25 - 27 June, 2019
Mercure Sydney Central, Sydney, NSW

Conference Day One: Tuesday, 25 June 2019

8:30 am - 9:00 am Coffee And Registration


Selena Griffith

Senior Lecturer Design Thinking, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

9:10 am - 9:50 am INTERNATIONAL KEYNOTE: Design Speaks Business: Aligning Design to Business to Meet Increased Expectations of Design-Led Innovation

(USA) Ryan Rumsey - Assistant Vice President Experience Strategy, USAA
Congratulations design leaders! With the popularity of Design Thinking, Design Sprints, Human-Centered Design, etc., and the business value design has created for companies like Apple, Intuit, Atlassian, Nike, Whirlpool, and Walt Disney, Design has earned its seat at the table. We made it!

But with great successes come greater expectations. As design leaders have taken their seats, business leaders continue to struggle with understanding the value design brings to everyday processes, funding decisions, resource allocations, and overall business viability. At this table, designers are often outmatched by counterparts in articulating the value of their work. Without being able to clearly articulate that value, design leaders run the risk of being pushed back into service line or peripheral entities.

In this talk, Ryan will review his approaches at USAA to connect design success to business success, to use design skills to develop business potential, and to justify design keeping a seat at the table. Welcome to bSchool.

  • Developing new perspectives of colleagues and stakeholders to overcome perceptions and bias
  • Embracing a business lens to communicate more effectively
  • Aligning desirability to business viability through numbers

(USA) Ryan Rumsey

Assistant Vice President Experience Strategy


In this session you will have the opportunity to deep dive into two of the following topics. Each 30 minute session will be led by a subject matter expert- who will facilitate an opportunity to compare and contrast your experiences and thoughts with a small group of your peers.

Group A

9:50 am - 10:50 am Reducing Individual Biases that Affect the Quality of Problem Statements
Ben Crothers - Principal Design Strategist, Atlassian
It is important that designers recognise their own biases in order to objectively empathise with their customer pain points. But how can we acknowledge the biases not clearly known to ourselves? Join this discussion to identify the blind spots in your design and bridge the gap between the empathy and problem- defining phases.

Ben Crothers

Principal Design Strategist

Group B

9:50 am - 10:50 am Defining the Role of the Designer in your Organisation To Drive Strategic Collaboration
Christy Mcleod - Senior Innovation Designer, Bank of Queensland
Design has evolved over the years moving from the classic technical skills to now include strategy, human-centred experience and innovation. Join this discussion to explore how defining the role of your design team can have a significant impact on the organisation and add a refreshing perspective to new category discoveries and design expertise.

Christy Mcleod

Senior Innovation Designer
Bank of Queensland

Group C

9:50 am - 10:50 am The Power of Storytelling: Translate Your User Insights to Convince Stakeholder Buy-In
Melody Smith - Human Centred Design Strategy & Capability Lead, QBE Insurance
You’ve built the right team and gathered valuable insights from understanding your customer. So what’s next? How can you shape these insights with elements of vision and influence to convince your stakeholders to support your project? This discussion will empower you to re-frame your storytelling ability to disrupt the status quo and gain organisational support.

Melody Smith

Human Centred Design Strategy & Capability Lead
QBE Insurance

10:50 am - 11:20 am Speed Networking

11:20 am - 11:50 am MORNING TEA & NETWORKING BREAK


The conference will break into two tracks to give you the opportunity to select your level of maturity on the Design Thinking spectrum. Take advantage of the flexibility to switch between streams and listen to organisations who are at similar stages of their design journey!


11:50 am - 12:30 pm Translating Design Thinking into Design – Understand the Core Principles to Influence Cultural Buy-In
(USA) Ryan Rumsey - Assistant Vice President Experience Strategy, USAA
Design Thinking is a process for creative problem solving used to cultivate a common language of understanding in the development of products, services, processes, and strategy. Design is a craft, made up of specialized skills and capabilities to shape the execution of products, services, and experiences for a base level of quality. Without clarity on the overlaps and differences of both, organizations will fall short in meeting human and business needs in the best possible way.

