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Design Forward Summit Showcases Design Can Move the Innovation Needle in San Diego

Broadway Pier - San Diego, CA 



Photos Left to Right

Don Norman, Director UCSD Design Lab


Value of Design Lab from Sam Yen's speech, Chief Design Officer, SAP


Mayor Kevin Faulconer endorsing design's value


Lynn Shook and Joan Gregor, Levergaing the Value of Design Salon





The value design can bring to San Diego was endorsed by Mayor Kevin Faulconer at the UC San Diego Design Lab sponsored Design Summit, Showcase, and Social Event, Design Forward. The day long summit demonstrated the power and value of human centered design as a driver for San Diego’s economy, industry, civic infrastructure, and quality of life.  Designers from San Diego's powerful design community informed key civic, community and industry leaders on the value of design to the the innovation economy, a key initiative in San Diego.


Joan Gregor, President of Intersection-Inc. moderated a panel of experts on CREATING VALUE THROUGH DESIGN: GLOBAL MODELS OF DESIGN DRIVEN ECONOMIES

In the U.S. and around the world, cities and countries are embracing design as a strategic asset and transformation driver. The discussion centered around how these leading industry and government organizations have leveraged design and assessed its contribution to grow their economies and be more competitive globally. San Diego can capitalize on this knowledge and use design to enrich our communities, strengthen our businesses, and create value.


  • NZ/Australia: Peter Haythornthwaite, Principal, Equip Design Integration, featuring Better By Design (NZ), Design to Business

  • Mexico City: Gabriella Gomez-Mont, Director of El Laboratorio para la Ciudad de México (Mexico City 2018 World Design Capital)

  • UK: Victor Nacif, Chief Creative Officer, Brojure (London; Design Design Council)

  • Elena Pacenti: Director of Domus Academy School of Design at NewSchool of Architecture & Design: (Design in Europe and Why San Diego)

  • MODERATOR: Joan Gregor, Founder, President, Intersection-Inc / The Design Academy

Chuck Pelly, Chief Creative Office, Intersection-Inc participatied on a panel


Design is more than making things look attractive or a trendy business topic. Design is a proven and necessary innovation strategy today - and one that San Diego is well-positioned to leverage for unprecedented transformation.

*Key leaders discuss the convergence and propulsion of civic, industry, and community through human-centered design."



  • Designer: Chuck Pelly, Chief creative Officer, Intersection-Inc, Founder, The Design Academy

  • Civic: David Graham, Deputy Chief Operating officer, City of San Diego

  • Industry: Larry Stambaugh, Principal, Apercu Partners

  • Community: Stacey Pennington, SLP Urban Planning/Makers Quarter

  • MODERATOR: Mary Walshok, Ph.D. Dean of Extension, UCSD

Lynn Shook, our Power of Collective Thought partner represented The Design Academy (Intersection's ceducational collaboratory) at the Innovating Education salon.

Other promineent speakers were Don Norman, Director UCSD Design Lab, Kris Michel, CEO Downtown Partnership, Mark Cafferty, CEO of San Diego Economic Development Corporation, Sam Yen, Chief Design Officer, SAP, Ken Musgrave, VP Design HP

Leveraging the Value of Design Salon

Design is an economic driver for growth and innovation in community, civic and industry. Through case studies, design thinking and best practices, learn how your organization can use design to create both tangible and intangible value to solve complex challenges, increase ROI and create purposeful, humanistic experiences for our city, people and businesses. Discuss with industry professionals how design creates value through developing IP, increasing the adoption curve, creating differentiation to building a culture that develops highly desirable products, services and experiences.  

Led by Joan Gregor, Intersection-Inc and co-faciliated by supported by Andrea Anderson, SAP, Mel Lim, Mel Lim Design, Lynn Shook, Larry Stambaugh, Apercu PArtners, Victor Nacif, Brojure 

Next steps are to create the business case for San Diego looking at how global cities and countries are creating economic growth through design. And how industry from start-ups to enterprise organizations are illustrating design value through design thinking and professional design development.  Interested in funding this research or providing design value case studies, contact us at - subject line Design's Value.



Joan Gregor  2016

Photo Credit: Joan Gregor 

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