Conference Theme

2012 Conference Theme

We would particularly like to explore issues and ideas around our conference theme and welcome submissions that focus on this.

2012 Conference Logo

This year, as we gather in a place where anything is possible, we focus on all the opportunities usability professionals have to be leaders that shape not just human experiences, but also the business and technology world. 

Themes of influence, power, authority, and initiative will be prevalent as we develop strategies for encouraging Leadership in our field by:

  • Exploring the differences between leadership and management and understanding how a title doesn’t make a leader
  • Designing experiences that demonstrate the vision and problem-solving skills inherent in our profession
  • Leveraging our personal experiences with leadership to help others develop influence in their organizations
  • Acknowledging other fields and professions that can inform our professional growth
  • Exploring the need for everyone to demonstrate leadership and ways to make that happen

The 2012 UPA conference program will provide inspiration and motivation through talks, events, and experiences to increase our attendees’ passion for leading the way.  In addition, the conference aims to provide sessions to help build and grow leadership skills so that our attendees leave with both the desire and means to lead. 

“It never fails to anger and frustrate me when asked, ‘Are leaders born or made?’ Leadership is a skill. And while this set of abilities is normally distributed in a population just as any other talent is, it can be made (learned) in the same fashion as any other ability. But no amount of practicing and coaching can make up for the lack of desire, motivation, drive, or passion on the part of the individual to do better than they are currently doing. Which brings us full circle, where leadership begins inside of us as we try to figure out such questions as who am I, why do I do what I do, what's important to me, and the like.” -Barry Posner

UX professionals are leaders, and exhibit leadership in the work we do every day.  We look forward to hosting a conversation among our community about our roles as such.

Areas of interest:

We are seeking conference submission that explore the following questions (and we encourage you to send us your suggestions of what you are iinterested  in adding to this list):

1. How are user experience professionals leading the way in different situations?

    • The workplace and our practice

    • Our communities

    • The UPA organization

    • The world

2. What are the skills needed for leadership?  How do we grow and improve those skills?

    • Problem-solving  and design thinking

    • Influence

    • Facilitation

    • Management

    • Visioning and Strategic thinking

    • Negotiation

    • Mentoring

3. How can we make leadership everyone’s business?  Leaders exist at all levels and leadership ability and opportunity does not always come with a title.

    • How can we recognize opportunities to lead?

    • How can we be prepared for those opportunities?

    • What is required to the first step towards being a leader?

    • How do we foster leadership ability within ourselves and among our peers and colleagues?

4. What is the future of leadership in the UPA International organization?

    • At the international level

    • At the regional and chapter level

    • In growing UX communities who are new to UPA

5. How can managers in our field grow their skills and become better leaders?

    • Leadership abilities

    • Hiring

    • Project management

    • Change management

    • Coaching and mentoring

    • Leading at a strategic level (senior management and above)