In this session, Ryan will share:

  • Design is different to Design Thinking; Understand the core principles of each
  • Enable Designers and Non-Designers by apply Design Thinking into practice
  • Leveraging the power of a business case to engage your stakeholders and bring forward the value of design thinking

(USA) Ryan Rumsey

Assistant Vice President Experience Strategy


12:30 pm - 1:10 pm Develop Leadership Capabilities in Design Thinking Through Effective Workshops and Training Programs
Jacqui Le Vieux - Experience Design Lead, NAB
Setting up workshops, sprints and training programs will enable you to develop design leaders in your organisation and understanding what content must be included in these workshops will determine the likeliness of your organisation buying in to the process. Recognising that Design Thinking is not a ‘One Size Fits All’ approach, Jacqui will draw on her experience working with the design team at NAB’s wealth management division as well as many other teams in various industries, and explore the process, structure and models of effective workshops to develop capabilities for these teams.

  • How to empower employees to grow design capabilities to adapt to the cultural changes
  • Best practices for workshop facilitation
  • Developing leaders to run workshops effectively
  • Strategies to build networks and advocates to support the cultural transformation

Jacqui Le Vieux

Experience Design Lead


11:50 am - 12:30 pm How Australia Post is Advocating Design Thinking Through Visual Communications to Maintain Stakeholder Engagement
Natalie Levy - Product Design Lead, Australia Post
Design Thinking has brought qualitative value and improvements to identifying underlying customer needs and solved business challenges that would otherwise have taken a product-centric focus. So what is next for organisations once they reach the end of the process? How can organisations reduce the collaboration friction across their divisions that have different functions and working methods?

In this session, Natalie will share her stories from a team that grew from scratch to now over 100 UX researchers, designers and content writers, to develop viable products that meet both the needs of customers and the organisation.

  • Breaking outside of functional expertise to gain new perspectives and empathise with other teams
  • Grow design capability across entire organisation to improve investment returns, better design, and decreasing time-to-market delivery
  • Demonstrate the value of projects with articulate proposals to engage stakeholders

Natalie Levy

Product Design Lead
Australia Post


12:30 pm - 1:10 pm Integrating Design Thinking with Lean Start-up and Agile Methodologies to Maximise Service Outcomes
Jemma Vandali - Service Design Lead, Telstra
While design thinking is known for its human-centric focus and creative prototyping, the model may clash with methodologies that have already been implemented within organisations that do not have an integration plan in place. What Telstra have been focusing on is incorporating the design thinking methodology with their agile and lean-start up methods to build new capabilities for their designers.

In this session, Jemma will detail how her team have melded these practices and work iteratively to optimise services from digital transformation and organisational re-design, to understanding customer insights and improving service outcomes.

  • Identify the gap in communication and which methodology can be melded together to best fit your organisation
  • Break down the core principles of each methodology to strengthen design thinking
  • Combining design thinking with lean start-up and agile methods to meld collaboration and assess viability and feasibility of the project

Jemma Vandali

Service Design Lead

1:10 pm - 1:50 pm Lunch Break

1:50 pm - 2:30 pm Creating a Design-Driven Culture: Shifting Employee Mindset to Embrace Design Thinking

Gabrielle Dracopoulos - Head of Experience Transformation, Guide Dogs ACT/ NSW
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is undergoing an experience transformation within their organisation with a view to improve service for their donors and their customers. Under the leadership of Gabrielle, the organisation is taking a design-led approach to drive change in business operations, process reviews and employee engagement.

In this session, Gabrielle share her journey at Guide Dogs NSW/Act on:

  • Embracing design thinking and human-centred design in the non-for-profit space
  • Introducing leadership programs to influence cultural buy-in and minimise resistance to change within the organisation
  • The challenges that Gabrielle and the team overcame in the initial adoption stages

Gabrielle Dracopoulos

Head of Experience Transformation
Guide Dogs ACT/ NSW

1:50 pm - 2:30 pm How Energy Super’s New Micro-Service Layer will Enable Safe and Secure Data Sharing with Third Party Service Providers

David Beal - General Manager - Digital Transformation and Analytics, Energy Super
Data is the new currency in this new technology age and how it is handled is crucial to building customer trust and loyalty. Join this session to hear how David led his team at Energy Super to design a new micro-service layer to their API which will allow third party service providers to safely and securely access membership data.

