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Chicago Camps

Leadership by Design Home Edition

August 6–7, 2020

Online — Everywhere

Conference Overview

Learn design leadership from the experts at
Leadership by Design: Home Edition.

On Thursday & Friday, August 6th & 7th, from where ever you are—since we’re not going to be in our space, let’s meet in yours! We’ll have a day of abbreviated design leadership presentations, thoughtful Q&A, and an optional workshop that allow you to gain a lot of insightful learning.

Normally, we’d all be heading to downtown Chicago including all of these wonderful speakers. We’re used to amazing views, great coffees, too many snacks, and a lot of local Chicago-area food goodness. Since we can’t do that, and we don’t want our amazing speakers to miss out on that, we’re going to postpone our full sessions until 2021, and these teasers should make sure we all get enough of a taste to hold us over until then.

Here’s what we’re doing:

  • The first 20 tickets to Leadership By Design: Home Edition for only $5!
  • The rest of the tickets to Leadership By Design: Home Edition are only $10!
  • Workshop tickets are only $15! (Only 50 available!)
  • We’re also offering “Pay What You Can” and “Need 1, Take 1” (free) options, as well

And we’ve got a pretty swanky t-shirt, brought to you in collaboration with our pals at Nerditees:

Leadership by Design: Home Edition black t-shirt Leadership by Design: Home Edition blue t-shirt Leadership by Design: Home Edition pink t-shirt

For $12, you can get your choice of color and size shipped directly to you, and we’ll add an additional “Need 1, Take 1” ticket to the pool.

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.

Thursday, August 6th

Kick-off
Michelle Y. Bess
Opening Keynote
Break
Maggie Hsu
Leading for Innovation
Dani Nordin
Storytelling as a UX Leadership Superpower
Q&A with Presenters
Break
Donna Lichaw & Lena E. Trudeau
Q&A with the Coach & the CEO facilitated by Jabali Williams
De Nichols
Civic Creatives Overview
Lunch Break
Helen Keighron
Leading With Discomfort
Alyssa Boehm
Hunting for Your Dinner: Finding Opportunities & Adding Value in Wicked Times
Q&A with Presenters
Break
Amy Jiménez Márquez
Betazoid Leadership in a Locked Down Federation
Maria Pereda
Beyond Tactical Onboarding: What Every Designer Needs to Know to be Successful
Q&A with Presenters
Break
Jasmine Friedl & Tanner Christensen
New Layer Podcast Live!
Closing Ceremonies

Friday, August 7th

Scott Sullivan
Building Compound Designers Workshop Description

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

Michelle Y. Bess

Michelle Y. Bess
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director, Sprout Social

Michelle Y. Bess serves as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Director at Sprout Social, focusing on efforts to ensure all people feel a sense of belonging and that their voices are heard. Prior to Sprout Social, Michelle worked in college persistence at OneGoal and Posse Chicago.

Michelle attended Whitworth University, earning a B.A. in Biology and completed Georgetown University’s Executive Certificate in Strategic Diversity & Inclusion Management. She was recognized as a 2018 AdWeek Rising Brand Star, serves as a Board Director of Degrees of Change, and is the Founder and Co-Lead of The Brave Space.

For more, keep up with Michelle on Twitter as @michellebess.

Sessions

Alyssa Boehm

Alyssa Boehm
Vice President of User Experience, Forrester

Alyssa is the Vice President of User Experience at Forrester. She has established UX practices, career ladders, and built high-performing, cross-functional teams in a variety of spaces including customer science, healthcare, financial services, and education. She is based near Boston with her family and some pushy house cats.

Hunting for Your Dinner: Finding Opportunities & Adding Value in Wicked Times

Designers have always had to be creative and thoughtful about finding their next project, job, or opportunity. Any illusions of control we had disappeared when the pandemic struck. We have always lived in an uncertain world.

Not everyone can do what you do. Think about how to use your skills to seek out places to help in your organization. Your cunning, creativity, and willingness to experiment are critical to aiding companies looking to navigate, survive, and hopefully thrive beyond today’s crisis. I’ll focus on a few small but scalable approaches around mingling and triage to help you design new responsibilities. Think about what problems you are uniquely suited to help solve, identify places where you can use your skills, and, most importantly, look at the variety of ways you can add value. Reframe, review, revisit, invert, and explore how we work, support each other, and help our clients and customers.

Amy Jiménez Márquez

Amy Jiménez Márquez
UX Design Manager, Alexa Personality Experience, Amazon

Amy Jiménez Márquez is the UX design manager of the Alexa Personality team at Amazon in Seattle, WA. The team enables and designs dynamic conversational interactions with Alexa as a personified virtual agent. She’s also the co-owner and publisher of Boxes and Arrows, one of the longest-running online UX design publications. With a Master’s degree in Directing, Amy has also been performing improvisational comedy for over 20 years, and enjoys applying improv collaboration techniques to her daily work. She has been leading cross-disciplinary design teams for the past 5+ years, including information architects, conversational designers, UX designers, UX researchers, and VUI designers.

