Guest Lecturers


Natalie Nixon/Figure 8 Thinking

Natalie W. Nixon, PhD is a design strategist and a hybrid thinker. At Figure 8 Thinking, LLC she helps organizations accelerate innovation and growth by developing meaningful strategy through design thinking and ethnographic research.  She applies her diverse background in service design, anthropology and fashion, to help clients with culture transformation, leadership development, ideation sessions and envisioning labs.

Natalie is a Fellow at the Paris d.School and a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania in social innovation and design for social impact and a Senior Advisor at Econsult Solutions. She is the Founding Director of the Strategic Design MBA program at Philadelphia University where she was a professor in design strategy and fashion management.

Natalie is a published author: the editor of Strategic Design Thinking: Innovation in Products, Services, Experiences and Beyond and a regular contributor to online magazine on creativity and design thinking.  She is a global speaker and is represented by the BigSpeak speakers bureau.  Her public speaking invitations have included the Business Innovation Factory, 360 Possibles (Saint Malo, France), Creative Mornings, TEDx Philadelphia, The Copenhagen Institute for Interactive Design, The European Innovation Academy (Nice, France), SEB Bank (Tallinn,Estonia), FUSE and the Mayo Clinic’s Transform conference.

She serves on the boards of the Alumni Association of Vassar College, the Philadelphia Art Commission and Leadership+Design.

Natalie earned her BA (Honors: Cum Laude) from Vassar College with a double major in Anthropology and Africana Studies; an MS in Global Textile Marketing from Philadelphia University (USA), Shenkar College (Israel) & Reutlingen University (Germany); and a PhD in Design Management from the University of Westminster, London.


Brielle Nickoloff/ Witlingo 


Brielle Nickoloff is a Voice User Experience designer and researcher for Witlingo, a startup located in the DC area whose purpose is to voice-enable brands and companies. Brielle earned her undergrad degrees in Neuroscience and Linguistics almost exactly one year ago, from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She’s excited to use her passion and knowledge of human language and conversation for her current job every day- especially given that she had planned to go to medical school throughout most of her undergraduate career, and then decided against it at the last second. She would love to talk to you about changing career paths, breaking into UX fields with limited experience, and anything else related to voice, design or research...just ask!


Matthew Bartholomew/Think Company

Matthew Bartholomew is a Senior Design Lead at Think Company. He is a design strategist with a proven track record of building and leading successful project teams for clients in financial services, healthcare, transportation, and education. His projects include business systems, intranets, websites, mobile apps, and organizational models. 

His approach is to tackle complex problems by leveraging the perspective of the entire project team including researchers, technologists, content strategists, project managers, and marketing strategists. He has a command of each element of the design process — user research, defining project goals, working sessions, content creation, information architecture, interaction design, rapid prototyping, usability research, and visual design.

Matthew received a BFA in Graphic Design from Yale University.


Dana P. Saxon/ Ancestors unKnown

Dana P. Saxon, JD, MSc, is the Executive Director of Ancestors unKnown, a nonprofit organization that provides schools, nonprofits and other institutions with genealogy research and history education. In 2011, after nearly 10 years in the education nonprofit sector in the U.S., Dana moved to The Netherlands, where she earned a Master’s in Sociology at the University of Amsterdam. Her research focused on the African diaspora, measuring the significance of family history research among people who descend from survivors of slavery. Since then, she’s traveled between the U.S., the Netherlands and Suriname to introduce new audiences to some of the world’s untold histories and the power of genealogy research. Dana currently resides in The Hague (Netherlands). And as an avid genealogist, she continues to spend a little too much time in the archives looking for her ancestors and sharing the stories they left behind.