Chicago Camps

Prototypes, Process & Play

August 6–7, 2015

Columbia College Film Row – Chicago


Learn design leadership skills from Adaptive Path, Public Good Software, Google Ventures, and the Chicago Bulls–just to name a few!

We’ll gain from the wisdom and experience of brilliant professionals who have been there, done that, and have shown others how to do it, too.

Meet Our Awesome Sponsors

These fantastic sponsors are helping us bring this great event to you.


We’ve prepared 2 days–Thursday and Friday, August 6th and 7th–at Columbia College Chicago that will help you hone and focus your design leadership skills. Come ready to learn, and leave ready to drive the future of design in your organization!

Schedule Announcement Forthcoming


We’ve meticulously curated professionals who are a mix of strong design leaders, leadership mentors and coaches from other fields, and aspiring design leaders who are forging their own path. Our line-up will inspire you and provide you with techniques and tools to help you down your own leadership path.

We’re very excited for you to meet our speakers!

Andrea Mignolo

Andrea Mignolo
Chief Design Officer, SimpleReach

Andrea Mignolo is the Chief Design Officer at SimpleReach, an analytics startup based in New York City. Previously she was the Creative Director at Nabewise, a neighborhood-centric startup that was aquired by Airbnb in 2012. An interaction designer by trade, she is currently obsessed with bringing design-centered practices to enterprise SaaS and building a kick-ass team of full-stack designers. In addition to design, Andrea loves gaming, hiking, beer, and funny hats.

For more, keep up with Andrea at or on Twitter as @pnts.

Braden Kowitz

Braden Kowitz
Design Partner, Google Ventures

Braden Kowitz is a product designer, prototyper, and storyteller. He’s also a Design Partner at Google Ventures and founded the team’s Design Studio. He advises startups on UX Design and Product Development. Before joining Google Ventures, Braden led design for several Google Products, including Gmail, Google Buzz, Google Apps for Business, Google Spreadsheets, OpenSocial, and Google Trends.

Braden started his career building virtual reality simulators at the Beckman Institute, and interactive visualizations at Lucent Technologies. Braden studied Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Human-Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon.

For more, keep up with Braden at or on Twitter as @kowitz.

Carl Smith

Carl Smith
Speaker, Consultant, Advisor, nGen Works

Carl Smith is an irreverent ditcher of the nine-to-five and mortal enemy of the overworked lifestyle. Owner and founder of nGen Works, Carl’s role is that of an advisor, to nGen and other companies, on how to create self-sustaining teams that perform at the highest levels. Carl has made a name for himself by creating a new framework for how we get things done, and by enabling us to realign our creative communities. When he’s not conducting business experiments with companies around the world, he’s busy sculpting a new face for the world of work… and play.

For more, keep up with Carl at or on Twitter as @carlsmith.

Lessons from the Lemonade Stand

Kids are better entrepreneurs than we are. They show up excited, listen to their customers and make sure everyone is happy. But something happens as they grow up. Kids lose their enthusiasm and ability to empathize. Then they become us. Super busy adults, always tired, cranky and never having enough time to do a good job. Why does this happen and how can we get that fun swagger of our youth back? The answers may delight you.

Denise Jacobs

Denise Jacobs
Founder & Chief Creativity Evangelist, The Creative Dose

Denise Jacobs is a Speaker + Author + Creativity Evangelist who speaks at web conferences and consults with tech companies worldwide. As the Founder + Chief Creativity Evangelist of The Creative Dose, she teaches techniques to make the creative process more fluid, methods for making work environments more conducive to creative productivity, and practices for sparking innovation. Working in Web Design & Development since 1997, she is an industry veteran and regarded expert on many things web. She is the author of The CSS Detective Guide and co-author of the Smashing Book #3 1/3 and Interact with Web Standards. Denise is also the Chief Unicorn of Rawk The Web and the Head Instigator of The Creativity (R)Evolution.

For more, keep up with Denise at or on Twitter as @denisejacobs.

Creativity Imperative

Creativity and innovation are now hailed as the most important contributors to the growth of the economy. It’s imperative that environments are structured so creativity and innovation can thrive. Good news: laying the foundation is easier than you think. Discover the four directives to enhance engagement, reignite passion, and amp up meaningful contribution — enabling you, your team, and your company to develop and deliver fantastic products and services.

Dustin DiTommaso

Dustin DiTommaso
SVP, Behavior Change Design, Mad*Pow

Dustin DiTommaso is a designer and researcher focused on using design and technology to facilitate behavior change and human flourishing. Putting theory into practice, he designs products and directs programs that incorporate behavioral science with gameful and playful design to positively transform people’s attitudes, behavior and motivation. His client portfolio includes partnerships with a range of innovative start-ups, non-profits, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies across domains, including healthcare, financial services, education and social impact. In addition to his consulting experience, Dustin is a frequent speaker and workshop facilitator at a number of industry events worldwide.

For more, keep up with Dustin at or on Twitter as @du5tb1n.

