HXD 2020 Call for Speakers is now open!

Are you a designer? A provider? An innovator? An advocate? All are welcome at the Health Experience Design Conference, a diverse community practitioners and leaders in design, innovation, research, strategy, and technology, dedicated to accelerating the transformation of our health care system.

What is HXD?
The annual HXD conference provides a unique crossroads for a diverse community of practitioners and leaders in design, innovation, research, strategy, and technology to help accelerate the transformation of our health care system. Mad*Pow founded the Health Experience Design Conference ten years ago. Since that time it has become the leading conference advocating for person-centered experience innovation in health. Attracting over 500 visionaries across the health ecosystem, this two-day mix of inspiring presentations, workshops, and discussion drives real world change.


  • This year’s conference will be held April 14 & 15 at the Royal Sonesta in Boston, MA.
  • The audience will include a mix of designers, professionals from the health industry, researchers, and others.
  • Talks will be delivered in 30 minute sessions including 15-20 minutes for the talk and 10 minutes for Q&A.
  • Speakers will receive free attendance to both days of the conference.
  • If you require travel reimbursement, please let us know. We have a limited travel budget and can work 1:1 with selected speakers to make sure they are able to attend.

Should I submit?
We welcome submissions from anyone with advice, experience, and best practices to share. Our 2020 HXD Conference theme is Driving Systemic Change. We are accepting speaker submissions on these topics:

  • Scaling Design & Innovation Practices
    • How can organizations overcome the hurdles of bringing in new innovation cultures into their work process? By now, many of us are familiar with the “big ideas” of innovation cultures in organizations: collaboration, co-creation, empathy, iteration, and more. But bringing these ideas into our organizations and infusing them into our work, in a way that is sustainable, repeatable and scalable has been a challenge. Hurdles of time, participation, resources, understanding, and risk/change-aversion often hinder our attempts. In this track of presentations, we’ll share first-hand stories of the successes, challenges, and practical take-aways that teams have encountered as they’ve worked to overcome these challenges to build cultures of innovation in their organizations.
  • Navigating the Finances and Logistics of Health
    • Health and finance are more and more interconnected. Medical expenses are the number one reason for bankruptcy in the US and health is noted as the highest expense in retirement. We know that over half of Americans can’t afford a $400 emergency and yet more and more consumers have high deductible health plans which require more cash out of their pocket than before. The lack of transparency in the system can lead people to be unaware of expenses coming their way, not understand the bills when they come, and not understand their plan and their ultimate financial responsibility. This can lead people to fund medical debt on credit cards and even avoid treatment because they can’t afford the expense. Financial products like HSAs are designed to support consumers in planning for and affording health expenses and can even reduce their taxable income and provide a long-term savings and investment vehicle, but many people are not aware or do not use them as they are designed. In addition, the stress associated with financial volatility can add to an individual’s stress and can actually cause or exacerbate the health problems they face.
  • Designing for Public Health (sponsored by JSI)
    • Behavior change interventions can vary depending on the audience, infrastructure, budget, and goals. Behavior change theories explain what influences behavior and behavior change models describe the process of successful behavior change. In this session, we will look at behavior change interventions within the context of public health and health communications. Drawing on John Snow, Inc.’s (JSI) work in public health, discussions will include public health interventions at the national, state, and local levels. The session will include an overview of behavior change theories, frameworks, models, and their implementation and outcomes, and will end with a presentation on a human-centered design approach to solving a public health issue.
  • Behavior Change Design
    • Engagement is a prerequisite to any successful behavior change intervention, but engagement alone doesn’t guarantee a beneficial outcome. If we want to improve outcomes by improving engagement, we need a clear understanding of what characterizes meaningful engagement, how to design for it, and how to measure it. Despite designers’ every effort to convince, entice, seduce, trigger, or hook users into interacting with digital technologies, engagement with digital interventions is typically low. In this track, we’ll cover relevant theories and empirical findings from the engagement literature, introduce a multi-disciplinary model of engagement, and end by taking a deep dive into features and techniques for promoting effective engagement in practice.
  • Pharma Innovation
    • In this session, we will hear from speakers across the health eco-system representing pharmacy, advocacy, and provider/medical system. In these presentations we will learn more about their approach to patient-centricity and innovation, how they designed and led new initiatives within their organizations, and how they navigated from vision to launch.
  • Patient Experience
    • During the Patient Experience track we will look at modern methodology, technology and techniques to better understand the patient perspective. How might we capture, measure, and communicate existing patient experiences such that they stimulate innovation and change? What are the right methods to truly empathize with patients in context? We will discuss the elements that are crucial for customized experiences that resonate as successful solutions.
  • Digital Interventions for Mental Health
    • Technology promises faster, easier access to behavioral health and addiction support. In this session we’ll hear from and speak with specialists in psychology, behavioral health, and addiction – all with expertise in using technology to improve access, social support, and clinical outcomes. Speakers coming from psychiatry, research, and business backgrounds will discuss the latest opportunities in this arena from chatbots, to personalized care pathways, to increasing engagement and reducing stigma.
  • Health Literacy
    • How do we tell the story we want to tell while building meaningful relationships with our audience? How do we communicate in a way that people can understand and relate to? And how do we do we determine what content and message is most appropriate and relevant? This session will dig into these questions and more to help you enhance digital communication and engagement with health content that matters.
  • Game Changing Technology
  • Wellness & Prevention

We are looking for technical talks about methods or theory, case studies, or inspirational talks about your personal experiences. View talks from previous HXD Conferences to better understand our unique format.

Past speakers have included people from across the health ecosystem from payer to provider, pharma, non-profit, and government as well as health economists, public health professionals, musicians, students, and patient and families.

Please note that to minimize potential bias, we will be anonymizing all proposals before they are evaluated by the conference committee. Titles and abstracts will be extracted from submissions and any identifying information including name, gender pronouns, and company affiliations will be removed until the committee completes the review and selects the winning entries.

Important Dates:
Submission Deadline: October 31, 2019 – Midnight Eastern Time.
Speaker Decisions Released: November 22, 2019 – Midnight Eastern Time
2020 HXD Conference: April 14-15, 2020 at the Royal Sonesta in Boston, MA


Questions? Contact Kathryn Hautanen, Director for Mad*Pow’s Center for Health Experience Design and Lead Speaker Curator for HXD 2020.