Get IN The Vote: Speak Out On Speakers

I’ve been asked to curate the in-house affinity session track for next year’s AIGA design conference. The challenge is to find speakers whose work embodies, yet transcends, typical in-house issues by providing perspectives on design in contexts larger than just how to practice design in a corporation.

Below are 7 possible speakers and their bios for your consideration. Once you’ve read about the potential presenters please follow this link to a survey where you can choose those individuals whose presentations you would most like to attend.

If you have additional recommendations, please respond to this post below with your suggestions.

Robert Sutton

Robert Sutton is Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford and a Professor of Organizational Behavior, by courtesy, at the Stanford Business. Sutton studies innovation, leaders and bosses, evidence-based management, the links between knowledge and organizational action, and workplace civility. Sutton’s books include Weird Ideas That Work: 11 ½ Practices for Promoting, Managing, and Sustaining Innovation, The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Firms Turn Knowledge into Action (with Jeffrey Pfeffer), and Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense: Profiting from Evidence-Based Management (also with Jeffrey Pfeffer). His current book is the New York Times and BusinessWeek bestseller The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t. His newest book, Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best… and Survive the Worst, was just published this past September.

Professor Sutton’s honors include the award for the best paper published in the Academy of Management Journal in 1989, the Eugene L. Grant Award for Excellence in Teaching, selection by Business 2.0 as a leading “management guru” in 2002, and the award for the best article published in the Academy of Management Review in 2005. Hard Facts was selected as the best business book of 2006 by the Toronto Globe and Mail. His latest book, The No Asshole Rule, won the Quill Award for the best business book of 2007. Sutton was named as one of 10 “B-School All-Stars” by BusinessWeek in 2007, which they described as “professors who are influencing contemporary business thinking far beyond academia.” Sutton is a Fellow at IDEO and a member of the Institute for the Future’s board of directors. Especially dear to his heart is the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, which everyone calls “the Stanford” He is a co-founder of this multi-disciplinary program, which teaches, practices, and spreads “design thinking.” His blog is Work Matters, at

Tim Brown

Tim Brown is president and CEO of IDEO, a world leader in design and innovation.

Tim speaks regularly on the value of design thinking and innovation to business and design audiences around the world.

His leadership in design is widely sought in industry, academia, and the nonprofit community. He advises senior executives of Fortune 500 companies on a variety of boards and committees. He serves on the Board of Trustees for both the California College of the Arts and ZeroOne: the Art and Technology Network. Most recently, he joined the Advisory Council of Acumen Fund, a not-for-profit global venture fund focused on improving the lives of the poor.

He has led strategic client relationships with such companies as DaimlerChrysler, Microsoft, Motorola, Pepsi, Procter & Gamble, and Steelcase. Tim has received numerous design awards, and his designs have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Axis Gallery in Tokyo, and the Design Museum in London.

In 2004, he received an honorary doctor of science degree from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and in 2005 he was named a visiting professor in design and the University of Northumbria, Newcastle, England.

Tim joined IDEO in 1987 after earning his MA in design from the Royal College of Art in London. He managed IDEO’s San Francisco office from 1990 to 1995, and headed IDEO Europe from 1995 to 2000.

Thomas Lockwood, President DMI

Thomas Lockwood is recognized as a thought leader and international expert in design leadership, and integrating design and innovation into business. This involves expertise in design process, methods, operations and building great design organizations.

Lockwood is one of the few people in the world with a PhD in design management, and is the President and member of the Board of Directors of DMI. He is responsible for all aspects of the Institute, including research, content, operations and producing events throughout the world. Prior to joining the public sector in 2005, Lockwood worked both in-house and the design firm side; by directing global branding and design at StorageTek and Sun Microsystems for a number of years, after running his own design consultancy for a number of years. He states one of his most interesting projects was creating the racing uniforms worn by the US Nordic Ski Team in the Olympics.

Passionate about the many values of design and innovative thinking he is the editor of three books; Design Thinking, Corporate Creativity and Building Design Strategy. A frequent design award juror and keynote speaker, he has lectured or led brand and design workshops in the U.S., Canada, Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Austria, Poland and The Netherlands.

Lockwood is a visiting professor in the graduate school at Pratt Institute in New York City. He earned a PhD, MPhil and MBA from the University of Westminster, London, and bachelor degrees in visual design and marketing from Eastern Michigan University. His doctoral research thesis determined new methods of integrated design management within large multinational corporations, in order to achieve design innovation for the business, design relevancy for the user, and design coherency for the brand.

He is a design advisor to corporations and to countries, serves on numerous boards and councils around the world, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts in London. He is a leading advocate regarding the value of design to the triple bottom line; by improving economic, social and environmental well-being.

Seth Godin

SETH GODIN has written twelve books that have been translated into more than thirty languages. Every one has been a bestseller. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything.

American Way Magazine calls him, “America’s Greatest Marketer,” and his blog is perhaps the most popular in the world written by a single individual. His latest book, LINCHPIN, hit the Amazon top 10 on the first day it was published and became a New York Times bestseller.

As an entrepreneur, he has founded dozens of companies, most of which failed. Yoyodyne, his first internet company, was funded by Flatiron and Softbank and acquired by Yahoo! in 1998. It pioneered the use of ethical direct mail online, something Seth calls Permission Marketing. He was VP of Direct Marketing at Yahoo! for a year.

His latest company,, is ranked among the top 125 sites in the US (by traffic) by Quantcast. It allows anyone (even you) to build a page about any topic you’re passionate about. The site raises money for charity and pays royalties to its million plus members.

Dan & Chip Heath

Chip Heath is the Thrive Foundation of Youth Professor of  Organizational Behavior in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He is the co-author of Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, which debuted at #1 on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. The Heath brothers previously co-wrote the critically acclaimed book Made to Stick, which was named the Best Business Book of the Year, spent 24 months on the BusinessWeek bestseller list, and has been translated into 29 languages, the last of which was Slovak.

Chip is also a columnist for Fast Company magazine, and he has spoken and consulted on the topic of “making ideas stick” with organizations such as Nike, the Nature Conservancy, Microsoft, Ideo, and the American Heart Association.

Chip’s research examines why certain ideas—ranging from urban legends to folk medical cures, from Chicken Soup for the Soul stories to business strategy myths—survive and prosper in the social marketplace of ideas. These “naturally sticky” ideas spread without external help in the form of marketing dollars, PR assistance, or the attention of leaders. A few years back Chip designed a course, now a popular elective at Stanford, that asked whether it would be possible to use the principles of naturally sticky ideas to design messages that would be more effective. That course, How to Make Ideas Stick, has now been taught to hundreds of students including managers, teachers, doctors, journalists, venture capitalists, product designers, and film producers.

Chip’s research has appeared in the Journal of Organizational Behavior, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Cognitive Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Consumer Behavior, Strategic Management Journal, Psychological Science, and the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty. Popular accounts of his research have appeared in Scientific American, the Financial Times, The Washington Post, Business Week, Psychology Today, and Vanity Fair. He has appeared on NPR and National Geographic specials.

Chip has taught courses on Organizational Behavior, Negotiation, Strategy, and International Strategy. Prior to joining Stanford, Professor Heath taught at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He received his B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University and his Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford.

Dan Heath is a Senior Fellow at Duke University’s CASE center, which supports social entrepreneurs. He is the co-author of Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, which debuted at #1 on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. The Heath brothers previously co-wrote the critically acclaimed book Made to Stick, which was named the Best Business Book of the Year, spent 24 months on the BusinessWeek bestseller list, and has been translated into 29 languages, the last of which was Slovak.

Heath is a columnist for Fast Company magazine, and he has taught and consulted with organizations such as Microsoft, Philips, Vanguard, Macy’s, USAID, and the American Heart Association. Previously, Dan worked as a researcher and case writer for Harvard Business School, co-authoring 10 case studies on entrepreneurial ventures, and later served as a Consultant to the Policy Programs of the Aspen Institute. In 1997, Dan co-founded an innovative publishing company called Thinkwell, which continues to produce a radically reinvented line of college textbooks.

Dan has an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a BA from the Plan II Honors Program from the University of Texas at Austin. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Rare, a conservation organization. Two proud (sort of) moments for Dan are his stint driving a promotional car called the “Brainmobile” across the country and his victory in the 2005 New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest, beating out 13,000 other entrants.

