Menu

Chicago Camps

Leadership by Design Home Edition

August 12–13, 2021

Online — Everywhere

Conference Overview

Learn design leadership from the experts at
Leadership by Design 2021.

On Thursday & Friday, August 12th & 13th, from where ever you are. Since we’re not going to be in our space, let’s meet in yours! We’ll have 2 days of stellar keynotes and focused design leadership presentations with thoughtful Q&A that allow you to gain a lot of insightful learning. In addition,each day has an uplifting interstitial that provides a nice break.

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 we’re going to postpone our full sessions until 2022.

And we’ve got a really cool t-shirt based upon the poem “Worthy” by Emily Haines LLoyd, author of the book Pep Talk Poetry and interstitialpresenter, which is brought to you in collaboration with our pals at Nerditees:

Leadership by Design 2021 t-shirt

For $14, 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. 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 12th

Kick-off
Eva PenzeyMoog
Safety, Justice, Compassion: Plugging into the Paradigm Shift Towards Ethical Tech
Break
Christine McGlade
Systems Thinking & Design Ethics for Design Leaders
Lisa deBettencourt
Designing for Death: A Framework for Creating the Final Experience of Your Customer’s Journey
Q&A with Presenters
Break
Emily Haines Lloyd
The Power of the Pep Talk
Break
Chris Avore
You Can Do It! Leading Through New, Unprecedented Challenges with Patience & Perseverance
Marc Rambeau
From the Ground Up: Growing a New Practice at Your Organization
Q&A with Presenters
Break
JR Miller
Meaningful Product Inclusion
Closing Ceremonies

Friday, August 13th

Kick-off
Dr. Temple Grandin
All Kinds of Minds
Break
Carmen Medina
Redesigning Leadership
Carmen Bocanegra
What Therapy Taught Me About Design & Creating Healthy Teams
Q&A with Presenters
Break
Megan Kellie & Susan Salvi
A Reading of “Someday a Bird Will Poop on You: A Life Lesson”
Break
Meena Kothandaraman
The Cost of Not Conducting Qualitative Research in Organizations
Helen Keighron, Maria Pereda, & Meena Kothandaraman
Dear Design Leader — Explanations & Experiences with Leading Designers
Q&A with Presenters
Break
David Dylan Thomas
Design for Cognitive Bias: Using Mental Shortcuts for Good Instead of Evil
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

David Dylan Thomas

David Dylan Thomas
Author, speaker, filmmaker

David Dylan Thomas, author of Design for Cognitive Bias, creator and host of The Cognitive Bias Podcast, and a twenty-year practitioner of content strategy and UX, has consulted major clients in entertainment, healthcare, publishing, finance, and retail. As the founder and CEO of David Dylan Thomas, LLC he offers workshops and presentations on inclusive design and the role of bias in making decisions. He has presented at TEDNYC, SXSW Interactive, Confab, An Event Apart, LavaCon, UX Copenhagen, Artifact, IA Conference, IxDA, Design and Content Conference, Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise, and the Wharton Web Conference on topics at the intersection of bias, design, and social justice.

For more, keep up with David at daviddylanthomas.com or on Twitter as @movie_pundit.

Design for Cognitive Bias: Using Mental Shortcuts for Good Instead of Evil

Users’ minds take shortcuts to get through the day. Usually they’re harmless. Even helpful. But what happens when they’re not? In this talk I’ll use real-world examples to identify some particularly harmful biases that frequently lead users to make bad decisions. I’ll then talk about some content strategy and design choices we can use in our apps, designs, and platforms to redirect or eliminate the impact of those biases. Finally, I’ll explore our own biases as designers and some methods to prevent our own blind spots from hurting users.

Eva PenzeyMoog

Eva PenzeyMoog
Principal Designer, 8th Light

Eva PenzeyMoog is a Chicago-based UX designer who focuses on the emerging space of safety design. Before joining the tech field she worked in education non-profit and volunteered as a domestic violence educator and rape crisis counselor. Her safety design work brings together her expertise in domestic violence and technology, helping technologists understand how their creations facilitate interpersonal harm and how to prevent it through intentionally prioritizing the most vulnerable users. She is writing a book on the topic with publisher A Book Apart titled Designing for Safety, which will be available in September.

For more, keep up with Eva at evapenzeymoog.com or on Twitter as @epenzeymoog.

JR Miller

JR Miller
UX Writing Lead & Product Designer, Google

JR Miller is a Caribbean-American writer, designer, and speaker in the Bay Area. He’s worked on design and brand initiatives for companies such as Google, cPanel, and Grooveshark. An advocate for human-centered design, JR believes in bringing inclusivity and accessibility to every stage of product development and brand storytelling. He’s a pragmatic idealist whose motto is: “complex ideas, simple sentences.” His latest article, Racism for Designers, shares his thoughts on how brands can do their part to design a reality that fits everyone.

For more, keep up with JR on Twitter as @heyimjrmiller.

Meaningful Product Inclusion

This year Google Maps introduced a Black-owned business attribute. Learn more about how this project started, what it took to make it happen, and ways you can bring inclusive product development practices into your work.

Dr. Temple Grandin

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

Dr. Temple Grandin, a world-renowned autism spokesperson, scientist, and inventor, has served as an inspiration and role model to hundreds of thousands of families and persons with autism. In this unique presentation, Temple eloquently and candidly describes the challenges she has faced and offers glimpses into her own childhood, with ideas on how others dealing with autism can meet these obstacles and improve the quality of their lives. Backed by her personal experience and evidence-based research, Temple shares her valuable insights on all types of thinkers (i.e. pattern, visual, and audio thinkers), why they are important, what jobs they are best suited for and ways in which young people can continue to think about and understand what it means to be innovative.

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

Sessions

Carmen Bocanegra

Carmen Bocanegra
Senior UX Design Manager, Truss

Since she first learned to talk, Carmen was encouraged to ask a lot of questions. It’s no wonder she gained a love of experimentation and a science degree, but she ended up at an advertising agency because it was different, so why not?

Over the past decade, Carmen has led teams through the process of research, strategy, and design. She took a brief stint to learn how to apply her design and research skills to physical spaces by earning a certification in interior design. Energized by ambiguity and forging a path forward when there is none, organizational design, Carmen seeks to understand how people are impacted by services, technology, and policy. A strong advocate for building trust between teams, clients, and the people they serve, she is focused on ensuring our language, code, and practices are inclusive and accessible to all.

After a couple cross-country moves, Carmen now lives in her home state of North Carolina and spends time AFK in the mountains with her spouse and her dog beside her.

For more, keep up with Carmen on Twitter as @carmenboca.

What Therapy Taught Me About Design & Creating Healthy Teams

Maintaining a healthy self and extending that to our professional lives are journeys. The root cause of many of our inner and outer conflicts stem from the stories we tell ourselves. The beliefs that support those stories are deeply held and often unnamed. My therapy journey started on a cold, rainy day on a bus in Portland, OR. I knew I wanted to find peace, but what I gained was so much more. I learned to let go of beliefs that didn’t serve me personally or professionally. My goal is to share what I learned, how I reframed those beliefs in my own life, and what I learned about design in the process.

Carmen Medina

Carmen Medina
Owner, MedinAnalytics

Carmen is an organizational heretic and all-purpose troublemaker whose only real expertise is asking stupid questions and noticing odd, new things that might amount to something…or maybe not. Carmen spent 32 years at CIA but when you meet her you will hardly notice. The top five skills that people on LinkedIn endorse her for are government, national security, international relations, program management, and change management. But the people who think she’s a good program manager are sadly mistaken as Carmen describes herself as task-phobic. She is the co-author of the book: Rebels at Work: A Handbook for Leading Change from Within, which was informed by her career as a heretic at the CIA.

She likes to speak in public and will go just about anywhere if you pay her expenses. She is an in-demand expert on critical thinking, diversity of thought, and intrapreneurship, speaking to Fortune 500 companies, major non-profits, and governments. Some of her most recent presentations include speaking at South by Southwest 2019 and TEDxMidAtlantic on Surviving as a Change Agent, at SXSW2018 on avoiding the Mediocrity Trap, and on Critical Thinking at SXSW 2017. Recently she has spoken: to US Treasury officers on Diversity of Thought; to Canadian Federal senior executives about Diversity of Thought and Rebel Thinking, to the California STEM Education conference 2020, at the Business Innovation Factory 2017, and multiple times at GovLoop’s NextGen Leadership summit.

Carmen describes herself as Puerto Rican by birth and Texan by nationality. She likes to garden and cook things that she has grown. She has an extensive collection of Karaoke songs and you are always in danger of becoming the after-dinner entertainment.

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

Redesigning Leadership

After 45 years in the labor force, more than 30 of them in so-called leadership positions, I’ve learned that just about everything I was ever taught formally about leadership was wrong. My advice today for someone aspiring to be a leader would be quite different from what I was brainwashed to believe.

I’ve got six basic principles to share, and the seventh one is no matter how convincing I may sound, be your own person and become the leader you uniquely are meant to be.

Chris Avore

Chris Avore
Product Design Manager, Facebook

Chris is a design manager who leads teams, drives product strategy, and helps executives understand the value of design. He has championed design, research, and content strategy to improve the services people use every day in organizations of all sizes and industries around the globe. He is the co-author of Liftoff! Practical Design Leadership to Elevate Your Team, Organization, and You! and regularly speaks at major conferences and local meetups regarding topics from design management, scaling design, and design operations.

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

You Can Do It! Leading Through New, Unprecedented Challenges with Patience & Perseverance

Leading and managing design teams might be reaching peak difficulty. With high expectations from the people you support and the managers above you, to the challenges inherent to managing during a pandemic, and now an economy roaring back with unprecedented job movement, many design leaders have questions about their own career paths and how they find value in their day to day roles.

This brief talk highlights some of those challenges many in leadership and management may be encountering, tailored to people at different stages of their career: the successful independent contributor who’s considering managing, the early career manager, experienced managers, and those thinking about moving from a startup to enterprise role or vice versa.

We’ll rely on interviews and conversations with design leaders of varying experience worldwide, and the experience, observations, and screwups encountered when writing the design management book Liftoff!. As a result, we hope to create space for discussion about what’s important to design managers, where ever you may be in your journey.

Christine McGlade

Christine McGlade
Sessional Lecturer, Digital Futures, OCAD University

Christine McGlade has been a digital media producer, designer, and educator for over 20 years. She is a sessional lecturer in the Digital Futures faculty at OCAD University in Toronto where she teaches topics in user experience design and user research, data visualization, futures thinking, and the ethical issues that arise when we step into design leadership roles in the digital economy. She is the Senior Partner at Analytical Engine Interactive Inc., a Design Consultancy. Most of her consulting work involves facilitation and strategic foresight engagements with public sector, educational, and not-for-profit organizations, usually on innovation projects driven by new technologies. Christine is a member of the Association of Professional Futurists, and she also does a little standup.

For more, keep up with Christine at christinemcglade.com or on Twitter as @cmcglade.

Helen Keighron

Helen Keighron
Director of Product Design, HubSpot

Helen Keighron, Director of Product Design at HubSpot, is focused on leading and scaling multi-disciplinary UX teams. HubSpot’s UX organization numbers in the 160s and growing, and the team’s dedicated work has helped small businesses grow, driven unprecedented NPS growth, and cemented HubSpot’s ease of use advantage over other CRM platforms. Helen is hiring roles at all levels, so you should probably get in touch. She lives in Massachusetts with her family and unruly cats.

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

Lisa deBettencourt

Lisa deBettencourt
Founder & Principal, Forge Harmonic

Lisa deBettencourt is a strategy and design leader. After nearly 25 years in-house creating award-winning products for companies within and beyond healthcare, she founded Forge Harmonic, an innovation and strategic design firm that envisions the future of care and designs the products and services that deliver it. She and her team work with organizations in healthcare and life sciences to design next-generation patient and clinical experiences amidst increasing consumer expectations, regulatory restrictions, and technological complexity.

As a co-founder of IxDA, the Interaction Design Association and founder of the Boston chapter, Lisa is a veteran in the product design community and speaks internationally on topics in leadership and design for healthcare. You can find her moderating the Leading Design Slack Community and running the Healthcare Design Leadership Forum for InVision.

Lisa co-authored the O’Reilly book Designing for Emerging Technologies: UX for Genomics, Robotics, and the Internet of Things and taught design for emerging technologies at Northeastern University until the pandemic hit. She holds a MS degree in Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley University and a BS degree from Rochester Institute of Technology.

For more, keep up with Lisa at forgeharmonic.com or on Twitter as @ldebett.

Designing for Death: A Framework for Creating the Final Experience of Your Customer’s Journey

What happens to your customer’s digital assets when they pass away? Do you have a way for next of kin to notify you? Policies in place for verification? Processes to handle archival and/or transfer of control? Employees who are trained on what to do and how to do it well?

In this brief talk, I will explain why it’s of great importance to design this part of the customer experience well and the risks involved when you don’t, and share a 4 part framework that will help you put the right things in place to protect the business and your customers.

Marc Rambeau

Marc Rambeau
Director of Content Strategy, U.Group

Marc leads content strategy, content design and copywriting at U.Group.

His team cuts through the cruft to drive action and simplify services. They help protect Americans from loan sharks, promote our national parks, fight child hunger and more. Their work has won MarCom, Webby, ADDY and Challenge.gov awards.

Marc has crafted content strategies for Fortune 500 companies, federal agencies and nonprofits. He has spoken about human-centered content at events like Drupal GovCon. He has also been a writer, an editor, a producer and a project manager. Before joining U.Group, he helped modernize a $37 million portfolio of public diplomacy platforms at the State Department.

For more, keep up with Marc on Twitter as @marcrambeau.

From the Ground Up: Growing a New Practice at Your Organization

Leading a practice is hard enough. But what if it doesn’t even exist yet, and how do you even get started? We'll discuss lessons learned—including the challenges and pathways to success that help make your new practice a reality.

Marc Rambeau will recount his experience launching a content strategy practice at an organization without one. He’ll share concrete tips you can use at every stage of your practice’s development, from identifying champions and winning buy-in to growing leaders from within. No matter your craft, you’ll walk away with real ideas for building and maturing a community of practice.

Maria Pereda

Maria Pereda
Director of Product Design, Clio

Maria leads design at Clio, helping increase access to justice while improving the lives of lawyers. Previously, she’s led teams at Roadmunk, Schoology, Critical Mass and GE. In her spare time, which is never, Maria is learning to play guitar.

In 2018, she made a promise to never buy clothes again, and to this day, she continues to make her own clothes.

Meena Kothandaraman

Meena Kothandaraman
Experience Strategist, twig+fish

With 30 years of experience, Meena has consulted to emphasize the strategic value and positioning of qualitative research in the design of product, space and service. Meena is fascinated by the complexity of human behavior, and applies a credible, structured and transparent approach to integrating human stories and anecdotes into mainstream processes. This ensures that research activities provide the best service to the organization, and that learning objectives are addressed to maximize potential.

Meena is a founding member of twig+fish, a research and strategy practice based in Boston, MA, that espouses these research beliefs, while maintaining a utopic work-life balance. She is also a key Lecturer in the Bentley University Human Factors and Information Design (HFID) graduate program. Over her 20-year tenure, her capstone qualitative research course has guided now-leading practitioners to integrating meaningful and successful research practices.

She holds an M.S. in Information Resources Management from Syracuse University and a B.Com . in MIS from the University of Ottawa, Canada. Meena is always inspired in her work by her other passions, namely performing as a South-Indian Classical Violinist, pursuing culinary arts through a cooking show, and staying up to date with her two teenager interests!

For more, keep up with Meena on Twitter as @meena_ko.

The Cost of Not Conducting Qualitative Research in Organizations

When we fail to include the human story in the designs of our products and services, we fail humans. twig+fish has worked with global customers and we frequently hear the same challenges: no time, budget, or value to qualitative research output. Products suffer when they are not anchored in the human story, and the humans who create and use them struggle even more. Rather than talk about the ROI of conducting qualitative research, twig+fish began to study the cost of not doing it.

Meena Kothandaraman shares the results of this internal study that looks at the costs to organizations who have left their decision-making to sources other than the wisdom and insights gained from qualitative research.

Interstitials

Emily Haines Lloyd

Emily Haines Lloyd
Writer & Facilitator

A copywriter, magazine contributor, and novelist—Emily Haines Lloyd has been telling stories her entire life.

Emily writes about creativity, transformation, living well, and occasionally frozen fish (we’ve all got bills to pay.) She’s published a book of inspiring, real-talk poems called Pep Talk Poetry and has contributed to a variety of publications including Medium, Elephant Journal, and Detroit News.

Emily also facilitates workplace training on the power of positivity, as well as breathing and meditation sessions. Because even if you don’t believe in harnessing your chi, we can all agree that a deep breath and some stretches never hurt anyone.

You can follow Emily at @WriterEm on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for daily reminders that you’re an unmitigated badass. Or visit emilyhaineslloyd.com for more information.

The Power of the Pep Talk

Think pep talks are just for overzealous sports coaches and kinda-culty motivational speakers? Think again.

Life is tough, but so are we. And we’re even tougher when we’re in it together. Sometimes you just need a reminder that you’re an unmitigated badass.

Author, Emily Haines Lloyd, will read from her book Pep Talk Poetry and talk about why pep talks are so important, why she wrote a book chock full of them, and how to cheer on anyone who is struggling, including yourself.

Megan Kellie

Megan Kellie
Writer, Actor, Improviser, Illustrator

Megan Kellie is a writer, actor, improviser and illustrator. She lives in Chicago where she regularly repurposes cardboard and goes to Blick. She performs all around the city, and has just started showing her art things in places. You can find her @flipflipflap very sporadically on Twitter and less sporadically @imdrawinghere on Instagram.

Susan Salvi

Susan Salvi
Writer, Actor, Speaker

Originally from (sincerely) wonderful Pittsburgh, Sue Salvi is an actor, improvisor, and writer who now lives in Chicago. She will occasionally assault you with her brain offerings using her mouth as a vehicle, while on stage at various establishments around Chicago. Keep up with Sue on Twitter @suesalvi, though she sometimes goes through long periods of inactivity due to anti-internet feelings.

Megan & Susan present:

A Reading of “Someday a Bird Will Poop on You: A Life Lesson”

Megan Kellie and Sue Salvi read through their book, “Someday a Bird Will Poop on You: A Life Lesson,” which uses avian evacuation as a metaphor for those things in life we can’t control. Megan and Sue will also extrapolate and explore aspects of the book you never would have considered because you didn’t create it. If you did, please email us so we can clear this up.

Location

Leadership by Design 2021 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.