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Chicago Camps

Leadership by Design

August 7–9, 2019

Columbia College Film Row – Chicago

Conference Overview

Learn design leadership from the experts at
Leadership by Design.

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

For 2019, we’re adding optional workshops on Wednesday, August 7th (workshops are a separate, additional cost from the conference itself) to help hone your leadership skills. More information soon!

Sign up now–these tickets go fast!

Meet Our Awesome Sponsors

These great sponsors help us make Leadership by Design affordable and accessible. These organizations see the value in design and design leadership—please show your support for the support they’ve shown us!

Program & Schedule

Hone your design leadership skills over two days with us at Columbia College Chicago. A carefully curated single-track approach ensures that you can attend every session and have a truly shared experience with other attendees and speakers.

Day Zero — Wednesday, August 7th
Workshops

Registration
Room 1 2 3
Todd Zaki Warfel
The Design Leadership Playbook
Karen VanHouten
Healthier Teams by Design
Helen Keighron & Maria Pereda
Hiring Consciously: Designing an Inclusive Hiring Practice
Lunch Break
Todd Zaki Warfel
The Design Leadership Playbook
Karen VanHouten
Healthier Teams by Design
Helen Keighron & Maria Pereda
Hiring Consciously: Designing an Inclusive Hiring Practice

Day One — Thursday, August 8th
Politics & Influence

Registration
Welcome to Leadership by Design
Keynote
TBA
Emileigh Barnes
Your Craft AND Your Influence
Morning Break
Anne Hjortshoj
Baby Shark: Leveraging Organizational Politics for Design Team Success
Lunch Break
Maria Pereda
Tailored by Design: A Year of Making My Own Clothes
Lightning Session
TBA
Jennifer Tress
The 4-Point Plan to Dealing with Chaos at Work
Afternoon Break
Andrea Mignolo
TBA
Scott Berkun
The Design & Power Playbook (aka Why Designers Hate Politics & What To Do About it)
Happy Hour

Day Two — Friday, August 10th
Craft, Practice & Growth

Registration
Welcome to Leadership by Design
Todd Zaki Warfel
The Design Career Journey
Pasha Moore
TBA
Morning Break
Chris Avore
Leveling Up Design Leadership
Lunch Break
Helen Keighron
Designing Your Leadership Career Search
Lightning Session
TBA
Eduardo Ortiz
We Work This Way on Purpose: Habits, Accountability, & Technology Foundations for Successful Teams
Afternoon Break
Karen VanHouten
A Method for the Madness
Keynote
TBA
Closing Ceremonies

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.

Keynotes

Maggie Hsu Wagner

Maggie Hsu Wagner
Head of Business Development, Fluidity

Maggie leads Business Development at Fluidity, a blockchain-based technology provider for tokenizing real world assets. Prior to that, Maggie was Chief of Staff for Tony Hsieh of Zappos, the e-commerce retailer, and of Downtown Project, an effort to revitalize Downtown Las Vegas. Prior to that, Maggie was Director of Strategy for Brands & Commercial Services at Hilton Worldwide and a consultant at McKinsey & Company in New York. Maggie co-founded Mochi Magazine, an online magazine for young Asian American women. She holds undergraduate and MBA degrees from Harvard University.

For more, keep up with Maggie at mochimag.com.

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 WordPress.com (’10-’12), and currently works full time as a writer and speaker.

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

The Design & Power Playbook (aka Why Designers Hate Politics & What To Do About it)

Even with a grand seat at the table, big decisions hinge on two overlooked factors 1) who at the table has the most power? and 2) how can they be influenced? Designers notoriously overlook how their lack of political acumen cripples their ability to make good design happen. But fear not: this fast paced talk based on the critical situations that impact designers teaches a situational playbook for turning things around.

Todd Zaki Warfel

Todd Zaki Warfel
Executive Coach

As an executive coach, Todd Zaki Warfel works with individuals and companies who are interested in personal growth, leadership development, and organisational transformation. Having held leadership roles at Twitter, Cisco, and Workday, he’s learned a lot about building teams, developing purpose-driven leaders, and navigating the seas of change.

