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UPA 2006 Conference
Usability in Storytelling
June 12-16, 2006
Omni Interlocken
Broomfield, Colorado

UPA Conference Vendor Policy

Usability Professionals' Association
140 N. Bloomingdale Road
Bloomingdale, IL 60108
Tel: +1.630.980.4997
Fax: +1.630.351.8490

UPA 2006: Invited Speakers

Join us as we hear from an exciting array of speakers, starting with Steve Denning and closing with John M. Carroll. In between these two events we have an outstanding group spanning a wide range of backgrounds and interests - sure to inform and challenge you. To find out more please review the Opening, Closing and Invited Speakers.

See Conference Program Overview.

Steve Denning - Opening Speaker

Steve Denning, organizational storyteller extraordinaire, is the author of several books on the subject, including "The Leader's Guide to Storytelling: Mastering the Art and Discipline of Business Narrative," published by Jossey-Bass in April 2005. Steve's article, "Telling Tales" was published by Harvard Business Review in May 2004.

Steve has held various management positions in the World Bank, including Director of the Southern Africa Department from 1990 to 1994 and Director of the Africa Region from 1994 to 1996. From 1996 to 2000, Steve was Program Director: Knowledge Management, at the World Bank.

Steve is also a Senior Fellow at the James MacGregor Burns Leadership Academy at the University of Maryland. In November 2000, Steve was named as one of the world’s ten Most Admired Knowledge Leaders (Teleos). In April 2003, Steve was ranked as one of the world's Top Two Hundred Business Gurus: Davenport & Prusak, "What's The Big Idea?” (Harvard, 2003).

Kevin Brooks - Closing Plenary Speaker

Kevin Brooks is a Senior Staff Researcher for Motorola Labs and a professional oral storyteller. At Motorola Kevin researches new user interface technologies and expresses those technologies as connected user-centered experiences for research and business sectors. As a writer and performing oral storyteller, Kevin tells personal tales from his urban childhood of the 60´s, his 70´s adolescence, 80´s adulthood, 90´s parenthood and new millennium survival. His stories for adults and family audiences resonate with humor and poignancy, and he has been featured performer at many storytelling festivals, conferences and other venues.

Kevin received his Ph.D. in Media Arts and Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, where his area of research was computational narrative and interactive cinema. Kevin has also studied engineering, computer science, creative writing and film production as an undergraduate, receiving a BS in Communications from Drexel University and an MA in Documentary Film from Stanford University. Kevin has several published papers and has given numerous workshops on storytelling and interactive story design.

Invited Speakers

Nelson Soken:  Ready, Set, Innovate! With the customer experience in mind

Nelson Soken, Ph.D. earned his doctorate in Experimental Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Soken is co-author on a soon to be completed book entitled: “Ready, Set, Innovate: With the customer experience in mind.” He is currently Senior Engineering Manager focusing on customer-centric, system-wide strategies in the Cardiac Rhythm Management business unit at Medtronic, a medical device manufacturer in Minneapolis, MN. Dr. Soken has been involved in a wide variety of initiatives at Medtronic including competitive intelligence, strategic opportunity assessment, human factors management, and leadership and innovation efforts. Prior to Medtronic, he was Manager of Information Resources focusing on knowledge management and served in various senior technical positions in user-centered design and human factors at Honeywell International both in Europe and in the U.S.

Annie Archbold

Annie Archbold is Lead Web Communications Specialist at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA. Prior to coming to the CDC, she worked in IBM’s eBusiness Innovation Center in Atlanta as a Lead User Interface Architect. In that capacity, she worked on a number of projects, but is most satisfied with the design of the first online patent examination tool, used by Patent Officers at the US Patent Office. Her work included using both ethnography and narrative to create the application. During Hurricane Katrina, she worked on the Hurricane web efforts at Federal level. She will be bringing storytelling into her presentation.

She has served as the Program Chair of CHI-Atlanta ( She holds a doctorate from Indiana followed by a Master of Science from Georgia Tech.

Andrew Massey

Andrew Massey is Resident Conductor of The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Born in England, he began his U.S. career as Assistant Conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra, also serving as Associate Conductor of The San Francisco Symphony and the New Orleans Symphony. He has held the Music Directorships of The Toledo Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Fresno Philharmonic, Oregon Mozart Players, and Michigan Chamber Orchestra, and appeared as a guest conductor with The National Symphony, The Pittsburgh Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Iceland Symphony, and many others. In recent years, Andrew has been claiming more time for composing, lecturing, and writing. His orchestral work "Early Mourning" was premiered in September 2003, and his writings on music and other matters can be found at

Carolmarie Stock

Author/storyteller, Carolmarie Stock has been teaching and telling stories for over 25 years. Selecting her material from a variety of sources – fairytales, folklore, legends and original material – she captivates audiences with tales that are sometimes humorous – sometimes haunting. Carolmarie has performed her award-winning stories in a variety of venues – theaters with audiences of over 1000 and classrooms with as few as ten students; Shakespearean festivals and county fairs; hospitals and churches. Her storytelling workshops, formulated for adults, teens and children, promote creativity, imagination and teamwork. Her seminar, “Pictures in My Mind: Using Storytelling to Develop Creative Imagination,” explores the relationship between modern teaching curricula and storytelling. A development professional, Carolmarie divides her spare time between teaching and performing.

