DesignThinkers Conference

DesignThinkers is a journey into the creative process and a celebration of strategic design thinking. 

For more information, visit the DesignThinkers website at

  • DesignThinkers Vancouver 2017

    May 30 - 31, 2017

    Vancouver Playhouse Theatre


    DesignThinkers, Canada’s premier conference for visual communicators, is a must attend for any informed, forward-thinking creative, communications or marketing professional or team. The inspiring event, now in its 18th year, breeds change agents who become drivers of innovation. DesignThinkers 2017 reveals the perspectives of visionaries from a range of communications-related disciplines including design, user experience, advertising, branding, consumer engagement, film, social media and entrepreneurship. Sessions teach delegates how to create effective communications by exploring cutting-edge innovation, the latest technology, demographic and ethnographic trends, strategic management techniques, cognitive theory and much more.



    • Casey Caplowe, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of GOOD
    • Scott Dadich, Co-CEO, Founder of Godfrey Dadich Partners and Creator and Executive Producer of Abstract: The Art of Design
    • Ralph V. Gilles, Head of Design, FCA - Global 
    • Maria Giudice, VP, Experience Design at Autodesk
    • Timothy Goodman, Designer, Illustrator & Art Director
    • Tinker Hatfield, Vice President, Design & Special Projects, Nike, Inc.
    • Chip Kidd, Award-Winning Graphic Designer and Writer
    • Emily Lessard, Chief Creative Officer of Bellweather
    • Min Lew, Partner, Creative Director and Managing Director at Base
    • Craig Mod, Writer and Photographer
    • Alex Schleifer, VP of Design at Airbnb
    • Dana Tanamachi, Creative Director at Tanamachi Studio & Tanamachi Goods
    • Cap Watkins, VP of Design at Buzzfeed
    • Ellen Wong and Mark Beechy, Executive Creative Directors at RED Interactive



  • DesignThinkers 2016

    November 3-4, 2016

    Sony Centre, Toronto

    Every designer has secrets. DesignThinkers 2016 invites creatives to share the common experiences that can inhibit or foster effective communications and identify strategies to achieve new heights of design greatness. 

    Design Partner: Deloitte




    Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of Architecture & Design / Director of Research & Development The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

    Jake Barton, Principal and Founder, Local Projects

    David Carson, Designer

    Leland Maschmeyer, Chief Creative Officer, Chobani


    Breakout Sessions: 

    Glenn John Arnowitz, Director of Creative Services, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare

    Ashleigh Axios, Creative Director and Digital Strategist, White House Office of Digital Strategy

    Connie Birdsall, Global Creative Director, Lippincott

    Stefan G. Bucher, Author / Designer

    Bob Calvano, VP of Design and UX, A+E Networks

    Emily Cohen, Consultant

    Cory Doctorow, Co-editor, Boing Boing

    Rob Duncan, Owner and Creative Director, Mucho

    Tobias Frere-Jones, Type Designer

    Bob Hambly RGD, Hambly & Woolley

    Kenya Hara, Graphic Designer / Curator

    Steven Heller, Author

    Michael Hendrix, Partner, IDEO

    Tim Irvine, Regional Design Director for North America, Fjord

    Erik Kessels, Co-founder, KesselsKramer

    Emily Lessard, Chief Creative Officer, Bellweather

    Meg Lewis, Founder, Ghostly Ferns

    Dan Makoski, VP of Design, Walmart

    Rod McDonald RGD, Type Designer

    Lotta Nieminen, Designer / Illustrator

    Eddie Opara, Partner, Pentagram

    Fredrik Ost & Erik Kockum, Creative Directors, Snask

    Steve Powers, Author and Artist

    Barry Quinn RGD, Chief Creative Officer, Juniper Park TBWA

    Anton Repponen & Irene Pereyra, Anton & Irene

    Erin Sarofsky, Founder & Executive Creative Director, Sarofsky Corp.

    Albert Shum, CVP of Design & Content Publishing, Microsoft

    Loni Stark, Senior Director of Strategy & Product Marketing, Adobe

    Lee Steffin, Designer / Photographer

    Matt Willey, Art Director, The New York Times Magazine



    Software: Adobe

    Career Development: Creative Niche

    Celebration: Fjord

    Digital: The Pixel Shop

    Airline: Porter

    Signage: Resource Integrated

    Paper: Rolland Enterprises Inc.

    Print: Somerset Graphics



  • DesignThinkers 2015

    November 11-12, 2015

    Sony Centre, Toronto


    DesignThinkers 2015 invites delegates to dive headfirst into a creative network and encounter the new and constantly evolving face of design. To converge, inspire, transform. 

    Design Partner: Overdrive




    Frank Chimero, Designer

    Josh Clark, Founder, Big Medium

    Austin Kleon, Artist

    Karim Rashid, Designer

    James Victore, Graphic Artist


    Breakout Sessions: 

    Justin Ahrens, Rule29

    Keira Alexandra, Partner, Work Order

    Adam Antoszek-Rallo RGD, Founder, Catalyst Workshop

    Annie Atkins, Designer

    Emilie Baltz, Experiential Artist

    Christina Beard, Senior Product Designer, Collective Health

    Coralie Bickford Smith, Graphic Designer for Penguin Books UK

    Art Chantry, Designer

    Andy Chen, Partner, Isometric Studio

    Emily Cohen, In-House Consultant

    Chris Dixon, Design Director, Vanity Fair

    John Furneaux RGD, Founder, Projektor

    Paddy Harrington RGD, Founder, Frontier

    Hjalti Karlsson, Founder, karlssonwilker inc.

