Video: Christopher Ireland

Who Will Lead the Robots?

Filmed on October 23, 2014, at “Gain: AIGA Design and Business Conference

About this video

We are beginning to shift from the rigid, linear and hierarchal leadership of the industrial era to a fluid, complex and distributed model more suited to our current time. Modern leaders and designers have many common traits and skills, making designers uniquely suited to leadership roles. But as companies evolve, the necessary skills and traits are also evolving. So what will leadership look like in 2030?

No one really knows, but Ireland asked some qualified experts: scientists, CEOs, artists, government officials, religious leaders, human resource executives and of course, designers. Their answers were varied, insightful, provocative and, at times, scary. In this talk, Ireland shares what she learned and why she sees robots in a whole new light.

Speaker bio

Christopher built her career around the notion that businesses could benefit from a deeper understanding of people and culture. Her ability to create simple explanations of complex human behavior and to translate those insights into effective design and development strategies attracted a wide range of Fortune 500 clients including Microsoft, HP, Apple, Intel, GM, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Levi's, Gap and more.

As co-founder and CEO of Cheskin, a firm that pioneered design research in Silicon Valley, Christopher and her partners had ringside seats to unrivaled feats of creation, innovation and reinvention. She led teams exploring notions like how trends move through the teen population, how music relates to mood, the emerging culture of “cool” in China and the development of trust online—to name just a few. She and her partners sold Cheskin in 2007 and walked away with their sanity mostly intact.

At heart, Christopher is an entrepreneur. She continues to satisfy that drive by teaching entrepreneurship at California College of the Arts (CCA) and mentoring startups as the co-founder of Mix & Stir Studio, an incubator for design-driven tech companies. She has an M.B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management and has written numerous magazine articles on strategy and design. Most recently, she co-authored Rise of the DEO: Leadership by Design (2013) with Maria Giudice.