Design | Business | Tech | Behavioral Insights & Trends


Design Mentors

MariaMaria Giudice, CEO & Founder, Hot Studio  Innovator, artist, protagonist, and positive provocateur—Maria has pursued a vision of intelligent, elegant, people-centered design throughout her professional life. Her grasp of the pragmatic, the authentic, and the essential have kept Maria at the forefront of the intersection of design and business for over 20 years. Hot Studio has been named to Inc. Magazine’s Top 5,000 fastest-growing businesses every year since 2008, and in 2011 was inducted into the San Francisco Business Times’ Hall of Fame.


ClementMSquareClement Mok, Designer & Business Consultant  An award winning designer, digital pioneer, software publisher, app developer, author, and design patent holder. A former creative director at Apple in the early 80′s, he founded multiple successful design-related businesses: Studio ArchetypeCMCD, and NetObjects. He was the Chief Creative Officer of Sapient, a Trustee of Art Center College of Design and the national president of AIGA. Currently, he’s founding partner of SUGARFISH and SameSurf as well as advisor to start-ups on a variety of design planning and user experience projects.


nathan-shedroff-186x186Nathan Shedroff, Program Chair, CCA Design MBA Program  A pioneer in Experience Design, as well as related fields, Interaction Design and Information Design. Nathan speaks and teaches internationally and has written extensively on design and business issues, including, Experience Design 1 and Making Meaning. He’s a serial entrepreneur and consults strategically for companies to build better, more meaningful experiences for their customers that tie to revenue and innovative business models.



BrendaLaurel150x150Brenda Laurel, Former Program Chair, CCA Graduate Design Program  A groundbreaking designer, researcher and writer, focusing on experience design, interactive story, and the intersection of culture and technology. She previously chaired the graduate Program in Design at CCA, and before that, the Media Design Program at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California and was distinguished engineer at Sun Microsystems Labs from 2005 to 2006. Her career in human-computer interaction spans over twenty-five years.



GabyBrinkGaby Brink, Founder and Chief Designer, Tomorrow Partners / CEO of Sparkwise. Gaby leads an interdisciplinary team that collaborates with entrepreneurs and organizations to innovate and build design-driven tools and services for positive change. A globally celebrated designer, Gaby serves on the Board of Directors of AIGA. She co-authored The Living Principles for Design, the first integrated framework to provide a systems approach to environmental, social, economic and cultural sustainability for designers of all disciplines.



BarryKatz-photoBarry Katz, Professor of Design at CCA and Consulting Professor in the Design Group, Department of Mechanical Engineering, at Stanford University, Outside of academia he is a fellow at IDEO and at the i-School, University of Tokyo. Barry has served as executive editor of the Design Book Review and contributing author to magazines such as I.D., Metropolis, and Dwell. He coauthored Change By Design, with Tim Brown, and with Branko Lukic, an exploration of Design Fictions. A new book, Tectonic Shift: The Unstable History of Silicon Valley Design, is forthcoming from MIT Press.


CharlieSheldonCharlie Sheldon is the co-founder and current design director of Studio 315, a design collective that incubates entrepreneurs in sustainable product design, medical device development, instrument design and modern furniture design. He is an Adjunct Professor at California College of the Arts in Industrial Design. In 2007 he founded Cragelmeyer LLC, a mass customization, contemporary furniture company. From 2008 – 2010 he chaired the San Francisco Chapter of the Industrial Designers Society of America.  He focuses on sustainable product innovation, creative facilitation, design research and design education.


LisaSolomon_SmallLisa Kay Solomon is the founder of Innovation Studio and serves on the faculty of the MBA in Design Strategy program at CCA.  Building on her background in experience design, scenario planning, and business strategy, Lisa helps leaders think expansively about their power to create the future. She has worked with multiple diverse organizations, from Herman Miller, Toyota, and Citrix to Stanford’s Media X and the Kauffman Fellows Program for venture capitalists. Lisa is the coauthor of  Moments of Impact: How to Design Strategic Conversations that Accelerate Change (due out in 2014).


MarkDwightMark Dwight is the founder and CEO of Rickshaw Bagworks, a San Francisco-based manufacturer of custom bags and accessories. Mark is also the founder and Chairman of SFMade, an organization supporting local manufacturers and job growth. Before he started Rickshaw, Mark spent 18 years working in Silicon Valley technology companies ranging from startups to large corporations. He also co-founded pioneering industrial design firm, Astro Studios.