    Diti Katona RGD, Chief Creative Officer at Concrete Design Communications

    Sanjay Khanna, Futurist-in-Residence, Toronto Symphony Orchestra

    Michael Lejeune, Creative Director, LA Metro

    Sascha Lewis, CEO and Co-founder, Flavorpill Media

    Manuel Lima, Information Designer

    Andy Mangold, Co-founder, Friends of the Web

    Josh McInerney RGD, Partner, Modu Design

    Felipe Memoria, Founding Partner, Work & Co

    Jamie Myrold, Senior Director of Experience Design, Adobe

    Sebastian Padilla, Co-founder, Anagrama

    Jean Francois Porchez, Founder, Typofonderie

    Christopher Simmons, Principal and Creative Director, MINE 

    Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer, Metropolitan Museum of Art 

    Roopa Unnikrishnan, Center10 Consulting LLP

    Cap Watkins, VP of Design, BuzzFeed



    Software: Adobe

    Career Development: Creative Niche

    Media: Designedge Canada

    Paper: Mohawk

    Digital: The Pixel Shop

    Airline: Porter

    Signage: Resource Integrated

    Print: Somerset



  • DesignThinkers 2014

    November 5-7, 2014

    Sony Centre, Toronto


    DesignThinkers 2014 focuses on reprogramming delegates' minds to conceive of ideas in ways they never knew existed. Attendees must reject convention, suspend disbelief and accept the possibility that other species of thought are out there. Share in our collective intelligence and inspiration is inevitable. 

    Design Partner: TAXI




    Charles Adler, Co-founder, Kickstarter 

    Andrew Deitchman, Co-founder and CEO, Mother New York

    Debbie Millman, President, Design Division, Sterling Brands

    Paula Scher, Partner, Pentagram

    Erik Spiekermann, Creative Director, Edenspiekermann

    Richard Turley, Senior VP of Visual Storytelling and Deputy Editorial Director, MTV

    Steve Vranakis, Executive Creative Director, Creative Lab, Google

    Jessica Walsh, Partner, Sagmeister & Walsh

    Todd Waterbury, Executive Creative Director and Senior VP, Marketing, Target


    Breakout Sessions: 

    Philippe Apeloig

    Irma Boom, Founder, Irma Boom Office

    Frederic Bonn, Executive Creative Director, JWT 

    Aaron Draplin, Founder, Draplin Design Co.

    Joseph Duffy, Co-founder and Design Director, Duffy & Partners 

    Andy Epstein, Invangelist, The BOSS Group

    Wesley Grubbs, Founder, Pitch Interactive

    Sibylle Hagmann, Founder, Kontour 

    Henry Hobson, Dounder, Bootmaker Films 

    Dave Holston, Author,The Strategic Designer

    Mary Lewis, Creative Director and Partner, Lewis Moberly

    Ellen Lupton, Curator, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum

    David Macy, Innovation Director, Experience Design, Adobe 

    Javier Mariscal, Founder, Estudio Mariscal 

    Karen McGrane, Managing Partner, Bond Art + Science

    Marty Neumeier, Director of Transformation, Liquid Agency 

    Willy Wong, Lead, Brand Stewardship, NYC & Company

    Andrew Zolty, Co-founder and Creative Director, BREAKFAST



    Software: Adobe

    Career Development: Creative Niche

    Media: Designedge Canada

    Signage: Moveable

    Digital: The Pixel Shop

    Airline: Porter

    Paper: Rolland

    Print: Somerset


  • DesignThinkers 2013

    November 6-7, 2013

    Metro Toronto Convention Centre


    DesignThinkers 2013 delves deep into the big questions of how, what and why design matters so much. Attendees are invited to understand the power that comes with creative expression, to be captivated by creative visionaries, to be reminded that bad design happens to good people and ultimately, to be wowed. Keep looking for answers. Break the rules. Share your vision. 

    Design Partner: orangetango




    Christopher Chapman, Global Creativity & Innovation Director, The Walt Disney Company  

    Robert Fabricant, VP Creative, Frog Design

    Nicholas Felton, Co-Founder, Daytum 

    Karin Fong, Co-Founder & Creative Director at Imaginary Forces 

    Michael Gough, VP of Experience Design, Adobe  

    Dmitri Siegel, VP of Global E-Commerce & Executive Creative Director, Patagonia 

    Alex Trochut, Illustrator and Typographer

    Morag Myerscough, Founder, Studio Myerscough 


    Breakout Sessions

    David Berman RGD, Author and Consultant 

    Pierre Bernard, President and Partner, orangetango

    Matteo Bologna, Founding Partner & Principal, Mucca Design

    Emily Cohen, Creative Consultant

    Ricardo Crespo, Chief Creative Officer, Thi3teen

    Darhil Crooks, Creative Director, The Atlantic

    Chloe Gottlieb, Senior VP and Executive Creative Director, R/GA

    James Griffin, Head of Mobile Design, Thomson Reuters

    Cyrus Highsmith, Senior Designer, Font Bureau

    John Kieselhorst, Founding Partner & Chief Design Officer, Made Movement 

    Lara McCormick, Author, Playing With Type 

    Justin McGhie, President, Strategy Group at Sterling Brands 

    Peter Mendelsund, Associate Art Director, Alfred A. Knopf Books

    Bruce Nussbaum, Professor of Innovation & Design, Parsons New School of Design

    Elizabeth Pastor, Co-Founder, Humantific 

    Shawn Petersen, Creative Director, Instrument

    Jenn & Ken Visocky O'Grady, Co-Founders, Enspace Design 



    Airline: Porter

    Software: Adobe

    Bindery: Anstey

    Paper: Cascades

    Media: Designedge Canada

    Web & Mobile Development: The Pixel Shop

    Printing: Somerset

    Envelopes: Supremex

    Signage: Moveable