Design + Diversity Conference

AIGA St. Louis Design + Diversity Conference is the only conference the focuses on design and diversity issues. Be there as the design and diversity community comes together for problem solving, networking, and innovative development sessions. 

Join us as we make history in St. Louis Missouri.

Reserve your place now for the first annual conference in the show me state with our early-bird rate, available now through mid-June.

$125 Members Only
$150 Non-Members

Your conference registration includes admission to all main stage sessions, breakout sessions, breakfast, Lunch and hors-d'oeuvres at the closing party.

Hotel accommodations

Programming and schedules
We’ll have more information about schedules, speakers, and events in coming soon. Continue to watch this space!

Conference Schedule 

8:00 am - 9:00 am • Conference Registration

8:30 am - 12:00 noon • Main Stage presentations

8:30 am • Welcome & Introduction
Timothy Hykes, Launch Code
Lead Designer and User Experience Designer

8:50 am •  Modern Solution for Modern Problems
Miles Anderson and Miroslav Azis, IBM Design

9:25 am • From #Ferguson to Gun Violence: Redesigning Communities with Inclusivity and Design Thinking
Antionette Carroll, Creative Reaction Lab
CEO and President

Design is an invisible innovation that continues to change the world through visual, spatial, and experiential means. Why not use this process to change our neighborhoods, communities, and, ultimately, the human experience for the better? Through creative problem solving, diversity and inclusion, and social innovation, designers and community members alike can improve global difficulties and challenge human rights and social justice issues. Hear Antionette Carroll, the Founder, President and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab, discuss how August 9, 2014, and Ferguson, MO changed her from a typical 9-to-5 graphic designer to a social entrepreneur, design thinking facilitator, community organizer, and social impact design advocate; the lessons she has learned so far on her journey; and how design thinking (and you) can create social and civic change.

10:10 am • Embracing Discomfort: Meaningful Conversations about Diversity
Dawn Gipson, Senior Vice President & Creative Program Director

Many of us avoid challenging conversations because we're afraid. We're afraid to offend. We're afraid to be judged. And when it comes to a potentially polarizing topic like diversity and inclusion, our fear magnifies exponentially. So we end up not saying anything at all. How do we move past that fear and have conversations that advance understanding and impact change? 

10:45 am •  The State of Diversity in the Design Field
Members of the AIGA National Task Force
Jacinda Walker, Carlos Estrada, and Obed F.

Members of the AIGA National Task Forces will address the issues surrounding the necessity of diversity and inclusion in the design industry. Panelist will discuss the continued influence of diversity in the design field and its impact on the culture and the miss opportunities for improvement, inclusion, and influence.

11:20 am • Keynote: Finding the Sweet Spot--The intersection of Diversity, Creativity, and Design
Daniel Guillory, Autodesk
Head of Global Diversity and Inclusion  

Keynote Description:
This session is designed for the design professional to explore the boundaries of their role. The scale of diversity impacts all elements of our work. Creativity is a requirement for each of us to remain relevant. How do they relate to design? Through highly interactive exercises, participants will see the commonalities between these three forces. And will understand how to leverage diversity and creativity to move design in ways not envisioned before.

The foundation of this is the willingness to challenge existing truths, some of which we hold sacred. In our work, this is what is asked of others on a daily basis, and as a result, must be willing to do so also. Participants will experience interactive exercises where truths are explored, turned around, challenged, with possibly new conclusions that not previously considered.

12:30 noon - 1:30 pm • Lunch

1:30 pm - 3:30 pm • Workshop: IBM Design Thinking Workshop Design at Scale: Ten to Ten Million Users
Seth Johnson, facilitator

At IBM, one of the world’s largest and most successful companies, we’re on a mission to bring human-centered design to our thousands of product and service experiences. To accomplish this goal, we’ve opened 30 design studios worldwide where designers, engineers, consultants, product managers, clients, and users collaborate to change IBM’s approach to design and to impact humanity in ways that matter and endure.

Most creative professionals are familiar with commonly-practiced design thinking frameworks—but how does design thinking succeed at scale? Our products and services have hundreds of millions of users and affect billions of lives, so we’ve developed our own unique approach. We’re practicing design with a global scope and a level of complexity that has never been attempted before.

In this workshop, IBMers Miles Anderson, Miroslav Azis, and Seth Johnson will introduce you to IBM Design’s approach to design thinking. You’ll engage in an series of activities and learn methodologies that you can immediately implement to improve your own practice. Whether you’re a solo practitioner, an in-house creative, or a studio designer, you will take something away from this deep dive into IBM Design Thinking.

3:30 pm - 5:30 pm • Workshop: (tba) 

6:00 pm • Closing and Networking Hour

In the meantime, expect to:
  • Experience a diverse array of inspiring speakers on our main stage
  • Enjoy our diverse selection of workshop and session focused on design + diversity
  • Get up close and personal with our main stage speakers
  • Get inspired to change your local community and learn from thought leaders
  • Continue the discussions beyond the conference at our awesome closing party
  • Don’t forget; the conference isn’t just about learning and networking—although you’ll meet plenty of colleagues, mentors, and partners while getting practical advice. It’s also the place to celebrate design excellence and discuss critical issues affecting the design profession.

Registration policies
There will be a $50 cancellation fee for cancellations made before July 01, 2016. AIGA will refund 20 percent of conference fees paid for cancellations made between July 1 and July 13, 2016. No refunds will be available after July 13, 2016. All ticket sales for pre- and post-conference events are final; no refunds will be granted.

Your registration constitutes permission to use photos, audio and video recording taken of you at the event for promotional and educational purposes in connection with AIGA conferences and activities, in corresponding publications, in AIGA’s archives, and on AIGA’s website.

Conference rates are based on membership status at the time of registration. Memberships are non-transferable.

Cancellation policy
The conference is subject to cancellation or change. Liability is limited to funds remitted for conference registration and sponsorship fees. Speakers are subject to change without prior notice.

Show your support
Is your company interested in sponsoring the Design + Diversity conference? If so, please contact Tim Hykes, Vice President, and Chair

Volunteer opportunities
AIGA Saint Louis will recruit approximately 10 to 20 conference associates to help run the conference on site. The total working time during the conference is expected to be about 4 to 5 hours, and conference Associates receive complimentary conference registration.

Conference Associates must be current AIGA members. Priority is given to AIGA student groups. To apply for a conference associate position, please go to
Thank you to our sponsor
When & Where
Sat, Jul 23, 2016 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Centene Center for Arts and Education
3547 Olive Street
St. Louis, MO 63103
Currently Registered
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