What we're about

Design Thinking is a human-centred approach to innovation and solving complex problems – it’s as much about doing as thinking.

The vision for the meetup is to build a community and ecosystem of people from a diverse range of design practices, industries, contexts and roles… to learn and share. To find their tribe. To get exposed to what others are doing and be inspired. We have a strong focus on using design to have a positive impact on people, our planet, and business.

We’re proud to see this in our community – our members are anthropologists, experience designers, chemists, architects, researchers, engineers, service designers, mathematicians, consultants, app developers, project managers, medicos, startup founders and many other roles.

We keep it pretty casual with plenty of time for networking, talks and panels on a broad range of topics, and a healthy Q&A that often turns into a group discussion. You can read a bit about the history and journey of our community and events here (http://dynamic4.com/ideas/sydney-design-thinking-meetup-1-2000-15-months).

New members are welcome! If you’re not a member already, feel free to join our community. Each meetup audience is curated to a degree to make sure we have a mix of new people, as well as the committed regulars.

We’d love to hear from you if you’re keen to speak – or if there’s someone you think we should invite to speak.

Ben Pecotich, Zoe Rosen, Lucas Mara & Kate Linton
Sydney Design Thinking (SydDT) Organising Team

Upcoming events (4+)

SydDT #77: Designing for Inclusion



Come join us for some fun conversations with interesting people keen on design thinking. This month we're focusing on designing for inclusion.

Kate Linton
Head of Design, Thoughtworks Australia
Kate leads the Thoughtworks global design community. With a background in graphic design, user experience and branding, she has led creative teams around the world. She works with product and marketing teams to create a consistent, intuitive and accessible customer experience. Establishing trust with customers begins with curiosity and understanding of the user experience. Kate takes an empirical approach to design, incorporating research, data and regular testing. She is a coach and mentor to designers and works with product teams to envision and design better digital products and services.

Kate will be talking about Branding for Accessibility: An Inclusive Approach to Identity. A brand is more than a logo or a visual identity system. Brand is reputation. It is how people perceive and engage with a business. At Thoughtworks we actively seek engagement with the world. We want everyone to have equal access to our ideas, our insights and our software. Our commitment to diversity and inclusivity is a driver of business strategy.

So when it came to refreshing our global brand, we took an inclusive approach to the design. Starting with the choice of colour palette and fonts we then addressed the many things getting in the way of accessibility. This included changing our tools and ways of working across the organisation. In this talk, I'll share how we approached the redesign of Thoughtworks to achieve accessibility and usability across all our digital channels.

Agnes Abelsen
Founder & CEO, Travengers AU
Agnes is Founder of Travengers AU, a travel company helping young neurodivergent adults connect socially and travel. Kind of like Contiki with support. Inspired by her autistic sister, Agnes created Travengers to create opportunities for young people like her sister to access travel, be included, connect socially and build independence, and in doing so, help improve their mental health and wellbeing on their way.

Agnes is originally a disability nurse and has worked 12 years in the disability sector, and has gone on over 25 accessible tours herself. She moved from Norway to Australia 5 years ago, where the idea of Travengers was born. Travengers is now celebrating their 3rd birthday.

Agnes and Travengers were finalists in NSW Tourism awards in 2022, and has been finalist in Business NSW's awards as Outstanding Young Business leader in Sydney, won a prize from Macquarie bank, and is a speaker on the topic autism and accessible travel. She is passionate about creating social opportunities and creating a more autism friendly and inclusive Australia.

Thanks to Thoughtworks Sydney for hosting us and Tech Talks Powered by 4Twenty.

SydDT #78: Designing a Mentally Healthy Life



Come join us for some fun conversations with interesting people keen on design thinking. More details coming soon...

Ashley Silver
CEO & Founder - Altered Carbon
Bio coming soon...

Krystal Ellis
Director - Krystal Ellis Counselling
Bio coming soon...

Event sponsor will be announced soon.

SydDT #79:



Come join us for some fun conversations with interesting people keen on design thinking. More details coming soon...

Speakers will be announced closer to the date.

Keen to be an event sponsor... please get in touch.

SydDT #80: Establishing & Scaling a Kickass Innovation/Design Practice

Come join us for some fun conversations with interesting people keen on design thinking. This month, Nathan Baird will be sharing his lessons learnt from 20 years establishing and scaling design-led innovation at a team, organisation, and country level.

In this very open and frank talk, Nathan is going to share four personal stories about building and scaling design and innovation practices that he’s been involved in over the years - a brewery, a bank, a nation, and a big 4 consultancy.

It's not just going to be about the successes either. Nathan will also share the false paths the traps and the epic failures, as well as how to identify early on whether your design practice is destined for failure and how to progress, pivot or perish (get out and live to fight another day).

Nathan Baird
Founder, Innovation Strategist, Facilitator & Trainer - Methodry
Nathan is an internationally experienced author, speaker and innovation consultant living in Sydney, Australia. He is one of the world’s most experienced Design Thinking practitioners, a former Partner of Design Thinking for global management consultancy KPMG, where he established and led KPMG’s Human Centred Design practice. He is the founder of customer-driven innovation and growth firm Methodry.

He has run 100s of innovation projects, 1000s of workshops and spent tens of thousands of hours leading and training innovation across most industries and continents with global giants and market-leading organisations like the Australian Institute of Sport, Bausch & Lomb, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Diageo, Les Mills, Siemens and Unilever, as well as many small-medium enterprises, startups, not-for-profits and government.

He is super passionate about democratising innovation while balancing the need to maintain rigorous standards of teaching and practice to enable all individuals, teams, organisations and countries to prosper and flourish through design-led innovation. In his 20 years of experience in business Nathan has worked both client side and consultancy side, as well as running his own company.

Event sponsor will be announced soon.

Past events (76)

SydDT #76: End of Year Design Megameetup

Tank Stream Labs