Announcing the starting lineup for the #SNDDC workshop


Here’s the first look at speakers for SNDDC, which runs April 9-11 in Washington, D.C., including editors from a popular site that did not even exist a year ago to a famed graphic designer who spoke at the second annual SND workshop, which was the first one held in D.C.

Starting strong as we look ahead

We’ll get the workshop rolling with keynote speaker Amy Webb, the well-regarded digital futurist who co-founded SparkCamp and is the chief executive of her own consultancy, Webbmedia Group. Amy is known for her keen ability to identify the top tech trends every year. Forbes named Amy one of the six “Power Women” changing the world of technology — and if you have not watched her brilliantly funny TED Talk about the journey chronicled in her book, “Data, A Love Story,” we’re going to go ahead and embed it here for your convenience.

Our next view of what’s next will be with the legendary Richard Saul Wurman, who co-founded TED, incidentally. Wurman, the acknowledged father of Information Architecture, will discuss creativity with Kris Viesselman, a past president of SND and the founder of the Electric Ivy studio. Wurman and Viesselman have collaborated on several projects, so we’re eager to hear their conversation, which should help rev up workshop attendees for the many cool sessions ahead.

Wurman and Viesselman
Richard Saul Wurman and Kris Viesselman

Focus on graphics, design and collaboration

Another notable speaker on the first full day of the workshop: Nigel Holmes, the influential information designer, who was on the program at the second annual workshop SND held (and the first in the city of Washington, D.C.). A profile of Nigel kicks off our series of interviews with SNDDC speakers. Nigel talks about his storied career, how to strive for clarity and the many ways explanation can be fun and, yes, even funny. Read the full story here.

Nigel Holmes
Nigel Holmes

We’re excited to announce Ian Adelman, who has been called “one of the hottest hands in digital design” and is the Director of Digital Design at The New York Times, will be on the program. Ian spearheaded a redesign last year of one of the top digital news destinations in the world, a process he sees as ongoing work that will naturally continue to evolve. Previously, under his direction, became widely recognized for its thoughtful and energetic visual expression of the New York magazine brand online.

We’ll also hear from Claire O’Neill and Wesley Lindamood, who make cool things happen at NPR, about the art of crossing boundaries with a focus on how the two apply ideas and techniques from disparate disciplines to the practice of digital design in their award-winning visual work at NPR. Claire and Wes were part of the NPR Visuals team behind Planet Money Makes A T-Shirt, which garnered Gold and Silver medals from SND in the most-recent digital competition. They also make other fascinating stuff every day (we love Look At This as a starting point).

Thinking of design changes for your digital presence? We’ll learn about the makeover of, where major changes are expected to roll out right around the moment we’re meeting in Washington. We’ll peek into the process of a site redesign with a team of leaders from Minneapolis — Jim Bernard, Josh Penrod and Derek Simmons — to discuss everything from finding the right match in a consultant (in this case, Boston’s Upstatement) to working with various stakeholders in the newsroom and beyond to plan for success. Upstatement partner Mike Swartz will join the Star Tribune team at SNDDC to handicap the opportunities and challenges of rethinking a major news site from the ground up.

Melissa Bell and Ezra Klein
Melissa Bell and Ezra Klein

Digital powerhouses, new and established

Two of the founders of will be on hand: Editor-in-Chief Ezra Klein will be a keynote speaker on the final day of the workshop (in a conversation with the one and only Yuri Victor) and Executive Editor Melissa Bell will speak at the student sessions that kick off the conference. Vox’s quick success — it launched just nine months ago — is often attributed to the way the team melds journalism, technology and design, so we’re excited to hear from the top editors about the culture they and others at Vox are creating.

Rob King
Rob King

Fast Company named keynote speaker Rob King of ESPN one of the most creative people of 2014 for “helping fans follow their teams from screen to screen.”
Rob has the impressive title of Senior Vice President, SportsCenter and News at the sports giant, a position he was promoted into a year ago. Before that, Rob was responsible for all content and the editorial direction of ESPN’s portfolio of digital and print sports properties. He’s a passionate advocate for design and one of the coolest leaders we know. We’re excited he will join the workshop on its final day to share lessons he’s learned while working for a brand that’s in so many people’s lives.

That’s the early look: We’ll be posting more speakers, sessions and events in the coming days and weeks. Follow the #snddc hashtag on Twitter for the latest updates.

Ready to register? Sign up here. Want more info? Head to the SNDDC site for additional program, venue, hotel and sponsorship information. Plan ahead now: Washington is lovely in the spring, but the conference hotel will fill up fast.

About Matt Mansfield

is a Partner at MG Strategy+ Design.

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