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Event Description

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Where’s your WOW factor? You can design the way you lead, manage, create and innovate. Design thinking is at the core of effective business strategy development and organizational change.

During this bizSESSION, Seth Johnson, Design Advocate and Head of Client Experience, IBM Studios, will share how IBM Design Thinking came to be, what it means for the future of the design profession, and how all companies – from lean start-ups to complex global entities – can stand to benefit.

Seth Johnson, Design Advocate and Head of Client Experience, IBM Studios
Design thinking is often practiced by small teams of designers, in the same room, working on problems with long lead times. But, what happens when the team includes hundreds of non-designers, distributed across three continents, and working on products whose solutions are already in-market and continuously delivered?

Seth Johnson helped answer that question for IBM, working with his team to create the company’s proprietary process – IBM Design Thinking – an approach to design thinking at the speed and scale the modern digital enterprise demands.

Johnson leads IBM Design’s efforts to integrate design thinking into dozens of sales organizations across a global network of more than 40 IBM Studios.

He works closely with IBM sales executives, teams, clients, and C-suites to demonstrate the business value of applying design thinking across the enterprise and to co-create the future. A recognized leader in the practice of design thinking facilitation, Johnson has developed many of the standard facilitation practices in use at IBM today.

Before joining IBM, Johnson founded a Minneapolis-based consultancy focused on improving the patient product experience for pharmaceutical companies. A former president of AIGA Minnesota and a long-time educator, he currently serves as an advisor and visiting faculty member of the Graphic Design Graduate Program at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California. He lives in Austin, Texas.

$55 | Participant
$45 | Non-Profit

7:30AM check-in, 8:00-10:00AM program

Register Here

Groups of 5+ and non-profit organizations can contact Emily Catedral at 314.561.4908 or ecatedral@cocastl.org for discounted rates.

Meet Our Panelists: 
Seth will be joined by an incredible panel, sharing their experiences applying Design Thinking in settings as diverse as Health Care, Retail Marketing, Financial Services and Social Equity & Justice:


Stephen Wurth
Senior Manager, Retail Innovation Strategy at Nestlé Purina North America
Stephen is a proud daddy, devoted husband, avid-Pink Floyd lover and obsessed designer – in that order. He’s spent his 13 year career with Nestlé spanning Global R&D, Purina Marketing, and most recently leading the vision for Pet Category Retail Innovation. His personal mission is transforming culture using the power of design to rediscover the human side of business, and fundamentally believes the key starts with building real, connected relationships with people. He spends any free time he has chasing around his 2 ½ year old son Landon, building stuff in his workshop, or attempting to learn guitar.


Antionette Carroll
Founder/ CEO Creative Reaction Lab
Antionette D. Carroll is the Founder and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab, a social enterprise that empowers and challenges community members to design inclusive cities by developing solutions addressing personal and structural racism. Throughout her career, Antionette has worked for social justice, human rights, and diversity and inclusion nonprofits. She is President Emerita of AIGA Saint Louis.


Scott Welz
Managing Director, Innovation at Wells Fargo Advisors
Welz joined Wells Fargo Advisors in 2011 after leading strategy and corporate development at a number of Fortune 500 companies. He now serves as Senior Vice President of Innovation for Wells Fargo Advisors. The Innovation Lab was launched in 2014 and uses design thinking to create growth opportunities for Wells Fargo Advisors. This human-centered design approach is creating a culture of innovation by better understanding clients’ and advisors’ experience. Welz earned a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from the Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, and a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Business.


Karolina Michniewicz
Manager, Center for Innovation; Epidemiologist at BJC HealthCare
Karolina Michniewicz is a Design Researcher and Director of the Center For Innovation at BJC HealthCare in St. Louis. Her role includes identifying, incubating, and disseminating innovative methods of understanding, problem-solving, and testing. The current focus is on strategic approaches to disseminating a mixed-methods approach across the organization, with a focus on incorporating design thinking to standard research practices.



$5 Valet Parking will be available  

Please plan to arrive at COCA with plenty of time to secure parking. COCA’s parking lot is free for patrons, but for special events and performances we are not able to accommodate everyone. (As part of our planned expansion, a new parking garage is under construction just across the street on Washington. It will be completed in mid-2018.)

If you arrive and find our lot full, there are multiple options nearby.
Street parking is available – both free and metered. Please observe parking signs and restrictions.

A free public lot is located just north of Delmar.

The map below highlights available street parking and other public parking options around COCA in green. (Streets marked in red require a residential sticker, you will be ticketed.)

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