A practical, positive look at the future of design, ethical innovation, and technology.
Optimistic Design is a practical, positive look at the future of design, ethical innovation, and technology. Tune in each month with Wilma Lam, Substantial’s Strategy Director, as she is joined by creatives, makers, and thinkers to talk about what it means to design with hope for our ever changing world.
Founder + Creator
Authentic Design + Design Swarms
Surya is an educator, speaker, and founder with over 25 years of experience as a transdisciplinary design practitioner working at the leading edge of physical and digital design.
Brand & Experience Design Manager
Courtney leads Brand and Experience Design at Sonder. Leveraging her deep experience in multidisciplinary design and strategy, she is redefining the future of hospitality and living.
K12 Lab Futurist Fellow
Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford
Ariam Mogos is a futurist fellow in the Stanford d.school K12 Lab, where she designs prototypes with K-12 educators around how to engage, evaluate, and create with emerging technologies, grounded in ethics and digital agency.
Product Design Lead
Andy is a Product Design Lead at Karat, a company on a mission to unlock opportunity for both hiring companies and candidates by re-engineering the interview process.
Fred Kukelhaus & Ben Young
Hugo & Hoby
Fred and Ben are co-founders of Hugo + Hoby which they founded with the simple mission to make beautiful, locally crafted, and sustainable furniture more widely accessible.
Director, Experience Strategy
Johnson & Johnson
Mary is a leader of design strategy at Johnson & Johnson, focusing on health and wellbeing, end-to-end experience design, and bringing behavioral science into the design process.
User Research Lead, Khan Academy
Todd Diemer is the User Research Lead at Khan Academy, the non-profit educational organization created in 2006 to provide free, world-class education for students nationally and internationally.
Managing Director, Play Lab at IDEO
Michelle Lee, Managing Director at IDEO, leads their Design for Play team. She has made it her mission to use the principles of play to create impactful products for a diverse range of industries, from healthcare to food and beverage. Michelle is an award-winning designer driven by a desire to bring thoughtful solutions to fruition through user-centered design.
Director of Design and UX, Salesforce
Katie Silvers is the Director of Design and UX at Salesforce and is an expert in aligning business needs and communication with core leadership. Before joining Salesforce, Katie was a manager of Corporate Strategy and Innovation at the Arielle X Group and LexisNexis. She specializes in Design Thinking tools and Agile methodologies and believes product and process innovation is an indispensable element in business growth.
Design Professor at UW, Co-Founder at Shift Labs, and Venture Partner at Pack VC
Beth is a humanities-turned-engineering academic turned entrepreneur turned venture capitalist who has worked at the forefront of multiple technology-driven cultural shifts.
Director, High Alpha Innovation
Jennifer Gaze is a director at High Alpha Innovation, where she partners with global leading organizations to launch new ventures and build venture studios.
Founder, Loving Day
Ken is the Founder of Loving Day, a holiday he created as a design-driven social change project.
Associate Director, Clinical and Health Service Design
Dr. Ijeoma Azodo is the Associate Director of Clinical and Health Service Design at NES Technology Service.
Project Director, Community Collaboration + Design
Adha currently serves as the project director for community and design at Digital Promise, where he designs learning experiences for educators rooted in equity and metacognition.
Senior Program Officer of K-12 Market Dynamics, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Jaymes Hanna, Senior Program Officer of Market Dynamics on the K-12 Education team, supports the work on improving the design, awareness, and adoption of evidence-based programs, products and services that support teachers and increase student success.
Digital optimism delivered straight to your inbox.
Opt in below for other updates from Substantial. We promise not to spam or sell your contact information.
About Our Host
As Strategy Director at Substantial, Wilma leads projects to create better digital products for a better tomorrow. She partners with organizations across sectors to identify new opportunities and bring them to market. Projects include emerging brands/platforms, connected devices, digital services, and new CPG business models. Prior to Substantial, Wilma led business innovation and design strategy initiatives at Johnson & Johnson's design group, launched the digital platform Rememory Stories, and worked at LumenLab, MetLife's Innovation Center in Singapore.