethinking The Routine: Haircare Reinvented

Kailey Bradt: Founder/ CEO OWA Haircare

While constantly traveling for business and working at a clean-tech startup, chemical engineer Kailey Bradt found a product category in need of innovation - haircare. Liquid shampoo is on average 80% water, and it's not the only haircare product made up of mostly liquid solvents. Powder alternatives would greatly reduce environmental impact across the entire supply chain. Motivated by this concept, she returned to school to pursue her Master’s while working on this idea in 2016 and officially incorporated OWA Haircare in 2017. In June 2019, OWA launched the first water-activated powdered shampoo. In her session, Rethinking the Routine: Haircare Reinvented, this entrepreneur, still in her 20’s, will share her path from idea to product. You’ll hear her entrepreneurial journey & her innovative product development approach to reinventing haircare.



The Evolving Role of Design

Ben Landrum: Global Design Manager, Design Innovation strategist, and Global Design Director at IBM
Blake Helman: Program Leader / Design Manager, IBM

As in-house creative (Design, Web, Innovation, Research, etc.) continues to evolve into integrated strategic partners with business, Design and Design leaders are being challenged to up-skill in unexpected ways. Join Oen Hammonds, Blake Helman and Ben Landrum, seasoned design leaders at IBM, for a Breakout Session on the shifting role of Design and Design teams. They’ll share insights gleaned from working closely with hundreds of designers across various facets of business, and also ask workshop attendees to share their experiences. Deep-dive discussions will include:

  • The traits of a robust design team, the qualities shared by successful designers, and strategies to attract, hire, and retain them.
  • Practical techniques and activities for probing design candidate’s inner talents, potential contributions to a greater team, and un-obvious abilities.
  • A working model of diverse and empowered design-lead teams that innovate through active stakeholder inclusion, resonate story-telling, continual scoping, and insight-lead decisions backed by user research.


Design Leaders will leave with tangible methods to grow and lead their design organizations. Design and Design Managers will leave with a greater understanding of the design teams of tomorrow, and tactics for staying ahead of the curve.


Using Service Design to Bring Experiences to Life

T.S. Balaji: VP Experience Design & Customer Experience, Cox Communications

Bringing customer experiences to life in any type of organization is not an easy task, but in established organizations two challenges often occur: overcoming the inertia of status quo, and the organizational structure itself. Departments and channels are typically created to optimize within their own silo, not across the organization. And each department develops its own norms and expectations for what Experience means within their touchpoint, resulting in inconsistencies in the overall experience. In his session T.S. Balaji, VP Experience Design & Customer Experience, Cox Communications will share how Cox Communications utilized Service Design to identify organizational silos and define strategic initiatives that address user needs across the residential and commercial businesses.  








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Kevin BethuneKevin Bethune is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of dreams • design + life

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