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Sam Yen: The Future of Software Innovation

October 4, 2016
5:00-7:00pm CST
IIT Institute of Design
565 West Adams Street
Chicago, IL 60661

Enterprise software design traditionally focused on creating multi-functional GUI screens. Innovations in mobile devices warranted special attention on interaction design and role based interfaces. With the current wave of Digital Transformation redefining users’ expectations, design and end user experience will again play a pivotal role in ensuring a successful transition. Join Sam Yen, SAP Chief Design Officer, as he talks about how design thinking and user empathy will drive software innovation in the future.

About Sam Yen
Chief Design Officer, SAP
Managing Director, SAP Labs Silicon Valley

Sam is Chief Design Officer at SAP. Through his leadership, SAP has strengthened its mission of listening to customers´ needs leading to tangible results, including SAP Fiori, SAP Screen Personas and SAP´s UX design services. Under his stewardship, SAP has won over 20 design awards, including multiple Red Dot awards. In addition, his team has worked with hundreds of customers using Design and Design Thinking to drive improved user experience and innovations across their organizations. In July 2015, Sam took on additional responsibilities as Managing Director of SAP Labs in Silicon Valley to amplify our message and impact in the industry’s most strategic geographical location.

In this multi-faceted role, Sam leads a wide variety of initiatives that reaffirm SAP’s commitment to innovation and design. He is also an Associate Consulting Professor at the Stanford where he co-teaches courses helping large organizations scale creativity and innovation in their organizations using design thinking and an advisor to the Innovative Technology Leaders program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB). Combining his SAP hat and his appointment at Stanford, Sam helped drive a recent teaching collaboration with the Stanford d.School, Stanford GSB and SAP to nurture design-minded intrapreneurship in the workplace. It involves courses, workshops and field exercises to practice and apply Design Thinking as a methodology of innovation and driver of organizational change. This was a natural extension of the work he had started in creating a global community of senior leaders driving Design Thinking within their organizations. Prior to taking on this role, Sam was the Global Head of Design and User Experience. Before that he led the SAP AppHaus - an innovation team building new solutions, establishing new markets, and reaching new users for SAP.

Sam started his career at SAP over a decade ago when Hasso Plattner formed the Design Services Team, a multi-disciplinary group in the Office of the CEO, to accelerate the adoption of Design Thinking at SAP and improve SAP’s user experience. An endeavor which continues to be Sam’s passion and motivation to this day

Before joining SAP, Sam was co-founder of Covigna, Inc., an enterprise software company that delivered project management solutions. At Covigna he has led the design, engineering and strategic customer engagement. Sam is a native of San Francisco and has a Ph.D. in Design Theory and Methodology from Stanford University.