Hannah Donovan

Hannah Donovan
VP Product Design, Ripcord

Hannah Donovan is a designer and speaker based in New York City. She’s worked at the intersection of music, design and technology for the last decade, making digital products in music and entertainment. She currently leads product design at Ripcord.

Previously, Hannah co-founded This Is My Jam with incubation from The Echo Nest, led design at in London, and designed for youth-focused brands in Toronto.

She’s a classically trained cellist who loves hip-hop and R&B, as well as a classically trained graphic designer who loves bold patterns, clashing textures and type. She also loves tigers, but isn’t classically trained to tame them.

For more, keep up with Hannah at or on Twitter as @han.

Sometimes You Need to Draw Animals

This is my story of going to the edge of burnout and back again. When I quit my first startup job in 2011, I did so thinking I might not be able to make anything ever again. Since then, I’ve devoted most of my personal time to working on this as a design problem.

As people who make things, burnout — and the inevitable sequel to it, maker’s block — is something we all face. It might be big, it might be small, mine was pretty big. I’ll share my favourite tools for solving and preventing burnout, as well as what factors contributed to it in the first place.

(There will also be drawings of animals.)

J Cornelius

J Cornelius
President, Nine Labs

J has been making websites and software for the web since 1998, and has been credited with creating several software features web designers and developers take for granted today. He’s passionate about efficient, usable, aesthetically pleasing design. He is the President of Nine Labs, an experience and strategy consultancy where he works with companies far and wide to improve their products and services. He’s also the President of the Atlanta Web Design Group, and founder of the Web Afternoon conference series.

For more, keep up with J at or on Twitter as @jc.

Jason Kunesh

Jason Kunesh
CEO, Public Good Software

Jason Kunesh is the CEO of Public Good Software, a social enterprise software startup in Chicago. Previously, he was Director of User Experience & Product at Obama for America, a founder of Fuzzy Math, on the founding team of ThePoint (which grew up to be Groupon), an early designer at Orbitz, an adjunct faculty member at DePaul University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a bouncer at the Green Mill.

Jason has spoken at companies including Google, Intuit, and Microsoft and at conferences including UX Week, BAYCHI, Web Visions and more. His work has been featured in the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly, BusinessWeek, TIME, and others.

For more, keep up with Jason at or on Twitter as @jdkunesh.

Jen Myers

Jen Myers
Director of Open Source Curriculum, Pluralsight

Jen Myers is a web designer/developer, speaker, writer and teacher in Chicago, and the Director of Open Source Curriculum at online training course provider Pluralsight. She founded Code and Cupcakes, a series of mother/daughter coding workshops she leads regularly, and has been involved with Girl Develop It, an organization that provides introductory programming classes for women, as a chapter leader, instructor and advisor since 2011. She speaks extensively about design, development and diversity, and focuses on finding new ways to make both technology and technology education accessible to everyone.

For more, keep up with Jen at or on Twitter as @antiheroine.

Cartoon Creativity: What I Learned from Chuck Jones

Lessons sometimes come from unlikely sources, which is why one of modern history’s richest sources of inspiration for creativity, leadership and culture-building often goes overlooked: the mid-twentieth-century animator Chuck Jones, otherwise known as one of the fathers of Bugs Bunny and a myriad of other Warner Brothers cartoon characters. The environment he worked in grew out of an unique mix of talent, philosophy and pragmatism that all industries and artists alike can learn from. Plus: cartoons. So who wouldn’t want to learn how to work like he did? Let’s find out how.

Jesse James Garrett

Jesse James Garrett
Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Adaptive Path

Jesse James Garrett is co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Adaptive Path, a user experience design consultancy. His contributions to the field of user experience include creating the seminal “Elements of User Experience” model; developing the Visual Vocabulary, a notation system for documenting user experience design; and defining Ajax, an approach to creating dynamic Web applications. Jesse has received Wired Magazine’s Rave Award for Technology and was named one of the “50 Most Important People on the Web” by PC World.

For more, keep up with Jesse at or on Twitter as @jjg.

Laralyn McWilliams

Laralyn McWilliams
Chief Creative Officer, The Workshop Entertainment

Laralyn McWilliams has designed and helped build award-winning social, strategy, simulation, platform, brawler, FPS and massively multiplayer online games. She was creative director for the ground-breaking MMO Free Realms at Sony Online Entertainment, which the New York Times called “a triumph of the company’s own reinvention.” She was also lead designer for the critically acclaimed Full Spectrum Warrior, which was the most nominated game of E3 2003. Laralyn was on Gamasutra’s list of the Top 10 Developers of 2014, she shared the top spot in Massive Online Gaming’s 2010 list of the Top 20 Most Influential People in MMOs, was on Beckett’s list of the top women in MMOs for 2010, and was listed as one of Gamasutra’s 20 most influential women in games in 2008. She’s a frequent speaker on casual game progression and the use of metrics in the design and operation of live game services.

For more, keep up with Laralyn on Twitter as @laralyn.

