Now on Video from In/Visible Talks 2020: John Bielenberg on “Design Thinking on Acid”

Founder and Director of The Think Wrong Institute John Bielenberg inspired us to “Be bold!”

In his own words, John Bielenberg “used to be a famous graphic designer in San Francisco”. But too many years in the corporate world took its toll, so he took a pause. Instead of strictly focusing on design issues, he looked at tackling some of our world’s most-pressing issues, including climate change, population growth, and the explosion of technology. “How can we go from the way things are to the way things need to be?” he asked himself. His answer included founding The Think Wrong Institute, which now is part of the University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design.

With humor and real-world examples in his talk “Design Thinking on Acid” at the 2020 In/Visible Talks conference, John shared how the Institute operates. Students and other creatives immerse themselves in a community to identify problems, then come up with ideas for unconventional projects to address them. (The pie project and bicycles made out of bamboo were two inspiring examples.)

The process starts with moving away from traditional problem-solving models and comes with challenges right off the bat. “Our culture conspires against new ideas,” he said. “The status quo tries to pull bold ideas down to alignment.”

How to work past these barriers?

Be bold!

Don’t just talk—make stuff!

Move fast!

Learn more about John’s and The Think Wrong Institute’s innovative work in the video of his talk below or on Vimeo here.

Design your Leadership Voice

PLEASE NOTE: Unfortunately, our upcoming workshop “Design Your Leadership Voice” has been postponed. Now for the good news, we’re working to reschedule the event for some time this summer and hope more of you can make it. Stay tuned for the new dates soon.

Design Your Leadership Voice is an inspiring two (half day) workshop for individual and emerging leaders with a desire to gain perspective on your professional presence and sharpen your ability to have impact. 

Together, we will design a blueprint for your professional presence based on your unique values & leadership vision. You will better understand how your strengths & passions become a foundation of your value proposition. And you’ll leave with intentions and commitments to put your new leadership voice into daily practice.

We know things are tough with WFH and preparing to bring your teams back to work. But we want you all to succeed in this time of transition, so we’re taking $200 off our first leadership workshop to kick start your back to office vibes and be sure you are ready to boost your career into the future. That means the price for this 2-day event is now $395 (down from $595). 

The workshop will be co-led by esteemed design leaders and coaches, Maria Giudice and Tutti Taygerly who bring over 40 years combined experience building, guiding, nurturing and leading global design teams and team leaders for companies like Facebook, Autodesk and more.


● Identify and articulate what differentiates you from the rest

● Understand your unique strengths and values, both existing and aspirational

● Create and communicate your personal vision statement

● Get clarity on understanding your unique value proposition as a leader


● A digital creative workbook to explore your career, personal vision, and values

● Opportunities to share & receive feedback from other leaders

● Actions & accountability to integrate your leadership skills into the workplace

● Renewed energy from a supportive community of leaders that extends after this workshop

This is a two part workshop, and will take place over two days.


● Individual and emerging leaders

● New to team management with a desire for growth, and impact

● We welcome folks from all creative disciplines and recommend this workshop for those on the precipice of leadership as well as those who are more seasoned and looking for a tune up


Maria Giudice is a visionary design leader, leadership coach, and public speaker who specializes in building global design teams. Maria’s experience includes founding and growing the award-winning design firm Hot Studio, and leading global design teams at Facebook and Autodesk.

Tutti Taygerly is a leadership coach who helps creatives & technologists embrace their unique leadership style to achieve professional impact. Tutti has 20+ years of experience as a designer across multiple industries, from big data to consumer video and from enterprise software to entertainment. She’s led design teams at startups, design agencies, and large tech companies, most recently at Facebook supporting Video products.

May 2020 Design & Art Event Hotlist

INVT’s curated list of design, art, and inspiration events to keep us creating–even while we shelter in place.

This month we’re looking for ways to keep the creativity flowing whether we’re still sheltering in place or easing back out into the world. Here are some of the events and ongoing opportunities our In/Visible Talks’ co-founders Arianna Orland and Dava Guthmiller will be checking out. Stay creative!

City Arts & Lectures.

This phenomenal San Francisco-based organization is now webcasting live events and offering videos of previous events for free. Recent speakers include Dolores Huerta & Alice Waters, Peggy Orenstein & Daniel Handler, and Miranda July & Jenny Odell. Catch up, then check the website for upcoming events. Free. Ongoing.

Creative Mornings’ Virtual Field Trips.

