Central District Design Conference 2017 | Schedule


FRIDAY, March 31

Univ. of Cincinnati, DAAP Aronoff Building (Room 4400)
Address: 5470 Aronoff Cincinnati, OH 45221

1:00 – 1:30 Welcome Chris Brown, IDSA, Trident Design, Central District Vice President 
1:30 – 2:00 The Innovation Conundrum
Do companies really know how to innovate? Or are they simply giving “lip service” to appease their shareholders, employees and prospective customers?

What is innovation and who gets to decide what’s deemed innovative? Are innovation departments really worth the investment? Jim Couch, IDSA, says “Enough already. Let’s just get on with it. Not everyone’s cut out to innovate and not every company needs to go down this path.” Find out why.

Speaker: Jim Couch, IDSA MetalBird-USA

2:00 – 2:30

Purpose, Passion & Vision: The Keys to a Successful Team
In his time as a world champion athlete, JL Holdsworth has seen what it takes to build a successful team. As a business owner, he utilizes those same principles to win at business. No successful team can operate without a great leader, and that leader must build a team around purpose, passion and vision. 

To many, these are just words that you throw around as you talk about the values of your business. To a select few, who will dominate any team they are charged with, these words become a way of life.

Holdsworth will explain why you must weave these characteristics into the fabric of your life and your team, so you can win with both. 

Speaker: JL Holdsworth, The Spot Athletics

2:30 – 3:00

More Than a Great Idea: Accelerated Learning from the Startup World

Design is a great asset in building successful startups but it takes a lot more to turn an idea into a product and grow that product into a business. Matt Anthony, co-founder of the physical product business accelerator First Batch, will share lessons on why people are the most important indicator for startup success from the first four years of the program. 

Speaker: Matt Anthony, Cincinnati Made

3:00 – 3:30 Coffee Break
3:30 – 5:00 Student Merit Presentations
5:30 – 7:00 Opening Reception sponsored by Johnson & Johnson and Live Well Collaborative | Live Well Collaborative, 2728 Vine St. #2, Cincinnati, OH


8:15 9:00 Morning Coffee
9:00 – 10:00 Portfolio Review
10:00 – 10:25 Successful Ideas Start with the Team
The success of an idea hinges on two factors: a team with the right mix of disciplines—and an agile process that fosters creativity during the definition of the business, quickly determines if the idea could become a viable business and efficiently executes the development and launch of the product.

Through several experiments within corporate intrapreneurship, professional workshops, startup businesses and entrepreneurial education models, a formula for creating a dynamic team that can execute, begins to emerge.

As corporations have begun to adopt a “lean startup” approach to innovation, the team constructs have become more interdisciplinary. Many corporations have adopted intrapreneurship as part of their culture to create a heightened sense of ownership in ideas among employees. The design process typically utilized in industrial design education is evolving to prepare students to join a corporate innovation team or startup business. Jon Moroney, co-founder, Tiger Drive and chair, KCAD Industrial Design, finds the result is a new breed of design leaders that will support the need for greater innovation in corporations and startups alike.

Speaker: Jon Moroney, Tiger Drive

10:25 – 10:50

LIGHTS Product Development in the Dark

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) recently funded a POWER grant, known as the Leveraging Innovation Gateways and Hubs Toward Sustainability (LIGHTS) program, to help 28 coal-impacted counties in Appalachian Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia diversify their workforce through product development and commercialization.

As the regional economy is transitioning from traditional industry—new industries emerge and are in need of more diversity to provide economic security and widespread benefits. The regional coal laborshed contains a workforce of an abundance of highly skilled hand-workers.

Nathan Berger, engineering and design expert at Ohio University, finds the democratization of small-scale manufacturing has brought about more regional entrepreneurial business opportunities than the past 30 years. Makerspaces are soon to become pillars of this new economy and small-scale multi-domestic product enterprises are to have a wide impact. What we do not know, just yet, is what those products are to be, and who is to make them. We're in the dark.

