Debbie Millman

Debbie is named “one of the most creative people in business” by Fast Company, and “one of the most influential designers working today” by Graphic Design USA. Her podcast, Design Matters, is one of the world’s first and longest running podcasts. Debbie has interviewed nearly 500 artists, designers and cultural commentators over the past 16 years. She is the author of six books, including two collections of interviews that have extended the ethos and editorial vision of Design Matters to the printed page: How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer and Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits. She is also co-owner and Editorial Director of PrintMag.com. Debbie co-founded the world’s first graduate program in branding at the School of Visual Arts. For 20 years, Debbie was the President of Sterling Brands, one of the world’s leading branding consultancies. While there, she worked on the logo and brand identity for Burger King, Hershey’s, Haagen Dazs, Tropicana, Star Wars, Gillette and the No More movement. Debbie is currently working with Law & Order SVU actor and activist Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation to eradicate sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse and the rape-kit backlog.


Marian Bantjes

Marian is a designer, typographer, writer and illustrator working internationally from her base on Bowen Island, near Vancouver, BC. Marian’s art and design crosses boundaries of time, style and technology. She is known for her detailed and lovingly precise vector art, her obsessive hand work, her patterning and ornament. Marian’s work has an underlying structure and formality that frames its organic, fluid nature. She has two books published by Thames & Hudson: I Wonder (2010, 2018) and her extensive monograph Pretty Pictures (2013). 




Vivien Anayian

Vivien is an accomplished UX Designer and Design Educator, drawing upon her extensive two-decade experience in the design field. With a strong adherence to advancing the field of user experience design and design thinking, Vivien is dedicated to empowering students, teams, businesses, and anyone she engages with to recognize and harness the transformative power and value of design. In her current role as a Faculty Instructor & Academic Supervisor at Capilano University, Vivien is committed to shaping the next generation of design professionals. Through her dynamic teaching style and insightful guidance, she shares her knowledge and practical skills with aspiring designers, equipping them to excel in the ever-evolving landscape of UX design.

In addition to her academic role, Vivien works as a Staff UX Designer for Teck Resources, where she applies her design thinking and problem-solving skills to tackle complex business challenges and deliver impactful solutions. Through the unique blend of creative and analytical thinking Vivien is able to bridge the gap between user needs and business objectives, delivering solutions that seamlessly integrate user-centric design with strategic goals.


Scot Geib

Trained as an architect and experienced in graphic and exhibit design, Scot has taught in post-secondary education for 17 years including at Emily Carr University, Western Washington University and Langara College, where he currently teaches in the Design Formation Program and was Department Chair from 2018 to 2022. Scot is a founding member of PUBLIC Architecture and Communications, an award-winning design firm. 


Glen Hougan

Glen is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Design Division at NSCAD University. He has a background in the areas of human factors, user experience, product  development and design thinking. His research and work in the area of design for health and aging have been covered in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, on PBS and CBC. His current work focuses on designing for dignity and research around ageism in design. He is the principal of Wellspan Research and Design, focusing on healthcare issues. Clients include the Mayo Clinic, Herman Miller and Carex Brands. In 2012, he received a fellowship at Mayo Clinic’s Center for Innovation and, in 2010, he was awarded the Sun Life Financial Chair in Design in Health and Aging.


Eric Forest RGD

A digital creator who still has a little ink under his fingernails. Eric has studied, designed and educated with an inclusive mindset in print, digital and systems. He is a co-author of AccessAbility 2, and active in other RGD duties. After learning about accessible education from a blind woodworker and shop educator, he is taking many of those lessons into Canadian colleges and trying to reshape how we think about accessibility in education.


Diana Varma RGD

Diana is an award-winning lecturer by day and an avid podcaster by night. Diana teaches within the School of Graphic Communications Management (GCM), as well as the Master of Digital Media (MDM) program at Toronto Metropolitan University and the Bachelor of Brand Design program at George Brown College, where she helps people connect their technical left brains, creative right brains and entrepreneurial hearts for fulfilling careers in creative industries. Diana is also an advocate for living your most confidently creative life, having recently produced a course for Domestika on the topic. Diana is a curious and multi-passionate educator whose practice is rooted in storytelling, ‘serious fun’ and experiential learning in the areas of design, creativity, typography, print management and interdisciplinary innovation. Miss. Frizzle (of The Magic School Bus fame) is her teaching idol. Diana has 150+ published articles in Graphic Arts Magazine, as well as through the Association of Registered Graphic Designers. Diana also writes, hosts and produces a podcast called Talk Paper Scissors, where she tells the story behind the printed pages. With listeners on six continents, the podcast is focused on creativity in graphic communications, including topics related to design, printing, typography, branding, books and publishing.


Nida Fatima

Nida is a storyteller, creative tech artist and educator based in Vancouver. Currently, she is a Senior Instructor and Industry Relations Lead for Digital Design at Vancouver Film School. Additionally she teaches at Capilano Univsrsity and Emily Carr University where she is on the Advisory Board. Nida grew up in downtown Lahore, Pakistan. During her childhood, Nida spent her summer holidays in her dad’s architectural firm where she would design bathrooms and living rooms in CAD and make patterns with letters in MS-DOS. Her early career as an artist led her to the States where Nida received her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Perhaps it was playing too many video games with her brother and making architectural plans in her dad’s studio as a child, that Nida found herself working in post-production, set design, and broadcast television soon after dabbling with some digital tools she loved in her undergrad. Now Nida works on motion and interactive projects for major brands including Science World, Air Canada, Telus, BC Children’s Hospital, Parks Canada and Vancouver Aquarium. She has taught several motion graphics workshops at film festivals including the Chilemonos International Animation Festival and the Bogota International Film Festival. Her personal artwork has been showcased across Europe, including at the Casoria Contemporary Art Museum in Naples and at the UK Film Festival. Nida continues to be active in the industry and is currently working on new personal projects alongside hosting and organizing creative technology conferences, recently the Digital Design Conference and Digital Design Talks. She is dedicated to contributing to the innovative tech community. Nida values sharing knowledge and speaking at festivals and conferences, to bring the community closer and share ideas.