Shel Kimen

Design Thinking, Learning & Community Director at Ford Motor Company


The Red Thread: Collisions, Continuity, and Context

9:00 AM – 10:10 AM

How an effort to work with community and build a social enterprise ahead of its time turned into an accelerated intrapreneurial moment in a $100 Billion dollar company.

Shel has navigated her way through a wide spectrum of both mainstream and deep subculture communities and activities that share a set of surprisingly similar traits. It was a remarkable discovery that may inspire you to lean into your courage and shine a light on your own Red Thread and the miracle of connections.


Shel guides the development and practice of Design Thinking at Ford leading a global team responsible for the Learning and Community around Design Thinking. She is also fueling a movement –a rapidly growing community of advocates and experts. Her stakeholder's engineer and build, create strategies and design city solutions, bend steel and write code and allocate capital. This diversity keeps her on her toes.

A seasoned design and strategy leader, Shel has spent over 20 years in the trenches making things to learn what it is we need to make.