This talk is presented jointly by TorCHI and
TPMA (Toronto Product Management Association)
When something is just a bit too challenging to work out ‘in our heads’, we make things to think with. We bring knowledge into the world. Think tools, maps, drawings, and designed spaces. We are — as a species — ever extending our natural ability to compute, to think, to explore, and to understand. From ancient drawings on a cave wall, to the smartphones in our pockets, we have a long history of creating tools that extend our thinking into the world.
But what happens to our minds when we make and use these things? Why—and how, exactly—do cards decks, visual models, explorable explanations, and other 'tools for thought' increase our human capacity for understanding? And why are these things increasingly needed for group collaboration? We'll answer these questions and more, as we take a critical look at studies on cognition and the toolkits being used by teams to make sense of and navigate increasingly complex challenges.
Stephen P. Anderson is a design leader focused on workforce learning and organizational development. And he’s on a mission: To make learning the hard stuff fun, by creating ‘things to think with’ and ‘spaces’ for generative play. Through custom-designed toolkits, on-site training, and now via The Mighty Minds Club, Stephen helps product teams work through their most difficult situations. As a keynote speaker, Stephen continues to challenge and inspire audiences as he exposes the quirky connections between games, play, learning, interactive visualizations, and other exciting topics.
Stephen's newest book, Figure It Out: Getting From Information to Understanding, has been described as both “required reading for designers and anyone else who needs to explain things” and a book that will “change the way you see the world.”