For more, keep up with Todd at zakiwarfel.com or on Twitter as @zakiwarfel.

Keynote:

The Design Career Journey

Everyone wants to hire great talent. But how do we define great? Does that change over time? How do you know you’re recruiting and hiring the right people? How do you retain and develop talent, giving your team meaning, purpose, and ownership?

In the Design Career Journey, we’ll explore a framework for recruiting, retaining, and developing top talent—including the common question of “Should I go into management?”

Workshop:

The Design Leadership Playbook

Have you ever tried to be the leader someone else expected? Found yourself not measuring up to expectations—either your own or someone else’s? Ever asked the question “How do I become a better leader?”

Whether you’re transitioning into a new role or have been managing teams for years, design leadership comes with a unique set of challenges. In this half day workshop, we’ll tackle the most common questions and challenges faced by today’s design leaders. You’re guaranteed to walk out of this workshop with your very own leadership playbook ready to tackle new leadership challenges.

Participants will take away: Principles and techniques for becoming a more effective leader Personal leadership values and vision How and when to adjust your leadership style (situational leadership) Leadership roles for both individual contributors and managers Identifying and developing leaders within your team.

Sessions

Andrea Mignolo

Andrea Mignolo
Head of Design & UX, Movable Ink

Andrea is a designer who has been exploring interactions between humans and technology for the last fifteen years. Her research interests center around the role of reflective practices in organizational design and development.Andrea is currently the Head of Design and UX at Movable Ink where she helps craft product strategy, innovation, creative direction, and development. She holds an MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management where she concentrated on enhancing mutual intelligibility between the realms of design and business. She also holds a BA in Technocultural Studies from Oberlin College.

Prior to Movable Ink she was the Chief Design Officer at SimpleReach, a local leader for both the Vancouver and New York branches of the Interaction Design Association, and the Creative Director of NabeWise, a neighborhood-centric start-up acquired by Airbnb in 2012.

In previous lives she’s been a video game tester, an English teacher at the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force, and was the developer of the once-popular Oulipo Wordpress Theme.

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

Anne Hjortshoj

Anne Hjortshoj
Director of UX, CarGurus

​Anne is the Director of UX at CarGurus, a global online automotive marketplace. During her 20+ year career, she’s successfully led design in the cybersecurity, online education, financial services, and advertising industries, among others. She enjoys demystifying design, building and managing teams, and applying product management strategies to UX challenges.

For more, keep up with Anne at annehj.com or on Twitter as @annesaurus.

Baby Shark: Leveraging Organizational Politics for Design Team Success

It can be a struggle to make the practice of design truly influential. Between engaging with engineering methodologies, negotiating the boundaries of design ownership with product management, and arguing for the value of design-led business decisions (not to mention managing their own people), design leaders find it difficult to gain ground for their team.

There are approaches you can learn from and/or use to train your team to detect and leverage underlying organizational systems by tuning in to competing goals and process nuances. Armed with this—and a healthy sense of collaboration and allyship with other groups—your sharks can achieve influence in their own right and magnify yours.

Chris Avore

Chris Avore
Head of Design & Customer Experience, Modus Create

Chris Avore is the Head of Design and Customer Experience at Modus Create, where he helps clients thrive by adopting customer-centric design and product development practices to grow and improve their business. Formerly, as a principal of InVision’s Design Transformation team, Chris advised the design teams of such world-class organizations as Netflix, frog, Morningstar, Boeing, Exxon Mobil, Verizon, AT&T, increase their strategic influence, while helping the larger enterprise better understand the business value of design. Prior to joining InVision, Chris led the design and user experience organization at Nasdaq, where he scaled the practice from a solo contributor to a team of more than 30 researchers, visual designers, interaction designers, and data visualization experts originally serving one line of business to the entire enterprise.

For more, keep up with Chris on Twitter as @erova.

​Leveling Up Design Leadership

Sometimes you ask for something for so long that you’re not quite sure what to do with it once you get it. Many design leaders now find themselves with more responsibility, greater influence, and improved autonomy to lead their practices as they see best–and all while under the watchful eye of people who were willing to take the risk (and who also might not be willing to see it fail even the slightest). It’s a lot–there are relationships to manage across teams and departments, leadership to manage and keep informed of progress, and then the Human Resources obligations that frequently feel less-than-human and that take more time than anyone every thought.

