September’s open class workshops: leaders-as-designers with THNK

September’s open class workshops: leaders-as-designers with THNK

THNK shows up at Vancouver Design Week 2014 and IDSwest to kickstart creative leadership in its new hometown.


We call it ‘creative leadership’. Others, such as authors Maria Giudice and Christopher Ireland, call it ‘design leadership’. Either way, the prescription is the same: to solve 21st-century problems, individuals have to develop a wellspring of imagination and a high tolerance for disrupting the status quo.


In their book Rise of the DEO, Maria Giudice and Christopher Ireland frame today’s groundswell of design leaders against the backdrop of the most urgent deficit of our day: creativity. Giudice describes DEOs: “A Design Executive Officer is a hybrid. Part strategic business executive and part creative problem-solver, the DEO is a catalyst for transformation and an agent of cultural change.”


This fall, Vancouver will get a creative double-charge from two events that echo the wise words of author Charles Montgomery: The city shapes our decisions. And design shapes our city. Vancouver Design Week and IDSwest bring talks, tours, exhibitions, celebrations and workshops to do just that.


Think of the task of designers, after all—to devise and execute the form, look, or workings of something that could be made better. It’s a bigger mandate than the current quarter’s make more money or sell more stuff. Applied to a corporate or urban setting, a design mindset is the missing link to profound sustainability.


THNK is taking part with with two fall workshops designed to the DEO startup kit to life in our city:


Workshop 1:   A JOURNEY INTO STORYTELLING: MOVE PEOPLE TO ACT on Friday, September 19 at Vancouver Design Week


Workshop 2:   PASSION AND PROCESS: The THNK Guide To Making Ideas Happen on Friday, September 26 at IDSwest


To solve the problems that the world faces today—not to mention keep up with the relentless pace of change—pretty much every leader needs to take a page (or a couple hundred pages) out of Giudice and Ireland’s book. With these workshops, we’ll explore the why and the how of creative leadership by-design:


  • Don’t be distressed by change. Encourage it.
  • Understand traditional approaches without being dominated by them.
  • Plug the right blend of collaborators into accessible networks.
  • Understand and capitalize on the interconnectedness of the world.


In an increasingly fast-changing marketplace, leaders know that if you are not creative, you’ll get outpaced. Consider that on a broad scale—join us to participate in the unique design ecosystem that shapes, defines and sustains our city. Don’t miss the chance to join in, speak up and stand out in shaping Vancouver’s future!


“The DEO looks at business problems as design problems, solvable through the right mix of imagination and metrics.” — Maria Giudice