Chicago Camps

Prototypes, Process & Play

August 10–11, 2017

Columbia College Film Row – Chicago

Conference Overview

Learn design leadership from the experts at
Prototypes, Process, & Play.

It’s a two-day, single-track conference featuring inspiring keynote speakers, accomplished design leaders, and experienced professionals from major brands and organizations.

Curious about the name? It comes from our formula for effective design leadership:

Proven Methodologies
Creative Exploration

Additional Speakers & Sponsors Coming Soon

We’re currently in discussions with additional speakers and sponsors. As we confirm additions to the program we’ll add them below. Until then, if you have any recommendations on speakers or sponsors we’d love to hear from you!

Meet Our Awesome Sponsors

These great sponsors help us make Prototypes, Process & Play affordable and accessible. These organizations see the value in design and design leadership—please show your support for the support they’ve shown us!

About Our Speakers

Great thinking on design leadership is found in many forms in many industries. We’ve curated an incredible lineup of design experts, mentors, and coaches from diverse fields to help you down your own leadership path. Our single-track format ensures you’ll get to learn from every one of them.


Jay Newton-Small

Jay Newton-Small
Co-Founder, MemoryWell

Jay Newton-Small is cofounder of MemoryWell, which tells the life stories of those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Previously, Newton-Small was Washington correspondent for TIME Magazine, where she remains a contributor. At TIME she covered politics as well as stories on five continents from conflicts in the Middle East to the earthquake in Haiti and the November 2015 Paris terror attacks. She has written more than half a dozen TIME cover stories and interviewed numerous heads of state, including Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

She authored the 2016 best selling book, Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works.

Before TIME, Newton-Small was a reporter for Bloomberg News, where she covered the White House and politics.

Newton-Small received an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University and undergraduate degrees in International Relations and Art History from Tufts University. She was a 2015 Harvard Institute of Politics fellow and is a 2016 New America fellow. She is the 2016 winner of the prestigious Dirksen Award for congressional reporting and the 2016 Deadline Club award for community service reporting.

For more, keep up with Jay at or on Twitter as @JNSmall.

Mike Davidson

Mike Davidson
Recently: Vice President of Design, Twitter

MiMike most recently spent three years as Vice President of Design for Twitter. Prior to joining Twitter, Mike was Vice President at, where he managed social news products and technologies. Earlier, he founded Newsvine, which was acquired by MSNBC, and spent several years as Art Director and Manager of Media Product Development for Mike earned a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Washington and studied Creative Advertising and Management at the University of Oxford.

Before the advent of web fonts, Mike invented and open-sourced sIFR, a technique which enabled thousands of individuals and organizations to use custom typography on the web.

For more, keep up with Mike at or on Twitter as @mikeindustries.

Scott Berkun

Scott Berkun
Author & Speaker

Scott Berkun is a bestselling author and popular speaker on creativity, philosophy, culture, business and many other subjects. He’s the author of seven books, including The Myths of Innovation, Confessions of a Public Speaker, and The Year Without Pants. His work has appeared, or been mentioned, in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Guardian, Wired magazine, USA Today, Fast Company, National Public Radio, The Huffington Post and other media. He studied philosophy, computer science and design at CMU, was a manager at Microsoft (’94-’03) and (’10-’12), and currently works full time as a writer and speaker.

For more, keep up with Scott at or on Twitter as @berkun.


Carmen Medina

Carmen Medina
Heretic, Rebels at Work

Carmen, a retired Senior Federal Executive with 32 years’ experience in the Intelligence Community, is a recognized national and international expert on intelligence analysis, strategic thinking, diversity of thought, and innovation and intrapreneurs in the public sector. She is the co-author of the new book: Rebels At Work: A Handbook for Leading Change from Within and of the landmark Deloitte University Press paper on Diversity’s New Fronter: Diversity of Thought and the Future of the Workplace. Her story as a heretic and change agent at CIA is featured in Wharton School professor Adam Grant’s new bestseller Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World.

From 2005-2007 Carmen was part of the executive team that led the CIA’s Analysis Directorate; in her last assignment before retiring she oversaw the CIA’s Lessons Learned program and led the Agency’s first effort to address the challenges posed by social networks, digital ubiquity, and the emerging culture of collaboration. She was a leader on diversity issues at the CIA, serving on equity boards at all organizational levels and across Directorates. She was the first CIA executive to conceptualize many IT applications now used by analysts, including online production, collaborative tools, and Intellipedia, a project she personally green-lighted; as a senior executive, she began using in 2005 social networking and blogs to reach her diverse workforce. Upon her retirement from CIA, she received the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal. From 2011—2015, Carmen was a member of Deloitte Federal Consulting where she served as senior advisor and mentor to Deloitte’s flagship innovation program, GovLab.

Carmen describes herself as Puerto Rican by birth and Texan by nationality. She likes to garden and cook things that she has grown.

For more, keep up with Carmen at or on Twitter as @milouness.

Dan Brown

Dan Brown
Co-Founder, EightShapes

In 2006, Dan Brown co-founded EightShapes, a design firm based in Washington, DC. EightShapes designs digital products and systematizes design standards for Fortune 500 clients. Most recently, Dan has conducted user research for a higher education product, designed an application for architects seeking a license, and lead the design of a web-based consumer application for a major educational publishing company.

Dan’s two books, Communicating Design and Designing Together, deal with communications and collaboration on design teams, and are widely considered to be essential reading for UX designers. UX teams all over the world have played his game Surviving Design Projects, to improve their conflict management skills. His new book Practical Design Discovery deals with the very first phase of a project, in which the product team seeks to understand the design problem.

For more, keep up with Dan at or on Twitter as @brownorama.

Donna Lichaw

Donna Lichaw
Author of The User's Journey

Donna Lichaw is the author of The User’s Journey: Storymapping Products That People Love. Through her writing, speaking, and much loved Storymapping Workshop, Donna guides startups, non-profits, and global brands in optimizing their digital products and services by providing them with a simplified way to drive user engagement. Utilizing her ‘story first’ approach, she helps organizations define and refine their value proposition, transform their thinking, and better engage with their core customers. Prior to her career in technology, she refined her talent for storytelling and narrative development as an award-winning documentary filmmaker.

For more, keep up with Donna at or on Twitter as @dlichaw.

Eli Silva

Eli Silva
Sr. Product Designer, Pivotal Labs

Eli Silva is a Sr. Product designer at Pivotal labs. Eli is best known as a diversity advocate with practical insights drawn from the design discipline. Unlike traditional approaches to org design that focus on charts and work distribution, Eli emphasizes studying the way people interact with an organization as a product. Using this as a tool for reflection leads to better interactions between people and their work cultures. In re-examining Design Thinking as a organizational design tool, with a focus on diversity and inclusion, their work has generated some powerful new ways of looking at old questions in a new light. Eli enjoys playing video games, blogging, and volunteering on the side.

For more, keep up with Eli at or on Twitter as @elisymeon.

Lisa Welchman​

Lisa Welchman​
Author, Managing Chaos: Digital Governance by Design

For the past two decades, the leaders of global 1000 companies, NGOs, and other organizations have turned to Lisa to analyze and solve their digital governance challenges. Lisa also speaks globally on issues related to digital governance, the rise of the Information Age, and diversity in the digital technology sector. Lisa is the author of Managing Chaos: Digital Governance by Design published by Rosenfeld Media in 2015.

For more, keep up with Lisa at or on Twitter as @lwelchman.

Matthew Milan

Matthew Milan
CEO, Normative

Matthew is a complex systems specialist with a focus on software innovation. He has degrees in Ski Area Management, Geographic Information Systems and Environmental Planning, and has spent most of his career helping organizations make concrete decisions about the future through the integration of strategic design and technology prototyping.

Matthew has spent the last decade at Normative leading teams on the fuzzy front end of emerging technologies. Along the way he’s discovered that when you work at the intersection of people and technology, change is the only constant. Dealing with ambiguity is what gets him up in the morning.