When we understand how to scale our teams (up AND down), how to elevate our design maturity within our practices and within the organization, we can set ourselves up to better succeed as design leaders. These aren’t new challenges–they’re only new to us, and there are approaches to explore from successes and failures within the design industry and from those who came before us, as well as those who are alongside us now.

Eduardo Ortiz

Eduardo Ortiz
Partner, Product, &Partners

Eduardo is a designer and an engineer. He has over 17 years of experience working as a software engineer, information architect, and user experience designer. For the past 10 years he’s been focused on developing design within social impact practices in order to help make a positive difference in the world. He’s co-founded Project 100, an organization dedicated to helping get progressive women elected to Congress, and PRTNRS, LLC a social impact design and engineering studio working with organizations that are helping improve their communities. He previously held several titles (Executive Creative Director, Director, Designer) at the US Digital Service, a White House startup launched under President Obama to use design and technology to deliver better services to the American people; he focused on immigration reform and developing new capabilities for NATO, prior to that he focused on helping veterans achieve financial security through technology and development of financial literacy at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a Technology and Innovation Fellow. He is the a Founder and Partner of &Partners. He is also a retired and decorated Marine Corps combat veteran.

For more, keep up with Eduardo at ed.uar.do or on Twitter as @eduardoortiz.

We Work This Way on Purpose: Habits, Accountability, & Technology Foundations for Successful Teams

The foundation for good work is established by creating an environment that sets people up for success. We all need to be held accountable while being creatively stimulated and having strong guidelines around our work ethics and habits, and how we work together, regardless of our location.

As leaders, we’re responsible for establishing this foundational bedrock. We’ll explore a series of thoughtfully designed pillars that you can use as your foundation to enable the full potential of your teams to be realized.

Emileigh Barnes

Emileigh Barnes
Design Manager, Capital One

Emileigh Barnes is a poet and design strategist. These days, she leads financial empowerment projects at Capital One, where she’s a member of the Bank Design Senior Leadership Team. Before that, she worked at 18F and in the Department of Justice.

Emileigh is a lover of plain language and the Oxford comma, Emileigh led the content strategy for everykidinapark.gov and the Federal Election Commission’s digital transformation. She’s spoken about her work at conferences like UX Week, IA Summit, and Confab.

For more, keep up with Emileigh at emileighbarnes.com or on Twitter as @emileighoutlaw.

Your Craft AND Your Influence

To be effective, to be inspiring, to drive results, leaders need a strategy for building and maintaining relationships. As practitioners, we spend our careers perfecting our craft. Until the day we’re promoted to a “leadership position,” and suddenly craft expertise isn’t enough to get things done.

Of course we still need our skills. And we need organizational influence just as much. Good work alone doesn’t speak for itself, as rarely does speaking for yourself alone.

It’s that right balance of craft and influence that is the difference between becoming Paul Revere and becoming William Dawes.

Who was William Dawes?

Exactly.

Jennifer Tress

Jennifer Tress
Author, You’re Not Pretty Enough

Jen Tress loves helping people and organizations realize their potential. She’s the author of You’re Not Pretty Enough, which sparked a self-esteem movement for women and girls, and was featured in Marie Claire, The Washington Post, and the Netflix series The Mortified Guide.

As a long time practitioner in organizational development and talent management, Jen has guided countless organizations through high growth cycles and significant change, including at FedEx, Nationwide Insurance, The Nature Conservancy and most recently at 18F, Ad Hoc and digitalundivided.

For more, keep up with Jennifer at yourenotprettyenough.com or on Twitter as @jdtress.

The 4-Point Plan to Dealing with Chaos at Work

Should I stay or should I go? When chaos reigns supreme in our organizations and the layers of systems that exist within them, it can negatively impact our own experience and the experience of the people we manage. When that happens, we start to question whether we’re in the right place, even when we love our teammates and our work. But is the grass necessarily greener elsewhere?

