Meri is a geek, a manager, and a manager of geeks. Previously she led the Delivery Team at the Government Digital Service and worked in Procter & Gamble’s Global Business Services organisation for 10 years, starting out as a Developer, moving on to Product Management, and finally Programme& Engineering/Operations Management. She’s led teams ranging in size from 30 to 300, mostly with folks spread across the world.
She studied Computer Science with a focus on artificial intelligence, so she still thinks of herself as a proper geek and imagines she always has a soldering iron in her back pocket—though sadly the reality isn’t so cool.
A published author and previous winner of the BCS Young IT Professional of the Year in the UKITIndustry Awards, she sponsors scholarships to help more girls start STEM careers in her hometown of Stellenbosch, South Africa. In her spare time she enjoys baking, gaming, surfing and her obsession with hot smoking Texas-style BBQ.
Ummul is co-founder of Bidna Capoeira, a charity that uses the Brazilian art-form of capoeira to help traumatised children deal with the devastating psychological and physical impacts of war and conflict. Ummul runs projects in Syria and Palestine.
As an evangelist for design ethnography, Kelly is dedicated to understanding how real people integrate products and services into their daily lives. Kelly is principal of gotomedia LLC, a global leader in research-driven, people-friendly interface design and strategy for web, mobile, and product solutions for clients including Samsung, Hyundai, Sony Ericsson, Nokia, Adobe, and Seiko Epson Japan.
Her style and passion make her a popular keynote speaker, instructor and consultant on Applied Ethnography, Lean UX Processes and Emotional UX. Her book, Web Redesign 2.0: Workflow That Works, is a standard for user-centered design principles., is used in corporations and university curricula in 22 languages.
Laura Klein is a Lean UX and Research expert in Silicon Valley, where she teaches companies how to get to know their users and build products people will love. She blogs about UX, metrics, customer development, and startups at Users Know. Her book, UX for Lean Startups, was published by O’Reilly and is aimed at helping entrepreneurs learn enough research and design to let them validate their ideas.
Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology and Co-Chair, The Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University.
Her recent books are ‘Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages’, ‘A Sociology of Globalization’, and the 4th fully updated edition of ‘Cities in a World Economy’. Among older books is ‘The Global City’. Her books are translated into over 20 languages. Her forthcoming book is ‘Expulsions: When complexity produces elementary brutalities’.
She has received diverse awards, from multiple doctor honoris causa to being chosen as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy and as the 2013 winner of the Principe de Asturias Prize for the Social Sciences.
Jen Meyers is a web designer/developer, teacher and speaker. She’s part of the instructor team at Dev Bootcamp in Chicago. In 2011, she founded the Columbus, Ohio chapter of Girl Develop It, a group that provides introductory coding classes aimed at women, and she currently serves GDI as an advisor and sometimes teacher. She speaks regularly about topics related to design, development and diversity in the technology field, and focus on finding new ways to make both technology and technology education accessible to everyone.
Glenda Watson Hyatt has cerebral palsy. She’s known as the left thumb blogger because she writes a blog and wrote her best selling book I’ll Do It Myself using only her left thumb. She uses computerized voices to communicate. She’s a Canadian activist who is working to get communication disability access written into the disabilities laws.
Glenda works for Soaring Eagle Communications, Communication Disabilities Access Canada (CDAC). The organization runs a national campaign to promote accessibility for people who have speech and language disabilities.
Glenda gives motivations talks, leads workshops about web accessibility and is well-versed in the internationally-recognized Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. She’s presented talks at Open Web Camp IV and The Cerebral Palsy Association. She uses Power Point and a computerized voice to deliver her motivational messages. She aims to inspire or to motivate an audience to strive for their potential and to live their life more fully.
She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Communication from Simon Fraser University.
Monika is a graduate of University of Toronto – University of St. Michael’s College. She’s @monsika on Twitter.
Monika is an advocate for closer designer-developer collaborations and aims to build more inclusive online experiences.
As an avid lover of great businesses that are not only successful in their industry, but that aim to enrich their customers’ lives, Lis has made it her passion to help companies meet their user experience and strategic goals. She works to make the complex simple, and to bring understanding and meaning to businesses in order to ensure their products and services exceed both business needs and user expectations. Lis’ goal is to create meaningful products that people use, that people love using and that make peoples’ lives better.
By utilizing her unique technology based perspective, as well as, her ability to understand complex problems, complex people, and complex organizations, Lis has helped to create these meaningful products for companies large and small. Her most recent clients include high profile sports startups as well as startup businesses in the lifestyle industry. In both of these cases, Lis has partnered with senior management to help architect and strategize product features and product growth. Lis has also partnered with talented groups like Moment Design Inc, where she helped concept and launch products like espnw.com, updates to nba.com, and other well known sports iPad experiences.
When not consulting with clients, you can find Lis speaking across the globe providing workshops and sessions which help to educate people from all backgrounds on the value of her field, as well as to help inform them on the appropriate intersections of User Experience, Information Architecture and Strategy with other roles, so that everyone can work together to make their businesses better.
Lis also serves as an Advisory Board Member for Future Insights events. In this role she is responsible for keeping a pulse on the fields of Information Architecture and User Experience in order to expose new thinking and new talent so that their message can be spread to the larger international web community.
Amy Silvers is an information architect and UX designer living and working in the New York City area. Over a career of nearly 10 years, she has worked for a variety of agencies and companies, for clients ranging from giant corporations to small nonprofits. Her infrequently maintained blog is redmolly.tumblr.com, and she tweets as @A_Silvers. She holds a master’s in library and information science and is a former children’s book editor.
Amy is interested in the topic of designing for natural and human-made disasters, and presented The UX of a Natural Disaster at EuroIA in 2013. She has also presented on the subject of Impostor Syndrome (with fellow designer Lori Widelitz-Cavallucci). Currently working as a product designer on a team of hybrid designer-coders, she can speak knowledgeably about the topic of UX unicorns and their role in product-driven organizations.