And that’s a wrap folks! It’s been a blast but sadly Leading Design is over for 2017. Follow us on Twitter and put 10 - 12 October 2018 in your diaries… we’ll see you then!

Kate Aronowitz

Design Partner, Google Ventures
Kate Aronowitz


Our time to step up

Thu 26 October 17
16:35 - 17:15

It’s taken years for us to prove that design matters and delivers business results. At long last we live in a time where we’re being included in meetings and called upon to lead important projects. Companies worldwide, big and small, are hiring designers as fast as they can. Design executive positions are opening up at a rate we’ve never seen. Design thinking has been embraced! We have finally arrived and earned our proverbial “seat at the table”.

In many ways, the hard part of proving ourselves as designers is done. We are now entering a new era of design within business. We’re being asked to contribute to the highest level of conversations, to weigh in on strategy and to build large organisations. However, there aren’t nearly enough of us to step up into these new, elevated leadership positions. Worse yet, many who do make the leap to lead are making costly, rookie mistakes.

In this talk, Kate will discuss why there aren’t enough designers ready to take on leadership and what we can do to solve the problem. She’ll also share the pitfalls many design executives fall into and identify easy ways to avoid them. As part of the end of this session, Andy Budd will lead a short Q&A with Kate.

About Kate Aronowitz

Kate is a leader with experience running design teams at enterprise scale and at startups alike. She brings a wealth of management, design, and product experience to our portfolio companies.

Kate has built design teams at eBay, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Wealthfront. She joined the first user experience team at eBay before taking her experience to LinkedIn where she started their user research team. As Facebook’s first design executive, Kate grew the organization from 20 to 200, establishing multidisciplinary design teams in front end engineering, user research, content strategy, and communication design. Kate joined Wealthfront in 2015 as their first vice president of design. She was integral in driving product strategy and defining their product development process.

Kate holds a Bachelor of Arts in graphic design from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She was named to Fast Company’s list of the Most Influential Designers and to Ad Age’s Most Creative People. She has also served as a juror for the National Design Awards. In her spare time, Kate coaches executive teams, teaching them to better leverage design and train upcoming design leaders.

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