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Talks and Workshops

I speak and run workshops on topics such as empathy, listening, cognitive bias, feedback and building self-awareness.

Past speaking events and workshops

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UX Australia 2023, Succeeding in Design 2023,
Design Leadership 2022

Wise design leadership is closer than you think

"As designer leaders, we want to be able to make wise decisions and we want to draw on wisdom to guide us as we lead our teams and design in organisations.
Fortunately we don’t have to wait until we are old and grey to access wisdom; it can be experienced through ways of thinking and acting. In this talk we will explore what wisdom is made up of (according to research )and how we as design leaders can use aspects of wisdom now."

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Design Leadership 2020

Leading a feedback culture in design teams

"Giving feedback and the art of critique are essential elements of design and design leadership. This presentation will connect the ability of leaders to create a productive feedback culture in their teams and their teams ability to foster feedback as part of design critique processes. The presentation will explore:

- How can a coaching approach support design leaders in fostering a feedback culture
- How a feedback culture creates a safe space for collaboration and psychological safety
- Practical tips, best practice examples and next steps for you to support a feedback culture in your teams"

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Design Research 2019

On empathy: Defining empathy and its role in design research

"Empathy is one of those over-used words, particularly in design, it’s almost lost its meaning. By taking a research approach, this talk aims to define empathy, it’s meaning and purpose in the context of design research. It will leave the audience with tangible examples of applying empathy in the world of design research and sharing it within organisations."

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Design Research 2019

The Power of Good Listening

"With 20 years’ experience in human-centred digital design, Sarah Stokes currently manages design teams for transformational initiatives at Westpac. As a student In her final year of a business coaching masters, she has been experiencing the power of talking less and listening more."

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UX Australia 2019

Be aware: Cognitive Bias Alert!

"Our brains create shortcuts when we make decisions and choices. This can have an impact on any phase of the design process, from research to experience design. This short talk highlights some of the key cognitive biases and ways to mitigate their influence."

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Conference workshops

Workshop topics:

Success in the now
A coaching approach to career growth
Applied wisdom in design and product
Good listening in practice
Feedback culture in teams


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