DAAP Professional Leadership Program

DAAP Professional Leadership Program

DAAP has educated the best and brightest in the design and art disciplines - now we want to help them achieve and be equally successful in their professional leadership and management career goals.

View the recording from the Virtual Information Session held Tuesday, June 21st.

  • Learn about the DAAP Program details and Grow’s Design Leadership, Design Management, and Design for Humanity Modules 
  • See a demonstration of Grow’s interactive LiveBook app – where all your materials, notes, learning goals, assignments etc. live in one place. Available anywhere, any time. It is your unique learning tool, growing along with you.

View recording.


Successful, creative professionals can find themselves having risen to management and leadership positions, having little training and not knowing where to turn for advice or guidance. The DAAP Professional Leadership Program is an education opportunity created and offered by the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning in partnership with Grow, a world leader in design management education. 

The program developed out of a strong desire of the College to connect (and reconnect) with creative professionals to help them broaden their management skills to complement their strong creative abilities. Participants will develop their soft skills to better influence, persuade, and negotiate with colleagues, senior management, and clients.  The Grow and DAAP programs offer the skills necessary to be successful in participants’ current and future leadership roles.

The DAAP Professional Leadership Program is:

  • Highly interactive with tutors, DAAP alumni, and participants
  • Rich with real world examples
  • Personal and in person for deeper and lasting connections
  • Small cohorts of participants for rich interactions and engagement

The DAAP Professional Leadership Programs is a new, lifelong learning opportunity created and offered by the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) with Grow, a world leader in design leadership and management education. The program provides the knowledge and skills creative professionals and those who engage with creative professionals need to take that next step in their professional career. Join us and our partner, Grow, in helping you advance your career and gain key insights in Design Leadership, Design Management, and Design for Humanity.

The DAAP Professional Leadership Program is:

  • Directly applicable to daily work
  • Highly interactive and rich content
  • Provides an extensive network of design professionals
  • Intensive interaction between participants
  • Real world, relevant content
  • Interactive content available online & on iPad app

Information Session

View the recording of the first information session held in March.

Who Should Attend

The DAAP Professional Leadership Program is designed for early to mid-career creative professionals looking to advance their careers – whether you're looking to move into a leadership role, be more efficient and effective in your current role, or to better lead your team and business to the next level. The DAAP Professional Leadership Program is geared towards all creative disciplines in all types of professional settings. The DAAP Professional Leadership Program is about understanding how to lead and manage design.

Benefits to the Participants

  • Accelerate your career with confidence
  • Content is easily applicable to your current and future roles
  • More than 25% of those who have participated got promoted soon after attending the program (Grow data)
  • Provides an opportunity to expand your professional network
  • Earn the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning Professional Leadership Program Certificate 

Benefits to Your Employers

  • Employees hone their leadership skills
  • Employees appreciate your investment in their development
  • Employees learn that leading design is different from 'just managing it'
  • Investing in your employees is good for the company and its bottom line

Why We Are Doing This


From Tricord/DI Organizational Dynamics study 2013-2019

Sample Program Agenda

Date Activity  
Pre Program  Welcome Dinner & Introductions (optional)  
Day 1 Grow Modules - Design Leadership, Design Management, Design for Humanity  
  Group Dinner  
Day 2 Grow Modules - Design Leadership, Design Management, Design for Humanity  
  Group Dinner  
Day 3

DAAP and UC program:

Morning – Valerie Jacobs, LPK. Future Thinking Workshop with DAAP students and faculty

Afternoon – Odyssey Career Plan with DAAP Alumni


About Grow



Grow is a professional, management education program with 20+ years of experience delivering rich content for individuals and companies. 

