Common Practice, New York
Nick is the lead designer of the games “Hello” and “My Gift of Grace” which have been used by families and organizations around the world to support more and better conversations about living and dying well. Nick’s background is in human factors engineering and design, Nick has been creating innovative social interventions for over 20 years. Over the course of his career, he has collaborated with housing and voting rights advocates, healthcare staff, state employees, student groups, human service organizations, and returning veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to build tools that create social change and empower communities.
Assistant Professor, Miami University
Dennis Cheatham is a design researcher, designer and educator with over fourteen years of professional design experience as a graphic designer, interaction designer, copywriter and creative director. Currently he is an assistant professor of communication design at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He has worked in agency, in-house, corporate, non-profit and freelance environments with and for organizations including Dennard, Lacey and Associates, Southwest Airlines, HKS Architects, Water is Basic and public broadcasting television station, KERA. His work has earned regional and national awards, has been published nationally and he has presented his research internationally. Dennis has a BA in English with a focus in Creative Writing, a BFA in Design Communication and an MFA in Applied Design Research from the University of North Texas.
Communication Design, OCAD University
Tatjana’s personal research often focuses on how art and design can benefit the mourning process. She obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design from OCAD University in 2014, and her Master's Degree in Digital Media from Ryerson University in 2018. She has recently started teaching Process for Graphic Designers at OCAD University in 2019.
The Moment, Toronto
Karen Oikonen is a strategic communication designer, researcher, and systems thinking. Pairing an eye for detail with critical thinking, she has always approached design work from a human-centered perspective. During her 18 years of experience, she has been a team member in a number of capacities including research, foresight, creative direction, design and client management. Karen has had the opportunity to work on projects in a broad spectrum of industries including education, hospitality, financials, tourism, fundraising, and healthcare.
Associate +VG, The Ventin Group Architects
Deb Westman is an architect with +VG Architects, a firm with a long history of built heritage conservation and revitalization projects across Ontario. She has been involved with all aspects of architectural design and implementation with specific focus on cultural heritage projects. Deb has successfully completed conservation projects, expansion/ renewal and adaptive re-use projects as well as new construction. She has a significant amount of experience in cultural heritage impact assessments (HIAs), conservation strategies, feasibility studies and consultation workshops.
Associate +VG The Ventin Group Architect
Industrial Design, OCAD University
Director of Death Over Dinner, India
Dr. Courtney Shaw
St. Elizabeth Research Centre, Toronto
Dr. Courtney Shaw has worked in health research for 8 years and has an interest in health systems transformation, innovative models of care delivery, patient safety and quality improvement, and collaborative co-designed research approaches. She has an undergraduate degree in Political Science and International Relations from the University of British Columbia (2011) and a Master’s of Science in International Health from the University of Leeds (2012). From 2013-1015 she worked for a consulting firm in London, England collaborating on research projects in the Health Systems and Public Health portfolios. In 2018 she completed her PhD at the University of Bradford with a thesis entitled “Towards Dementia Friendly Emergency Departments”. Her doctoral work was a mixed methods exploratory study identifying opportunities to improve the quality and safety of care provided to people living with cognitive impairments when they access care in the emergency department.
Juan Saavedra is an Art Director and Designer whose experience reflects a range of industries which include fashion & apparel, art, music & entertainment and community & sexual health. His interests are volunteerism, social innovation, design-activism and entrepreneurship. Prior to moving to Ottawa, he received the Mayor’s Community Safety Award from the City of Toronto for promoting collaboration and developing innovative arts-based programming. Other accomplishments include winning the 2015 Youth Arts Pitch contest from ArtReach Toronto, spearheading a Vital Ideas grant to research emerging issues among Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing LGBTQ youth and supported the planning and delivery of Nuit Rose – Toronto’s Queer Arts and Performance Festival.