Design Thinking Events in 2020
September 25, 2019 | Design Thinking
by ExperiencePoint

7 conferences worth checking out

As we near the end of the year, it’s time to start planning your 2020 calendar. If design thinking is your thing, you’ll have lots of options to choose from. The following conferences are tailored to help improve design thinking skills, hone agile-thinking aptitude and meet professionals determined to bring innovation to the workplace.

Design Thinking for HR/Design Thinking for L&D (December 4-6, 2019, San Francisco): These co-located events offer a “platform for likeminded professionals to convene and share best practices on how to leverage design thinking to drive organizational transformation.” A perk of this conference: the sharing of numerous case studies that highlight design thinking in action, addressing a range of professional issues. There is also a series of sprint sessions, which offer in-depth guidance on getting started in design thinking.

An Event Apart (December 9-11, 2019, San Francisco): Extend your December trip to San Francisco with this design-thinking inspired conference. During 17 sessions over three days, participants will focus on digital design, user experience (UX) design and designing for agility and human behavior. The planners promise to “give you deep insights into where we are now and where things are going next.”

Design Thinking for Business Innovation Summit (February 6-7, 2020, Barcelona, Spain): This summit focuses on design thinking in the B2B space, offering participants insight on how to use design thinking to create innovation in technology, products, services, business models, processes and organisations. Attendees will participate in hands-on design thinking labs and have opportunities to discuss the prospects of collective design thinking with peers and experts.

The UX Conference (March 2-3, 2020, London): This design conference prides itself on getting beyond buzzwords to facilitate enhanced collaboration between designers and their customers. This year’s event features sessions by leaders at Transport for London, Openable, Dyson, The Paciello Group, Nike, Airbnb, InVision and others, and will explore how UX designers can improve collaboration with user-interface developers, content developers and graphic designers.

South by Southwest (March 13-21, 2020, Austin, Texas): You may be surprised to know that SXSW isn’t just a place to see bands and experience immersive media. This famous festival features a dedicated track that explores how design shapes human interactions and plays a crucial role in problem-solving. This year’s lineup includes a presentation by innovator John Maeda, chief experience officer at Publicis Sapient and former president of the Rhode Island School of Design. There’s also a panel on design in culture, featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma and artist Pedro Reyes, moderated by NPR’s Peter Sagal.

Driving Sustainable Growth and Competitive Advantage through Human-Centered Design (April 14-17, 2020, Austin, Texas): If you are a customer-experience designer or UX professional, this IQPC-hosted event is for you. For four days, you will immerse yourself in hands-on learning workshops, site tours and keynote presentations, led by recognized design thinkers from multiple industries. For those new to design thinking, the event also offers a crash course on at Design Thinking University.

The Adobe 99U Conference (June 3-5, 2020, New York City): This annual event is for any professional who is looking for ways to supercharge their work and drive creative behavior on their teams. The conference includes sessions, workshops and hands-on activities that inspire innovation and introduce participants to creative concepts, including design thinking. Attendees range from product designers and artists to IT experts and C-suiters. The common thread? Everyone is thirsting for creativity.


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