A New Vision for the IIT Institute of Design Strategy Conference

SWT_logoAll of us are inundated by media accounts of how the rise of tech and manufacturing innovation, social innovation, the maker movement, and other forces are changing our world. However, we seldom get to meet the people and experience the places at the center of change. The Strategy Conference World Tour will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the work of leaders in highly innovative organizations both large and small in five of the world’s centers of change.

Twenty individuals will be invited to join three-day tours between October 2015 and April 2016. During each visit, participants will have several intimate discussions about strategy with the CEOs who are driving design and innovation at public companies and with the founders of start-ups and social service organizations creating the next wave of innovation. The IIT Institute of Design Strategy World Tour will take participants to five transforming cites to experience innovation where it is most critical. The culminating event will be the Strategy Conference in Chicago in May. Where participants can spend a day visiting locations around Chicago demonstrating themes of the World Tour before convening for talks comparing observations and deriving insights about the changes we are facing.

Learn more.
Apply to attend.
Register for the Strategy Conference in Chicago.

Making production personal
San Francisco, Calif.
October 12-14, 2015

Hear firsthand from key enablers of the maker movement—the inventors of Autodesk’s new platforms—while touring Autodesk Gallery and Lab. Visit with Grace Hawthorne of Readymade and Paper Punk in her studio. Meet the team at Catalia Health creating robots for managing healthcare. Visit Blackbird Guitar where they are using advanced machining techniques blended with traditional craft to build a new breed of guitars. Participate in discussions facilitated by Carl Bass, CEO of Autodesk, and IIT Institute of Design faculty on how new forms of productions impact big business.

Technology start-ups and giants
Hong Kong, China
December 7-9, 2015

Visit grassroots mobile companies started by housewives in living rooms that have grown into large-scale logistics enterprises. Tour Seeedstudio, hacker spaces, and the world’s largest electronics market Huaqiangbei in Shenzhen. Meet Victor Lo, chairman of Gold Peak Industries, who is behind the creation of Hong Kong Design Center (HKDC) and Asia’s largest design festival. Hear the story of Hotel Icon, a teaching and research hotel built for the School of Hotel and Tourism Management by Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Visit Police Married Quarters (PMQ), built in 1951 and reopened in 2010 as a site for creative industry uses. Discuss the implications of the increasing pace of industry with academics and business leaders at HKDC.

Innovation at the extremes of scale
Mumbai, India
February 8-10, 2016

Visit the frenetic small businesses in the Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum, located in central Mumbai. See how the leaders of one of India’s most powerful business groups at Godrej & Boyce are bringing design and innovation to fifteen companies. Explore the largest outdoor laundry in the world. Meet dabbawala, part of a traditional and innovative delivery system that collects tens of thousands of lunch boxes from residences and delivers them to the workplace with six-sigma quality. Join the top young business minds in India today for a discussion on the business of building businesses.

Social innovation revolution
Detroit, Mich.
April 11-13, 2016

Learn how Michael Brennan and United Way of Southeastern Michigan is inverting the social agency and philanthropy models to enable Detroit residents to help themselves. See the Shinola factory where the owners are making an investment in skill at scale. Travel around the city courtesy of Detroit Bus Company visiting Foodlab, Ponyride, and Civella. Meet Detroit Soup for dinner at an urban farm. Hear a talk in a shipping container turned classroom at the recycling-cum-artist space Recycling Center. Discuss the state of Detroit with Rebel Nell, IIT Institute of Design faculty, and other leaders making social change in the city.

IIT Institute of Design Strategy Conference and Chicago Tour
May 19-20, 2016

Visit locations around Chicago demonstrating themes of the world tour, including maker movement, social innovation, scalable industry, and entrepreneurialism. Meet key leaders on the exploratory visits as well as additional strategists, thinkers, and business leaders at the IIT Institute of Design Strategy Conference in Chicago to compare observations and derive insights about the changes we are facing.