Invited Speakers

Wednesday - June 22, 2011

Opening Speaker - Paul Adams, Global Brand Experience Manager at Facebook

Paul Adams

Designing for Social Change - Keynote Speech
At this year's keynote, you will hear about how different types of inter-personal relationships can lead to very different outcomes in motivating behavioural change, and how this change is different in different cultures. Paul will share stories about how people we are close to, and people we've never met, may or may not influence us, and explain how norms learned from people's local culture impact how much they can be influenced. His goal is for you to walk away with concrete ideas about motivating positive social change: when to engage close friends and family and when to engage knowledge experts and celebrities; when to engage a broad audience and when to engage a narrow audience.

About Paul
Paul currently works as a Global Brand Experience Manager at Facebook, where he conducts research that informs advertising strategy. He is recognized as a leading thinker on designing social interactions, and spent four years at Google, leading user research for their social web projects. Before Google, Paul worked as a User Experience consultant at Flow, leading research and design projects for clients including the BBC, The Guardian, Vodafone, UK Government and Betfair. Before that, he worked as an Industrial Designer, designing electronic appliances at Dyson and car interiors at Faurecia.

Paul is a strong advocate of observing behaviour in peoples' own environment, and believes that this helps to create compelling experiences, and he writes a popular blog at

Thursday - June 23, 2011

Leigh Rubin - Cartoonist, sit down comic

Leigh Rubin

"A Twisted Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste"
Nobody finds more fun and inspiration in dogs, cows, cats, kids, religion, weird and quirky people and just plain life in general like Leigh Rubin. His witty streak of humor shines through in his comic panel, Rubes, where the animals take on humanlike attitudes and the people behave, well, um, oddly. Sometimes silly, sometimes irreverent but always hilarious, Rubes has grown to be standard fare in newspapers around the globe, 365 days a year.

Through his humorous presentations "Sit-down comedian" Leigh emphasizes the rewards of persistence and the fun of problem solving while celebrating the joy of creativity. Leigh's fast-paced and fun-filled presentations have gained a reputation for inspiring those who attend to add a little creativity to their own lives. Rubin said he tries to inspire people to break their normal routine of looking at things and think outside of the box, even though he himself has to draw inside a box.

About Leigh Rubin
Leigh began his cartooning career in 1978 by establishing his own greeting card company, Rubes Publications. His first cartoon collection, the popular Notable Quotes musical cartoons, was published in 1981.

In 2009 Leigh celebrated the 25th anniversary of RubesŪ with the publication of The Wild and Twisted World of Rubes, a "best of" collection which contains 240 of his personal favorites out of over 9,500 cartoons. Originally self-syndicated, Rubes is now distributed by Creators Syndicate to more than 400 newspapers worldwide. Rubes appears in major daily metropolitan papers, such as the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Toronto Sun, The Washington Times, the Sacramento Bee, The Orange County Register, the Los Angeles Daily News.

Leigh also enjoys a busy schedule giving thought-provoking and entertaining cartoon presentations at conferences, as well as professional organizations all around the country.

For more about Leigh visit: Rubes Cartoons can also be seen in many UPA User Experience Magazines.


Friday - June 24, 2011

Invited Speaker - Dr. Bertice Berry, Sociologist, Author, Lecturer, Educator


About Dr. Bertice Berry
Sociologist, and award winning lecturer Bertice Berry, Ph.D., is one of the most sought after lecturers in the country. Shecombines her skills as a sociologist and researcher with her ability to make her audiences think and laugh at the same time.

She is the best selling author of the inspirational memoir, I'm On My Way, But Your Foot Is On My Head. She has also published four best selling novels and two humor books. Her book, “The Ties That Bind: A Memoir of Race, Redemption and Memory” is a remarkable story of abolition, freedom and redemption. “The Ties That Bind, has been praised by critics as a “Sparkling memoir that is sure to be a favorite of history buffs as well as those who believe in the power of forgiveness, and in the determination to move onward.”

Berry believes that no one is fulfilled doing only one thing andcombines her love of art and her spirit for community activism intoan art gallery she Co-owns. All proceeds from the gallery goto families in need. Her latest book, “A Year to Wellness and Other Weight Loss Secrets” is a personal journey of healing and wellness that resulted in a weight loss of 150 lbs.

“Those who care a lot, carry a lot,” says Berry.

Berry is most proud of becoming an instant mother to her five adopted children. "They really are my blessing in disguise," Berry says, "I'm just waiting for them to take the costumes off."         

You’ll laugh, you’ll feel, you’ll be inspired, and one thing is for certain--- you’ll leave much differently than you came.

Closing Speaker - Professor M P Ranjan, Design Thinker & Independent Academic, Ahmedabad

M P Ranjan

Social & Public Interfaces: Design for Inclusive Living
Socio-Cultural interfaces are all those points of contact that a community makes with services provided by governments, businesses and organisations and amongst themselves. These deal with cultural, social, educational and some localized universal parameters.

Usability goes beyond technology to fields of anthropology, sociology & psychology where design is playing a significant role. New approaches are needed to meet the aspirations of diverse groups through an understanding of their socio-cultural preferences.

Design opportunities exist for inclusive public services in transportation, banking & finance, healthcare, governance, infrastructure and education & entertainment just to name some for the delivery of sustainable services at an affordable cost. The internet and ubiquitous mobile telephony represent untapped opportunities that will be outlined and discussed at the end of the lecture.

About Professior Ranjan
Prof M P Ranjan is a design thinker with 40 years of experience in design education and practice. He helped visualize and set up two new design schools in India, one for the crafts sector and the other for the bamboo sector. His teaching extended from design theory to inclusive design action and from rural employment to usability of information technology applications and services.

He writes a blog called "Design for India" ( on thoughts and initiatives for the spread of design in all sectors of the economy. With 125,000 visitors it has become a major platform for Indian design discourse.

He is on the Governing Council of the IICD, Jaipur and lives and works from Ahmedabad in India. He has been acknowledged by peers as one of the thought leaders in Design Thinking today.

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