IndhiraRojasIndhira Rojas is a visual and interaction designer working in the fields of brand strategy, user experience and product design. She focuses on crafting engaging and meaningful experiences that are beautiful and delightful to use. Rojas is also a facilitator, teacher and mentor. She serves as Assistant Professor of the Interaction Design Program at California College of the Arts, where she also completed a Masters in Design. Her work has been featured in the New York Times Magazine and exhibited at Pasadena Museum of California Art in Los Angeles.



Business Mentors


JayNath-headshot 150xJay Nath, Chief Innovation Officer, City of San Francisco  In his current role as the Mayor’s Chief Innovation Officer, Jay Nath is working with the tech community and the public to help reinvent government in the digital age. Jay established the nation’s first open source software policy for city government and leads the Open Gov initiative for the City and County of San Francisco to engage constituents, focused on open data, open participation and open source.



Amra_1Amra Tareen is founder and ex-CEO of, a global people’s media company where anyone can report news from anywhere in the world. Launched in July 2008, Allvoices grew to over 10M unique users/month and 460,000 citizen reporters from 180+ countries. A venture-backed company with over $9M in capital raised from VantagePoint Venture Partners and Silicon Valley Bank, Allvoices was sold in May 2011. Prior to Allvoices, Amra was a partner at the venture capital firm, Sevin Rosen Funds, where she focused on software, communications infrastructure and next-generation carriers.


MichaelPermanMichael Perman, Dean of Global Innovation, GAP, Inc. Michael is a highly skilled innovation leader with over 20 years experience moving ideas from fuzzy to commercial fruition. He’s led new ventures, social media programs, brand communities, and partnerships with premier marketing organizations to drive growth and revenue in the food, fashion and technology industries.



LeighMarrinerCropLeigh Marriner, SVP, Added Value CheskinLeigh has over 25 years of experience in business strategy consulting. She has worked with leading Fortune 1000 companies in technology, financial services, and consumer goods. She currently leads Cheskin Added Value’s business consulting practice and has contributed to numerous projects including market opportunity assessments in consumer markets such as digital photography, digital music, WiFi, and mobile devices, including emerging markets.



PaulSpinradPaul Spinrad has been at the forefront of nearly every big trend in Silicon Valley, whether writing and editing for Wired and MAKE magazines, co-founding the early web development company Infobahn, or his current passion – taking crowdfunding to its next level. Highlights of his checkered career also include authoring The VJ Book and The Re/Search Guide to Bodily Fluids, and writing software for Advanced Decision Systems and ViewStar.



SunnyBatesSunny Bates operates wherever executives, artists, entrepreneurs and visionaries connect. Her executive search firm, Sunny Bates Associates, helped propel Priceline, Oxygen Media, Fast Company and MapQuest to the top of their industries. Her encyclopedic contact list and firm grasp of critical start-up skills has fueled countless ventures in media, technology, business and the arts. She is a Founding Board Member of Kickstarter, a member of the Brain Trust of TED, and serves on multiple advisory boards.



YanBudmanYan Budman, Director of Marketing, Indiegogo  Highly creative and contagiously energetic marketing and product management leader with a background in technology, social media, mobile, global brands, agencies and non-profits. Yan previously held senior level positions at Talenthouse, Ogilvy and Vodafone.




Tech Mentors


VipulVipul Ved Prakash, Co-Founder and CTO, Topsy  Vipul is a serial entrepreneur and pioneer in the fields of realtime search, big data and collaborative filtering. He co-founded Topsy Labs, which currently operates the worlds largest searchable index and analytics platform for social data.  Vipul was also co-founder and Chief Scientist of Cloudmark, a leading provider of anti-spam and messaging security solutions to the worlds largest telecommunication and mobile service providers.  Prior to Cloudmark, Vipul was an engineer at Napster. He was named one of the Top 100 Young Innovators in the world by MIT Technology Review.