Leigh Rubin

Leigh Rubin took his first steps on the path to cartoon success by creating a publishing company and distributing his own greeting cards. Rubes Publications, established in 1979, also published the popular “Notable Quotes” in 1981. Rubes® began appearing in newspapers in 1984. Rubin is the author of 13 books including “Rubes Bible Cartoons” and the award-winning “Rubes-Then and Now.” The first paperback of Rubes© was published in 1988 by G.P. Putnam & Sons. Willow Creek Press published the latest collection, “The Wild Life of Cats,” in 2005.

As one of the most popular single-panel cartoons, Rubes is a regular feature in SkyWest’s United Express and Delta Connections magazines and appears in such major daily metropolitan papers as the San Diego Union Tribune, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Winnipeg Free Press, the Washington Times, the Sacramento Bee, the Houston Chronicle, the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Daily News. Photo by Judy L. Bedell

John Thomas

John’s current work at IBM’s T. J. Watson Research Center is in understanding psychological complexity and developing associated measures and tools. John received a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Michigan in 1971 and managed a research project in the psychology of aging for two and a half years at Harvard Medical School before joining IBM Research. He spent 13 years there doing research in various areas of human computer interaction including query languages, natural language processing, design problem solving, audio systems, and speech synthesis. In 1986, he began the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at NYNEX Science and Technology. John was active in the formation of ACM's Special Interest Group in Computer Human Interaction and has served in various capacities including general co-chair of the CHI conference in 1991. He has co-chaired a number of workshops on Human-Computer Interaction Patterns and Socio-Technical Patterns since 1997 at CHI, CSCW, and Interact. John taught at a variety of institutions of higher education including courses in cognitive psychology, problem solving and creativity, the psychology of aging, storytelling, and human factors in information systems. He has over 130 publications and invited presentations in computer science and psychology. His main hobbies are writing fiction and playing golf.

Roy Carter

Roymieco A. Carter, M.F.A. is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design in the Art Department of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He teaches courses on graphic design, digital media, visual literacy and theory, and social criticism. He has written articles on graphic design education, art education, gaming, human computer interaction, and graphics computer animation. He is currently working on typographic illustrations for a book of poetry. He is also part of the American Sign Language Project Team with DePaul University’s Human Computer Interaction Department developing a digital English-to-ASL translator.

John Carroll

John M. Carroll is the Edward Frymoyer Chair Professor of Information Sciences and Technology at the Pennsylvania State University. His research interests include methods and theory in human-computer interaction, particularly as applied to networking tools for collaborative learning and problem solving, and the design of interactive information systems. He has written or edited 14 books, including “Making Use,” (MIT Press, 2000), “HCI in the New Millennium” (Addison-Wesley, 2001), “Usability Engineering” (Morgan-Kaufmann, 2002, with M.B. Rosson) and “HCI Models, Theories, and Frameworks” (Morgan-Kaufmann, 2003). He serves on 9 editorial boards for journals, handbooks, and series; he is a member of the US National Research Council’s Committee on Human Factors and Editor-in-Chief of the ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interactions. He received the Rigo Award and the CHI Lifetime Achievement Award from ACM, the Silver Core Award from IFIP, and the Alfred N. Goldsmith Award from IEEE. He is an IEEE Fellow, an HFES Fellow, and an ACM Fellow.

Thursday Special Event

Laura Packer

Laura Packer has been telling stories her whole life; her mother reports she was born talking. She has told stories in venues as wide ranging as London’s Hyde Park, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, hospices, stages around the country, and as the keynote speaker for the Ninth Annual Cape Breton Storytelling Symposium. She is a past Chair of Sharing the Fire, the oldest, largest regional storytelling conference in the US, and hosts several Boston-area storytelling series. Laura has taught storytelling across the United States and in selected European venues. Most recently, she presented a one-day storytelling workshop for women at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center entitled “Stand Up and Speak Out: Tools for Effective Self Promotion” that was endorsed as “more useful than you could possibly imagine.” Laura’s unusual and enchanting stories are influenced by the oldest myths and everyday occurrences. Her style of storytelling welcomes audiences into the story and encourages them to be part of the creative experience. She has two recordings available, “Kansas and Other Stories” and “A Passion of Stories.” Laura holds a degree in Folklore and Mythology from Boston University.