  • 1,000+ graduates of Grow programs
  • 20 years of experience
  • Expert tutors guiding the Grow programs

The Grow participants come from different disciplines and industries:

  • design agency owners and freelancers
  • senior designers and creative or account managers of design agencies
  • senior designers and design managers of corporations 
  • product managers, marketers, or engineers responsible for design at corporations

Grow Modules (Days 1 and 2)

Design Leadership

Design Leadership

Many characteristics of leaders apply to design leaders as well, but their leadership style may be different: a bit more intuitive, visual and consumer-minded. A design leader guides organizations into fulfilling desired design outcomes while taking designers and stakeholders along that path.

Whereas design managers deal with ‘how, when and with whom’, design leaders merely deal with ‘why and what’. Although, it is not easy to combine these perspectives, professional design managers need to know when and how to switch between leading or managing content, people or processes.

  • Why is leading important for design and business?
  • What are the characteristics of good leadership and how does it apply to design?
  • What can design leadership contribute to business leadership?
  • How to navigate between design management and design leadership in your daily work?
Design management

Design Management

Design is only valuable to a business when it is professionally managed. Design management is the profession of managing design and applies to all kinds of design disciplines.

A design manager is responsible for delivering great design results. To do that he or she manages areas like design strategy, design process, design briefing and many more. This can be done on three levels: strategic, tactical and operational.


  • What are the characteristics of this profession and why is it so important to leave managing design and designers to professionals?
  • What are the three contributions of design management that bring value to an organization?
  • How does design management connect the realms of design and business?
Grow Design for Humanity

Grow Design for Humanity

As sustainable design is getting crucial to sustain the impact of design, designers should no longer accept to work for organizations that do not have a true purpose. This means that design leaders and managers will move their strategic focus from problem solving to problem definition and problem owning.

  • Why has design the potential to effect fundamental change at a global level?
  • What belief system does design needs to make that role happen successfully?
  • How can design scale-up its impact through collective ownership of problems?
  • And co-create solution across disciplines, organizations and industries?
  • What is the future scope of output, while moving to end-to-end design of the total eco-systems?
  • How can a design leader move an organization up on the ladder of design for humanity?

DAAP Program (Day 3)

Morning - Future Thinking and Trend Forecasting with Valerie Jacobs, Chief Growth Officer, LPK – a brand and innovation consultancy firm

Driving a constant state of evolution within LPK and the industry, Valerie Jacobs serves as Chief Growth Officer, overseeing business development, external relations and ongoing development and expansion of capabilities that give way to innovative new offerings for clients. In her 15 years of leadership at LPK, Valerie founded LPK’s trends and foresight practices, providing clients with a deeper, future-forward consumer understanding while establishing a clear point of difference for LPK.

Valerie has presented at leading design conferences, spoken on entrepreneurial disruptive innovation and future thinking, and authored a sizable body of publications on innovation for brands across the spectrum.

Valerie is an Honorary Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council. A graduate of Birmingham-Southern College, she holds a master’s degree in design from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), where she has also served as an adjunct professor. From 2013 to 2018, Valerie was a visiting lecturer at Philadelphia University in their Strategic Design MBA program.

Afternoon - Creating an Odyssey Plan with DAAP Alumni

Based on the visual career planning exercise in ‘Designing Your Life’ by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans, you will interact with DAAP alumni who have achieved the highest levels of leadership in their own firm or other industries. You will have the opportunity to learn from their experiences and garner advice from their extensive years of practice. 

Check back for the list of Alumni participants!

Program Cost

$2,295 for DAAP Alumni
  • Three full program days
  • Breakfast, lunch, and welcome dinner
  • Campus parking

In addition:

  • All program graduates will receive one year access to Grow's online training materials. To continue beyond the initial year an annual subscription charge of $50 will be required for access to online content and updated materials. 
  • All program graduates will be invited - by Grow - to the yearly Grow Boost, a one-day live reunion for all international Grow graduates, for only $499. This includes a brand new module and lunch, but not travel and accommodation, or equivalent on-line option will be made available pending of pandemic limitations. 

Headshot of Ann L. Black

Ann L. Black

Associate Dean Academic and Faculty Affairs