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dmi:Design Leadership Conference



"Shifting Dynamics"
dmi:Design Leadership Conference #DLC21
and dmi : Design Value Awards



CONFERENCE: Wednesday, September 22nd – Thursday, September 23rd (8:45am - 12:00pm ET)
Wednesday September 22nd (2:00 - 4:00pm ET)
Friday, September 24th 10:00am - 1:00pm ET (Conference Registration Required for Workshop Signup)

Registration Fees:

DMI Member $550
Non-Member $650
Consider Membership and Registration Bundle - add a membership or renewal now for +$300 ($100 savings)
Optional Workshop
$100 Members / $300 Non-Members (Conference Registration Required for Workshop Signup)


Register Here



Join us to discuss the Shifting Dynamics in Design Leadership and beyond. We'll take a heads-up look at a world concurrently mired in, and working to move beyond, the pandemic. It has challenged how we research, design, and collaborate, which in turn has challenged existing organizational structures and culture– is it all bad? We’ll discuss how we can humanize work, and how organizations can imagine their future using Systems Thinking.



Two-Day Conference (Sept. 22-23) + Optional Workshop (Sept. 24)

**Registrants, Open DMI / GoToWebinar email to join conference.


Speaker Sessions (8:45-12pm ET)




Shifting Dynamics: Inclusive Design for a Post-Pandemic Reset

Jeremy Myerson, Author and Professor Emeritus, Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art
Rama Gheerawo, Director, Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art


As much of the world adjusts in the wake of COVID-19, Rama Gheerawo and Jeremy Myerson (Author) from the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art in London will discuss future Inclusive Design scenarios for how we live, work, move and connect. This talk marks the publication of a new book, Designing A World for Everyone, which charts the 30-year history of Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design. Their tour of the future city will embrace new innovations for living, a hybrid model for working, the rise of autonomous vehicles in urban transport, and a digital app-enabled public realm, showing how people-centric design can enable change.

The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art first pioneered the concept of Inclusive Design in the early 1990s and has gone on to build an extensive portfolio of collaborative projects – working with more than 100 international organizations including British Airports Airport, Panasonic, British Heart Foundation, Dyson, Ford, GlaxoSmithKline, the NHS, Samsung, Sony, TATA Consulting Services, Toyota, Transport for London and Unilever – developing new methods, coaching designers and business at all levels, and bringing a more inclusive way of thinking about design to international attention.




Imagining Unthinkable Possibilities

Shel Kimen, Co-Director, D-Ford Design Thinking, Ford Motor Company


As Design Leaders we have a distinct and unfair advantage. We have tools to understand systems and navigate complexity. We have experience with high ambiguity and the sense-making skills to create clarity. We have another super power: Imagination. In this session, Shel Kimen, Co-Director D-Ford Design Thinking, Ford Motor Company will present a new approach to imagination and highlight tools we already have to unlock this magic elixir:

  • “Boundless Positives”: Shifting to a Mindset of Joy
  • Moving from HMW (How Might We…) to the Worthy Challenge (and why that matters)
  • Design for Belonging - Where Compassion Replaces Empathy
  • Designing Past Fear and Scarcity to Abundance (and preparing ourselves for this shift: tools & techniques for imagination that can get us to the NOT impossible idea of abundance)



Everyone is Talking About Experience—But What is It?

Dr. Guido Beier, Founder & Managing Director, DE3P - Experience & Innovation


We all talk about delivering experiences that delight and deliver value. But do we really understand the psychological foundations of Experience? Do we understand how people experience…Experience? Why does one design solution elicit joy and another indifference?


Do we understand Experience in the same way, or is there a disconnect between Firms and Clients, Researchers and Designers, Brand and Sales? How has it taken this long to ask the fundamental question: “what is at the core of Experience?”


In this dmi:Design Leadership Conference session, Dr. Guido Beier, a business psychologist who has spent 25 years understanding Experience from a psychological perspective, will introduce the concept of the "77 Human Needs.” You’ll discover how basing the value chain on Human Need.

  • Untangles the “fuzzy front-end” of Innovation
  • Creates Design-focused “Experience KPIs”
  • Sends the same signal throughout the organization

NOTE: If you are curious (an Actional Need), crave innovation (an Ideal Need), and desire better communication (a Social Need), register for the “77 Human Needs” Workshop September 24th to understand the system more deeply, and see it applied to some real-world cases. Read more about the Workshop below.




“Hello Computer?”: Voice UX, Chatbots and Voice User Interface

Kelly Goto, Principal & CEO • gotomedia & gotoresearch


Voice UI is finally mainstream – but is it usable? What is conversational design and what do we need to know as product owners and managers in order to integrate voice UX into product strategy? In this session, Kelly Goto, founder of gotomedia & gotoresearch, global leaders in human-focused research & design, will dive into the state of conversational UI and Voice UX. Learn how and why natural language interfaces are essential as we enter a new era of accessibility.



Break (12pm-2pm ET)


Award Ceremony (2pm-4pm ET)

**Rejoin via DMI / GoToWebinar email.


dmi:Design Value Awards


*** Design Management Institute will recognize winners of the 2021 dmi:Design Value Awards. The Awards honor teams that have worked across boundaries to deliver significant value through design or design management practices. Awards are open to consultants, government agencies, non-profit organizations, educators and corporations of any size. Learn more.



