Professional Development > Conferences and Workshops

Conferences and Workshops
(Click here for the 2019-2020 Professional Development Series PDF)


Cultivating Innovators Through Design Thinking
Greg Bamford

Friday, September 27, 2013
9:30 am - 3:00 pm

Latin School of Chicago
Chicago, IL

Registration Update

As of Augst 29, this session has reached capacity. To be added to the waitlist, please select the waitlist button above and follow the online form which will add you to a wait list. ISACS staff will contact you if a spot becomes available.

In a hands-on, experiential workshop participants will:

  • gain a big picture understanding of what design thinking is and how it develops grit, empathy, growth mindsets, and creativity
  • experience a design thinking challenge to create a new solution
  • be able to leverage the design thinking process to cultivate collaboration skills and student leadership
  • leave with design thinking exercises ready to be used in their school

How can we educate young people ready to lead, innovate, and create in an era of change? We need new ways of teaching that mirror the ambiguity and rigor of real life. In this workshop, participants will gain a foundation in design thinking, a human-centered problem-solving approach that embodies the best practices of the innovation sector. Design thinking encourages young people  to develop empathy for human needs, reframe problems in more insightful ways, generate new solutions, and iterate rapidly through early failure to find long-term success. It is being used in leading-edge independent schools across the country to generate more resilience, empathy, creativity, and real-world readiness. In this hands-on session, Greg Bamford – a former independent school teacher and founder of the Leadership+Design lab school – will provide a well-rounded introduction to the “why” and “what” of design thinking. Participants will go through a design challenge first-hand, experiencing tools for themselves. They will make connections between design thinking, collaboration skills, emotional intelligence, and student leadership. Finally, participants will leave with some specific exercises ready to be used in their schools.

This workshop is for K-12 teachers interested in innovation, change, and personal challenge.

Greg Bamford (@gregbamford) is an educator, consultant, and co-founder of Leading is Learning. A former independent school teacher and department chair, he now works with schools on design thinking, assessment, student leadership, social and emotional intelligence, faculty development, and strategic planning. Greg leads the Leadership+Design lab school, which provides experiential training in real-world creative problem-solving and collaborative leadership skills, for teachers and students alike. He co-led Prototype Design Camp Seattle and was the Curator of TEDxOverlake on the theme of “How People Learn.” He holds an Ed.M. in Educational Leadership from Columbia University, and is a featured presenter on learning at events like TEDxPugetSound, the PNAIS Fall Educator’s Conference, the SFLC Summer Seminar on School Innovation, EduCon, //fuse, the Martin Institute, and the Emerging Media Conference.

He is currently director of Leading is Learning and a Leadership Consultant at the Santa Fe Leadership Center. His past and present clients include Catlin Gabel School, Rye Country Day School, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, Trinity School, The Urban School of San Francisco, and University Child Development School. Greg is a father of two young girls and lives and works in the Greater Seattle area.  More information is available at
This workshop will take place at the Latin School of Chicago, 59 West North Boulevard, Chicago. The Latin School is conveniently accessible by public transportation and taxis. Click here for directions and parking information for The Latin School.

Hotel Accommodations
ISACS recommends the following hotel and has secured special rates based on availability. Attendees must make their own hotel reservations; please contact the hotel directly to make your reservations.

The Hotel Indigo
1244 N. Dearborn Parkway
Chicago, IL 60610

For reservations, please call the Hotel Indigo directly at 312-787-4980, ask for reservations and request the "Independent Schools Association" rate to receive discounted rooms. Rates vary depending on date of stay; space and availability are limited. To book your room online (and receive the ISACS discounted rate), click here.  The Hotel Indigo is just 3 blocks from the Latin School.

Click here for directions and parking information for The Hotel Indigo.

Registration Fee
  • $175 Member Fee
  • $225 Non-Member Fee
  • First registrant pays full fee, each additional registrant receives a $20 discount
  • Workshop includes lunch

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations must be received in writing to ISACS by emailing 10 business days prior to the event to receive a 50% refund. Cancellations received within 10 days of the event will not receive a refund. Registration may be transferred to another member from the same school. ISACS reserves the right to cancel the workshop for insufficient enrollment. In this case, participants will be notified and given a full refund.

Questions? Please call 312-255-1244.


Member Cost: $175     Non-member Cost: $225


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