Design thinking and innovation are hot topics as businesses gear up for a new year. Consumers are savvier than ever, and competition from Silicon Valley and its international counterparts is growing at a rapid rate. With these concerns in sight, business leaders need to think about how to infuse design thinking into existing product, management, and communication strategies in order to stay relevant in their industries. Design thinking is inherent in helping businesses innovate, as it helps push past well-known ideas into new realms. This method of working favors collaboration and an iterative process that puts humans and their needs at its core. By incorporating the design thinking process into their established methodology, businesses can hope to have a greater chance of staying afloat in our increasingly automated and digital world.
The 18th edition of DesignThinkers, a conference for design and creativity put on by the RGD, will focus on topics relevant to designers in solving big business problems. This year’s theme, Perspectives, promises to shed a light on the professional journey of numerous designers, strategists, and entrepreneurs. Speakers include Jessie Kawata, Principal Design Director at Microsoft and Former NASA JPL Design Pioneer and Lead Industrial Designer, speaking on infusing design thinking into existing business structures to help them prepare for the future, and Chris Do, Founder and CEO at Blind, talking about redefining what business problems fall into the domain of graphic design.
The keynotes this year range from Timothy Goodman speaking on design as an ongoing practice, to Pentagram’s Emily Oberman discussing how pursuing human-focused passion projects can lead to solving much bigger business problems. They undoubtedly embody the human-centric ethos of the conference, reminding designers that the design culture we seek for overarching client solutions should be embedded in all aspects of our work.
Kicking off with an icebreaker for participants to encourage collaboration and communication through a life-size game of Scrabble, the conference will connect over 2,000 creatives as they seek new perspectives on the creative field. DesignThinkers runs in Toronto on November 7-8, 2017.