36 minutes | May 27, 2021

Unleashing Swarm Creativity to Solve Enterprise Challenges with Surya Vanka

Surya Vanka, speaker at the upcoming Design at Scale conference, joins Lou to discuss “Design Swarms,” which he’ll also cover during his conference presentation. Surya shares his experiences working to solve major social problems like gender discrimination and the opioid crisis through design thinking exercises. He also discusses ways leaders can step back to create more value from the “swarm.” Surya recommends: Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change by Victor Papanek https://www.amazon.com/Design-Real-World-Ecology-Social/dp/0897331532 About Surya’s talk at Design at Scale 2021: https://rosenfeldmedia.com/design-at-scale-2021/ Enterprises, even those with mature design practices, find it difficult to tap into the creativity of all of its workforce. Yet unleashing that broad creativity is now needed more than ever as success of teams depends on having the nimbleness of an ant farm to adapt and find their way around obstacles. Enterprise design processes, systems and ops are often tied to old top-down command/control organizational models. Design Swarms is an approach that has been used and adopted by teams within companies like Amazon, Amgen, Autodesk, Callison, Deutsche Bank, Lilly, T-Mobile, Microsoft, and REI to unleash swarm creativity at scale. About Surya: Surya Vanka is a transdisciplinary designer who has worked at the leading edge of physical and digital experiences. He is founder of Authentic Design, was president of the Seattle Design Festival, chair of Interaction Week 2019 and chair of 50th anniversary International Design Conference of IDSA. Surya was director of user experience at Microsoft, a tenured professor of design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a fellow at the prestigious Center for Advanced Study. He is creator of Design Swarms method, a light weight design technique used in business, non-profit and education worldwide. Surya won the Microsoft Engineering Best Practice Awards twice, Ohio State University 50th Anniversary Distinguished Design Alumnus Award, Microsoft Achievement Award, Accessibility Achievement Award, World Brand Congress Leadership Award and several other industry recognitions. He has been consultant to companies like Amazon, Amgen, Autodesk, Callison, Lilly, Microsoft and REI. He frequently keynotes speeches at the most prestigious conferences and has won top speaker awards three times. His work has appeared in numerous publications and news programs, including TEDx, Form, I.D., Design Council, WIRED, Interactions, the BBC and National Public Radio. Surya is the author of two books on design, several publications, and has taught design on every continent but Antarctica.
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