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Idean Design Academy – Empathy Intensive

Lead your Design Led Transformations
with True Empathy

There is a direct link between empathy and commercial success. The top 10 companies in the Global Empathy Index 2015 increased in value more than twice as much as the bottom 10 and generated 50% more earnings.
— Harvard Business Review


We hear over and over that one of the hallmarks of truly successful leaders is empathy. It turns out, however, that few people know what it really means, how to develop it and how to deploy it. Cognitive Empathy, the type of empathy that drives breakthrough innovations, is not an innate human skill. While many think it’s a feeling or a state of mind, in truth it a body of knowledge that you gather through using concrete, strategic tools, and techniques. It is something that must be studied and practiced to gain mastery and when used correctly, it yields incredible results.

At Idean, we know that cognitive empathy is the number one driver that creates resilient, innovative companies that capture and retain loyal customers in today’s market. We love to share great ideas and have developed this workshop to give you a fast-paced and exciting deep dive into our all-time favorite secret weapon. Prepare to roll up your sleeves and dive into an open, collaborative session, other successful leaders. Leave equipped to construct change and drive success with the power of practical empathy.


A New Course for Empathy Training

Two days of hands-on challenges, analysis and creating a transformative empathy-based strategy

Day 1: 

  • Understand how companies unlock and leverage the ROI of empathy in today’s market

  • Dissect and analyze corporate empathy fails, and understand your current risk profile and potential impact of an empathy fail

  • Begin maximizing your empathy skills and impact with a highly personalized tactical plan for how to optimize your specific strengths and overcome your innate roadblocks to using empathy strategically

Day 2: 

  • Unearth and take command of hidden beliefs that limit your effectiveness as a leader

  • Gain insight through exploring case studies of business empathy wins

  • Get hands-on experience creating bold rituals to drive team productivity through helping them ignite their work with personal purpose

  • Get detailed insight into your current customer and organizational landscape

  • Create a detailed strategic roadmap for understanding your deploying empathy as a transformative tool in your workplace and with your customers

Participants will receive an IDA Course Certification, the Idean Empathy Toolkit, and a 60-minute one-on-one consultation on your company roadmap with Idean.


Thoughts from Academy Alums


Dates and Locations


Empathy Intensive

Wed, June 13, 2018, 8:30 AM –
Thu, June 14, 2018, 4:00 PM 

Allied Arts Guild
Menlo Park, CA


Leadership Intensive

Wed, May 23, 2018, 8:30 AM –
Thu, May 24, 2018, 4:00 PM 

Applied Innovation Exchange
San Francisco, CA




Leadership Intensive – May 23-24, 2018 in San Francisco, CA


Empathy Intensive – June 13-14, 2018 in Menlo Park, CA

Past attendees

  • UX Design Manager, Honda R&D Lab
  • Design Strategy, Walmart
  • Director of User Experience, Siemens
  • Senior Manager of UX, LinkedIn
  • UX Team Design Manager, LG Silicon Valley Lab
  • Senior, Product Manager, Hilton Worldwide
  • Global UX Lead, Ericsson
  • Business Advisor, SEB
  • Head of Industrial Design, Rolls-Royce
  • HMI, Technical Specialist, Jaguar/Landrover
  • Director Digital Product Mgt, USAA
  • Head of BMW Advanced Technology Center, BMW
  • Senior Director of Digital Media Product, Accuweather
  • UX Lead, Bosch
  • Vice President of Innovation Network, Citi Ventures
  • Head of Design, Corporate Social Responsibility, Cisco
  • Director of UI / UX, Samsung Research
  • Head of Software, HP
  • CEO, Alma Media Partners
  • Head of Design, Ericsson
  • Executive Director, Hyundai Ventures
  • Global Digital Transformation Leader, 3M
  • VP of Design, Macmillan Publishers
  • SVP, Product Head, City National Bank

Instructors & mentors

  Risto Lahdesmaki    CEO, Idean

Risto Lahdesmaki  

CEO, Idean

  Michelle Trudo  Director, Idean Design Academy

Michelle Trudo

Director, Idean Design Academy

  Jesse Maula  Chief Design Officer, Idean 

Jesse Maula

Chief Design Officer, Idean 

What people are saying


The program is great for anyone who is building products - this is the perfect place to learn, hear from others about those experiences, and how to solve those in best possible way.

—Mika Majapuro, Product Marketing Director, F-Secure


As a Design Leader, what we all have in comm on whether in a small or in a large corporation, is that we have to learn the value of design, and design leadership, and a design-driven organizational culture. And that is something that was discussed a lot here at the Academy.

—Tobias May, Head of Banking Experience at Deutsche Bank


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We are committed to making all of our classes available to anyone who wants to leverage the power of design to change the world. If funding is stopping you from joining us, apply for a scholarship today!