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Ryan Rumsey: Changing the Narrative Around Design Leadership

Ryan Rumsey – former design executive, speaker, author, consultant, and 2024 Product + Design speaker – has one simple goal that has shaped his career aspirations.

To change the narrative around design leadership.

Ryan is coming to Rochester to lead a Design workshop on day 1 of the P + D conference (June 27) and deliver a keynote on day 2 (June 28). Attendees can expect to hear about innovative, new approaches to visualizing, collecting, and interpreting metrics to drive impactful product strategies. They can also expect to benefit from his insights around integrating design, statistics, and business methodologies for transformative insights and breakthroughs in their work.

Ryan’s dynamic career, enriched by experiences at companies like Apple, Google, and Zillow, is sure to provide real-life, tangible learnings for attendees of the upcoming workshop and keynote in Rochester. His journey has been marked by adaptability and rapid learning, particularly in the field of user experience (UX) design. His success soon became a catalyst for growth, guiding him toward a more balanced and fulfilling career. This journey instilled in him a renewed sense of purpose and passion for clarity in design leadership.

Ryan founded Second Wave Dive, a strategic consultancy that offers specialized Product + Design services but with a unique subscription-based model that avoids the hassle of back-and-forth negotiations and the pressure to buy additional services. This flexibility allows organizations to access assistance on individual projects, freeing up time for deeper discussions on design leadership challenges.

Second Wave Dive is the lifeline that Ryan would have appreciated during the early stages of his career – access to a leader with hands-on experience in design leadership who offers tailored solutions to complex problems and guidance around organizational politics.

It seemed almost natural that the second business he launched, Chief Design Officer School, would help train the design leaders of the future. Courses, content, and targeted resources aimed to help professionals develop the skills to become impactful leaders. In theory, when it comes time for those students to pursue a more senior role, they won’t need to call Ryan at Second Wave Dive; they’ll be well-equipped to handle any problem that comes their way.

In addition to his consultancy, Ryan authored two practical guides for designers: one that compliments his coursework and shares even more about his learnings, and a second that helps designers advocate for their work and highlights the importance of it. Both books are available for free download, which is yet another helping hand offered to designers in need of guidance.

The mission of the ITX Product + Design Conference is to learn from industry leaders – and to share the knowledge gained to progress our entire community forward. When we come together with a professional foundation centered around improving the lives of others, we reinforce the community-centric knowledge-sharing environment the event pledges to deliver.

Just over a month until the 2024 Product + Design Conference.

Join us on Keynote Day to learn from Ryan Rumsey, Denise Tilles, John Maeda, and more.

Headshot of Megan Lawson.

Megan Lawson is a Marketing Content Specialist at ITX. She focuses on creating content that solves problems and engages audiences. Megan received her BA in Communication from the State University of New York at Geneseo.

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