The Field Trips you know and love from our friends at Creative Mornings have now gone digital. There’s something for everyone, including workshops on meditation, hand-roasting coffee, producing your own podcast, and so much more for inspiration and entertainment. It’s a global celebration of creativity and generosity. Free. Virtual and all over the world. Ongoing, different days and times.

Gary Hustwit’s Films Online—for Free!

Filmmaker Gary Hustwit—known for design-oriented documentaries Helvetica, Workplace, and Rams—is streaming one of his movies on his website every week while we’re stuck indoors during the COVID-19 crisis. Free. Any place and any time you want.

Remote Design Week.

Five days of programming—including talks, panels, and even portfolio reviews—for $30! Join thousands of designers online to celebrate world-class content and connect with designers across industries, verticals, and geographies. Plus, our own INVT Co-Founder Arianna Orland will moderate the Community Leaders panel on Day 1. $30. April 27 to May 1, on the interwebs.

Creativity Explored’s Life Changes Art Auction.

Creativity Explored is hands down our favorite San Francisco nonprofit. Their mission “To provide artists with developmental disabilities the means to create and share their work with the community, celebrating the power of art to change lives” really resonates with us. Tons of work from CE artists adorn our walls and inspire us every day. Now’s your chance to support their mission and freshen up your walls too. May 1 to 3. Online.

Design Your Leadership Voice.

Amplify your leadership growth—and your career—through this experiential workshop. INVT is partnering with Maria Guidice and Tutti Taygerly to help you design a blueprint for your professional presence based on your unique values and leadership vision. Leave with intentions and commitments to put your new leadership voice into daily practice. $595. May 20 to 21, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Online via Zoom.

We hope to be out and about next month with a new list of “must-do” events around the Bay Area. Be sure to check out the In/Visible Talks blog for updates.

Now on Video from In/Visible Talks 2020: Indhira Rojas on “Going Beyond a Personal Passion Project”

Anxy’s Creative Director Indhira Rojas talked about what she experienced when her idea for a magazine became a global phenomenon.

Indhira Rojas is often asked “Why did you start Anxy?”

It began as a personal project, with a desire to create something that would use art and design to humanize mental illness and allow contributors and readers to reclaim their lives from trauma. “Many of us carry stories with us, and we pretend everything is okay,” she said during her talk at the In/Visible Talks conference in January 2020. “But what we don’t address, we don’t alleviate.” In Indhira’s case, the unaddressed trauma stemmed from a story of surviving trauma in her childhood.

With evident emotion and tremendous courage, she shared with us how she channeled her own experiences to guide her and her team as they created a publication “focused on true understanding without judgment.” Inspired by a teacher who had helped her realize she had a voice, Indhira encouraged others to share their honest, personal narratives through interviews and photo essays.

Anxy quickly became something bigger than she had imagined: an award-winning independent magazine with a global following. With just four issues (Anger, Workaholism, Boundaries, and Masculinity), the creative process was a personal journey of healing for Indhira, one that included recognizing when it was time to let that work go.

Hear more about Anxy’s impact and Indhira’s story in the video of her talk below or on Vimeo here.

Now on Video from In/Visible Talks 2020: LaDonna Willems on “Permission to Speak”

Dropbox’s Editorial Director LaDonna Willems inspired and encouraged us to speak up!

LaDonna Willems opened her main stage talk at the sold-out In/Visible Talks 2020 conference with a description of the small town where she grew up. Her family’s church had a lot to say about what she could do and say—as well as not do and say—and women were expected to be silent and submissive. Fortunately, a wise woman told her, “You have more power than you know.”

LaDonna found her voice, and her life experiences fed her talk on “Permission to Speak: How to Unleash the Power of Your True Voice.” In it, she encouraged us to be more aware of all the forms of discrimination we face—race, age, disability, orientation. She helped us identify the biases built into our language, such as the use of terms like chairman and you guys. Instead of asking what is acceptable, what is “normal”, she invited us to hear the voices that are different from our own. Instead of focusing on one note, we were encouraged to listen to the entire symphony.

Along with giving us some insights into how Dropbox—where she is Editorial Director—is creating a more enlightened way of working, LaDonna offered tips on how we might make improvements in our own spheres. Making changes throughout our culture is about “more than tooting the horn for diversity and inclusivity”, we learned, and “we define our culture by the stories we tell”.

Ultimately, LaDonna empowered us to be brave. To speak up. “Don’t be afraid to get weird if weird is really your thing,” she said. “Our stories, our voices, matter”

Watch the video of LaDonna’s inspiring talk below or on Vimeo here.