Join 300 of our friendly, passionate, brilliant People Nerd friends for a day of curiosity fuel. Engage with exhilarating talks, connect with inspiring peers, and head back to work thinking: "wow, do I love what I do."
Sarah Koenig Serial Podcast · NPR
Creator of the award-winning podcast Serial, long-time contributor to This American Life, and co-creator of the celebrated podcast S-Town—Sarah has been the voice behind some of the most resounding, story-centered journalism of the decade. Read her People Nerd profile on compelling, empathetic storytelling in the age of audio.
Our People Nerds lineup is filled with experts on what makes people tick, what makes a story stick, what makes technology more “human,” and what makes human insights so valuable.
Margaret Laws President & CEO • Hopelab
As President and CEO of Hopelab, Margaret leads a multidisciplinary team of behavioral scientists, user-centered designers, and innovative partners to create technology that improves health and well-being for young adults.
Lance Weiler Founder · Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab
It's hard to think of someone who understands innovative storytelling better than Lance Weiler. Finding his footing in screenwriting and bootstrapped movie-making, then co-founding and leading the Digital Storytelling Lab at Columbia University, Lance believes stories are central to how we understand and explain the world around us. Read his People Nerd profile on the power of a story.
Aryel Cianflone Founder Mixed Methods, UX Research · LinkedIn
Host of the Mixed Methods podcast Aryel Cianflone says her role as a podcast host and interviewer isn't different than her role as a researcher. Learn how she sparks human connection in research and beyond.
Martha Cotton Managing Director · Fjord
As design research goes mainstream, Martha Cotton leads Fjord's practice. Read the People Nerds profile about how research helps designers make meaningful decisions based on empathy for users, and what principles a good designer and good researcher share.
Katy Mogal UX Research Lead · Google
Katy Mogal combines a love of science and measurability to understand people. Read about her experience transforming user insights into business value at the intersection of qual research and data.
Susan Kresnicka Founder & President · Kresnicka Research and Insights
Not only does anthropology have a place in business, but Susan Kresnicka would tell you every company needs anthropologists to help them better understand people. Read Susan's People Nerd profile as she explains how and why entertainment resonates throughout culture.
Kirsten Lewis Director of User Research · Sonos
Kirsten Lewis, Sonos' Head of User Research, wants to eliminate "researcher" as a job title. Her suggested replacement? Explorer. We chatted with Lewis about an evolving vocabulary, around research, why a prototype is the best expression of research work, and how she builds the case for exploratory projects.
Jen Romano-Bergstrom Director of UX Research · Bridgewater Associates
Few people know the UX field like Jen Romano-Bergstrom. Having worked as a teacher, practitioner, and research leader—for organizations like Facebook, Instagram, Bridgewater Associates, and UXPA International—she has her finger on the pulse of where research has been, and where it’s going. Learn how she expects to see UX evolve.
Yasmine Khan Senior Product Design Researcher · Even
Yasmine Khan has been a believer in qualitative learning since long before she got involved in UX design or research. Read her People Nerd profile about the realities of learning and the power of the museum-model.
Starting at 9am
Join our featured speakers as they break down the beating heart of qual research. In this series of talks they’ll discuss how storytelling creates context, how empathy accelerates insight—and how, by harnessing the power of both, we arrive at product shifting, world-changing, research outcomes.
Ending at 5:30pm
Dive into cases and panels with industry leaders, and hear the methods behind their most exciting research. Leave the day filled with actionable insights, tactical opportunities, and a better understanding of the "hows" that make up groundbreaking work.
Martha Cotton, Fjord
Business Value of Design
Mahin Samadani, McKinsey & Company
Dave Sonders, Salesforce, Kirsten Lewis, Sonos, David Keegan, acorns
You've either heard it before, or said it before: "We need to be more strategic." But what does that mean beyond the buzzword? How can we build our teams, expand our impact, and align our organizations so that we research more deliberately? Our panelists break down some next steps.
