The Design Consortium—A Community of Design Leadership

The Design Consortium—A Community of Design Leadership

By: Marisa White

Continuously throughout our Design Thinking programs, we have always curated a senior VP+ speaker faculty, however we have also seen in conjunction the rise of VP+ titles in the attendance. This presents an opportunity and challenge all in one to meet the goals of these leaders. We continuously hear, I do not attend conferences, particularly when I think I could google the new topical areas or allocate the work to direct reports. This however does not mean the seniority does not come with their own challenges that a conference can solve.

Our Design Consortium began as a whim in the Design Thinking 2017 program. A last minute invite to all VP+ Users in the room about 3 weeks prior to the event to meet during our roundtable sessions on the last day of the event. We separated a room and organized a facilitator to lead an open discussion on “The Future of Design”. The turn-out of around 40 leaders indicated a need for this type of meet up.

So in Design Thinking 2020 we will formalize this “Design Consortium” with specific content to cater to our leaders.

1. A Truly VP + Environment

While we understand the hierarchy of every organization is different, the strategic conversations at the senior level of VP or C-Suite differ. Responsibilities become less native design and more organizational design. Understanding trends and market movements are essential. Learning from others in the same boat becomes essential. This environment plays to the theme “It’s lonely at the top” –let’s start to change that.

2. Conversational in Nature

While still presenting cases and tools to begin the conversation, we understand the debate and discussion leads to more insights than ever. The consortium is structured to build off the knowledge of each audience member and their own experiences, expertise, and work.

3. Innovation to its Fullest.

While Success Stories and tool kit demos are valuable, the purpose of the consortium is to challenge current thinking, bring new ideas to the table, and insight discussion. Topics are built to bring forward some of our largest challenges, greatest innovations, and unique conversations you cannot achieve in another forum

So how do I go? It’s simple. Once you register, if you are at the seniority mark, you will automatically be registered for the Consortium. You can choose to attend the consortium sessions which run alongside all break-outs, or you can choose to attend regular conference sessions.

Stay Tuned for the Full Consortium Agenda Release!

All speakers are referred by other VP+ leaders. Interested to share a perspective, topic or speaker? Message Marisa White at

Not sure if you qualify for the consortium? Message for more details.