21st Century Business: How Design Impacts Strategy

Workshop by Nathan Shedroff
Hosted by: Elisa & InVision
Address: Sofia Future Farm - Sofiankatu 4 C, 00170 Helsinki

Much of the business conversation surrounding customer experience and business strategy within corporations is based on myths that don’t support great products and services. UX people get stuck in the middle—between customers, managers, and financial decision-makers. However, new definitions of value, relationship, and experience can help us reframe what we do. And new tools, like the waveline, can help us not only design and develop better offerings, but better sell the value of what we do internally. Ultimately, designers needs to build their way into the strategic direction of their organizations, both to improve the results of their organizations as well as the opportunities for design.

Usually, designers aren’t prepared for strategic conversations about an organization’s business or model. They lack the insight and vocabulary their business peers use. However, they are usually closer to customers and, with the right tools, can provide better market insight than typical market research approaches. The challenge is to prepare these insights in a way that their peers can use successfully. The answer is in understanding the tools our peers use, the framing they use for their data, and to introduce improved tools that highlight better opportunities—that make even better use of design insights, process, and knowledge.

This workshop is for the UX professional who is looking to better understand strategy and conversations about value within their organization. Attendees can be new to corporate strategy and tools like SWOT analyses and Positioning. However, even those with some experience will find better ways of using these tools and building better strategy, in a UX context. This includes being able to counter arguments against investing in UX objectives.


Nathan Shedroff

Entrepreneur, consultant, author, speaker, and professor of design, business, innovation, and sustainability.

Nathan Shedroff is the executive director of Seed Vault Ltd, a Singapore-based platform building an independent, trusted bot economy on the blockchain. He manages a cadre of experienced bot enthusiasts and technologists developing new ways to ensure user privacy, shepherd the shift to this new paradigm, create ways for people to profit from their creative work, and save the business sector from its most critical threat ever. He is a design pioneer turned entrepreneur and an international educator, speaker, and consultant.

Nathan was the founder and chair of the ground-breaking Design MBA programs at California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco, CA. These programs prepared the next-generation of innovation leaders for a world that is profitable, sustainable, ethical, and truly meaningful by uniting the perspectives of systems thinking, design thinking, sustainability, and generative leadership with strategic tools that lead people through ambiguity.

He speaks and teaches internationally, and his many books include Experience Design 1.1, Making Meaning, Design Is the Problem, Design Strategy in Action, and Make It So.

He holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School and a BS in Industrial Design from Art Center College of Design. He worked with Richard Saul Wurman at TheUnderstandingBusiness and, later, co-founded vivid studios, a decades-old pioneering company in interactive media and one of the first Web services firms on the planet. vivid’s hallmark was helping to establish and validate the field of information architecture, by training an entire generation of designers in the newly emerging Web industry.