Sustainability provocateur and cultural protagonist Dr. Leyla Acaroglu challenges people to think differently about how the world works. As an award winning designer, UNEP Champion of the Earth, sociologist, and entrepreneur, she developed the Disruptive Design Method and designs cerebrally activating experiences, gamified toolkits, and unique educational experiences that help people make the status quo obsolete. Her mainstage TED talk on sustainability has been viewed over a million times, and she leads presentations around the world on activating positive social change through creative interventions and systems thinking.
Tobias Bjerrome Ahlin is the Experience Design Director at Mojang, where he directs the design for one of the most popular video games of all time; Minecraft. He’s worked as a Product Designer at Spotify, as a Product Designer at GitHub in San Francisco, and he is a frequent lecturer at the creative business school Hyper Island.
He has written a curriculum for learning how to use quantitative data when designing products, but walked away from that experience more convinced than ever that what we need right now in the industry is more qualitative data, and new ways of talking about design
Yvonne is a California native and a poet at heart. After teaching poetry & Asian American studies, her path eventually led to tech startups, agency work, and leading in-house writing teams for big box retailers in San Francisco.
Now at Google, she’s currently leading UX writing and immersive storytelling on AR & VR experiences. She has launched various social apps within Google, including Allo, Duo, Google+ and Hangouts.
Yvonne is also an avid runner, a superfan of crunchy things, and a proud mama & wife.
Pablo Stanley is a Mexican designer based in San Francisco. He is the lead designer for the InVision Studio Platform. Previously designer and co-founder of Carbon Health. He gives design workshops around the world focused on product design and UI animation. Pablo has a YouTube channel called Sketch Together with design tutorials, livestreams, critiques, and other random stuff. He also co-hosts a design Hispanic podcast interviewing Latinxs in the tech industry called “Diseño Cha Cha Cha.” Writer and illustrator of “The Design Team,” a comic series that follows the lives of designers working at a startup.
Jon Crowley has spent the last decade working in strategic planning roles across the marketing communications spectrum. He’s a multidisciplinary strategic thinker engaged in the nuanced interplay between mass and targeted, traditional and digital, and brand and consumer.
Jon is a Strategy Director at Sid Lee in Toronto. He’s interested in defining brands, understanding people, and helping them fall in love with things.
Rebecca is a mixed-methods researcher who loves examining human behavior from all angles. She currently leads research on the Trip Platform team at Airbnb, focused on expanding Airbnb’s role in the future of travel beyond accommodations. She came to Airbnb from Facebook following her doctorate program in Media and Information, where she examined the societal impact of increasing mobile phone use for communication.
Cheryl Platz is a world-class interaction designer whose professional passions include natural user interfaces, design for scale and complexity, system design, and storytelling for product design. She is best known for her work on cutting-edge products including Amazon’s Alexa, the Echo Look, Cortana, and Microsoft’s Azure platform.
Cheryl is currently a Principal Designer at Microsoft, now focused on designing a platform for AI-powered customer service experiences. Past employers include Amazon, Electronic Arts, Griptonite Games, MAYA Design, and Disney Parks. Ms. Platz is also founder and owner of Ideaplatz, a design education company through which she offers her well-received interaction design talks and workshops at major conferences and companies around the world.
Amy Thibodeau is the UX Director for Shopify's App and Partner Platform where she leads a team of designers, researchers, and content strategists. Previously she worked with Shopify's foundations team and helped lead the launch of the Polaris design system.
Amy comes from a content design and writing background and was one of the first content strategists on Facebook's product design team. She currently lives in Toronto with her husband and tiny dog Gus.
Leah Reich, PhD is an ethnographer and writer based in Stockholm, Sweden. Her work explores the intersection of the personal and the universal, the tactical and the fundamental – how each illuminates the other, and how together they help us navigate the joys and challenges of being human. She currently works at Spotify as a senior user researcher focusing on the core experience of music consumers. Prior to joining Spotify, she was Slack's first user researcher, where she helped develop a deeply human user research practice and discipline that gave product teams the insights necessary to ship features while also providing them with a deeper, more foundational understanding of their users and the product. A long-time essayist and columnist, Leah most recently wrote an advice column for The Verge called "How To Be Human".
Rebecca Ussai Henderson is a Principal Interaction Designer at IA Collaborative, a global design and innovation consultancy, where she is responsible for user driven research, strategy, and design. She was previously an Experience Design Director at R/GA, a global digital agency working at the intersection of technology and design. Her range of work includes a number of digital platform redesigns, digital campaigns, service design, and personalized experiences across industries such as healthcare, logistics, entertainment, hospitality, and emerging technology. She concentrates on developing meaningful and relevant connections between brands and users with experiences that are intuitive and enjoyable.
Rebecca is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon’s Communication Design program. While there, she found an interest in motion design. After starting a career in UX, she is finding ways to combine the techniques of motion design into the most relevant areas of user experience in order to craft more intuitive, engaging, and delightful experiences. Over the past few years, she collaborated together with Disney Legend, Glen Keane, on what she calls “The Principles of UX Choreography” and has given talks SXSW Interactive, Google HQ, UX London, and CreativeMornings. In her daily work at IA, she is continuing to explore how motion and branded behavior can create distinction and identity within the larger digital brand languages and style guides her teams often shape.