Speaker Sessions (8:45-12pm ET)

**Registrants, Open DMI / GoToWebinar email to join conference.





Building Resiliency in Uncertain Times: A Conversation with Dr. John Maeda

Dr. John Maeda, SVP Chief Experience Officer at Everbridge (and DMI Muriel Cooper Prize Winner**)
Kevin Bethune - Chief Creative Officer, dreams • design + life


John Maeda has always been beyond the leading edge, somewhere in the thought-stratosphere, sending messages from the future to those of us in the present. An author of 5 books including the new “How To Speak Machine” and the bestselling “Laws of Simplicity”, he was a forerunner in computational design, and a thought leader on design in tech, education, venture capital, and education. Most recently (and perhaps most imperative) he has turned his left + right hemispheres to consider resiliency and critical event management.
There is literally no one better to speak to the nature of “Shifting Dynamics” than Dr. John Maeda – and no one better to lead the discussion than Kevin Bethune, a multidisciplinary design leader, entrepreneur, and ever-curious mind.

The pair will discuss critical event management, expecting more of the unexpected, and how we can build in resiliency. Topic will include:

  • The digital transformation previously predicted, and dramatically accelerated by the pandemic, and how it affects both the employee and the employer.
  • Future-proofing oneself - building career resiliency
  • The challenges to business (in time and effort) to bring about major changes in work-styles and ways of doing business
  • How we can humanize work itself
  • “Safety Eats the World”
  • How innovation may need to be more than just addressing the bottom of Maslow's hierarchy of needs

After the discussion there will be a Q&A period so that you may ask your own questions.


“Maeda is to design what Warren Buffett is to finance.” —Wired Magazine


** Muriel Cooper inspired DMI to create a coveted award to honor extraordinary people who challenge our current understanding and experience of interactive digital communication. Receipients of this prestigious award demonstrate outstanding achievement in advancing design, technology and communications.




Using UX Research to Solve Business Challenges

Charu Ahuja, Director, Consumer Experience & Usability Research, Consumer Reports


The blueprint for creating a UX research department can vary from industry to industry, yet in this session, Charu Ahuja the Director of Consumer Experience & Usability Research at the industry giant Consumer Reports (CR) will share insights that apply to every industry, across research modes.

When CR invested in a Consumer Experience and Usability Research department to guide the testing of products, Ahuja was tasked with launching the new department. In this session hear how to:

  • Launch a new department with a specific strategic challenge to solve
  • Carry out a pilot using existing resources and employees
  • Use the UX Research toolkit to solve unique business needs
  • Establish the function and continue to expand it to address other business needs

CR is a non-profit, member organization founded in 1936 that works to create a fair and just marketplace for all by providing consumers trustworthy information, based on rigorous testing, of everyday products and services.




Designing Life: A Strategic Designer’s Guide to the Materials Revolution

Clair Maurice, Director, Strategic Design, BCG Digital Ventures


Synthetic biology is the technology that engineers organisms to create altered or new living, or once living, materials. It is already changing what the world uses to make things like plastics, fabrics, and food, and upending how those things are made. Synthetic biology has the potential to significantly reduce waste and carbon and allow for new possibilities like self-adapting clothes and localized manufacturing. Many companies in these industries have heard about, but have yet to fully realize the opportunities for transformation in their organization. In this presentation, Clair Maurice, Director of Design at the innovation firm BCG Digital Ventures brings a decade in Design Thinking and strategic framing to the space of synthetic biology, in a fascinating and novice-friendly session that will empower you to spot an opportunity, leverage biotechnology in your consumer or industrial goods company, and find ways to make that future a reality.




Industry 5.0 - Are Designers Leading the Way?

Andreea Hirica, Head of Strategy, ALCHEMISER

Accelerated by a global pandemic and driven by an increased convergence of industries, products, technologies, and services, the next industrial revolution is happening in plain sight bringing massive shifts in how we use resources, build sustainable businesses, and collaborate – moving the focus from solely shareholder to stakeholder value. How are designers leading the human-centric perspective of Industry 5.0.? In this session, Andreea Hirica, Head of Strategy of the international strategic design consultancy ALCHEMISER, will discuss:

  • Designing for automation while leaving room for creativity, wonder, discovery, and ultimately, disruption
  • Designing for a “robot readable world” - with robots becoming our colleagues, friends, managers, and direct reports
  • Designing for life and business in the Metaverse



Panel: Gen Z Speaks

Ezra / Lexi / Lucas / Ali


This will be a recorded playback, as they are in school during the time of the Conference


Generation Z colloquially also known as zoomers are the demographic succeeding Millenials and preceding Generation Alpha. They range in age from 6 to 24 years old. Join this group of 4 Gen Zers: Ezra, Lexi, Lucas and Ali, in a recorded playback, as they talk about life through their eyes and ears. What are their interests? What are their priorities for the future? How do they view brands? How and what technology do they use and not use? See life through their eyes and learn from this fun and engaging pre-recorded session.











Workshop Optional (September 24) Register For Workshop With Conference



Photo By: Yves Borgwardt

Driving Innovation with the 77 Human Needs System

September 24, 2021 (Day After Conference) - 10am - 12pm ET

Workshop Fee: $100 Members / $300 Non-Members (Conference Registration Required for Workshop Signup)



Instructor: Dr. Guido Beier, Founder & Managing Director, DE3P - Experience & Innovation


Needs are the product of evolution that steer human motivation and behavior. Every successful innovation serves a human need. But how can needs become an organizing, unifying principle in innovation? The 77 Human Needs System is a clear methodology that classifies needs into 5 categories, creating a way to define, communicate, and organize innovation seamlessly across the value chain. In this session, Dr Guido Beier will introduce the 77 Human Needs System and share recent case studies using the innovation tool.




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