The campus community is invited to learn about creative design and innovative solutions at the next event leading up to the INNOVATE 2022 competition.
Greg Thomas, a creative design and user experience expert, will speak at Augusta University at 3 p.m. Feb. 15 in University Hall, Room 170 on the Summerville Campus.
This event is the second of three featured speaker presentations ahead of the INNOVATE 2022 competition on March 31, which is sponsored by the Center for Instructional Innovation, the Office of the President and the Office of the Provost.
At the event, Thomas will present on creative design thinking, the iterative process many companies and problem-solvers use to understand the intended audience for a product or service, challenge assumptions and create innovative solutions.
Thomas is the director of user experience at TaxSlayer, and is a design industry veteran with an extensive background in creating user-centered customer experiences. He has worked for Fortune 500 companies such as Walgreens and Motorola, among others.
Thomas earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Butler University and his master’s degree in human-computer interaction from DePaul University.
The INNOVATE competition, held annually at Augusta University for the last three years, incentivizes students to use their education, innovation and creativity to solve a relevant social problem. Interdisciplinary collaboration — that is, students from various disciplines and colleges working together — is strongly encouraged in the competition.
The theme of this year’s competition is solving community needs in the CSRA. Significant social issues in the CSRA include homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, lack of living-wage jobs, high cost of child care, difficulty recycling and lack of transportation. Competition leadership thinks Thomas’s presentation can inspire student-led solutions to these problems.
“Greg’s years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies makes him a valuable inspiration to our community,” said Lynsey Steinberg, a member of the INNOVATE 2022 leadership team.
“Design thinking skills are a human-centered approach to solving a problem. It focuses on utilizing empathy and perspective of the customer’s needs to generate creative ideas, rapid prototyping and collaboration.”