Home / Events / InnovationSpace Presents: The Journey to Transform an Engineering-Led Global Corporate Culture with Design at IBM, a Lecture by Karel Vredenburg

IBM, a 108-year-old start-up, pivoted its products and services powered by a design transformation over the past 7 years. This talk will describe that transformation journey including the hiring of more than 2,500 designers, building some 100 studios and activating employees with a new design system that features Enterprise Design Thinking. We developed a three-month boot camp for college hires (dubbed 'the missing semester’), a one-week boot camp for existing teams, a one-day executive boot camp and an online micro-credential education platform for all employees. Our experience in powering our design transformation with intentional bespoke experiential learning together with some work our staff had done with universities led us to develop a set of global academic programs that involve collaborating in a variety of ways with academic institutions. Insights from those collaborations will be shared as will a call to action for further bold educational transformation. 

About Karel Vredenburg

Karel Vredenburg is Director of Design at IBM and is currently responsible for global academic programs. He introduced IBM’s new design system to the executive and staff of each of the business units of the company over the past seven years as well as to numerous clients around the world. In addition to his global role at IBM, Karel is also head of IBM Studios Canada. He also serves as Industry Professor at McMaster University and teaches in the EMBA and Directors College programs at the DeGroote School of Business, in an Emerging Health Leaders program in the DeGroote Health Leadership Academy and a pan-university Innovation by Design program across multiple faculties of the university. Karel joined IBM in 1988 after undergraduate, graduate and doctoral studies and lecturing at the University of Toronto. He introduced User-Centered Design at IBM in 1993 and assumed a company-wide role in 1995. He has written over 60 conference and journal publications, authored a book entitled "User-Centered Design: An Integrated Approach", contributed chapters to other edited books and served as special issue editor for the International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction special issue entitled "Designing the Total User Experience at IBM" and the "Ease of Use" issue of the IBM Systems Journal. He blogs at karelvredenburg.com, hosts the Life Habits podcast and is based in Toronto, Canada.

About InnovationSpace

InnovationSpace is a transdisciplinary partnership between the Fulton Schools of Engineering, the W. P. Carey School of Business, the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. It is a center for new thinking and collaborative innovation between students, faculty, businesses and society to develop new systems, services and products.

For more information please contact:
Ray Cabrera
The Design School at ASU
Design North Building, Auditorium 60