There are plenty of reasons for organizational chaos: bureaucratic structures and politics, limited vision, guidance and clarity, and poor processes are some of the biggest challenges we face. Trying to navigate organizations when chaos abounds is stressful, and often leads to burnout.

Fortunately, there are ways to manage through this before burnout happens—to you or your team. I’ve spent over 20 years researching and working with all types of organizations—from publicly traded companies to nonprofits to governments and everything in between to uncover four key methods to analyze your experience, disrupt it, and make empowered choices moving forward.

Karen VanHouten

Karen VanHouten
Senior UX Designer, Truss

Over 20 years in UX have left Karen a tiny bit unhinged, kind of sweary, and intensely committed to designing better ways for teams to work together. After years working in enterprise software, for some reason she decided that work wasn’t challenging enough and is now tackling UX in the government sector. Taking the best from human-centered design methodology and combining it with an almost unhealthy level of affection for complex, messy, human problems, she helps teams identify roadblocks and barriers to their potential, and helps them become more productive, more innovative, more collaborative, and most importantly, more human with each other. She can be easily won over with red wine, dark chocolate, or 80’s alternative music.

For more, keep up with Karen at karenvanhouten.com or on Twitter as @designinginward.

Session:

A Method for the Madness

When confronted with challenges, whether professional or personal, we often ask some variation of this question: “How do I do [this scary, difficult, yet necessary thing] without actually having to experience any discomfort or take any risks?” As a speaker and design leader, I get asked some version of this question every time I give a talk or work with new team struggling to change.

Obviously, the answer is: you can’t. There is plenty of discussion right now of the necessity of getting comfortable with discomfort, but very little actual guidance on how that process works. Instead, we hear tales of transformation that follow a vague formula of initiating events, challenges faced, victories won. These stories can be inspiring, but beyond that, they don’t provide much help for people struggling to take the leap out of their comfort zone. Without any practical guidance, many people hesitate and wait, static and stagnant, choosing to be careful instead curious.

I’ll outline a step-by-step approach for pushing outside our comfort zones and expanding our experiences. I’ll start by contrasting the perception of how our comfort zones serve us with the very different reality of how they work against us. I’ll blast through the most common excuses we have for staying put versus moving forward. We’ll explore simple, tactical ways to push through our resistance, move past our fears, and nurture the courage to design better relationships and make more authentic choices, in our careers, and our lives.

Workshop:

Healthier Teams by Design

From the outside, high performing teams, particularly highly collaborative and innovative ones, seem to demonstrate an innate chemistry and the ability to harness the power of serendipity. But the truth is, successful teams are incredibly deliberate and intentional about how they work. Culture, processes and best practices should be designed with as much care as the products and services we build. And, while there are certain essential characteristics common to successful teams, the unique challenges of our work context and our project needs also require a team uniquely optimized for those situations.

Every experience is designed, including our team experience. In this workshop, we’ll explore how we can use design tools to design better ways of working. Based on the challenges of your projects and the skills and traits of your amazing team members, we’ll look at how you’d like the team to evolve and articulate specific goals that can be measured. We’ll define an MVP approach to help you develop small experiments for opportunities and interventions that will help you establish new, more effective patterns of communicating and collaborating.

Pasha Moore

Pasha Moore
Founder & Principal, Holland Taucher Consulting Group (HTCG)

Pasha Moore is the founder of Holland Taucher Consulting Group (HTCG), a full-service political and not-for-profit fundraising and event planning firm. Pasha covers all aspects of fundraising and strategy, with a focus on major donor cultivation and corporate partnerships; event production and execution; public affairs and advocacy in various roles.

With over 15 years of political experience, Pasha has previously worked in various roles with over 120 campaigns, political organizations, tech organizations, and not-for-profits. Under the HTCG masthead, Pasha has directed the fundraising and development of numerous national, state, and local campaigns and political organizations in Texas and beyond, including state judicial campaigns, legislative races, and congressional races; national campaigns and PACs; and state-based political GOTV organizations. Outside of development, Pasha has produced scores of multi-day corporate, political, and tech conferences as well as hackathons and symposiums.

Additionally, Pasha is a member of the Advisory Council of the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at The University of Texas at Austin, where she has taught at the ASI Campaign Bootcamp for the last eight years; as well as engaged in the Austin community via memberships in the Junior League of Austin and the Women’s Symphony League.

Lightning

Helen Keighron

Helen Keighron
Head of Product Design, Care.com

Helen leads product design for Care.com, an online marketplace for matching care seekers and providers of child, elder, pet, and home care. In previous roles, Helen has grown high-performing, diverse design teams in organizations from design agencies to high growth SaaS companies. Most recently, her teams transformed an entire product suite used by 15% of the US K-12 market. With nearly 20 years working in digital design and development, she has solved problems in verticals including automotive, financial services, retail, education, and beyond. Her passion outside of work is mentoring designers and emerging managers, and she is a fan of yoga and wine. She can be found bouncing between Boston or San Francisco, due to a chronic inability to pick a coast.

For more, keep up with Helen on Twitter as @helenpremium.

Lightning talk:

Designing Your Leadership Career Search

When we interview for a new role, design leaders frequently are not screened and evaluated the way other leaders in a company might be. In my most recent search, I tapped into a vast network of other design leaders and solicited their best advice. I leveraged their advice so effectively that well-known companies fought for me based on my skills as a leader, not a maker.

When design leaders search for new opportunities we are confronted with a market that doesn’t know where to place us internally or how to hire us. We face well-intentioned yet naïve requests for artifacts and exercises, all while being evaluated by people who don’t know what good design leadership looks like. I’ll regale you with tales from my experiences so we can all learn to elevate the design leadership hiring process!

Maria Pereda

Maria Pereda
Group Director, Experience Design, Huge

Maria is currently the Group Director of UX at Huge in their Toronto office, where she leads their Conversational Design practice. She was formerly the Senior Director of Product Design at Schoology, a leading Edtech company in the K-12 US market. Maria established Schoology’s first design practice and elevated design culture within the organization by making numerous improvements in process throughout the product development life cycle. She laid the foundation for substantive user research programs and research ops, championed an accessible design system, optimized workflows in partnership with product and engineering, and continually pushed designers to utilize design thinking in a holistic context. Prior to Schoology, Maria was a Group Director of UX at Critical Mass, leading work for the Citi Global accounts in Toronto and New York. She’s also held positions at GE, where she helped establish a design Center of Excellence, and Fry, an e-commerce startup later acquired by Oracle.

Helen Keighron & Maria Pereda Workshop:

Hiring Consciously: Designing an Inclusive Hiring Practice

We owe it to our teams (and our orgs) to recruit diverse, high performing talent, but we often get in our own way thanks to bureaucracy, creaky technology, lack of end-to-end insight into the process, and the myopia of our own network. Worst of all, we might fail to account for how our process impacts underrepresented groups and create inadvertent attrition.

This workshop will have you examining current hiring processes, identifying pain points through a variety of lenses, and collaboratively work to understand how to approach and remove blockers in key aspects of the hiring process: talent sourcing, skills evaluation, and onboarding. We’ll explore, through a crawl-walk-run approach, how to take immediate action toward the most attainable changes in your organization, while making way for a more inclusive practice over the long term.

Lightning talk:

Tailored by Design: A Year of Making My Own Clothes

This January, I challenged myself to go the entire year without purchasing clothes. If I wanted some new pants or shirt, I had to make it myself. The kicker? I did not know how to sew. That’s right, I needed to start from scratch in a new field, or the only new clothes I would have would be the emperor’s.

I’ve been a designer for over 15 years and sometimes it’s easy to forget how it feels to be a beginner. It’s both unnerving and exciting at the same time. Learn about my successes, failures, and unexpected learnings making my own clothes for the past year.

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 Leadership by Design 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 Leadership by Design sponsorships are $1,500.

Leadership by Design 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 Leadership by Design 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
  • Lead Honestly
  • Columbia College Chciago

Code of Conduct

All attendees, speakers, sponsors and volunteers at our conference are required to agree with the following code of conduct. Organizers will enforce this code throughout the event. We are expecting cooperation from all participants to help ensuring a safe environment for everybody.

The Short Version
Full Version

Our conference is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks, workshops, parties, Twitter and other online media. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference without a refund at the discretion of the conference organizers.