William Gibson

William Gibson’s 1984 novel Neuromancer took the science fiction world by storm, winning the Hugo, Nebula and Philip K. Dick awards for best novel. The book described a bleak futuristic world where laptop-toting thieves jack into “cyberspace,” a computer-generated virtual world that in retrospect looks a bit like the Internet. Gibson is credited with coining the term cyberspace (in his 1982 story Burning Chrome) and is considered the father of the literary sub-genre known as cyberpunk. His novels include Count Zero (1986), Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988), Virtual Light (1993), Idoru (1996), All Tomorrow’s Parties (1999), Pattern Recognition (2003) and Spook Country (2007). Gibson also co-authored The Difference Engine (1991, with Bruce Sterling) and wrote the screenplay for the movie Johnny Mnemonic (1995, starring Keanu Reeves).

Excerpted from the New York Times Book Review on Gibson’s newest novel, Zero History:

Among other things, Gibson’s recent fiction explores the idea that our world now is also programmed, in the sense that most of it is encoded as “information” in zeroes and ones, and therefore has patterns and glitches of its own. The logical machine that will encode the world is already here, but it doesn’t send bots to fly around shooting at people as it does in the films. Instead, it emotionlessly captures every Google search, every product anyone buys on eBay and, disturbingly, every recorded image of people walking around public places — especially in Britain, where closed-circuit TV cameras are ubiquitous and where Gibson has set his new novel, “Zero History.”

Since everything is wired up to everything else, it becomes possible to see glitches, connections, coincidences and all kinds of “trending” around mass-market commodities like pop music, soft drinks, sportswear and, of course, fashion, which is the main subject of Gibson’s new novel. But significant cultural nodes aren’t always exactly where you’d expect to find them, and in “Zero History” there is an interesting intersection between military clothing and fashion. Hubertus Bigend wants to get involved, somehow, in marketing apparel to the newly unfashionable United States military. “Having invented so much of contemporary masculine cool in the midcentury,” Gibson explains, “they found themselves competing with their own historical product, reiterated as streetwear. They needed help.”

On Pattern Recognition:

The novel’s heroine, Cayce Pollard, — no relation to the Case of ”Neuromancer,” though Gibson does like a sly self-reference — is a freelance marketing consultant. She’s so suspicious of trademarks that she sands the logos off the metal buttons of her jeans and has been known to suffer panic attacks at the sight of Louis Vuitton luggage, or the ”terrible eyes” of the Michelin Man. But the advertising world reveres her. As a ”coolhunter,” she penetrates ”neighborhoods like Dogtown, which birthed skateboarding, to explore roots in hope of finding whatever the next thing might be.” Her current top-secret assignment takes her to London to evaluate a new logo for an athletic footwear conglomerate.

Single and self-contained, Cayce travels light, with the eccentric clothing that her director friend Damien calls C.P.U.’s (Cayce Pollard Units). She’s too hip to lug her own laptop, using Damien’s Mac to follow a message board, ”Fetish: Footage: Forum,” devoted to 135 strange, unexplained, pointedly unattributed film clips that have appeared on the Net and developed a cult following…

… Cayce observes a public statue in Moscow: ”Lenin, aerodynamic to the point of featurelessness, molded in white concrete, pointing the proletariat forward like some kind of giant Marxist lawn jockey.” She particularly admires design that transcends its time period, like Aeroflot’s logo, which has ”a sort of a Victorian Futurist look,” or her cherished Buzz Rickson’s jacket, ”a fanatical museum-grade replica of a U.S.

5 thoughts on “Get IN The Vote: Speak Out On Speakers

  1. Sheri Simonsen

    Couldn’t you find any women? 0 out of 7 is, well, discouraging. Let me ask around for some recommendations. These guys all sound interesting and qualified but there are some dynamic women out there, too.

  2. catherine

    Nancy is great, but we need to think of an in-house designer. Moira Cullen stands out to me as the top. With Hallmark and Hersheys on her resume, she’s a wealth of knowledge & experience.

    I do think Lockwood (DMI) would be a fantastic addition to the lineup though.