Ambition Empower is a professional development service for everyone who’s creating innovative products and services, especially if you are in, or are aiming for, some kind of leadership position.
Our ambition is to empower our members – to help you and your organization to grow, both in capability and confidence. As creators and innovators you are leading the way, and we want to make sure that you have the right tools for the job.
Ambition Empower consists of a number of tracks. Each track is focusing on a specific area of expertise, such as Design and Product Leadership. Following a track will, on average, take less than 10 minutes per day, and will help you get ahead, and stay ahead, on the topics that are most important to you.
So far we’ve announced four tracks. Our intention is that Empower will change with the needs of it’s members, so more tracks will be added as we go… This is just the beginning.
Regardless of whether your focus is design or product, your job as a leader is to improve the organization’s ability to deliver the right experience. Your organization is a unique combination of life stage, industry, culture, skill levels, structure, resources, and other factors. As a leader, you have a unique combination of strengths that make some situations easier than others.
Rather than giving you a single recipe for success, this track will focus on choosing and applying the right ingredients, wherever you are.
The Design + Product Leadership track will continually adapt to the needs of the members, but likely topics include:
Kim Goodwin is the author of the bestselling book, Designing for the Digital Age. She is a Design & Product leadership consultant and executive, providing creative leadership and management consulting for Fortune 500s as well as startup clients in varied industries, including healthcare, aviation, retail, communication, financial services, consumer, enterprise, automotive, IT, and other industries. Earlier in her career, Kim was VP of Design & General Manager at Cooper, a leading design and strategy agency in San Francisco, for 12 years.
Most designers and decision-makers would agree that research and discovery is important to design innovative and useful products and services. But few stakeholders realize the full potential. Many organizations fall into the error of doing the same type of research over and over.
In order to unleash the power of design research for continuous innovation, we have to combine methods from qualitative research, quantitative research, and theories from behavioral psychology. We must also establish processes and deliverables that meet the needs of executive decision makers, designers, and development teams.
In this track we will explore new ideas and methods for planning and conducting design research and discovery, so that you can help your organization to create more innovative solutions at a faster pace.
The Strategy ❤︎ Design Research track will continually adapt to the needs of the members, but likely topics include:
Susan Weinschenk has a Ph.D. in Psychology, and is the Chief Behavioral Scientist and CEO at The Team W, Inc, as well as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. Susan consults with Fortune 1000 companies, start-ups, governments and non-profits. She is the author of 8 books that have been translated to more than 10 languages, including 100 Things Every Designer Needs To Know About People, Neuro Web Design and How To Get People To Do Stuff.
Artificial Intelligence is rapidly becoming a fundamental part of many of the products and services we use: everything from email to vacuum cleaners to music services. Yet, if there’s one phrase that is sure to give design leaders anxiety and imposter syndrome, it’s “AI,” followed closely by its subcategory “machine learning.”
This technology is everywhere and more is coming. What is it? How do you design for it? What are the pitfalls? How do you sift through the jargon to know what’s real? How do you hire for it? The short answer is that it’s a rapidly-changing field, and these answers are changing all the time. The long answer is to join Chris Noessel, AI designer at IBM and author of “Designing Agentive Technologies: AI That Works for People,” as we try to get designers and design leaders comfortable with this new normal.
The AI Mastery for Design Leaders track will continually adapt to the needs of the members, but likely topics include:
Chris Noessel, designing AI solutions for IBM by day, writing books and novels on AI and sci-fi by night. No designer, anywhere on the planet, gets AI and design the way Chris does. Chris is a former leader at Cooper, San Fransisco, co-author of Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction (Rosenfeld Media, 2012), co-author of About Face, 4th Edition (Wiley, 2015), and author of Designing Agentive Technology: AI That Works for People (Rosenfeld Media, 2017). Recently he’s begun publishing sci-fi short stories, and he’s is currently contemplating books about meaning machines and interfaces that improve their users.
Awareness of how design can affect wellbeing is growing, acknowledging that design not only solves, but also creates problems…
As a design leader it is increasingly expected that you balance your concern for business value with the outcomes and impact of the design work that you and your team put forward. But how do you work intentionally to mitigate negative outcomes? How do you find and bring attention to the many harms that may arise? How do you resolve issues where when one group gains and another pains from the same solution?
In this track you will learn to manage ethical decision-making and lead with compassion. I will strive to provide a safe environment for you to recognise and discuss difficult choices, and offer practical tools and guidance for more easily managing those choices. Ethics may feel illusive and daunting but when managed well is a path to a more rewarding work environment and sustainable business.
The Design Ethics = Good Business track will continually adapt to the needs of the members, but likely topics include:
Per Axbom is a consultant in UX, accessibility and digital strategy, as well as a speaker and writer on Digital Ethics. He has spent sent the last five years reading, teaching and having conversations around all the things that lead to negative impact in digital. The purpose being to become better at building and designing digital products that promote wellbeing and mitigate harm. It’s not about hindering digital progress, Per says. It’s about choosing the best direction for it. Per is often invited to speak at international conferences. You can hear his voice as one of the two hosts on UX Podcast, follow him on Twitter, and buy his handbook Digital Compassion (2019).
As our profession keeps developing, the number of tracks will grow, and the tracks themselves will evolve to meet the new challenges that we’re facing. This is just the beginning.
To be announced
We’ll keep this one to ourselves a bit longer. But… you’ll like it!
What would help YOU and your organization move forward? Tell us!