The 2016 MITX Design Summit is November 3rd! Check back soon for this year's agenda! Click here to register!

"Design is what differentiates tech companies today," as John Maeda of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers said recently. Technology has enabled profound human advancement, but we've traditionally approached tech for tech's sake. Now that we've entered the age of the consumer, where we as business leaders have to be more responsible, the next iteration of tech must be developed with the consumer-first mindset. When design principles are applied to strategy and innovation, the success rate for innovation dramatically improves. Design drives innovation, innovation powers brand, brand builds loyalty, and loyalty sustains profits. This Summit will explore how digital, tech and design are colliding to improve the customer experience journey. Join us to explore how to implement innovative ideas in your organization’s processes.  

December 1, 2015

8:30 AM

 Registration, Coffee & Networking

8:45 AM - 9:00 AM

Welcome Remarks

Amy Quigley, President, MITX (@amyquigley)

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

The Power of Human-Centered Design

Michael Hendrix, Partner & Managing Director, IDEO Cambridge (@rmichael)

Join Michael Hendrix, Partner and Executive Design Director of IDEO's Cambridge studio, as he talks about the history of technology, design, and academia in greater Boston and how we can both harness and unite this unique heritage and the wellspring of disruptive, local tech-driven companies to design new-to-the-world innovations.

10:00 AM - 10:15 AM

Hearts, Then Charts

Ian Fitzpatrick, Chief Strategy Officer, ALMIGHTY (@ianfitzpatrick)

In the Spring of 2015, Ian Fitzpatrick and his team set out to gain a better understanding of the role of customer experience in the modern organization — an understanding free from rhetoric and focused on everyday operational mechanics. How do organizations give shape to (and use) their customer profiles and personas? How do they plot the journeys of their customers in a world in which their experience lives increasingly outside of the brands’ control? Who is accountable for the quality of an organization’s customer experience — and how is it measured?

What they found was the modern enterprise in distress: customer archetypes misaligned, artifacts buried on servers, measures and accountability pushed out to functional teams.

In these 15 minutes, Ian will set the stage by sharing results of his findings and argue that a practical framework for bringing the organization and customer back into alignment is needed. Leaders must be committed to developing a robust, customer-centered culture, with an emphasis on the value of outcomes over the fidelity of outputs. And that, we know, is why you're here.  

10:15 AM - 11:00 AM

Panel: Where to Begin

Matt KressyDirector & Founder, Integrated Design & Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (@MattKressy)

Keith LaFerriere, Chief Experience Officer, Verndale (@KDLBoston)

Lesley Mottla, SVP Product & Experience, M. Gemi (@LesleyMottla

Moderator: Heather Reavey, SVP, Practice Innovation, Continuum (@_Continuum)

You agree that Design Thinking is a worthwhile endeavor. You want to start a practice within your organization, but where do you start? This panel brings together a group of people from various verticals who champion Strategic Design Thinking within their brands. They will discuss: 

  • Building a team
  • Hiring the right partners
  • Success metrics
  • And more. 

11:00 AM - 11:45 AM

Productization of Emerging Technologies: Challenges & Opportunities

Mike Joslin, Development Director, Redstar Ventures (@Mike_Joslin)

Marty Kolewe, Director, R&D, WikiFoods, Inc. (@WikiFoodsInc)

Chris Rezendes, Founder, Managing Director, IoT IMPACT LABS (@chris_rezendes)

Meridith Unger, Founder & CEO, Nix (@meridithu)

Moderator: George White, SVP Innovation, Cantina (@stonehippo)

There is a wealth of technology research with the potential to improve our lives and humanity coming out of local institutions like Harvard and MIT. But there is a gap between these emerging technologies and the consumer marketplace. Why is it so hard to place these fascinating new technologies in the hands of the everyday person? Arguably, if we apply design thinking, we could bridge that gap. In this session, a panel of tech creators and design-focused experts -- who are focused on bringing products to market -- will discuss the challenges and opportunities of the productization of emerging technologies.

11:45 AM - 12:45 PM

Lunch & "Unconference" Discussion Groups

Over lunch, our advisory board and partner experts will facilitate an exchange of information and ideas between participants in small groups. This is your chance for unconventionally structured discussions with like-minded peers.

Topics may include:

  • Training vs. Teaching: What you want vs. what you need
  • Patient Innovation: We want results now, but how should expectations really be set?
  • Talent: There's a high demand for good design talent in the Boston area, but supply is low. How do we help attract more talent and/or train our workforce?
  • How do you balance the interplay between org innovators and operators of the org as it is today? How can innovation and operations coexist?
  • How do Design Thinking and analytical thinking coexist? 
  • The limitations of Design Thinking: Where does it fall short, and why?


Breakout Room 1

 Breakout Room 2

12:45 PM - 1:45 PM

Fidelity Labs Case Study

Suzanne Hamil, VP, Design Thinking, Fidelity Labs (@Fidelity)

Suzi Hamil will talk about how Fidelity has rolled out design thinking: where they started, what they've done, lessons learned, and advise on how to continue to evolve a human-centered design practice within your business. How do you create a culture that reinforces creative confidence and joy with your business partners, and the design researchers that serve them.

Beyond the Basics: Design Sprints for Building Products the World Needs

C. Todd Lombardo, Co-Author, Design Sprint; Innovation Architect, Constant Contact (@iamctodd)

This is not another brainstorming session. Intended for an audience of senior designers, developers, and product professionals, this workshop will dig into the design sprint approach to product development by conducting a mini design sprint. We will challenge assumptions, ideate, build, and test our way to product concepts the world needs. Bring your skills and fasten your seatbelt for an intense 2-hour session. 

1:45 PM - 2:45 PM

Creating Products that People Love

Ed Boudrot, VP Product Management, Product Strategy, Innovation, Lifecycle Management, Human Centered Design, Optum (@edwardboudrot)

At the end of the day, our goal is creating products (digital or physical) that people love. This presentation covers three main topics: 1) How to develop empathy and needs understanding. 2) Balancing the art and science of design thinking. 3) Creating a team of teams. Ed will argue that if you're missing even one of those elements, you’re likely to fail. He will bring his argument to life through examples of industry successes and failures. 

2:45 PM - 3:00 PM


3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Designing for the Future Human

David Rose, Instructor, MIT Media Lab; Author of "Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things" & CEO, Ditto Labs (@davidrose)

What bets are technologists making about future human needs? In this session, you'll hear about the cool technologies that could enhance the human experience, i.e. machine learning, tech that helps people run, see, and hear faster, etc. What's new, what's next, and what consumer tech and behavior should we be considering? What potential does this have to change the way we do business? 

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

 Networking Reception

 Please check back often for updates. Schedule subject to change.