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Design has become synonymous with innovation. Organizations are investing in design to help carve a path through unprecedented technological upheaval, extreme global competition and radical business disruption. But how do you put design thinking into action to benefit your organization? Is design thinking different if you are a small startup or a large corporation? How does design thinking align with fast ship cycles? How does design thinking fit in an organization invested in agile engineering practices and lean product development? How do you drive design led change within entrenched cultures? Where do you begin?

In this talk, Surya Vanka will share the practical tips drawn from over twenty-five years in a variety of corporate roles such leading the Microsoft corporate design team to transform a technology leader to an experience powerhouse, and consulting roles to help organizations use experience design as a competitive edge and use an extreme-lean co-design approach called Design Swarms for lean customer-focused innovation.


About Surya Vanka

Surya Vanka is a designer, corporate leader, educator and author who has worked at the leading edge of designing physical and digital experiences for over twenty-five years. He has broad industry experience including most recently as director of user experience at Microsoft. He is author of books on design and has won several awards and industry recognitions. Vanka has taught design in more than 20 countries and at companies like Amazon, Autodesk, Microsoft, REI and T-Mobile. He’s a top speaker at prestigious conferences and his work has appeared in numerous publications and news programs, including TEDx, Form, I.D., Design Council, WIRED, Interactions, the BBC and National Public Radio.

He is President of the Seattle Design Festival 2018, the largest public design festival in the United States with over 30,000 visitors, and Chair of Interaction Week 2019, the world’s largest event that provides thought leadership globally for 80,000 members in over 100 countries.

Vanka is the creator of a light weight, agile and adaptable lean design technique called Design Swarms that is quickly being adopted in business, non-profit and education. Surya lives in Seattle and leads Authentic Design, a consulting practice that provides user experience and design capability development for clients around the world.



July 4, 2018

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm


Basement, Volta, Factory Berlin Mitte


Public Talk

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