For more, keep up with Amy at amymarquez.com or on Twitter as @amymarquez.

Betazoid Leadership in a Locked Down Federation

“To admit that you’re afraid gives you strength.” — Counselor Troi to Lieutenant Worf (Star Trek: TNG)

As a leader, being/feeling/appearing vulnerable can be uncomfortable and make us doubt ourselves. Strong emotions aren’t typically on display in work environments. That hasn’t necessarily been the case since the world has flipped upside down. Many of us are working from home full time, for the first time. Seeing your coworkers in their homes on video conferences is surprisingly humanizing. More so than when they are working from home and calling into a conference at work. Seeing every person you work with, their homes, pets, kids, hobbies (i.e. guitars on the wall, knitting projects in the background), makes everyone a little more human. A little more vulnerable.

How can we, as leaders, provide our teams with the compassionate, empathetic support they need in times of difficulty, while also taking care of ourselves? In this talk, I’ll focus on strategies to ensure you’re providing thoughtful leadership to your team, and help your own leadership understand you and your team’s needs.

Dani Nordin

Dani Nordin
Director Experience Design, athenahealth

Dani Nordin is an experienced UX strategist, designer and researcher, who’s been working in the design industry for over 20 years, most of it on digital products. She’s currently Director of Experience Design at athenahealth, heading up the Orders and Results zone for the athenaClinicals EHR. She’s also a part-time lecturer at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies, where she teaches design thinking for emerging technologies.

Prior to joining athenahealth, she built out a UX practice and design system for Pegasystems’ digital experiences, and she helped to build a user research and design practice for Harvard Business Review (hbr.org).

She lives in Watertown MA with her husband, two daughters, and a dapper golden retriever named Larry.

For more, keep up with Dani at daninordin.com or on Twitter as @danigrrl.

Storytelling as a UX Leadership Superpower

We know that, as designers mature, they need to understand how to tell a story about their work. But how do you coach them in storytelling when stories can take so many forms depending on the phase of a project? In this presentation, Dani Nordin of athenahealth will share a framework she’s created to help designers at athenahealth craft a compelling story at various phases of a project—from design scenarios to research plans to portfolio case studies.

You’ll learn:

  • The fundamental types of stories that tend to show up in our work;
  • How the elements, attitude and altitude with which we shape our stories impact their effectiveness;
  • Common pitfalls to avoid when crafting your story.

Along the way, you’ll laugh, cry and see some cute animal pictures.

De Nichols

De Nichols
Principal of Design & Social Practice, Civic Creatives

De Nichols is a designer, activist, social entrepreneur, and lecturer addressing racial inequities within the built environment through the production of interactive art experiences, digital media, and social interventions.

De is a 2020 Transnational Fellow with Monument Lab and serves as the Principal of Design & Social Practice at Civic Creatives studio in St. Louis, MO. Through her work, De has championed the power of design and storytelling to inspire and equip change makers to protest social injustices and design civic solutions for progressive change across American communities. Her efforts as an arts organizer in the 2014 Ferguson Uprising catapulted her to international spotlight as her artworks such as the Mirror Casket (2014) were collected by the Smithsonian Institute. De has been deemed as a national Ideas that Matter recipient, a two-time Clinton Global Initiative innovator, and a St. Louis Visionary recipient for her community impact.

De holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in communications design from Washington University in St. Louis and earned her Master of Social Work specialization in social entrepreneurship from its Brown School of Social Work. She additionally is a 2017/18 Citizen Artist Fellow of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and a 2018 Artist Fellow with the Regional Arts Commission in St. Louis, MO.

For more, keep up with De at denichols.co or on Twitter as @de_nichols.

Civic Creatives Overview

Civic Creatives produces experiences, tools, and platforms that help cities and organizations engage more intimately with communities to address social injustices within the built environment.

Donna Lichaw

Donna Lichaw
Executive Leadership Coach, Author of The User’s Journey

Donna Lichaw is an executive coach, speaker, author, and tin robot collector serving leaders in the product, design, and tech community at large. Her mission is to help leaders who don’t fit traditional models of leadership in tech—especially women, LGBTQ+, and underrepresented folks—use the skills they already have to unlock their superpowers and make a greater impact at work and in the world. Whether she is working with changemakers at storied tech companies like Twitter, Disney, and Google, with innovators at progressive nonprofits like WNYC and Central Park, or with superheroes at countless tech startups, she helps leaders, their teams, and companies find their story and bring their best story to life.

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

Lena E. Trudeau

Lena E. Trudeau
CEO, U.Group

Lena Trudeau is the CEO at U.Group, a digital transformation company helping organizations use technology to solve their most complex problems and find new strategic opportunities, with deep expertise in cutting edge R&D, interactive design, cloud-native development, machine learning, real-time decision support, and augmented reality.

Lena served as a member of the U.S. Federal Government’s Senior Executive Service. As Associate Commissioner at the General Services Administration (GSA), she was mandated to leverage technology to modernize procurement practices and transform business operations.

Lena currently serves as a board member on the Canadian American Business Council, and chairs the policy committee. She is a frequent commentator, speaker, and advocate on government modernization, digital adoption, digital inclusion, and women in technology. She is a two-time recipient of the prestigious Federal 100 award, which recognizes government and industry leaders who have played pivotal roles in the U.S. federal government IT community. Lena was also named one of FedScoop’s Top 50 Women in Tech. She received an MBA from the University of Western Ontario and an undergraduate degree from the University of Ottawa.

Jabali Williams

Jabali Williams
Director of User Experience, U.Group

As Director of User Experience, Jabali’s impact spans both clients and disciplines. From working on multi-award winning website redesigns to leading the growth of the user experience discipline—to include both content strategy and UX/UI design—Jabali walks the line between hands-on support and strategic oversight.

Jabali can be found regularly at local UX events and has spoken at several meetups, conferences, and institutes of higher education including: GoodGovUX, UXPA, and the University of Maryland.

For more, keep up with Jabali at jabaliwilliams.com or on Twitter as @jawidesign.

Q&A with Donna Lichaw & Lena E. Trudeau, facilitated by Jabali Williams:

Q&A with the Coach & the CEO

Spend time with the CEO of a Digital Transformation firm who is actively working through a dramatically changing landscape and an executive coach who is helping other senior leaders do the same. Facilitated by Jabali Williams, discussion, presenting the tough topics we could all use some advice on, while also surfacing your questions as well.

Helen Keighron

Helen Keighron
Director of Product Design, HubSpot

Helen leads a large, global multi-disciplinary team of product designers, content designers and researchers at HubSpot, a SaaS platform enabling businesses to grow through their inbound marketing, sales, and customer service practices.

Over the course of 20 years working in digital design and development, she has (sometimes sneakily) infused user-centered thinking into organizations to solve problems in verticals including automotive, financial services, government, manufacturing, retail, and beyond. Helen has started and scaled high-performing, diverse design teams in environments from design agencies to high growth SaaS companies. Prior to HubSpot, her team at Curriculum Associates re-envisioned a product suite used by 15% of the US K-12 education market.

Helen is always happy to chat about leadership career development, organizational design trade offs, and the power of research storytelling in UX transformations. She believes strongly in mentoring and keeps slots on her calendar for early career professionals and emerging managers. She is based outside Boston in a small town known for llama-on-sheep crime.

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

Leading With Discomfort

Originally I’d planned to discuss the systems that keep HubSpot’s 120 person UX team focused on the right things for our customers. Then the world tilted back in March, and 2020 has served up a series of unprecedented obstacles.

So how did those systems fare under the extreme pressure test of working with needy pets, homeschooled kids, and a constant thrum of anxiety and grief? So far, it turns out that leaning into these challenges with vulnerability and transparency proved to be our greatest leadership tool, and our culture is our most important “system” of all. I’ll share how external turmoil has shaped my framework for allocating leadership attention across infrastructure, process, culture, impact, and vision. Sometimes you have to fall apart to truly come together.

Jasmine Friedl

Jasmine Friedl
Director of Design, Intercom

Jasmine is the Director of Design at Intercom, and previously led product design at Udacity, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and Facebook. She’s also co-founded Shape—an initiative to help designers kick off their careers in product design—with her husband Tanner Christensen. In her free time you can find her recording the Shape New Layer podcast or watching too much Netflix with her husband and two french bulldogs: Bacon and Meatloaf.

For more, keep up with Jasmine at jasminefriedl.com or on Twitter as @jazzy33ca.

Tanner Christensen

Tanner Christensen
Head of Design, Gem

Tanner Christensen is the Head of design at Gem.com, where they’re building the platform for the future of recruiting. Previously Tanner was a lead product designer at Lyft, Atlassian, and Facebook. He’s also co-host of the New Layer podcast, an independent developer, design advisor, and published author.

For more, keep up with Tanner at tannerc.com or on Twitter as @tannerc.

Jasmine & Tanner present:

New Layer Podcast Live!

New Layer is a conversational podcast on everything related to digital product design, with hosts Jasmine Friedl and Tanner Christensen. We discuss design careers, tools, education, critique, and much more.

Maggie Hsu

Maggie Hsu
Co-Founder, Gold House

Maggie Hsu is a Co-Founder of Gold House, a nonprofit collective of pioneering Asian leaders dedicated to systematically accelerating the Asian diaspora’s societal impact while enhancing the community’s cultural legacy. She is also is the Alliance Manager for Blockchain at Amazon Web Services. Prior to that, she led business development for Fluidity, a platform for tokenizing securities based on the Ethereum blockchain. Maggie was previously Chief of Staff to Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com. Prior to that, Maggie was Director of Strategy at Hilton Worldwide and a consultant at McKinsey & Company. She is a Co-Founder of Mochi Magazine, an online magazine for Asian Americans. Maggie holds undergraduate and MBA degrees from Harvard University.

For more, keep up with Maggie at goldhouse.org.

Leading for Innovation

How can organizations encourage innovation at all levels? This talk will explore the concept of “engineered serendipity” and how a non-linear leadership model can often yield the most creative results.

Maria Pereda

Maria Pereda
Director of Product Design, Roadmunk

Maria is the Director of Product Design at Roadmunk, a SaaS product that enables companies to visualize their strategy and align as organizations. She is building Roadmunk’s first design practice and laying the foundation for a user research program to guide future efforts. Maria has a strong track record of setting up design practices from the ground up, where she focuses on building foundations for research, strategic design thinking focused on user goals and business outcomes and creating strong partnerships with product and engineering.

Prior to Roadmunk, Maria served as 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. Past experiences include Group Director of UX at Critical Mass, leading work for the Citi Global accounts in Toronto and New York. She’s also held design leadership positions at GE, where she helped establish a design Center of Excellence, and Fry, an e-commerce startup later acquired by Oracle.

In 2018, she took an oath to never buy clothes again, and has been making her own since, with variable success.

Beyond Tactical Onboarding: What Every Designer Needs to Know to be Successful

Good design leaders know that designers must think beyond the interface and user needs and work on the business, not just in the business. We ask them to balance business needs, to design with intentionality, and make appropriate trade offs given the complex ecosystems that surround our organizations and their industries. We focus so much on hiring for tactical craft skills, but it’s the ability to be strategic within an organization’s business context that makes our design team members truly effective.

In this talk, we will learn how to conduct activities from day 1 to help designers understand the industry better, to apply critical thinking to their choices, and start working more strategically. I will share how, at Roadmunk, we use frameworks like Porter’s 5 Forces and Blue Ocean Strategy as part of our design onboarding process. This allows new hires to not only get acquainted with our industry, but to form early relationships with other departments, and hit the ground running.

Workshops

Scott Sullivan

Scott Sullivan
Head of North American Design Group, Ascendum

Scott is the Head of North American Design Group at Ascendum, and helps to build products and services to assist people in making positive long-term changes to their behavior.

Prior to Ascendum, Scott was at Adaptive Path in San Francisco, later working on behavior-focused financial services at Capital One bank. With an arts-driven education and diverse influences, his work has run the spectrum from education to energy; finance to interactive performance art.

For more, keep up with Scott at scottsullivan.io.

Building Compound Designers Workshop Description

It’s useful for researchers to have a thorough understanding of the ideation process, because the ideation is going to be structured around the research findings and deliverables, which will be the result of specifically crafted research protocols. It’s equally as important for these researchers to have an awareness of Content Strategy, so that they can capture specific details in their research that can lead to an understanding of the how people use language to work through the problem space. Interface designers who can meaningfully interpret the provenance of research findings will be able to preserve the intent of strategic decisions when they run into a snag resulting from bringing abstract concepts into our dimensional world full of very real limitations.

Too often, design and designers exist in isolation. They will work on one part of the greater whole, be very good at that one thing, and then come to your company and suddenly something doesn’t quite click. Now when you’ve got ten or fifty, or four hundred designers who’ve worked at various levels of isolation on varied products and services, it can take a long time to get everyone on the same page. Design firms like Adaptive Path would specifically seek out designers who were t-shaped where the bar of the t was equally as developed as the stem. This very intentional generalism was useful for a number of reasons, but one that really stands out is that these designers have an ingrained awareness of how each part of the design process supports and relates to every other phase of the project. This workshop is the result of the need for these strong t-bars in a hiring environment based on keyword searches and hyper-specialization. It focuses on the cause and effect of different inputs, tools, and techniques, why they matter, and how they’re useful for all of the other parts of the process of building meaningful experiences for messy humans in complex circumstances.

Location

Leadership by Design: Home Edition will be 100% online and from where each of us are. And then, later, we’ll share on Vimeo so you can watch and learn again, watch what you’ve missed, or share with your internet pals.

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.