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SDGC15 Saturday Morning Keynote 1 Sarah Brooks and Julia Kim

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Published on Nov 12, 2015

Presidential Innovation Fellow Program


Biography Sarah:
Service design researcher, strategist and advocate for social change, Sarah Brooks’ work includes practice, teaching, writing and large-scale systems thinking about interventions for a better world. Sarah has worked with social entrepreneurs, startups, the corporate world, non-profits and foundations leading multidisciplinary creative teams through initiatives including food systems, healthcare, media, education, finance and civic innovation. Most recently, she served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs with the team driving the department’s radical transformation. She is continuing her service at VA within the Customer (Veterans) Experience team building and leading the Insight and Design capabilities. Sarah has a BA in Film & Literature from Boston University and a BFA in Printmaking & Textiles from California College of the Arts.

Biography Julia:
Julia helps people solve hard problems, tackling everything from improving the decision-making of soldiers to forecasting future science & technology trends. Most recently, she served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs with the team driving the department’s radical transformation. Previously, she led projects at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT), working with academics, developers, Hollywood talent, and military personnel to create virtual reality systems, artificial intelligence-based avatars, as well as educational games and films. Julia has a BA and MA in history of science from Harvard University.


“Veterans, VA and Customer Experience: Busting Stereotypes”
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is undergoing a radical transformation to improve its relationship with Veterans. The work begins with understanding Veterans, their complex needs, and how VA fits into their lives. VA, the second largest federal agency and a complex organization delivering healthcare and social services within the laws of the land, has created the first cabinet-level Customer Experience team. We’ll share the beginning of this story, and how we are using the tools of design to transform how people within VA think about and approach service delivery.

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