Design Accelerant: The Role of Art and Design in Value Creation, Differentiation and Scale

This panel brought together three talented and experienced designers who are applying their creative skills to business problems in very different ways. Brian Wilk from Hasbro develops games that mainly live in the physical world, Ben Jordan develops digital experiences for large clients, and Catherine D’Ignazio applies design and technology to improve civic engagement. Come hear where these three visionaries overlap in their approaches and experiences, and where they don’t!

Catherine D'Ignazio

Catherine D'Ignazio is an Assistant Professor at Emerson College, a Research Fellow at the Engagement Lab, and a Research Affiliate at the MIT Media Lab. She investigates how data visualization, technology and new forms of storytelling can be used for civic engagement. Her recent projects include the "Make the Breast Pump Not Suck!" hackathon, designing a water quality sensing toolkit for journalists, and leading performative walks to visualize climate change.

Her art and design projects have won awards from the Tanne Foundation,, the LEF Foundation, and Dream It, Code It, Win It. In 2009, she was a finalist for the Foster Prize at the ICA Boston. Her work has been exhibited at the Eyebeam Center for Art & Technology, Museo d’Antiochia of Medellin, and the Venice Biennial. D'Ignazio received her MFA from the Maine College of Art & Design

Ben Jordan

Ben Jordan is President & Director of Experience at nGen Works. Ben has 15+ years of digital design and development expertise, and is a valued industry consultant who has been sought out for his vision by major Fortune 500 companies including Whole Foods, American Airlines, Neiman Marcus and Apple.

Prior to nGen, Ben served in several design leadership positions, including VP of Customer Experience at InVision and Executive Creative Director at Credera, where he won multiple industry awards for his work. He boasts an eclectic skill set that he puts to use everyday building meaningful digital solutions to his clients toughest challenges.

Brian Wilk

Brian Wilk is the VP of Design and Development, Games Division at Hasbro Inc.

After almost twenty years in the field, there is hardly a type of game that Brian has not worked on. Some of the brands he's been involved with include Star Wars, Transformers, GI Joe, Playskool, Play Doh, Mr. Potato Head, Monopoly, Beyblade, Furby, Marvel Comics, Kre-O, Mighty Muggs, Attacktix, Spider-Man, Starting LineUp, Jurassic Park, RescueBots, Scrabble, Sesame Street, Risk, Operation, and the Game of Life.

Brian is currently responsible for gaming development across Hasbro, and leads a large  team of the best designers and developers in the industry. His goal is to deliver the world's best gaming experiences based on customer insight, and he works with producers, writers, designers, developers, licensees, and inventors to bring Hasbro's products to market.

Brian loves his work because gaming brings play to kids and kids at heart of all ages all around the world, and is another way to tell stories and extend the experience of brands. For Brian and Hasbro, customer delight and maximum return on investment are one and the same.