For designers working in or with federal agencies, the steps involved in getting a project from kick-off to launch may feel very different from working with private-sector clients. All the reviews, approvals and regulations can make day-to-day work frustrating. But these rules exist for a reason. When you understand what drives the decision-making of your government clients, you’ll start to see how your work fits in the larger context — and how it contributes to meaningful, substantive and positive change in people’s lives.
Our guest speakers are two senior leaders from The Lab at OPM (Office of Personnel Management) who know exactly what it’s like to navigate organizational complexity with impressive results. Dr. Sydney Heimbrock is The Lab’s founder and Executive Director, and Arianne Miller is the Managing Director. To date, The Lab has worked with over thirty departments and agencies to teach federal employees the value of human-centered design. Heimbrock and Miller will share their experience and give us advice on how to apply our design skills in the civil service effectively and with greater impact.
About The Lab at OPM
The Lab is both a practice and a space that fosters innovation through human-centered design. Its goal is to teach human-centered design across the federal government and to help deliver innovative solutions that address complex public and cross-sector challenges. The Lab brings together a unique combination of private sector fellows, public servants and students who work collaboratively on complex cross-sector challenges to design based on the needs of those they serve.
Dr. Sydney Heimbrock
Dr. Heimbrock is a public sector innovator working to make the federal government a workplace that unlocks creativity to solve the complex problems facing our nation. She provides executive leadership to The Lab as well as the Presidential Management Fellows Program and HR University. Dr. Heimbrock is constantly looking for opportunities to create enterprise solutions to shared learning needs across government. Dr. Heimbrock has designed and managed workforce and public administration reform initiatives across the globe. She holds degrees from Stanford, Syracuse, London School of Economics and Miami University of Ohio.
Miller builds capacity for innovation among federal employees by teaching human-centered design through both workshops and mentoring, in addition to managing a variety of design projects that address the high-priority needs of OPM and other federal agencies. She came into the federal government as a Presidential Management Fellow at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after earning her master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan. Prior to that, Miller worked to build and improve access to high quality public schools through a variety of organizations, including Chicago Public Schools, the U.S. Department of Education, and DonorsChoose.org.
AIGA Women LeadThis event is part of the AIGA Women Lead Initiative (WLI), committed to empowering women in design and advancing the vital discourse on issues facing professional women today, without generalizing or segregating women designers.
A portion of the proceeds from this event goes to the AIGA DC Design Continuum Fund (DCF) scholarship. DCF is celebrating 10 years of fostering the next generation of designers through helping local design-minded and underrepresented students as they pursue their education.
An initiative of AIGA DC, DotGov Design focuses on designers working with or inside government and civic engagement, creating a community of peers so we can grow as professionals and better advocate for the impact of design within government.
Code of Conduct
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Event contact: Katerina Martchouk firstname.lastname@example.org
Event graphic: Nina Reck Design