At IDC 2018, take risks.
Create new norms.
Unleash Design Leadership and claim your creative destiny!

Launched in 2017, the International Design Conference is a thought leadership event that celebrates the intersection of business and design, where breakthroughs are the norm and ideas big and bold are unleashed. The International Design Conference embodies the ethos of Design Center – to nurture a strong community of creatives, and to act as a catalyst for the design community to thrive. Design Center, an attached agency of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry, is the only national agency for design committed to cultivating a culture that thrives in creativity, value creation, and innovation.


In this age of hyper-change, the world is rapidly transforming as technological, environmental and demographic changes are occurring at unprecedented rates, and a new kind of leadership is demanded. These leaders and future leaders are able to have design and creativity play central roles in the organization, see new patterns, think in paradoxes, and are able to take a leap into the unknown in order to move the business forward. The one-day conference will pump up a thousand creative mavericks through a series of discussions fueled by dangerous ideas to unleash their inner design leader. In the International Design Conference, you are called to challenge conventions, pursue new ideas, cultivate conversations, and raise the discourse on the intersection of business and design to unlock a new creative paradigm.


The International Design Conference will be highly interactive with different formats within the main conference program such as keynotes, lightning talks, and fireside chats.

With the customized IDC app, sessions will be liked and rated which allows the Design Center to collect valuable information to draw actionable insights. Making the interactive event agenda allows attendees to be more engaged throughout the IDC while Design Center can then use to inform future decisions.

The morning will be a discussion/exploration on Design Leadership vis-à-vis the current business and corporate environment of hyper-change from both a global/international perspective and then a Philippine design leadership journey. There will also be lighting talks of various design leaders representing the wide creative spectrum in the Philippines.

The afternoon will be a deep dive in design leadership by presenting four (04) key archetypes: the Artist (who loves radical innovation), the Engineer (who constantly improves everything), the Athlete (who competes to develop the best innovation), and the Sage (who innovates through collaboration).

Then, the conference ends with an exploration of design and industrial revolution 4.0, particularly role of crafts and craftsmanship and the challenge to the Philippines to future proof.


Samsung Hall, SM Aura Premier
Taguig City, Metro Manila
21 September 2018

07:30 Registration
08:30 Opening Remarks
08:50 Dangerous Ideas & Design Leadership
A Homegrown’s Design Journey into Leadership


What is it like to go on a personal design journey from the Philippines? What’s the secret sauce to break into one or more of the World’s Design Capitals? How would you characterize your Design Leadership that allowed you to put the Philippines in the map?

Abelardo “Jojo” M. Tolentino, Jr.
President and CEO, Aidea, Inc., Philippines

DOOR TO ASIA: A Sustainable Model for Design Collaboration & Leadership


Between 2015 to 2018, a total of 32 designers from 10 Asian countries joined the DOOR TO ASIA Designers-in-Residence program to create communication design for local companies in the Tohoku region of Japan. It has explored the roles and responsibilities of designers to contribute to regional revitalization and disaster risk reduction. How does this program become a model to engage designers and change the perception of design and designers?

Mikiharu Yabe
Designer Coordination, DOOR TO ASIA, Japan

10:00 Fireside Chat On Dangerous Ideas & Design Leadership

Moderator: Joel Santos (President, Thames International Business School)

Abelardo “Jojo” M. Tolentino, Jr.
President and CEO, Aidea, Inc., Philippines

Mikiharu Yabe
Designer Coordination, DOOR TO ASIA, Japan

Dan Matutina
Designer, Partner, Plus63 / Hydra Design Group, Philippines

Russ Vergara

Roxy Navarro
Managing Creative Officer Works of Heart Design Studio

Dang Sering
(Independent Creative Communicator)

10:45 Break
11:00 Lightning Talks: Design Leadership and Education/Learning

Tobias Guggenheimer
Dean, SoFA Design Institute, Philippines

Gino Cariño
Founder, Makerspace Manila, Philippines

Pamela Cajilig
Design Anthropologist, Co-founder & Executive Research Director, Curiosity Design Research

Moderator: Maria Rita “Rhea” Oreta Matute
Executive Director, Design Center of the Philippines

12:30 Lunch Break
13:15 Press Conference (By Invitation)

These are the people in the workplace who propel innovation. These archetypes serve as anchors for different stories and how these speakers successfully executed design leadership in action.

14:00 The Sage

Caring and empathic, the SAGES are aware of others and care for the needs of individuals. They are skilled at both building a community of people and sharing knowledge between them. What are the processes to effectively interact and empathize with their community

Lenise Logan
President, Kalpa Art Advisory & SXSW, USA

14:20 The Athlete

Aggressive and decisive, the ATHLETES actively pursue goals and targets and are energized by competitive situations. They are hard drivers and producers. What are their objectives, what do they focus on? And what is success for them?

Christian San Jose 
Managing Director, Make by Ace Saatchi & Saatchi, Philippines

14:40 The Artist

Envisioning change, the ARTISTS are fueled by a better future and generating hopes in others. They actively pursue innovation and adaptation. How do they handle uncertainty? Are they comfortable with abstract ideas?

Paco Guerrero
Founder and Executive Editor, GRID Magazine, Philippines

15:00 The Engineer

Improving efficiency through redesigning and the implementation of reliable technology is a hallmark of the ENGINEERS. What do they do in order to achieve success? Are they taking risks? And do they value standardization and consistency?

Ibba Bernardo
Operations Head, I Am Cardboard Philippines, Philippines

15:20 Fireside Chat on Creative Forces of Design Leadership

Moderator: Matt Morrison (Founder, ASPACE Philippines)

16:00 Break
16:15 At the Intersection of Craft and the Digital World


Where is craft in a world where digitized, mechanized fabrication is becoming more sophisticated? How do you manage the dichotomy? What is the definition of craftsmanship in wake of Industrial Revolution 4.0? How can the Philippines contribute to this global discourse?

Michael Barry
Founder, Quotient Design Research & Stanford University, USA

17:15 Town Hall: At the Intersection of Craft and the Digital World

Moderator: Richard Abendan, Ph.D, Chief of Party, STRIDE Program, USAID

Michael Barry
Founder, Quotient Design Research & Stanford University, USA

Joey Yupangco
Design Principal, Joey Yupangco + Associati

17:45 Closing Remarks

Nora K. Terrado
Undersecretary – Department of Trade and Industry
Trade and Investments Promotion Group

18:00 End of Program


Cajilig, Pamela

Design Anthropologist, Executive Design Director and co-founder of Curiosity Design Research

Terrado, Nora K.

Undersecretary – Department of Trade and Industry
Trade and Investments Promotion Group



Play invites creativity and collaboration and can inspire you to think out of the box!

IDC 2018 transforms the Samsung Hall into a creative playground to set the backdrop for a day-long conference cum festival of exploration, breaking rules, sharpening intuition, and basking in childlike fearless wonder.



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