Design for Good webcast series

Join us for a limited, six-part Design for Good webcast series.

Registration is now open for the sixth episode, “Another Veterans Journey: By Design,” which will air on May 26 at 12:00 p.m. EST.

Register today!


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email from GoToWebinar with more information.

About this episode

Just because the body has been injured doesn’t mean the mind or the soul needs to suffer. Art therapy, human-centered design, and organizational transformation offer much needed and complementary strategies to enable veterans to re-enter civil society, share their stories, and learn to navigate the bureaucracy of Veterans Affairs (VA).

[HAS HEART] provides a therapeutic creative outlet for veterans while enlisting the creative community to utilize their talent to create storytelling and communication channels in the form of design, art, t-shirts and more—therefore bridging civilian and military communities.

Designer-activist Tyler Way will discuss the process and challenges of setting up powerful human collaborations and building storytelling assets, and then bringing final designs to the U.S. manufacturing, merchandising, and consumer market.

The VA Center for Innovation is advancing human-centered design practice in what is known to be the most daunting red-tape public service in America. Exploring how to engage veterans in the improvement of civic service delivery has revealed technical barriers to mental health care that have then spun into new sets of research at VA.

U.S. veteran and service designer Amber Schleuning will address how her team is working to design meaningful, system-level pipelines to streamline post-conflict mental health services based on interviews, surveys, and observations of the journeys of veterans coming home.

We'll answer questions like:

  • How can art serve inclusion and social justice for marginalized populations who may not value creativity as a tool for personal healing and expression?
  • How can we bridge socially responsible nonprofit goals to social enterprise needs?
  • How do we bring back humanity into public service and transform entire systems by using human-centered design approaches?

Episode schedule

  • Introduction by moderator Laetitia Wolff
  • 20 minute presentation by Tyler Way of [HAS HEART]
  • 20 minute presentation by Amber Schleuning of VACI
  • 15 minute conversation with guests followed by a Q&A with webcast attendees
  • Audience Q&A

Guest speakers

Amber Schleuning, serves as deputy director of the Veterans Affairs’ Center for Innovation, co-leading the federal “start-up” and its talented team. She designs and deploys grand strategies aimed at policy, operational, and cultural transformations to modernize systems and services. She works to empower VA employees with innovation tools and improving access to healthcare with a special focus on mental health. She leads efforts to introduce human-centered service design to the VA to improve services for veterans, and establish VA as an emerging leader in the federal government for user-centered innovation.

Amber is a fourth-generation military veteran. As an army engineer stationed in Germany, she proudly led soldiers through multiple combat tours of duty to Iraq, defining, designing, paving roads, and surveying airfields. She left active duty in 2007 and began her own transition to the civilian world.

Schleuning has researched post-conflict mental health in the Middle East. She serves on the COMMIT Foundation Advisory Board, a nonprofit aimed at empowering transitioning servicemen and women. She has supported the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations leading an innovation portfolio, and she is passionate about innovative storytelling as a means to move the world.

Tyler Way is the co-founder/creative director of [HAS HEART], a Michigan-based grassroots nonprofit organization that utilizes the mediums of art, design, and fashion to benefit Veterans.

Way built the organization with U.S. Navy Veteran Michael Hyacinthe in 2010, and initiated the HERO[series] that connects a Veteran to an artist. As the first artist-partner he worked with a quadriplegic U.S. Marine veteran and that experience proved to be the powerful spark of inspiration behind [HAS HEART] which he has coordinated, managed, and directed ever since.

Way is now preparing to take this project nation-wide by way of a 50-state working RV tour, traveling from state-to-state to accomplish his on-going mission to benefit and uplift U.S. veterans through art and design.

For his day-job, Way is a the lead footwear designer for SEBAGO, an international lifestyle brand. AIGA West Michigan has played a significant role over the past few years for Tyler Way’s organization, who participated in two Design for Good events, partnered five AIGA West Michigan members with five local Veterans for the 2015 HERO[series], and this year connected AIGA Detroit members with Detroit-area Veterans for the 2016 HERO[series]: AIGA Detroit x [HAS HEART].

This conversation will be moderated by Laetitia Wolff, director of strategic initiatives and curator of the NEA Design for Good webcast series.

What you’ll take away:

Thinking about inclusion is about considering a population often forgotten by the political system, one that seems too often pushed to a voiceless periphery. Learn how to leverage a diversity and inclusion approach and empathy-based art and design as powerful tools for the successful reentry of veterans into civil society. Learn that design can tackle even the seemingly most intractable problems such as military service, civic bureaucracy, and public health care systems.

About the series

With this webcast series AIGA is relaunching Design for Good, a cause that has been at the core of AIGA since 2011. Design for Good will now house the strategic initiatives, composed of Design for Democracy, Diversity & Inclusion, and Women Lead.

The Design for Good webcast series is a resource of practical information and instruction through inspirational stories, offering opportunities for engaging dialogue, leadership development, and professional training. The guest speakers—AIGA members and beyond—are all active practitioners in social impact design, gender equity, creative placemaking, government innovation, racial justice, healthcare access, and more. While sharing their approaches to design practice, they will demonstrate how designers can develop solutions for complex societal issues.

Upcoming webcasts

Webcast 6: Another veteran's journey: By design
Friday May 26 at 12:00 p.m. EST
Amber Schleuning and Tyler Way

Stay tuned for more details on these upcoming webcasts as they become available.

Previous webcasts

Webcast 1: Design for social impact 101
Friday, December 2, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. EST
Mark Randall, principal, Worldstudio; co-founder and chair, Impact! Design for Social Change
Watch the video here.

Webcast 2: Face your gender bias
Thursday January 19, 2017, at 12:00 p.m. EST
Women Lead co-chairs Deborah Adler and Lynda Decker talk the newly-launched Gender Equity Toolkit and more
Watch the video here.

Webcast 3: Main street redux
Friday February 17 at 12:00 p.m. EST
Learn more about civic engagement in New York and Los Angeles and AIGA’s Design for Communities program.
Watch the video here.

Webcast 4: The constitutionary
Friday March 17 at 12:00 p.m. EST
Government innovation and Design for Democracy
Watch the video here.

Webcast 5: Design justice practice
Friday May 12 at 12:00 p.m. EST
Racial justice by design and Diversity & Inclusion
The video will be available soon.

Series format

All six webcasts, curated and moderated by AIGA strategic initiatives director Laetitia Wolff, begin with one or two pre-recorded, narrated slideshows (10–20 minutes), followed by a Q&A with the guest speaker and additional guests, including a representative from the task forces and committees of AIGA's strategic initiatives.

Later in the series, we will also provide more participatory models, aimed at increasing participants' facilitation skills, with one webcast incorporating a challenge-based charrette.

The Design for Good webcast series is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional funding provided by IBM.

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