Firm Owner Perspectives: The Future of Design/post-pandemic
Moderated by Ian Chalmers RGD with panelists Stephen Bau, Zahra Ebrahim, Eman El-Fayomi and Dr. Dana Klisanin.


What's next for design after the pandemic? What does our future as designers look like?  These are important questions we’re asking ourselves as COVID-19 follows its course and finds its end. When we come out to the other side, there’s a good chance that life, as it was, will be a little different. And we will need to be ready to adapt to these changes and be able to offer some answers to these challenges. 

  • Stephen Bau, Founder of BLDRS Collective Inc. in Abbotsford, BC
    Stephen builds on 30 years of experience as a designer to combine empathy, creativity and technical proficiency as a full-stack developer and user experience designer. With expertise in corporate communications and branding design, he thinks broadly about content strategy, information architecture and UX to achieve business objectives. He is proficient with a wide range of tools for print, web and UX design, but has added to my depth of this knowledge with experience in agile, functional and object-oriented programming approaches to web development focused on the JAMstack: JavaScript, APIs and Markup.
  • Zahra Ebrahim, CEO & Co-Founder of Monumental in Toronto, ON
    Zahra is a public interest designer, civic entrepreneur, and leader. Her professional practice focuses on shifting power to people who are typically under-represented in institutions and systems and has done so by designing deep, community-led approaches to policy, infrastructure and service design. She is an Executive Advisor to Deloitte on human-centred approaches to public sector innovation, and a senior advisor to political and public interest initiatives across the country.
  • Eman El-Fayomi, Head of Design at the Canadian Digital Service (CDS) in Ottawa
    In addition to her work at CDS, Eman is a PhD student at Carleton University, studying Information Technology, specializing in Inclusive Civic Design and Human-Computer Interaction. Prior to joining CDS, she was an Interaction Design Professor for two years at Sheridan. With over 10 years experience in the realm of web/communication design, and information visualization — she’s led design/UX teams at Facebook, the National Film Board of Canada, Roots Canada, Earth Day Canada, the 2015 PanAm Games and TIFF.
  • Dr. Dana Klisanin, Founder & CEO of Evolutionary Guidance Media R&D, Inc. in New York City, NY
    Dana is an award-winning psychologist, futurist and social impact designer. Her specialties include evolutionary systems design, narrative design, strategic foresight, social impact media design, interactive narrative design and experiential entertainment. Her trans-disciplinary research explores the future of media, the anti-fragile mindset and the evolution of heroism and heroic archetypes in the digital era. Dana has been interviewed by the BBC, TIMEFast CompanyHuffington PostUSA Today and Futurist Magazine. In 2020, Forbes identified her as a "leading female futurist".

Moderator: Ian Chalmers RGD, Design Director & Principal at Pivot Design Group in Toronto

As a graduate of the OCAD U, Ian brings a creative curiosity and influence to the design research work he does across a spectrum of corporate, healthcare and academic pursuits. At Pivot, his professional focus is in the healthcare vertical, bringing a people-centric design focus to the work Pivot creates for researchers, scientists and institutions. He is also the founder of DesignMeets, a 10-year in the making event forum to bring the design conversation to the community.


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