Speaker: Nathaniel Berger, Ohio University

10:50 – 11:15 Break
11:15 – 11:40 From Birds to Brains: The Breakthrough That May Change Football

Jamison Float shares the story of how a woodpecker saved football—and the team who made it happen. Learn about the highly specialized, multi-team approach to developing a revolutionary new concussion prevention device, bringing it to market and the involvement of Priority Designs throughout the process.

Speaker: Jamison Float, Priority Designs

11:40 – 12:15 Panel Discussion | GE Appliances 
Career Advice For Every Designer: Presented by GE Appliances

Join us for a lively discussion of career advice from panel of designers ranging from Student Intern to seasoned Design Director. We asked each designer to thoughtfully share career shaping experiences and things that they “wished they had known.” You’ll hear insights about navigating the corporate culture, to learnings from freelancing and owning your own design practice.  Come with questions, nothing is off limits!

12:15 – 1:15 Lunch
1:15 – 1:40 On Being a Hybrid
In today’s dynamic professional climate, new rules are written every day, and faster than ever: for businesses, brands and designers. Adaptability has become not only a request but a demand, driving a declining need for generalists. A self-described “hybrid," Elyse Dierking will discuss how her professional journey (including identifying and avoiding dead-ends along the way) led to a role today that allows her to connect the dots with multi-disciplinary teams, clients and consumers.

Speaker: Elyse Dierking, LPK

1:40 2:05 Innovating As an Outsider
How does one person design tomorrow's world-class driver when they don’t know with it takes to make a golf club? In short, they do not. Innovation like this requires a team effort, and as Eric Sillies found out, being an outsider makes all the difference.

In addition to his day job as a consultant, his journey—from ideation, to pitch and all the way through to development—highlights how being an outsider can be an advantage in innovation. 

Speaker: Eric Sillies, LPK

2:05 – 2:30

Get Spiky: Optimizing Personal Focus to Be a Better Innovator and Support Team Chemistry

As an innovation and growth strategist/creative director, Jordan Hildebrandt’s current focus is channeling her creative leadership to develop “lean” innovation capabilities and methods to help big companies innovate like startups.

Essential to building innovation capabilities, she designs and builds the teams to support these offerings. With all the recent buzz on innovation, it’s almost common knowledge that to create successful innovation teams you need interdisciplinary and cross functional skillsets. But what about considering someone’s spikiness? Spikiness refers to students/professionals who intentionally specialize in three or four skills that make them stand out, as opposed to being just mediocre at a lot of things.

In her journey through design, business—and now working with an entrepreneurial approach—Hildebrandt shares her transformation of striving to be well rounded; embracing her shift in becoming "spikier"; and the importance of understanding your strengths/passion to better support a team.

Speaker: Jordan Hildebrandt, The Garage Group

2:30 – 3:00 Coffee Break
3:00 – 4:00 First Build Workshop | Innovation Through Community: Unlocking Others' Potential

For years, innovation has been seen as something generated in secret, with NDAs signed, doors closed and outsiders kept out; but this paradigm is being disrupted by a radical idea that many see as a wave of the future: Open Innovation.

From our public makerspace in Louisville, KY, FirstBuild is a team of GE engineers, designers, marketers and makers who are spearheading this movement by offering anyone and everyone the tools, expertise  and equipment needed to collaboratively build their wild ideas and validate them in the market.

Here's the kicker: everything we do is posted online and voted on by more than 10,000 FirstBuild community members from around the world, with every idea and project open to the public for feedback, collaboration and validation. Join FirstBuild to learn about co-creating a new world of home appliances and how you might utilize Open Innovation as a tool in your own company!

Speaker: Symon Harrah, IDSA

4:00 – 4:30 From Thesis to CEO
Ryan Eder, IDSA, of IncludeFitness, will dive into the decade-long journey of growing a senior thesis into a venture-backed company. He will share many of the hard lessons learned and key insights to bring his vision to life—earning multiple International Excellence Design Awards (IDEAs) along the way.

Speaker: Ryan Eder, IDSA, IncludeFitness

4:30 – 4:45 Closing Remarks | Chris Brown, IDSA, Trident Design, Central District Vice President