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Why does design exist?

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Tickets were free, thanks to the support of our sponsors

Why does design exist?

What designers and the companies who employ them got wrong about design, and how can they make it right


  • Back to business basics
  • Designers have made big assumptions too
  • Design is a catalyst to competitive advantage, not magic
  • ROI is shared math
  • Your North Stars are really one star in a constellation

This interactive and inspiring talk explored the differences between why design exists as a practice, a methodology, and a functional unit and why so many of us struggle to understand these differences.

Ryan shared practical techniques that designers and the people who work with them can use today—like literally today—not only to make better things in the world but also to imagine surprising new ways to make better decisions.

The challenges and opportunities of design are plenty; learn how to catalyze new value while ensuring care and respect for others is part of the equation.

About the speaker

Ryan Rumsey

Photo of Ryan Rumsey

Ryan Rumsey is the author of Business Thinking for Designers, founder of Chief Design Officer School, and CEO of Second Wave Dive; a foundational community for the next generation of design leaders and executives.

For 20+ years, he worked as a designer and executive at Apple, Electronic Arts, USAA, Nestlé, and Comcast. Highlights include designing the first capitally funded Learning Management System at Apple, using CSS as a security measure, selling design systems before asking for buy-in, and building teams of incredibly talented and impactful designers, developers, researchers, PMs—humans.

He is a father, a husband, and an avid fan of Liverpool Football Club. His life experiences include working on a farm, acting in a Staind music video, and living in an eco-cohousing community.