September 21-23, 2021
Austin Convention Center | Austin, TX

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The Leaflet Article

Featured Article:

A Groundbreaking Leadership Opportunity

Dr. Wayne Ruga, FAIA, FIIDA, Hon. FASID

In Austin, at this year’s Symposium I will be conducting an innovative leadership learning intensive. It is specifically for senior level executives – all health, healthcare, and design industry stakeholders who want to dramatically improve the world of health and healthcare by advancing their leadership effectiveness.

I invite you, to join this groundbreaking program.  
This new Executive Leaders Program (ELP) will enable each one of us to:
  • step outside our box, beyond limitations that constrain us
  • leverage our successes
  • harness the power of our greatest leadership potential
  • identify our next leadership initiatives
  • design the steps to acquire the resources to accomplish our aspirations
  • receive support and validation from our like-minded small group of colleagues.
As a passionate and dedicated leader, I have created this pioneering ELP program because:
I believe there are no limits to what we can accomplish with design.  Not just ‘design’ as we conventionally practice it – but, rather, design as a bold vision of new possibilities, design fuelled with the intention of having new possibilities be realized, and design forged with the dedication to transforming the status quo into the living expression of these possibilities.  
And, not just design of the physical environment – rather, design as it is coming to be understood in the world of business, where it is a way of creating any possible kind of innovation - - - from organizational concepts, to products, to operational policies…this is part of the larger meaning of design, as I use it, here.
I believe that the world we live in, today, makes it difficult for most of us to achieve our leadership potential– the pressures of daily life require that we focus on performing our role.  
But – just maybe – now, our inner voice is beckoning us to find the courage to step ‘outside of the box’…to explore new ways of discovering what we are truly capable of… and how to give expression to our unique leadership potential.
I believe that design is emancipatory – it liberates those who engage with it: the designers, the user-stakeholders, and the entire community within which it is situated.  It sets us – all - free. 
In my own life, my quest to discover how to give expression to my belief in the power of design to improve lives has been a constant theme of my 47-year career.  
Briefly, it began in 1971.  I studied interior design and began my practice.  In 1972, I enrolled in architecture school.  In 1973, I had a life-altering experience that inspired me to make a personal commitment to devote my career to design environments to improve lives.  I decided I’d become a healthcare architect and designer, and improve lives by creating more life-enhancing places for health and healthcare.  
In 1985, after attempting to realize my aspiration for more than a decade through my practice and teaching, I realized I/we needed something very different – and radically new.  I imagined a community of like-minded and multi-disciplinary individuals, around the globe - all interested in creating more life-enhancing environments, and wanting to learn from each other and share resources to improve all of our lives.  The HFSE is the result of this idea – and, indeed, it has been the cause of millions of lives being improved on a daily basis.
And, as this new idea became established – and thousands of progressive individuals became involved, the question kept arising – ‘how can we prove these ideas really work?’  In 1993, I founded The Center for Health Design (CHD) to be the global clearinghouse and incubator for this research – as it still is, today.  As a direct result of this new organization, design and research have become integrated, and its ability to make a direct contribution to improving outcomes is now firmly established.
After 1985, health and healthcare environments became very different, radically different, in fact – and more life-enhancing places started to become normal.  After 1993, it became different again – as mainstream healthcare providers began to understand that research-informed, life-enhancing design provides an ROI worth investing in.
In 1999, my quest led me – once again – into the uncharted territory of founding The CARITAS Project, because my heart kept telling me that we still hadn’t discovered how to harness the power of design to improve everybody’s lives – everywhere. 
This quest brought me to England in 2000, to conduct original research that enabled me to pioneer the innovative concept of ‘generative space design’ for healthcare design, and develop it as a new design method to predictably, consistently, and reliably improve lives with design.  
Since 2003, through a research-based initiative that I conduct under the auspices of The CARITAS Project called ‘Leading by Design’, I have charted this new territory.  The achievements – in leadership, policy, organizational performance, innovation, global health, community health, environmental design - of many who have learned this new design method leaves me breathless…as the highly unique work of these individuals dramatically improves lives, every single day.  
In addition, two Leading by Design participants will be joining the ELP as Guest Faculty – giving you the special opportunity to learn about their successes first-hand.
The ELP is based on the key principles that I have learned by teaching about ‘generative space design’ for the past 15 years, in enabling individuals to achieve their unique leadership potential and make bold contributions to advancing the status quo and improving lives with design – this is precisely what I am inviting you to join.  
Since 1985, my practice has transitioned from being a designer of physical places that improve lives, to becoming a producer of transformational learning experiences for individuals who have the courage to become leading pioneers in making our world be a more caring, and better place.  
This is why I founded The CARITAS Project in 1999 – to contribute towards making our world be a more caring, and better place.  I can’t imagine a better way to spend my time – after 47 years of practice, I wake up each morning with excitement for another new day to advance the work of The CARITAS Project and the opportunity to improve lives with design.
If this invitation interests you, you can read more about the Executive Leaders Program here
I am so excited about the launch of the ELP that I offer a 20% discount to you, as an incentive to register now.  Simply enter ELP20 as the VIP code – and, I look forward to our working together in October.  
Dr. Wayne Ruga, FAIA, FIIDA, Hon. FASID is the founder and president of The CARITAS Project.  He can reached at:
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