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!

Samantha Soma

Design Facilitator, GE Digital
Samantha Soma


Hire once, grow twice - building design leadership from within

Wed 25 October 17
12:00 - 12:30

GE invests over a billion dollars a year worldwide to develop people at every level of the company, from executives to interns. GE Digital's UX Leadership Program (UXLP) was created to identify and support the development of early career designers through an accelerated two-year, rotational program that provides curated curriculum, personalized mentorship, and technical coaching to position them for greater impact in their careers. Don't have the resources or bandwidth to create an early career leadership program, or want to help all members of your team grow? Samantha Soma, GE's UXLP program manager, will share her strategies for growing UX talent at GE, and how you can use them to facilitate development across multiple levels of your team at the same time.


Building Design Team Chemistry - Frobisher Room 1

Fri 27 October 17

No matter how long you've been a design leader, understanding how you and your team function, together and separately, is a core design skill that impacts your collective ability to work effectively and strategically.

This experiential, hands-on workshop explores how individuals engage in and experience design team dynamics, and offers you tools to articulate, understand, and change what’s not working in your leadership of your team. Through a combination of exercises, group work, individual and shared reflection, you’ll gain a better awareness of your collaboration style and triggers, as well as gain insight into how your design team experiences working with you.

Wherever you are in your UX career, this workshop will help you understand how you work with others, give you an appreciation of whom you’re designing with, and provide tools that help you focus on what you can design together.

During the workshop, you will: -Develop skills that help you and your team perform better on your current and future design projects. -Learn to recognise the potential underlying reasons of why people act out, and how you can respond constructively. -Cultivate the same level of appreciation and empathy for your colleagues as you have for your users. -Use experiential design techniques, intentional engagement, and self-reflection to discover, explore, and extend the strengths you bring to your team.

About Samantha Soma

Samantha Soma focuses on designing experiences and systems that help people work better individually, together, and at scale. After completing a Ph.D. focused on conflict resolution and community development, she joined GE to activate their internal UX community. Now a Design Facilitator at GE Digital, she runs customer co-creation and design strategy workouts, helping cross-functional teams understand real world problems and the people that have them, and discovering new ways to use design to solve them. Samantha also manages GE’s User Experience Leadership Program (UXLP), recruiting and developing GE’s next generation of design leaders. Her eclectic background has equipped her with a uniquely diverse set of skills, which include mediation, design research, and team-building.

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