  • Develop the right frameworks to facilitate design thinking and identify customer pain points in the superannuation industry
  • Real time function allows Energy Supper to quickly identify customer issues and build rapid solutions
  • Gain continuous customer insights and feedback to iterate and improve the service

David Beal

General Manager - Digital Transformation and Analytics
Energy Super

2:30 pm - 3:10 pm DESIGN FOR THE CUSTOMER: Improve Your Problem Framing Skills to Unlock Better Productivity and Better Solutions

Ben Crothers - Principal Design Strategist, Atlassian
Do your innovation projects take too long, and end with less-than-stellar results? It can often be caused by moving too fast through the design phase, resulting in undefined problem statements and fallible prototypes. Organisations must think beyond Design Thinking as just an execution tool but instead as a constant mindset and practice embedded into daily team workflows, to streamline product prototyping and achieve better outcomes. This session will explore how the value of better problem framing can drive results within the Design Thinking model.

  • Learn how to connect research and ideation better, and extract more innovative ideas using a mix of practical visual collaborative problem-framing techniques
  • Be better equipped at deciding when to apply different approaches (e.g. Lean Thinking vs. Design Thinking) for better productivity
  • Improve how to identify and prioritise business opportunities using impact analysis

Ben Crothers

Principal Design Strategist

3:10 pm - 3:50 pm Afternoon Tea

3:50 pm - 4:30 pm DESIGN FOR THE CUSTOMER:Putting The Customer First: How To Blueprint And Scale A Transformation Program That Delivers

Michael Vullings - Head of Customer Experience, News Corp
A well-co-ordinated and centrally-led transformation program can play a key role in driving rapid and substantial improvements throughout the organisation, to enable the company to get closer to its customers, and take full advantage of market opportunities.

News Corp is currently undergoing a transformation to deliver a market-leading client experience to its print and digital advertising customers. Utilising capabilities in customer advocacy, remediation and journey design, News is enhancing its client experience while increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations.

In this session Michael will discuss:
• Innovative and design-led practices for starting a customer-led transformation
• Gaining early traction to secure stakeholder support and funding
• Leading an initiative portfolio to achieve scale, impact and sustain momentum

Michael Vullings

Head of Customer Experience
News Corp


The conference will break out into individual tables discuss the different functions that design thinking serves for them.

The Design Thinking methodology can bring value across all business divisions and projects. What matters is creating the right environment and understanding the stakeholders who will be affected by the changes in the process. Break into our interactive discussion groups to explore use cases across different divisions and team focuses to gain a better understanding of Design Thinking in Action.

Roundtable A

4:30 pm - 5:20 pm Product Design
(USA) Pamela Bailey - Head of Design and User Experience, Facebook
Join this discussion to focus on the ideation, rapid prototyping and iteration phases of product development.

(USA) Pamela Bailey

Head of Design and User Experience

Roundtable B

4:30 pm - 5:20 pm Service Design
Anet Redmer - Service Design Lead, Qantas Airways
This discussion will discuss human-centred design, journey mapping and testing to implement customer insights effectively in your service design.

Invited speaker:

Anet Redmer

Service Design Lead
Qantas Airways

Roundtable C

4:30 pm - 5:20 pm Employee Engagement
Octavia Maddox - Senior Member Experience Manager, Woolworths
This discussion will explore Design Thinking within your team to and understand your employees journey and maintain staff productivity.

Octavia Maddox

Senior Member Experience Manager

Applying design-thinking principles with digital transformation strategies to improve the front end digital experience for your customers.

Isabella Wallington

Assistant Director of Innovation
NSW Department of Industry

5:20 pm - 5:30 pm Conference Closing

5:30 pm - 5:30 pm Networking Drinks