Milissa Tarquini

Milissa Tarquini
VP, Product UX & Design, Scripps Networks Interactive

Milissa Tarquini is VP, Product UX and Design for Food Network, HGTV, DIY, and The Travel Channel — which are conveniently owned by one company that no one has heard of: Scripps Networks Interactive. She began her career in 1995 (gasp!) as a designer at Aol (another gasp!) and designed her way up the ranks until she was the Director of UX for all of Aol’s 85 content sites and mobile applications. After she realized how insane that was she left to join Scripps where she focuses on bringing great entertainment and utility experiences to the fans and users of awesome brands. She is extremely lucky and giddily proud to have had her work used by millions of people every day since 1995, a fact that she sometimes forgets when she is fussing over something ridiculous like the way the light falls on the cupcake in that one photo. You know the one—it’s weird right?

Milissa does all of these things by hiring an amazing team and getting the hell out of their way. Unless they are trying to get that cupcake photo by her.

For more, keep up with Milissa on Twitter as @milissa.

Dr. Steve Julius

Dr. Steve Julius
Team Psychologist, Chicago Bulls, Founder, Human Resource Consulting Group

Dr. Steve Julius is the founder and chief executive of HRCG, a Chicago based firm specializing in executive leadership, high performance teamwork, organizational effectiveness and strategic human capital solutions. A true proponent of the power that is derived from integrating diverse talents and points-of-view, Steve has built a team of professionals who combine the approach of trusted advisor with the first-hand knowledge and insight that comes from their having been in significant leadership positions prior to joining HRCG.

Steve believes that personal and professional success comes from helping others reach their peak potential. As such, he maintains an active practice of advising senior executives and their teams from an array of major corporations, entrepreneurial companies and professional service organizations. Whether called upon during times of organizational transition or in anticipation of capitalizing on opportunities for enhanced business performance, Dr. Julius is known for his ability to combine his knowledge of human behavior, organizational dynamics and business strategy to create relevant and practical solutions. Steve’s enthusiastic, outcome oriented style has been described as “contagious” resulting not only in ready-to-use business solutions, but also a collective sense of personal satisfaction and empowerment on the part of those with whom Steve works.

All of Us Are Smarter Than Some of Us: How to Harness Your Team’s Collective Intelligence

Until relatively recently, innovation was considered the domain of a select few “gifted” thinkers who sit alone in their garage or some other mountaintop developing their insights in isolation. In fact, the very idea of a group of people coming together to create something game-changing was thought to result more often in mediocre outcomes due to the drag of “group think.”

No longer. And the good news is that everyone possesses the capacity for break through thinking and results that truly matter. Innovation is the lifeblood of all things and occurs when people add tangible value or benefit to others through the conversion and implementation of new ideas.

We have entered the age of collective wisdom; an era where it is recognized that paradigm shifting innovation requires cooperation within an ecosystem of diverse talents and creative styles. Dr. Steve Julius, a clinical psychologist and entrepreneur, will explain and demonstrate how to marshal and lead our natural desire to engage, contribute and act collaboratively in ways that allow for perceiving new possibilities and status quo changing actions.

Dr. Temple Grandin

Dr. Temple Grandin
Professor, Speaker, Author, Colorado State University

Temple Grandin is an American professor of animal science at Colorado State University, a best-selling author, an autistic activist, and a consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior. She also invented the “hug box”, a device to calm those on the autism spectrum. The subject of an award-winning, 2010 biographical film, Temple Grandin, she also was listed in the Time 100 list of the one hundred most influential people in the world in the “Heroes” category.

For more, keep up with Dr. at or on Twitter as @drtemplegrandin.


Columbia College Film Row

We are big fans of our venue and sponsor: Columbia College in Chicago. Columbia is a great place to learn and upgrade your design skills and we’re excited to host our inaugural Prototypes, Process & Play with them!

Columbia College

About Columbia College

Columbia College Chicago is an institution of higher education specializing in arts and media disciplines, with nearly 12,000 students pursuing degrees within 120 undergraduate and graduate programs.

Check out Columbia College.

Where to Park?

There are several easy-access parking garages available in the surrounding blocks.

Where to Stay?

Coming from out of town? There are a lot of hotels in the surrounding area that may work well for you and we have already done the searching for you!

Sponsorship Opportunities

We want to be the easiest partner you’ve ever worked with–even at the traditional conference level! With that as our guiding mantra, all of our Prototypes, Process & Play sponsorships are $1,500.

Prototypes, Process & Play has many different options available that are comparable to any other large scale event, and we’re happy to work with you to create something custom to meet your needs! We’ve got a great event planned and we’d love to talk to you about how we can partner with you!

If you’re interested in sponsoring Prototypes, Process & Play and getting in front of the people who are driving the future of design, contact us or download our Sponsorship Packet.

Chicago Sponsors Camps

  • Harrington College of Design
  • Rosenfeld Media
  • Simplecast
  • User Interface Engineering

Code of Conduct

All delegates, speakers, sponsors and volunteers at any Chicago Camps, LLC event are required to agree with the following code of conduct. Organizers will enforce this code throughout the event.

The Short Version
Full Version

Chicago Camps, LLC is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks.