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Design Intersections 2019: Design + Networks + Activation

May 22-23, 2019
IIT Institute of Design (ID)
3137 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616

Moving beyond point solutions to systems change

For today’s leaders, achieving systems-level success requires cultivating and activating networks—technological, infrastructural, and social—that support new collaborative activities, processes, and mindsets.

ID's Design Intersections 2019: Design + Networks + Activation invites diverse leaders, (including designers, executives, strategists, policymakers, and entrepreneurs) across industries and sectors (including education, food, finance, government, healthcare, insurance, mobility, technology) to explore how we can activate networks through activism, entrepreneurship, and leadership and achieve large scale impact. 

The participatory two-day conference (May 22–23, 2019) will feature panel discussions, breakout sessions, and workshops. Join us to: 

  • Discover real-world contexts where organizational behavior, entrepreneurship, policymaking, and design are already colliding.

  • Examine new tools and methodologies to evolve our individual and collective points of view about adaptive leadership and the transformative practices—and challenges—of large scale collaboration.

  • Learn new approaches for and from a range of industries and disciplines.

  • See how design can do more than think—it can do.

Visit for more information and related content. 


Leadership and the New Economy

How can leaders use design to create effective collaborations and partnerships in our rapidly changing world?

Sharon Bush, Executive Director, Grand Victoria Foundation
Sarah CoulterExecutive Director, Calumet Collaborative
Randy Stark, Executive Director, National Association of Conservation Law Enforcement Chiefs
Marco Ugarte, Sustainability Consultant, Antea Group
Brianna SylverPresident, Sylver Consulting

Activism and Impact
By integrating the expertise and knowledge of key individuals, particularly those closest to complex societal challenges, participatory processes can help us improve our systems for everyone involved.

Paola Aguirre Serrano, Founder, BORDERLESS Studio
Steven Babitch, Presidential Innovation Fellow
Jorge Camacho, Strategic Design and Foresight Practitioner
Sara Cantor Aye, Co-founder and Executive Director, Greater Good Studio
Eleanor Gorski, Bureau Chief, Planning, Historic Preservation and Sustainability City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development

Entrepreneurship and Emerging Technologies
Emerging technologies can enable novel solutions to our most complex and multifaceted problems.

Cennydd Bowles, Designer and Tech Ethics Consultant
Steven Collens
Ryan Powell, Head of UX Research and Design, Waymo
Sriram Thodla, Senior Director, Mobile AI & AR at Samsung
Brenna Berman, Executive Director, City Digital initiative at UI Labs


Integrating Dispersed Networks

Experts in food systems, urban development, and public health will discuss key infrastructures for integrating dispersed networks and leading sustainability- and equity-oriented interventions.

Sarah Coulter, Executive Director, Calumet Collaborative
Bill Hartman, Partner, Innovation Strategy, Essential Design (part of PA Consulting)
Marco Ugarte, Sustainability Consultant at Antea Group

Achieving Equitable Solutions
Government, healthcare, and tech experts will discuss case studies about how they used participatory practices to shift innovation methods and design practices towards achieving more equitable solutions.

Josh Lucas-Falk (Moderator), CEO, Grand Studio
Melissa Gilliam, MDVice Provost and the Ellen H. Block Professor of Health Justice, The University of Chicago
Marquis Miller, Chief Diversity Officer, City of Chicago
Elise Zelechowski, Director of Social Impact, ThoughtWorks

Activating Innovation Networks
Experts in finance, insurance, and mobility who are leading initiatives that incorporate emerging technologies will present case studies on how they used design to activate innovation networks and create value.

Fred Hoch, Founder and General Partner, TechNexus Venture Collaborative
Nik Rokop (Moderator), Coleman Foundation Clinical Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, Stuart School of Business
Sriram Thodla, Senior Director, Mobile AI & AR at Samsung

Navigating the New Mobility Ecosystem
Experts and leaders will present case studies about how they navigated the complex and dynamic challenges surrounding mobility by activating networks.

Sergio Gutiérrez Montero (Moderator), Design Manager, Allstate
Ryan Powell, Head of UX Research and Design, Waymo


Designing Partnerships for Large Scale Impact
Organizations must focus on building their leadership capacity to integrate assets available in their ecosystems, and recombine them in novel and meaningful ways. Led in collaboration with Mo Sook Park, an expert on adaptive leadership, and Randy Stark, executive director, National Association of Conservation Law Enforcement Chiefs, this workshop will focus on presenting new tools and methods for designing partnerships oriented toward large scale impact.

Activating Stakeholders to Improve Systems
Although emerging technologies enable novel solutions, they often bring about unintended consequences that amplify systemic problems. Today's new mobility ecosystem is populated with ride-sharing platforms and autonomous vehicles. This kind of urban connectivity impacts and is affected by everything, from health to safety to inclusion. Led in collaboration with Hitachi America, we will investigate how to activate stakeholder networks and leverage emerging technologies for systemic change towards better futures of mobility using Foresight tools and methods.

Shifting Power through Inclusive Design Processes
There are implicit, tacit power structures embedded in almost all design methodologies and the methodologies that an organization uses to determine its creations. When we understand our own positions of power, we can become more inclusive, collaborative, and innovative. In this workshop, George Aye (Greater Good Studio) and Jorge Camacho will lead an exercise in prototyping power shifts to demonstrate how we can activate networks and build more equitable and sustainable infrastructures.

Behavioral Design for Networked Organizations
The tension between an organization’s desire to embrace the new and its ability to do so is often amplified when it must collaborate with other organizations to achieve its goals. While strategy-driven methods and frameworks for internal “change management” are well-known, considering organizations as members of networks through the lens of behavioral design is less established. In this workshop, ID visiting professor Ruth Schmidt will introduce and prototype evolving methods to help organizations diagnose and tackle common organizational behavior issues that can help them operate more effectively within their business ecosystems.

Sponsored by

The Coleman Foundation

Grand Studio

About the ID Design Intersections Conference

Design increases its impact when it intersects with, imports from, and integrates other disciplines. For more than 10 years, IIT Institute of Design (ID) has convened leading designers and professionals to discuss pertinent issues and trends in the realm of design and to understand their implications for key industries. One of ID’s key distinctions has been in demonstrating how business and design approaches can successfully intersect. With Design Intersections, we continue to challenge the boundaries of design and seek to discuss and discover its intersections with and benefits for a range of industries and disciplines.

About IIT Institute of Design (ID)

IIT Institute of Design (ID) continually challenges what design is and can be. Founded by László Moholy-Nagy in 1937 as the “New Bauhaus,” we focus not just on design itself, but the impact it has on the world around us. For over 80 years ID has ignited designers’ imaginations—evolving design to combine form with human behavior, conquer complexity with clarity, and challenge convention through innovation in pursuit of a more sustainable future.