Our full line-up of international speakers and panelists will be announced soon. In the meantime grab your early bird tickets before they sell out.

Using Design to Unlock Business Value

If your decision-making is bounded by best practices, case studies, and linear processes, you’ll never be able to innovate. You’ll be stuck in the known world, doomed to remain a follower in the marketplace.

Instead, you have to embrace a skillset that isn’t taught in business schools: it’s called agile strategy. Agile strategy uses design and design thinking to unlock hidden options. It puts ideas on the table that couldn’t be imagined before. It brings important skills such as empathy and experimentation into the mix. It lets decision makers avail themselves of bolder, more original ideas without the danger of inordinate risk.

In his talk Marty Neumeier will explain the principles of agile strategy and how to apply it. You’ll come away with ideas you can immediately use to increase your value as a designer, strategist, or business leader.

Along with his talk at the conference, Marty Neumeier is delivering a one-day brand workshop on Nov 6th: Marty Neumeier – Brand Flip Workshop →

About Marty

Marty Neumeier is an author, designer, and brand adviser whose mission is to bring the principles and processes of design to business. His series of "whiteboard" books includes ZAG, named one of the "top hundred business books of all time," and THE DESIGNFUL COMPANY, a bestselling guide to nonstop innovation. An online presentation of his first book, THE BRAND GAP, has been viewed more than 22 million times since 2003. A sequel, THE BRAND FLIP, lays out a new process for building brands in the age of social media and customer dominance. His most recent book, SCRAMBLE, is a "business thriller" about how to build a brand quickly with a new process called agile strategy. In 1996, Neumeier founded Critique magazine, the first journal about design thinking. He has worked closely with innovative companies such as Apple, Netscape, Sun Microsystems, HP, Adobe, Google, and Microsoft to help advance their brands and cultures. Today he serves as Director of Transformation for Liquid Agency in Silicon Valley, and travels extensively as a workshop leader and speaker on the topics of design, brand, and innovation.


You Just Don't Understand: Managing Creatives in a Left Brain Culture

Does your team struggle with getting creatives and analytical, operational staff to communicate and work well together? Many right-brained creative types report to, or collaborate with, left-brained operational managers. Learning the necessary skills to work well together is often elusive but nonetheless essential to running a seamless and efficient organisation. This session will help you understand the behavioral and personality differences between left- and right-brain types. In addition, you’ll learn best-practice strategies that improve how creatives and operational teams can better communicate, work with, and manage each other.

About Emily

Emily Cohen has been honored to consult and work with many leading design firms and, through these experiences, she has developed, tested, and curated key business insights and strategies that have helped these firms become more effective, profitable, and fun to work at. Emily conducts business planning retreats and provides confidential, best-practice insights and advice on staff, client, and process-management strategies. She loves sharing her expertise through speaking engagements, guest posts, her Skillshare class, Lynda.com course*, webinars, industry activism, and, most recently, in her new business book for creatives, Brutally Honest: No-bullshit business strategies to evolve your creative business. Emily Cohen is also fast-talker, a designer by degree, an avid reader, a trend-spotter, a connector, and her client’s advocate.


Strategy in Design

Brand strategy without design is ineffective. And design without brand strategy is aimless. In this talk, Christina will share her experiences and learnings of what strategy can do for design and how to use strategy to expand the projects and bring the design to c-level.

About Christina

Christina brings a decade of branding and strategic mastery to the table. Having worked both client and agency side, Christina has an enviable perspective of strategic leadership and operational implementation.

At Kontrapunkt Christina helps businesses and organisations through big transformative projects and the uncertainties these changes bring.

Before joining Kontrapunkt in Denmark, Christina honed her skills as a Senior Brand Strategist at the leading Telco company, TDC Group, and as a strategic planner at several leading advertising agencies, including Ogilvy and TBWA.


Ethics in Design, Innovation and Technology

"Move fast and break things.” More disruption, more innovation – it seemed like a good idea. In fact, we moved fast and broke people, societies, and cultures. Design is intention – our role as designers requires us to recognise the ethical implications of our work and take responsibility for the things we create. We have to develop and apply ethics in all of the work we do, ensuring we are part of the solution, not part of the problem.

About Craig

Craig is Senior Director of Design Strategy at Sapient London. In this role, he combines evidence-led customer insight, commercial rigour and technical opportunity to define differentiated digital propositions. He was first and founding member of AKQA’s Strategy Department in 1998, and Director of Strategy in London, San Francisco and New York until 2008, shaping the discipline of digital strategy from its inception. He was Managing Director at EHS 4D (now Havas Helia) for two years, and then Managing Director at the Digital Consultancy Progenit for 5 years, helping organisations shape and deliver their digital strategy. Prior to joining Sapient he was founder of the start-up rtobjects – delivering cinematic interactive visuals to everyone everywhere. He is also an Intellectual Historian and an editor for The Clarendon Edition of the Works of John Locke at the Oxford University Press.


Creativity & Resilience

Conn’s talk will explore the intersection of creativity, technology and resilience for a world under stress.

About Conn

Conn is respected as one of South Africas top creative thinkers having won gold awards at all the major creative and design festivals around the world as well as performing the role of Creative Director of the World Design Capital Cape Town 2014 after beating cancer in 2013. Conn consults as a Creative and Purpose Strategist for brands, organisations and individuals facing seemingly insurmountable challenges.


Panel: The Future of the Agency

Is the design industry as service-based model sustainable? How can design firms, large and small, change the way they do business to stay profitable and do great work? Deborah will join our 'Future of the Agency' panel to discuss what the future might look like for design and creative agencies.

About Deborah

As Chief Executive of the UK Design Business Association, Deborah works with the industry to champion the tangible and measurable impact of design in business and society.

She is particularly interested in developing best business practice for creative firms and, raising the profile of design and its capability for wealth creation in business.

Her passion for design as a strategic tool that boardrooms have been slow to realise, and experience of the UK’s diverse and competitive design sector, have led to a number of roles on the advisory boards of business, government and other design organisations.


Panel: The Future of The Agency / Why Business Needs Creatives

Nick with chair our two panel discussions ensuring a lively debate.

About Nick

Nick's diverse previous lives - solicitor's apprentice, tennis coach, video games journalist, rock star – have amply equipped him with the minimal attention span and cornucopia of useless information needed to become one of Ireland's most successful copywriters and creative consultants.

In collaboration with talented colleagues and agencies, Nick has variously persuaded Michael Fassbender to swim across the Atlantic for a Guinness, The Green Party to run a party political broadcast with no politicians, AIB to donate their advertising budget to their SME customers to make ads of their own, Gas Networks Ireland to recruit a giant ballad-singing canary as their carbon monoxide awareness spokesbird, Panti Bliss and Jennifer Zamperelli to talk nonsense in aid of the Simon Communities, and Roy Keane to steal Gary Lineker's precious Walkers crisps.

He has won shelfloads of local and international awards including a Cleo, an Epica, a whole school of Sharks.`

Nick is also an Oscar-shortlisted film-maker (for his live action short “Shoe”) whose debut feature “The Drummer And The Keeper” has won 18 prizes on the global festival circuit to date.

Panel: The Future of The Agency

Our panel of local and international design leaders will be discussing what the future is for the design and creative agency. Panelists TBA.

Panel: Why Business Needs Creatives

We'll be hosting a lively debate discussing how fresh thinking from diverse talent will help brands connect with consumers in new ways and boost profits. Panelists TBA