Toronto business leaders learn about the value of design at DesignThinkers Toronto 2018
A person with red nail polish is holding a book that says \'Speak\' and \'Truth\' on the cover. The photo cuts off at the person\'s chin so their face isn\'t visible.


In partnership with the City of Toronto, RGD invited business leaders from multiple industries in Toronto to the DesignThinkers Conference to learn about the value of design and how it can support business goals.


A major takeaway for business leaders who attended the Conference was the importance of hitting pause and reflecting on how design and creativity can be leveraged to strengthen a company's brand.


"This event came at a perfect time for me," says Mae Tsui, President and Owner of wkid. "I was in a rush to get to market with my children’s clothing line. The conference made me realize I hadn’t put enough time into a strong and unique brand foundation. I was inspired to step away from my desk, better understand my market, and to create something that is more meaningful and original."


"Spending the day at DesignThinkers 2018 was enlightening," says Meghan Bondy, formerly Head of Marketing & Sales at the Mysterious Package Company. "Hearing all the passionate professionals share their devotion and excitement for brand, strategy and experimentation was truly inspiring."


"It was my first DesignThinkers Conference and I enjoyed it," adds Donna MacMullin, Creative Lead, Leisure & Corporate, at Tourism Toronto. "It was especially great to hear from international designers on how valuable it is to step away from the computer to draw inspiration from others."

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The Conference also inspired business leaders to take actionable steps towards incorporating design into company decisions.


"Colours, logos, fonts, composition; the perfect marriage of these can create a strong desire," says Marina Vrzalkovski, VP of Marketing and Corporate Strategy at Leeswood Construction. "I went back to the office and asked, "How can we do this? How can we create a desirable brand? How can we communicate our services and most importantly our values to clients? So I called on one of the studios from the [studio] tour I attended.  A major thing I learned at the conference is that you can easily fail, and that can be detrimental to a business. It’s time to call in experts and work together to create something fabulous."


Finally, it was also a chance for business leaders to understand and explore the strategy behind design.


"DesignThinkers 2018 was bold and inspiring. There were so many takeaways for me and my business including investing in heart projects, and understanding that carving out time for these projects is a strategic decision," notes Lauralee Sheehan, Chief Creative Officer at Digital 55. "I also learned that my entrepreneurial mantra of designing forward always, on every project and for every client, is a nouveau strategy that is quickly changing the business landscape. There is this new breed of design executives who don’t see design as an afterthought or nice-to-have, but as integral to strategy and business purpose."


DesignThinkers is a fantastic opportunity for any business leader who is looking to expand their understanding of design and how it can positively affect company projects, goals and objectives.

Thank You to the City of Toronto for their support in making this initiative possible.