AC4D's 2014 - 2015 Speaker Series

About the Speaker Series

We are thrilled to announce Austin Center for Design's second annual speaker series. A series of workshops and talks; this year's lineup focuses on individuals and organizations leveraging design thinking in seemingly non-traditional arenas. Attend the speaking events to learn how tenants of human centered design can be applied in business, government, curriculum building and international development. Join our workshops to learn best practices from trained designers to bring back to your worlds.

Previous Speakers and Workshops

Wednesday, August 20, 2014, 6:30pm
Hunter Sunrise

Hunter Sunrise
Chief Operating Officer, Verdacom


"Getting out of your own way as an Entrepreneur: You are not your User"

A. Hunter Sunrise is an accomplished business developer and market strategist, whose first priority is creating inspired, sustainable business that both profits and connects community members while remaining accessible to under-served populations for employment and ownership.

Over the past sixteen years, Hunter has launched several distinct businesses in diverse industries, one of which has successfully reached regional and national expansion. Currently, Hunter's focus lies in working as a Principal Partner with INUS Group, LLC an international business consultancy, and leading the helm as CEO of a Digital & Creative Agency and as the COO of a Technology Company.

Hunter is an impassioned and innovative leader, dedicated to helping economic and social communities thrive. A commitment to creating jobs and opportunities for others' success is fueled by as much passion for economic growth as for social enhancement.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 6:30pm
Kerry O'Conner

Kerry O'Conner
Chief Innovation Officer, City of Austin


"Bringing Innovation to the City of Austin by Design"

A creative and effective innovator with an obsession for analyzing and solving problems, I am an intrapreneur, a team builder, diplomat, a visual and oral storyteller, innovation catalyst, technology interpreter, practiced logistician, connector, mentor, activator, and fierce advocate for innovation in government.

In Austin, I work as a connector and facilitator between citizens, businesses, universities and City employees to generate ideas for developing new solutions to civic challenges in order to mobilize energy, create momentum, and drive toward viable ideas and projects that will further the City’s goal of being the Best Managed and Most Livable City.

Sunday, November 9, 2014, 10am - 4pm
Chelsea Hoestetter

Chelsea Hostetter
Interaction Designer


"Storyboarding: The power of Visualizing your User Story"

Want to tell stories that speak for themselves? Storyboarding is used to tell impactful stories of products and services, and is critical for expressing your idea to fellow colleagues, your client, or even a venture capital investor. Join Chelsea, a cartoonist and sketchoholic alumni from the Austin Center for Design and create your own storyboard! You will learn how to create a compelling story arc in storyboards, organize your story in a way that makes sense, and draw impactful creations that communicate emotion and action.

Chelsea Hostetter is a designer and sketchoholic. She studied Japanese and Art at Carnegie Mellon University and is a recent graduate of the Austin Center for Design. She runs a fun group of cartoonists in Austin named Koumori Comics and has been published in various independent publications.

Sunday, April 12, 2015, 10am - 4pm
Kathryn McLeroy

Kathryn McElroy


"Digital Prototyping: Hack “Design Thinking” with a DIY Maker Mindset"

Come learn and practice useful learnings from the DIY culture that will empower your design team to take a more active approach to prototyping and user testing. All types of designers will benefit, including product, interaction, and software design.

Kathryn McElroy is an award-winning, published designer and photographer living in Austin, Texas. She has seven years of design experience, including consulting, in-house, and contract work. She currently works as a UX Designer at IBM Design. Kathryn is passionate about smart objects, open hardware, and platforms; and has built and written about wearable technology.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015, 6:30pm
Matt Franks

Matt Franks
Lead Interaction Designer, Blackboard


Perceptions of Genocide

Over the course of the past year, Austin Center for Design has been working with UX for Good and Aegis Trust to shift the perceptions of genocide. Despite the numerous museums and memorials across the world that serve as dedicated reminders to the events of the past, we often remain unchanged and unaware of the lasting consequences of disasters and the potential for future atrocities. Where almost every visitor can attest to the overwhelming feelings of sympathy, sadness and outrage, most can also describe - often with feelings of guilt - that they did not change their behavior as a result of these experiences. The empathy and potential for action fizzled away.


All events will be held at:

Austin Center for Design
1309 Chestnut Avenue
Austin, TX 78702

Timing and Tickets

Seating is limited, so please purchase your tickets ahead of time to ensure you can join us. No tickets will be sold at the door—you must have an Eventbrite ticket pre-purchased.

Tickets for the speaker series are $15, and tickets for the workshops are $30 (and include coffee and lunch). A limited number of student tickets to the speaker series are available for $5.

About Austin Center for Design

Austin Center for Design in a non-profit founded in Austin, Texas. We offer a one year continuing education course—held at nights and on weekends—that emphasizes creative problem solving in the context of complex problems. Students learn about interaction design, human behavior, humanizing technology, and business strategy. The course is ideal for designers, business/marketing professionals, artists, and technologists with several years of experience. We also encourage more established professionals who are looking to change the trajectory of their careers to apply. Upon finishing this course, participants receive a Certificate of Completion, indicating they have completed 440 course hours of training.

View Previous Events

2013 - 2014 Speaker Series | 2012 Design Extravaganza