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Track: Optimizing You


Day of week:

Ever meet someone that was incredibly charismatic, had a gravitational pull, instilled feelings of trust, and inspired bias towards action? It may not be a surprise that this level of composure doesn’t happen overnight. Fine tuning soft skills will help you grow personally and professionally to get the most out of each experience you encounter. The most effective people can directly and indirectly champion an idea from inception to completion. And understanding how to harness this muscle can be a powerful tool. So if you want to further develop skills around empathy, influence, leading change, mindfulness, and more, this track is for you.

Track Host:
Becky Herwander
Senior Manager of Infrastructure Services @Nordstrom
Becky Herwander has been at Nordstrom for over 15 years in a variety of roles and groups. She has been working with the Nordstrom People Lab practicing design thinking principles, collaborative communication, and building her creative confidence. She participated in the 2014 Trailblazer Program focusing on empathy, risk tolerance, and leading change. She currently supports the business services within infrastructure and leverages her toolkit to coach and influence process improvement. In her spare time, she likes to play softball, sing karaoke, and wine taste with her friends and husband Dave.
10:35am - 11:25am

by John Shinner
IT Group Manager, Student of Life

The meditation will be focused on creating awareness of the present moment, setting intention for the day, expressing gratitude to ourselves and others who make the day possible. With this new awareness in mind, we will give ourselves permission to stay present focused throughout the day.

This type of meditation is intended to help people shuck off what happened yesterday, not worry about tomorrow, and stay focused in an open and present way to what unfolds today. This helps to...

11:50am - 12:40pm

by Yingzhao Liu
Design Director, International @LinkedIn

We communicate with people from other cultures more than ever before; though on the surface the American style of communication is prevalent, those who have more nuanced understanding of cultures and of themselves are able to build stronger connections and have more influence. This talk will focus on experiential activities to give you tools to recognize different cultural communication styles; allow you to feel how the differences work in subtle and not so subtle ways, and how awareness...

1:40pm - 2:30pm

by Christopher Kelly
Computer Scientist & Lifestyle Hacker

Overall, technologists are sicker than ever, fatter than ever, and perhaps most unfortunately, more tired than ever. Most of us know (deep inside) that we’re not supposed to feel this way. Many people have turned to supplements, diets, exercise programs, doctors, and various other “cures” in order to try to improve their health and wellness. And often, those “cures” will work, but only for a percentage of people, and often not forever.

The problem is that no diet or exercise program...

2:55pm - 3:45pm

by John Shinner
IT Group Manager, Student of Life

All day long we are bombarded with requests for our attention. Our brains do an amazing job of sifting through all the stimuli and picking which things should get our attention.

We all know the tug of endless email, seemingly random requests at work, keeping up all the wonderful and tragic worlds of our social network friends. Sometimes enough is enough even for all that gray matter. When this happens, our ability to respond gracefully degrades and starts to impact our jobs,...

4:10pm - 5:00pm

by Sarah Singer-Nourie
Author of Tap into Greatness and Culture/Influence Coach

You have many different versions of yourself, right (patient, testy, crafty, strategic, sleepy, psyched…) And you’ve had brilliant moments of greatness, yes? Maybe even streaks of greatness. Yet most of us are inconsistent. What if you could sustain it, tap into it at will, and be reliably, consistently great? You can. While we all have different versions of ourselves, as creatures of habit and pattern, we tend to show up and rely on our instinct to react productively to what comes across...

5:25pm - 6:15pm

by Jeanine Spence
User Experience Strategist

Jump in with both feet, step out of your comfort zone and say "yes, and…" to new challenges. Explore the customer centric and iteration concepts of Design Thinking as an approach to problem solving through the lens of the personal. Learn 5 ways to put these into techniques into practice and start to innovate with you at the center.


Covering innovative topics

Monday Nov 16

Tuesday Nov 17

Wednesday Nov 18