Thank you to the following organizations for supporting Black Ignite 2021!


Minneapolis, MN

Our Gold Sponsor
big thanks to Phil McCoy

At Optum, we believe everyone deserves the opportunity to live
their healthiest life.

Creating opportunities for healthier
living is our calling — not our “duty”
as a corporation. It’s because we care. Deeply. Genuinely.

To us, social responsibility is about
human beings who commit to serving other human beings. Simple. And it’s
at the very core of all we do. 

— The Clinical Design System team is currently hiring a Design Director and Visual / Interactive Designer, Prototyper. Contact Heatherlee at for the referral / job posting. —


Detroit, MI

Our Tribe Sponsor
big thanks to Adam Selzer

civilla is a non-profit design studio dedicated to changing the way our public-serving institutions work. “we believe that the best and fastest way to scale change in society is through our public-serving institutions.

civilla’s process is deeply rooted in human-centered design, an approach to service delivery that focuses on creating enduring solutions that fit peoples’ lives. By putting humans first, we help our partners deliver significant change and lasting impact in the institutions they lead.

civilla’s work was recognized by Harvard Kennedy School as one of the Top Innovations in American Government. We were listed as one of the Top 25 Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers by GovTech Magazine. We received a global Core77 Design Award for Service Design and were honored by the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) as one of the Top Organizations Moving Society Forward.


Minneapolis, MN

Our Tech Sponsor
big thanks to Van Horgen

Superhuman is a strategic and creative agency that builds human brands and helps them grow. We specialize in advancing opportunities in software and technology, food, renewable energy, healthcare and other industries facing new challenges.


Minneapolis, MN

Our Swag Sponsor
big thanks to Greg Bro

Target’s mission is to help all families discover the joy of everyday life, but to design products that embody this purpose, we need a diverse design team and a thriving UX community that reflects the wide range of families we design for. That’s the mission behind the Target UX Rise Project, a designer-led initiative focused on fostering more diversity within our own team and across the broader UX Design community.



Our Team Sponsor
big thanks to Raja Schaar and IDSA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council

Formed in 2020 after a worldwide and long overdue reckoning with racial injustice, IDSA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council (DEIC) was established to hold IDSA, academia, and industry accountable for confronting the lack of DEI in industrial design with meaningful action.

The DEIC aims to:

  • Significantly increase diversity and minority representation in IDSA’s core programming, events, leadership teams, membership, publications, partnerships, awards, and scholarships
  • Develop new pathways and partnerships that will extend IDSA’s ability to support minority and low-income communities, and to increase access to industrial design education and professional opportunities
  • Be a catalyst in transforming the industrial design industry so that it better reflects our diverse country and world, and to dismantle the structural racism and inequities that permeate design and our communities

IDSA invites you to a unique International Design Conference on September 22-23! Tune in for 24 hours of uninterrupted design inspiration from around the world! Visit to register.


Minneapolis, MN

Our Show Sponsor
big thanks to Kelly Bartell

Ciceron is the original digital agency in the Twin Cities and one of the first in the country. We’re relentless pursuers of excellence, openness, and innovation. We believe in our clients and their missions. We support them by being true “cicerones”​ or trusted and masterful guides to the digital world we live in. By using data and consumer insights to inform our experience and our collective brains, we identify the right digital strategies that work harder to make people successful and happy in their work and lives.


Minneapolis, MN

Our Tribe Sponsor
big thanks to Heather Saucier

Mindsailing is an innovation agency. We help brands navigate change, communicate the future and engage possibilities. Our clients are facing this era’s most disruptive changes and responding with innovative, thoughtful solutions to help make the world a better place for everyone. We’re honored to partner with them and help bring their brands to life with strategies that are human-centered and communications that maximize impact. We believe great brands are in the business of good.


San Francisco, CA

Our Community Sponsor
big thanks to Bloomberg Beta

Point helps homeowners unlock the equity in their homes and diversify their wealth, so they can tackle financial challenges, eliminate debt, invest, or renovate their homes. (And we are hiring a brand designer — apply here!)


San Francisco, CA

Our Community Sponsor
big thanks to Bloomberg Beta

Bounti is tackling the significant problem of how to accelerate GTM motions around developer first bottoms up growth – end to end. We are devops experts taking a decade of learnings in observability, automation and driving culture change to formulate the world’s first Event Intelligence, Deal Automation Platform for developer focused GTM teams to help them understand who the right digital customer is and what action to take in their journey to accelerate consumption and purchase.


San Francisco, CA

Our Community Sponsor
big thanks to Bloomberg Beta

Baton helps you build custom apps for every step of your workflow. (And we are hiring a founding designer — apply here!)

Thank you to the following people for their significant contributions..

  • Adam Selzer, Co-Founder & Sr. Director at Civilla, Detroit, MI
  • Heather Olson, Inclusive Design Recruiter & Marketer of Creatives, Minneapolis, MN
  • Van Horgen, Founder & CEO of Superhuman, Minneapolis, MN
  • Paul Cooper, Principal Creative Director at Microsoft, Seattle, WA
  • Kelly Bartell, Executive Creative Director at Ciceron, St. Paul, MN
  • Heather Saucier, Chief Innovation Officer at Mindsailing, St. Louis Park, MN
  • Abbey Smalley, Sr. Manager of Design Programs at Amazon, Minneapolis, MN
  • Ash Level + Presence of Colour, Worldwide

  • Kourtni Harris
  • Eames Gilmore
  • Pamela Jean
  • Terrell Griffith
  • Jane Hoffackler
  • Tim Hamm
  • Matthew Jordan

your 2021 speakers!

Have you read their bios?! What a diverse group of designers and leaders from all over the US! We are so excited to hear the talks, get to know them..