Design thinking is a popular way for creatives to solve problems and find innovative solutions for clients. The various design thinking processes, tools, and techniques have even begun to be adopted by social and business organizations because of its effectiveness for focusing on the client or user. One of the best ways to connect with others about this trending design thinking approach is at a conference where designers, innovators, executives, and business leaders discuss its impact and methodologies. The following design thinking conferences are some of the most popular from around the world. Give them a look to see what might be happening this year. Contact us if you’d like to put on your own design thinking conference for your organization -virtually or on-site.

International Quality and Productivity Center’s DesignThinking USA Conference

This three day conference is a great way to get to meet some of the country’s top thinkers in the area of design thinking. With participants with backgrounds in customer experience, experience design, agile transformation, and product development, IQPC’s DesignThinking USA conference offers attendees a host of information across three days.

RGD DesignThinkers

This conference is the premiere conference for design thinking in Canada. Operating annually, DesignThinkers offers an inspiring two day event that allows attendees to exchange a variety of ideas in the areas of design thinking, communications development, and branding. For progressive creatives looking for a leg up in their process, the attending DesignThinkers can be transformative.

Google’s Sprint Conference

Google’s Sprint Conference is a huge event that is only accessible by invitation only. Hosted by Google and held in San Francisco the past two years, the conference is a great place to discuss innovation with industry leaders and entrepreneurs.

Smashing Conference

Created with the understanding that experiential learning is a powerful tool, Smashing Conference gives attendees an inside look into the way designers and developers utilize design thinking in creating web applications. This conference is brand new and offers a wealth of interactive plenaries and sessions. Featuring speakers from around the world, it is definitely a design thinking conference to keep tabs on.

Service Design Week

This design thinking conference is focused on optimizing the customer experience through service device. Held in October in Boston, this may be a great option for you if you are interested in taking your business to the next level through customer-centered design and innovations.

Design Management Institute’s Design Management Conference

In addition to offering workshops on design thinking, the Design Management Institute also curates the annual Design Management Conference in Europe. This conference gathers leaders in design thinking and management in a smaller setting to better facilitate networking and the dissemination of ideas. Featuring a variety of interactive sessions as well as speakers, attending DMI’s Design Management Conference is a great way to begin learning about design thinking in a broader sense.

Annual R&D Innovation Excellence / Design Thinking Summit

Now in its fifth year, the annual R&D Innovation Excellence / Design Thinking Summit offers a special, separate program solely focused on design thinking. The design thinking wing of this summit offers attendees insight into how design thinking can be utilized in their organizations. With a strong, personalized focus on design thinking and its practices, R&D’s Innovation Excellence / Design Thinking Summit is a great choice for people looking to take a deep dive into design thinking.

Nueva School Annual Design Thinking Institute

This annual event is dedicated to sharing design thinking best practices and processes with other educators. Participants can learn to investigate the underlying mindsets of innovation with the intention of creating their own projects and facilitating events in their community.

Luxatia Design Thinking Summit

Another annual event, these two-day summits cover a range of design thinking topics. The previous summit focused on technology and how it can be used as a tool n the creative process. Featuring industry leaders and input from professionals at global brands, this event is sure to be interesting and rewarding to attend.
From the United States and Canada to Europe and Amsterdam, design thinking is being talked about at conferences worldwide. If you’re interested in connecting more about the concepts and execution of design thinking principles, attending one of the above summits might be a great way to network with and learn from industry experts in this growing field. Better yet, organize your own design thinking conference! Even just a small event for your organization, community, or field can make an impact.

Top Design Thinking Conferences From Around the World

Check out our other posts about innovation conferences, organizational culture conferences, and training conferences for learning and development professionals.

What other design thinking conferences, summits, or conventions should we add to this list? Just let us know in the comments.