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The Value of Design: Advancing the Impact & Influence of Design
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Session SpeakerS:


Aileen Dempsey

Principal, Designing Business


Rob Girling

Co-founder and Principal, Artefact 


Gulay Ozkan

Founder, GEDS; Instructor Sabanci University



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Session Description


If the modern definition of design is increasingly moving towards 'formal creative techniques for problem solving', then measuring the value generated by design doesn’t need to be different than measuring the impact of anything else. However, designers, design teams and their leaders are constantly on the search for strategies that articulate their unique contribution in terms that are relevant and easily understood by the organization.


Three practitioners will share their experiences working with a broad array of international organizations to help design teams express the value of design. We’ll discuss


  • How measuring the perceived value of design an organization is a powerful change management tool.
  • The tools used in on-the-ground business strategy coaching for design teams in organizations of every size.
  • Design as a tool to increase success and reduce pivot rates in tech startup and corporate environments.




Aileen Dempsey
A Business and Innovation coach, Aileen works with founders, owner-managers, senior managers, CEO’s and their teams to analyze their business models, innovate, develop strategy, build capability and scale sustainably in businesses ranging from high potential start-ups to established SMEs - particularly in the creative industries, where her background in design provides insights and perspective.


Aileen regularly collaborates with both international and local partners in multidisciplinary teams including at Telefonica’s Wayra accelerator, NDRC incubator – the National Digital Research Centre ranked in the top 2.5% worldwide (UBI Index) and Enterprise Ireland, the organization responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprise in international markets.


Aileen’s background spans manufacturing, international sourcing, procurement and supply chain management, and fashion design. As Head of Design and New Product Development at Styletex, clients included Arcadia Group, TopShop & Wallis, Asos and Wal-Mart. A Graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Aileen holds an MBA design management from the University of Westminster London and is an EMCC accredited Executive Coach. She is a council member of Institute of Designers in Ireland, and is a frequent event speaker and experienced facilitator.



Rob Girling
As a co-founder and principal of digital experience innovation company Artefact, Rob Girling is responsible for setting the company’s strategy and vision—to design exciting products and experiences that inspire positive changes in human behavior. Rob’s design career spans some of the leading agencies and design brands in the world, such as Apple, Microsoft, IDEO and Sony. Rob obtained his Masters degree in Interaction Design from the Royal College of Art inLondon, graduating with distinction. He is a recognized thought leader who has shared his point of view on the role of design in driving positive changes at national and global innovation conferences such as SXSW, Future Travel Experiences, World Forum for Democracy, and more.



Gulay Ozkan

Gulay, an engineering mind with an artistic soul, is the founder of GEDS, a design and innovation consultancy. Her design-driven entrepreneurship concept was recognized by Behance Network in New York in 2012. The concept later evolved into The Design Lens. She has taught design-driven entrepreneurship classes for the first-time at several top-tier universities including Sabancı and Bogazici Universities in Turkey. She is an advisor of several international organizations including Design Management Institute in US and listed in EU’s Global Board Women Ready project. Her articles appear on The Atlantic Media’s Quartz in US and several other outlets in English, Japanese, Arabic, and Turkish. She was invited to Singularity University GSP13 program at NASA Ames Research Park in Silicon Valley to work on solutions to impact a billion people globally within a decade. After the program, she was awarded by Innocentive in the US for her DNAGE project.


She can be found on her website, or on Twitter at @GulayOzkan.


more Calendar

10/7/2018 » 10/9/2018
dmi: Design Leadership Conference

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