Pete Warden is CTO and Co-founder of JetPac   Pete is a leading big data and geo technologist, and a leader in a number of related open-source technologies. He founded OpenHeatMaps and is the O’Reilly author of the Big Data Glossary and Data Source Handbook. He has started multiple companies, the first of which Apple bought, and he spent 5 years as an Apple engineer. With 14 years experience building large-scale data processing solutions, Pete has been on the frontlines of Big Data.



SeanWhiteSean White, Head of Interaction Ecologies Group, Nokia For over 20 years, Sean has led creative explorations of the technologies, systems, and experiences that connect us. His expertise ranges from wearable devices and sensors, to augmented reality visualization and interfaces, to environmental sensing and large scale information architecture and networks. Sean is on the Program Committee for ACM User Interface Software & Technology Conference, Co-Chair for the Arts, Media, and Humanities at IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality and has 20+ patents granted or filed.


ScottMinnemanScott Minneman is the CEO/CTO of Onomy Labs, a firm that designs and builds hands-on exhibits for science centers, trade shows, hospitality centers and corporate research labs. He is an interaction design engineer with extensive expertise in research, development, prototyping, and fabrication. Previous work includes Rehabilitation Engineering at MIT and Tufts-New England Medical Center and over 14 years as a Senior Member of the Research Staff at Xerox PARC where he was awarded as Artist/Researcher and Board Member of PARC’s renowned Artist-In-Residence program.


JesseMontroseJesse Montrose, Engineer at Readyforce, Jesse loves to strip ideas down to their essence.  He has wandered his way through the software industry since the late 80′s. In the 90′s, he wrote some of the first templated web pages and Java applets and then played with the embryonic HDML mobile web at  He helped architect high performance email servers at IronPort systems and installed Python plumbing for Dreamworks Animation.  More recently he’s massaged massive data at Topsy, tinkered with iOS, and cobbled together a rickety search engine (and fomented a mongoDB revolution) at Readyforce.


GermanArpacioGerman W Aparicio Jr, Founder, InformedCITIES  Founder of informedCITIES, a multidisciplinary firm focused on emerging technologies for future cities, cities driven by real-time data, systems and networks making urban areas better places to live, work and play. German has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), California College of Arts (CCA) in San Francisco and University of California, Berkeley.




Behavioral Insight & Trend Mentors


TomLaForgeSquareTom LaForge, Global Director of Human and Cultural Insights, The Coca-Cola Company  Tom leads The Coca-Cola Company’s efforts to stay ahead of macroforces and global trends. As the natural and built environment changes, people develop new beliefs, new values, and new demands. Tom’s expertise is understanding how corporations, governments and NGOs can best identify these people trends — and more importantly how they should respond.



stephenKStephen M. Kosslyn, Founding Dean of Minerva University, Prior to  joining Minerva University,  Stephen was Director, Stanford Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences (CASBS)having moved to California from Cambridge, where he was the John Lindsley Professor of Psychology and Dean of Social Science at Harvard University and previously the chair of the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. Stephen is known primarily for his research and theories on mental imagery and works on visual display design.



KatyMogalKaty Mogal leads the integration of customer insights, innovation and product development processes at Logitech. She brings over 15 years experience in design research and marketing, working with Lieberman Research Worldwide, Cheskin and Warner Bros. Studios. She has working experience in the UK and Japan and speaks fluent French and Japanese. Katy holds an MBA from Wharton and is an alumnae of the Leading by Design Fellows Program at CCA.



SteveDillerSteve Diller leads The Scansion Group, a market strategy firm dedicated to helping companies build meaningful offerings that successfully evolve over time. Recent clients include Chrysler, Aetna, Blue Cross, Logitech, Cardtronics and Autodesk. Steve is a founding member of the faculty at California College of the Arts’ MBA in Design Strategy program, teaching Market Insights and Social Ventures. He co-authored Making Meaning with design leader Nathan Shedroff and Darrel Rhea and is currently writing a book on temporal experience design with Shedroff and team dynamics guru Sean Sauber.


AdrienLanusseAdrien Lanusse, Vice President Global Consumer Insights, Netflix,  Adrien has over twenty years of experience in understanding consumers across the globe and translating insights into actionable business strategy.  In his current role at Netflix, Adrien leads the research teams across the organization – inspiring innovation among product managers and designers to helping marketing teams expand to new territories.  Adrien was previously at Cheskin and holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.