Designer, entrepreneur, educator, advisor, optimist.
For the past 25 years, I’ve partnered with businesses, non-profits, cities, and individuals on their success through design. I founded and scaled a lean, holacratic model design business, Schwadesign, advise startups through national incubators and with Sequoia Design Lab, and I’m currently consulting in design operations for Salesforce’s Business Technology team and Blend.
Previously, I was the first DesignOps hire inside Twitter’s product team, and one of the founding designers of the IBM Cloud Garage. I speak and host workshops globally, teach and guest critique nationally, and I’m always connecting people and communities. I’m preternaturally curious about patterns in decision making and the shapes of teams. On the daily, I’m driven by great pairings, trusting relationships, beautiful intersectionality, and long bike rides.
We’re living in a time where design has never been more valued and technology accelerates ever faster. There are more companies at billion-dollar valuations than ever before. And yet, hustle culture hasn’t fully evolved, and startups are still moving so fast that a few things do get broken along the way. Before we reach a critical stage, let’s pay more attention to the stuff that persists – like people. This talk will show you how to diagnose and solve for the People Layer, including: