Program Director, Design Leaders Council
The Conference Board
Ruth Schmidt serves as Program Director for the Design Leaders Council of The Conference Board. In addition to her work with The Conference Board, Ruth is an associate professor at the Institute of Design (ID) at Chicago’s Illinois Institute of Technology whose work sits at the intersection of behavioral economics and humanity-centered design. Her current work focuses primarily on blurring the line between these disciplines and combines strategic design methodologies, understanding of latent human needs, and behavioral insights to inform problem-solving related to human judgment, decision-making, and behavior that result in application of effective and ethical solutions to challenges as well as new tools, frameworks, and conceptual models.
Prior to joining ID full time in 2017, Ruth was a senior leader at the innovation consultancy Doblin | Deloitte, where she helped leading health care, financial services, education, and civic organizations embed innovation processes more effectively and led cross disciplinary teams in creating new behaviorally-informed offerings and innovation solutions. She continues to provide strategic and behavioral design expertise in a consultative role to startup and established companies in a variety of industries, including health care, financial services, education, and food.
Ruth’s speaking engagements and articles span a wide range of venues, including “Driving Institutional Change for Research Assessment Reform” (American Society for Cell Biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 2019); “Nature Sustainability: Behavioral Science in Design toward Global Sustainability” (University of Virginia, Convergent Behavioral Science Initiative, and Nature Sustainability, 2019); “(Re)defining the Role of Design in Behavioral Design” (Nudgeapalooza, Deloitte Behavioral Science Group, 2019); and “Leveraging Positive Friction In Human-Centered Design” (Action Design Chicago, 2018).