Matthew married with three children under 10 years old. They ski a lot.

For more, keep up with Matthew at or on Twitter as @mmilan.

Sofia Millares

Sofia Millares
Creative Director of Product Design, Nasdaq

Sofia Millares is the Creative Director of Product Design at Nasdaq. For the past four years she has been overseeing the styling and global functionality for the entire product suite offering. Alongside her team, she is determined to expand the Nasdaq branding throughout all platforms and create new ways to position and rethink these products.

Born and raised in Mexico, Sofia always had an interest in design and moved to New York City ten years ago to pursue a BA in Design and Management with a concentration in graphic design from Parsons the New School for Design. In addition to design, she loves to travel, practice calligraphy and hang out with her three-year-old (and 100lb.) pup Lemmy.

For more, keep up with Sofia at or on Twitter as @sofimilli.

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.

Tami Evnin

Tami Evnin
Lead Product Designer, Nasdaq

Tami Evnin is the Director of Portfolio Design Strategy at Nasdaq, where her team is changing the way a fintech leader builds products. She has established design best practices and helped scale the team from 3 to over 25 designers. Her most recent challenge has been learning to manage former peers while trying to not let her creative muscles atrophy. Tami earned her MFA in Design and Technology at Parsons The New School for Design, where she focused on developing social interfaces to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and product development. She is an international award winning product designer, has recently presented at a handful of international conferences, and is a proponent of the Oxford comma.

For more, keep up with Tami at


Julia Keren-Detar

Julia Keren-Detar
UX Designer, Untame

Julia Keren-Detar is a game designer and developer based out of Chicago, IL. Currently she is the Creative Director for Untame, a studio shared by her and her husband. She is working on Mushroom 11 with Itay Keren, Simon and Kara Kono, contributing to the game design, UX and marketing. She’s worked on several casual and indie titles including Untame’s award-winning mobile game “Rope Rescue” and Arkadium’s hit Facebook game “Mahjongg Dimensions Blast”. At Arkadium, she was a senior developer at the R&D department, prototyping and designing dozens of games. Julia is also an avid quilter and a hobby game historian.

For more, keep up with Julia on Twitter as @quiltingcrow.

Nicole Maynard

Nicole Maynard
Head of User Experience, Hyatt

Nicole Maynard is the Head of User Experience at Hyatt leading a team of researchers, interaction and visual designers, creating solutions that elevate Hyatt’s digital footprint and enhance the guest experience. She has taken the helm as president of the Chicago chapter of UXPA (User Experience Professionals Association).

Nicole is a versatile UX professional; she has a foundation in graphic, information and interaction design and has been performing user research well before realizing it was a profession. She has always found the inner workings of our minds to be a compelling subject of study. Her work has been published nationally and has won various design awards. If you want to get her chatting, ask about her talking budgie or her commitment to health and wellness.

For more, keep up with Nicole on Twitter as @punkynixter.

Suzanna Bierwirth

Suzanna Bierwirth
Chief Creative Officer, The Mars Agency

Consumer-first through-the-line thinker. Empowering Leader. Passionate Business Builder. Mother. Maker. Instigator.

Raised and educated as a visual artist in Germany, I am relentless in my pursuit to make work that is meaningful, memorable and beautiful. I am left and right brained, and continually deploy both art and science, to create programs that engage consumers, change minds and evoke behavior. I believe there has never been a more exciting time to be in marketing. I love that we have to move faster and be more intuitive and inventive than ever before. And with the lines now blurred between all disciplines and channels, I know anything and everything is possible.

Location Details

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.

The Congress Plaza Hotel

Coming from out of town? We’ve set up a special rate for attendees at The Congress Plaza Hotel on Michigan Avenue in the heart of Chicago.

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

  • Rosenfeld Media
  • Simplecast
  • Columbia College Chciago
  • MOMENT Design

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

Be respectful of other people; respectfully ask people to stop if you are bothered; and if you can’t resolve an issue contact the organizers. If you are being a problem, it will be apparent and you’ll be asked to leave.