Presentation Topics


Opening Keynote

Can you arrive at a Design Thinking breakthrough without being aware? CEO and Founder of TWIP (Travel With Interesting People) Lauren Koenig reflects on her unintentional Design Thinking journey as she started her own business and will share advice on keeping yourself open to the possibilities it presents.

Thinking Inside and Outside the Box

Conducting Design Thinking requires switching alternately between two modes of thinking: Divergent thinking, which emphasizes developing a large set of diverse ideas and convergent thinking, which emphasizes analysis and the application of constraints. In this session led by Megan McNames (Emplify), you’ll learn when to apply each type of thinking and how to create environments conducive to them. Practical examples from software design will show how alternating between divergent and convergent thinking can help creative teams to better understand their audiences and users, choose practical solutions aligned with markets and develop better internal processes. An exercise in divergent and convergent thinking will provide a live example of the benefits of each mode of thinking.


Career Chat – Young Professionals: Networking and Perfecting the Pitch

Practice the Art and Science of Networking and learn How to Prep for the Pitch.  Whether it’s a job interview, a big presentation or literally pitching your business, take away the techniques you need succeed from Melanie Howe (Madison Avenue Marketing) in this breakout session.

Career Chat – Advanced Leadership

To Michelle Shaw (Luetschine Consulting LLC), advanced leadership means communication, courage, confidence, non-apologetic approach, polite persistence, resilience, making the right choices for her life, and powerful pauses for regulating emotional intelligence.  This Advanced Leadership Session will celebrate our advancement as women in the workforce, discuss how we can shatter glass ceilings, and define what we want (not what we think we should do).  Let’s collaborate with one another about how we can create the lives and leadership opportunities we want for our future!

Self-Aware and Successful

Paraphrasing John Donne, “No wo/man is an island.” We exist and (hopefully) flourish in the messy, glorious context of a diverse world. Each of us possesses some amount of privilege relative to others and some level of awareness and skill to navigate professionally. This session will explore key concepts that help us to be self-aware and successful. Join Becky Perez (Eli Lilly and Company) for this insightful breakout session.

Data Analytics (Part I & II)

CJ Clinger and David Pilkington (Ontario Systems) will lead two breakout workshops on data analytics basics and how they can help you in your professional career. Attendees can register for one or both sessions, you are not required to attend Part I. Bring your laptop! These are both follow-along workshops.

PART 1: Statistics Lie: How to Make the Most of your Presentation
Throughout history, statistics have been known to be misleading. This presentation will assist you in getting the right data to the right audience while using best practices for data visualization.

PART 2: Deep Dive with Data… and Sharks!

This hands on session will introduce you to the tools you need to analyze common data sets. We will take you through a real world exploratory analysis to learn more about shark attacks.
How to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even When You’re Not

Most people agree that successful entrepreneurs are wired differently. They identify opportunities, adapt to changes, and reinvent themselves better than others.  What is their secret?  In academia, an entire culture of research and scholarship is studying the way entrepreneurs think and act.  Ball State’s Office of Entrepreneurial Learning promotes entrepreneurial skills and techniques that change the way faculty teach and how students – in any field – can prepare for future careers.  Regardless of your profession, this session led by Suzanne Plesha will help explore how the entrepreneurial mindset and design thinking can help you build a more satisfying career, execute work projects more effectively, and bring more innovation into your daily life.


5-Minute Idea Presentations

Congratulations, You Failed: Embracing Failure, Encouraging Innovation

We all know that in the new economy, we must innovate or die. Rebecca Parker (Muncie Public Library) will examine how organizational culture and leadership develop environments that encourage innovation and how our response to failure plays an essential role in that development. Holding a mirror up to our failures and allowing our coworkers and employees to “fail small” when possible can help build the necessary security and confidence to encourage educated risk-taking and true innovation.

Stop and Smell the Success

Presented by Sarah Stefl, Creative Communications Manager, PayPal

Leadership Isn’t Only for “Leaders”

Presented by Todd Finnell (ADESA). Don’t be sold on the belief that you need to get that job or that promotion before you become a leader.  Leadership is not reserved for “Leaders”, those with titles.  Leadership comes in your everyday actions, your method of operation, the way you show up when you interact with others.  Don’t wait.  Show up as the leader that you are, now.  The rest will follow.

The “Hidden Figures” to Increasing Black Girls’ Access to STEM

Presented by Bryant Seaton, IT Global Business Analyst, Rolls-Royce North America

Design Thinking in an Agile Environment

Sometimes knowing the right method to solving a problem can get you halfway to the solution. Getting away from a computer screen and talking to real people is a great place to start. For this ignite session, Amy King (Allegient) explores how design thinking (a user-centered approach to problems solving) and Agile (an iterative, and transparent development framework) are being used together to create innovative solutions to design challenges. We can all be great problem solvers. See how applying design thinking in an Agile world can help add the right amount of structure to creativity.