Equity & Identity - Design Thinking Conference 2018 -

Let me start with a warning…

The Design Thinking Conference 2018 is the perfect gathering for you only if:

You’re an experienced design thinker and you are interested in human behaviour, applied psychology, empathy, experimenting, taking a journey into the unknown, discovering the world behind the visual language of Emoji, learning how to disarm a terrorist, and magic tricks… And if you don’t like death by PowerPoint, sales pitches disguised as case studies, endless talking heads, sitting all day, preaching to the converted. If all this sounds good than you’re going to love what we created.

Yes, I am very excited with what we are creating for 2018! Our second iteration!

Last year we ran the first Design Thinking Conference, an experimental format, inspired by theatre. A gathering designed for design thinkers and focusing on Empathy. It was and will never be about explaining design thinking, methods, tools, case studies… we have enough traditional conference already and in my opinion this doesn’t challenge us to dig deeper.

I am so happy with the way it turned out last year! It’s been an exciting and uplifting experience for everyone involved. I loved the willingness of our main actors and workshop leaders to experiment and be vulnerable on stage and the openness of the audience to be supportive and actively engage.

Check out this short video impression of what happened

And now we are developing the second Design Thinking Conference.

The theme is Empathy with a special focus on “Equity & identity” (Equity meaning the quality of being fair and impartial).

This theme will take us on an exciting journey revealing our perceptions and biases, how our brain is a filter of information and how to trick it, how we unknowingly make micro-decisions determining where we end up, how this shapes the (fair or unfair) systems we are part of, how difficult and complex real empathy is and how we so desperately need it to solve some of the world’s hairiest problems.

Like last year we will offer workshops in small groups and plenary sessions lead by our main actors. All our main actors and workshop leaders will try out something they too have never done before.

And we already have some exiting main actors we can announce:

> Anne Stenros

Professor Anne Stenros is the first Chief Design Officer CDO City of Helsinki and has been the Design Director at KONE (a world leading elevator and escalator company) for 10 years. Anne acted as Managing Director of Design Forum Finland from 1995 to 2004 and in 2005 she was Executive Director of Hong Kong Design Centre. She has lectured around the world and written articles on the theory and philosophy of architecture, design and innovation. Anne will share from her wealth of experience and show a possible way forward.

> Fleur van Ravensbergen

Fleur will show beyond the shadow of a doubt the importance of empathy when you’re trying to change behaviour. Fleur has nine years of experience in setting up and managing an NGO that facilitates dialogue in armed conflict. Nine years of exposure and direct involvement in conflict mediation, including heading delegations, facilitating mediations, negotiating terms of deals, frequent travel to conflict areas and two disarmaments.

> dr. Stefan van der Stigchel

Stefan leads the research group @AttentionlabNL & will make us experience “how attention & visual awareness shape the perception of the world around us”

> Lilian Stolk

Lilian is an artist, historian and Dutch’s first emoji expert. She focuses on our language becoming more visual and especially researches emoji. She looks at this new visual language from both a theoretical and a practical perspective.

> John Bielenberg

John will teach us the value of ‘Thinking Wrong’. John has won more than 250 design awards in his career and currently teaches at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco where he runs a Think Wrong program called Secret Project.

> Anna Wilson

Anna spent her career working for the research & education network in Ireland, including being a co-chair at RIPE and participating in the GÉANT project.

Her story will focus on identity. A few years ago Anna decided to go through live as a woman and this lead to some important and sometimes surprising consequences and insight. We are very proud that she will share her journey and insights with us.

I’m really exited to have these wonderful people at the conference!

More main actors and workshop leaders will be announced soon.

And I would also like to mention that Adam StJohn Lawrence will again be the ‘voice of the audience’ and the fantastic Lauren Currie our M.C.

If you want more information or register just connect via the website http://www.designthinkingconference.com/register/

I hope to see you in Amsterdam!

Belina Raffy working the crowd at the Design Thinking Conference 2017

Founder Blue Sky Republic, Creative Leadership Coach, Founder DesignThinkers Academy, DesignThinkers Group, Artis & Photographer