AC4D's Social Innovation and Design Education 2013 - 2014 Speaker Series

About the Speaker Series

We are thrilled to announce Austin Center for Design's inaugural speaker series. Join leaders in design, business and education as they host talks and invite conversation on a wide range of topics. We'll explore the intersection of business and design, how to rethink policy, and the changing notion of traditional education. You'll hear from lively and local leaders speaking to an audience of lively and local innovators: designers, policy makers, business leaders, technology officers, students, alumni, and visionaries.

Previous Speakers

Wednesday, November 13, 2013, 6:00pm
Jon Kolko

Jon Kolko
Founder & Director, Austin Center for Design

Video coming soon


"Our Broken Education System"

This talk generously sponsored by Hillside Farmacy.

Jon Kolko is Vice President of Product, Innovation, and Design at MyEdu, and the Founder and Director of Austin Center for Design. He is the author of three books: Thoughts on Interaction Design, published by Morgan Kaufmann, Exposing the Magic of Design: A Practitioner's Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis, published by Oxford University Press, and Wicked Problems: Problems Worth Solving, published by Austin Center for Design.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 6:00pm
Michelle Wallis

Michelle Wallis
Executive Director, Austin Independent School District Office of Innovation and Development

Video coming soon


"Innovations within Education: Where Public Meets Private"

This talk generously sponsored by Easy Tiger.

Michelle serves as the Executive Director of the Austin Independent School District’s Office of Innovation and Development where she develops partnerships and resources to support innovation in Austin ISD. Prior to this appointment, Michelle served as the founding Executive Director for the Ann Richards School Foundation where she led the faculty, board of directors, and staff in raising millions of dollars to support programs critical to the success of the all-girls, college preparatory school. Previously, Michelle served as the Senior Director of Community Development at United Way for Greater Austin where she led the investment of its multi-million dollar grant portfolio to nonprofits in Central Texas and provided leadership for key community initiatives. She is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Austin and a 2011 Fellow with the Austin Area Research Organization. Michelle holds a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin, a Bachelor’s from Texas Lutheran University, and is s an avid runner, an ironman triathlete and music lover.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 6:00pm
Doreen Lorenzo

Doreen Lorenzo
President, Quirky

Video coming soon


"Managing Creative Growth"

Doreen is the President of Quirky. Prior to Quirky, she was the president of frog, where she drove company strategy and oversaw worldwide operations. During her 13 years with frog, Doreen was instrumental in re-structuring the company, taking it from a traditional design boutique to becoming one of the world’s foremost global innovation firms, securing broad-based arrangements with an array of Fortune 500 clients.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 6:00pm
Steven Tomlinson

Steven Tomlinson
Founding Master Teacher, Acton

Video coming soon


"The Business of Social Innovation"

This talk generously sponsored by Tito's Handmade Vodka.

Steven Tomlinson is a Founding Master Teacher at the Acton School of Business and an Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Ministry at the Seminary of the Southwest. He is also an award-winning theatre artist whose solo performances have been produced in Austin and off-Broadway and a communication strategist for Wall Street and Silicon Valley firms. Steven holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 6:00pm
Jon Freach

Jon Freach
Design Research Director, frog design

Video coming soon


"Aging in Place: From Design Research to Concept"

Jon has a 20-year background in design research and interaction design and has served in a broad range of roles, from designer to strategic planner and manager of organizational practices. At frog, Jon utilizes a variety of design research methods to help clients and project teams better understand what makes people tick. He then applies this insight to the design of products and services to create meaningful and lasting interactions. He’s served a diverse set of clientele from many industries including healthcare, automotive, education, financial services, energy, and retail.

Jon is also a founding professor at the Austin Center for Design (ac4d) and has lectured about design and innovation at a number of colleges and universities including Harvard Business School, The University of Texas McCombs School of Business, Southern Methodist University, and CEDIM in Monterrey, Mexico. He has published widely in the design and business communities, and frequently speaks on the subject of design research and interaction design. His articles have appeared in Interactions magazine, Design Mind, and The Atlantic.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014, 6:00pm
Leah Bojo

Leah Bojo
Policy Aide, City of Austin

Video coming soon


"Policy Design: Creating Value, Getting Results"

Leah Bojo, Policy Aide to Council Member Chris Riley and board member of Congress for New Urbanism, Central Texas Chapter, is a graduate of the LBJ School of Affairs and commited public servant. She also has a masters in community and regional planing and a portfolio in dispute resolution. Serving as policy aide to a city council member, her expertise is in transportation and land use, with particular attention toward placemaking and public space.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 6:00pm
Steve Welch

Steve Welch
Co-Founder and Managing Partner, DreamIt Ventures

Video coming soon


"Don't Sacrifice Social Capital for Venture Funding"

This talk generously sponsored by Austin Daily Press.

Steve started his first big entrepreneurial success, Mitos, in 2001 with hardly a cent to his name. Without ever raising outside money Steve built Mitos into a global company in the biotech manufacturing field prior to selling it in 2007 at the age of 29 to a Fortune 500 company. Under Steve’s guidance Mitos developed several critical innovations and patents which transformed the manufacturing process of biological drugs and vaccines and allowed Mitos to develop a global sales and distribution network. Following the sale of Mitos, Steve co-founded DreamIt Ventures, a new business accelerator model. Forbes recently ranked DreamIt the #3 accelerator in the world.


Venue

All events will be held at:

Austin Center for Design
1309 Chestnut Avenue
Austin, TX 78702



Timing and Tickets

The speaker series is generally held on the 2nd Wednesday of each month, from 6-7:30pm. 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 are available for $15; a limited number of student tickets 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.