Sept 12 – Greg Aper


Thursday, September 12th, 7:00 – 9:30pm

This is Design:
Empathy & Self-Awareness

In The Duncan Anderson Design Department Gallery at California State University, Long Beach

Please join industrial designer and business development director Greg Aper for an inspired discussion as he twists and turns his way through a myriad of subjects such as raising dogs, great American novelists, World War II generals, psychological disorders and Abraham Lincoln in order to explain what may be the least understood but most important skill for the future of design: empathy.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has highlighted empathy as the most important new capability for professionals.  The Harvard Business Review has isolated it as one of the core capabilities of outstanding leaders.  Studies from organizations such as the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence have directly connected it with increased sales and the performance of the best product development managers.

The explosion of crowdsourcing, the proliferation of information regarding research methodologies and the increased availability of easy to use concept visualization software and low cost prototyping methods has democratized design as never before.   The difficult to master ability to empathize with others is the soft, subtle weapon that can give designers the unique opportunity to impact our society on unprecedented levels as leaders.  Empathy can grant you greater control of your design career, become a more effective creative manager and help you understand how to work with others to get the designs you have put your heart & soul into selected and produced – without destroying professional relationships.

We welcome you to sit with Greg as he moves outside of design as a lifestyle and brings life experiences into design in order to teach you how you can improve your self-awareness, break out of your “default settings”, and begin to improve your empathetic skills.

Greg graduated from the University of Illinois with a BFA in Industrial Design in 2000.  He currently works as the Director of Business Development for Whipsaw, and award-winning product design and engineering consultancy based in Silicon Valley.  He serves on the ISDA Silicon Valley Board of Advisors.  Greg has designed and consulted for some of the world’s most progressive companies, including Bosch, Google, Samsung, Panasonic, Philips and Dell.  Greg specialty expertise is the development of healthy design relationships and strategies that will produce revolutionary ideas and products.  When not dodging obstacles at the intersection of design and conflicting interests, Greg enjoys spending time with his lovely fiancée and the world’s best dog exploring the best that nature and vineyards have to offer.

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