Toronto is a damn fun place to visit. From new restaurants and modern buildings to old bars and vintage shops, the sheer diversity of the city is invigorating.

And as I stood in the lobby of the Design Thinkers conference last November waiting for the first keynote to begin, I saw the same diversity in the faces that surrounded me and I was reminded of something…

Design touches everybody.

There were men and women both young and old from every cultural background in attendance. There were book designers and mobile designers, printers and promoters, students and managers. From the presenters to the audience, every facet of design seemed to be represented.

It felt good. It felt exciting. It felt alive and kicking.

I walked away with some great thinking points (emotion + innovation = surprise, the less the client thinks about price the better, be a story-enabler not just a storyteller, your genius inspires my genius, selling is a transfer of emotion) but what I got most from the conference was an invigorating sense of how much design matters to people. Not just to the cultural elite or the fashion savvy but to everybody. It has become (or you can argue it always has been) a critical part of how we understand our identities and our choices.

Design surrounds us and I left the conference feeling pretty damn excited to be a part of it.

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