Skip to main content
Add Me To Your Mailing List
SofTech North Bay Software and Information Technology Association
Driving Business Innovation with a Design-Thinking Process
March 27, 2013 6:30 pm - 8:45 pm , San Rafael Corporate Center, 750 Lindaro Street San Rafael
 We look forward to your participation in our March session where you may walk away with
  • a new way to dream up a financial services business concept
  • a fun game to use Alexander Osterwalder’s Business Model Template
  • a way for your organization to make innovation a regular thing

Depending on attendee votes, our presenter, Christine Kurjan will lead an interactive workshop with one or two of these after giving an overview of where they fit into an innovative organization’s work processes.


Some Background

Since about 2005, Stanford, IDEO and other promoters of innovation are increasingly using the phrase “design-thinking” to describe the thoughtful, collaborative and action-oriented methods you can use to approach problem-solving and innovation.

This usually means:

  • “stepping back” to make sure you are solving the right problem.
  • “stepping away” from your desk to experience your customers’ and users’ real-world contexts, better understand the marketplace and get a feel for how technology and partnerships may stretch your capabilities.
  • “stepping through a process” as you iterate through a set of increasingly well-targeted and refined prototypes or experiments
Whether your organization is large or small, whether you are delivering a product or a service, and no matter the sector you are in, it usually pays to use these methods. They typically speed the process to a better solution… even when one “uses up” two days, two weeks or two months immersed in it.
Chris offers to share some examples of process and projects… then workshop with the SofTECH group on one or two methods for thinking through a business model … or mapping the possibilities for a new business offer… or setting up a system for your own organization's regular innovation work - - at any size.  (We’ll poll those coming to see their preferences.)
If you already know you’re coming, please forward industries you are most interested in. (Food? Medical devices? Healthcare? Financial services? ICT? Gaming apps? Music? Education? Design software? Knowledge sharing? Cultural activities? Retail? ) Chris may be able to highlight examples that are more relevant to your interests. She looks forward to engaging you in some thought-expanding activities.
OUR SPEAKER:           
Chris Kurjan
Chris is a practitioner and coach around design-thinking and the skills and structures that companies and teams need to work innovatively.
She leads strategy and idea generation workshops, teaches masters students and corporate groups, benchmarks innovation practices across industry sectors and within companies, and consults to start-ups and established companies to explore for their next new service or product or to blueprint their customer experience.

Her experience includes 15 years of engineering, design and innovation work with IDEO where she contributed to the development and launch of innovation methods inside and outside the company while also bringing innovative solutions to clients across many industries. Clients include McDonald’s, P&G, Shell, eBay, Microsoft, Tesla Motors, University College Dublin and Enterprise Ireland. Sectors include consumer products, medical products, healthcare, beauty, toy, food, energy, financial services, education, entertainment and cultural pursuits.
Among the results she’s led her teams to achieve are

  •  a cleaning tool for Mr Clean (a P&G $80MM business)
  •  a skin-tissue growth system to make wound care products
  •  a healthcare system improvement portfolio and toolkits for organisational change
  •  a shared physical and virtual technology archive (knowledge mgt system) called the TechBox, spotlighted with a NY Times article.

This year Chris balances her work life with art, boating, running, biking and preparing for the annual Burning Man event celebrating self-reliance, community, and performance art.

Bachelors Engineering, Georgia Tech; Masters Engineering Design, Stanford University.  


About the Organization:

SofTECH is a non-profit trade organization committed to fostering communication and cooperation for business and technology professionals in Northern California's Marin and Sonoma counties. Its goal is to identify and showcase technology leaders and support the technology user community.

SofTECH develops programs and provides meaningful networking opportunities for its members who include American River Ventures, Autodesk, Inc., Bank of Marin, Hanson Bridgett Marcus Vlahos & RudyLLP, iPost, JAG Wire Group, The K/A Group LLC, Phippen Design Group and Ridgecrest Marketing.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013


San Rafael Corporate Center
Tamalpais Room
750 Lindaro
San Rafael, CA 94901
parking & directions (PDF)

6:30 p.m.-7:15 p.m. Registration and Networking
7:15 p.m - 8:15 p.m Presentation
8:15 p.m -8:45 p.m Audience Q&A

Food and beverages will be served.


$20 at the door for non-members who did not register in advance

Sign up for a Trial or Full Membership to SofTECH at: our Join Page