Skills of a Modern Researcher
Jen Romano-Bergstrom, Bridgewater Associates, Vanessa Whatley, Google, Aryel Cianflone, LinkedIn & Mixed Methods, Andy Warr, Uber
10 years ago, businesses were still debating whether or not they should have a Facebook page. Now, they're managing an intricate web of digital specialties—adding data scientists, growth hackers, content marketers, and statistical UX practitioners to their research roster. We’ll explore what these new disciplines and trends mean for modern researchers—both now, and a decade from now.
Care & Growth Teams
Katy Mogal, Google, Monal Chokshi, Lyft, Yasmine Khan, Even, Ben Babcock, Jet.com
Take a peek at how some of the top research teams are run and you’ll notice: most of them look nothing alike. We hear terms like “centralized” or “embedded” or “hybrid” or “democratization”—but the truth is, there isn’t a set “right or wrong” way to organize a team today. In this panel, we’ll discuss some of the approaches that work—and what we think is in store for teams of the future.
Susan Kresnicka, Kresnicka Research & Insights
How KR&I uncovers the ‘Whys’ behind human behavior by exploring everyday life.
Ana P Rosario, Remind
How Remind used research to define, and redefine, the company’s approach to teacher communication.
Randy Illum, Instagram
How Instagram brought users into the mix to make sure their face filters are 💯.
Massive Multiplayer Research
Beth Schwindt, Capital One
How Capital One changed team culture by empowering everyone to be a researcher.
Vanessa Dillof, The North Face
From basecamp to bedside, how The North Face pro athletes share their feedback from any context.
A Bright Idea
Rachel Robinette & Defne Civelekoglu, Casper
From sleep hacks to alpha feedback, how Casper dialed in their first digital product, Glow.
Emily Wurgler, dscout's The Studio
The story behind mixed-methods research on Americans’ perceptions of technology—and what it means for the world around us.
Bespoke Westfield San Francisco Centre
Join us at the beautiful Bespoke event space. It’s central, easily accessible, and close to the food, shopping, and culture that makes up the pulse of SF.
Ask Us About It
Who should attend?
Do you seek out stories, obsess over patterns, cast those patterns into insights, and believe “who people are” should drive “what people are building?”
Or maybe you’re just interested in what makes people “tick?”
Then, congrats. You’re a People Nerd: a rare brand of human that believes we can change products (and the world) by putting things in context.
Come. Make friends. Learn things. Nerd out together.
How much are tickets?
Tickets are priced at $299. Tickets are limited and registration has closed. If you'd like to receive the content created, after the event, click "stay in touch" and let us know where to send it.
How long is the event?
People Nerds: the event is one day, only.
People Nerds: the community is forever.
But seriously: registration will start around 9:00am, talks will start around 10:00am, and end around 5:15pm on May 1st. There’ll be plenty of time to hang out and caffeinate beforehand—and plenty of opportunities to get to know your fellow attendees after. We’ll have a more defined agenda in the coming weeks.
Give me the logistics (how to get there, when to get there, etc.)
Join us at the Bespoke Event space in the Westfield San Francisco Centre, where things’ll kick off around 9am, then head to a networking reception in the Bottoms Up Brewery at 5:15pm. We'll feature keynote speakers in the morning and have two concurrent tracks in the afternoon, where you can choose the sessions you want to attend.
How do I get to Bespoke?
Bespoke is located inside Westfield San Francisco Centre on Level Four next to Bloomingdale's
From Mission Street
From Mission Street, enter Bloomingdale's and take the elevator to either Level Four or Five, proceeding to Bespoke near the escalators.
From Market Street (Best entrance before 10:00am)
Enter at 835 Market Street (San Francisco State University Entrance) near Walgreens and take elevators to Level Four, crossing the Dome toward Bespoke.
I'm attending! Where should I stay?
Attendees! We recommend staying at the Hotel Zetta, Hotel Triton, or Hotel Zelos. All hotels are within a 10-minute walking distance to the Bespoke Event space.
I signed up on the interest list but didn't get a ticket. What's next?
Sorry, you can't make it IRL but if you click Stay in Touch and let us know how to reach you, we promise to send you all the content we create from the event–speaker highlights, session recaps...basically, everything worth sharing—to you and others interested starting in May.