Innovation Bootcamp

Add+Venture Initiative

April 25-26, 2019

Sidley Austin LLP, Chicago
1 South Dearborn Street
38th Floor
Chicago, IL 60603

Cost: $795 for members; 1200 nonmembers

Deadline: April 2, 2019

Register button

Learn More About Registration and Accommodations
Learn More About the Presenters


How do you put your ideas into action? The AALL Innovation Bootcamp: Add+Venture Initiative was created specifically for legal information professionals—cutting through the jargon and offering real-world examples of how you can amplify your skills and resources, add methods for new value creation, build support for your ideas, and foster a culture of innovation.

Whether you’re early in your career and ready to give your solutions wings or a decision maker committed to maximizing the talents of your team, you’ll want to join us for this 1.5-day event.

Learn how to:

  • Identify areas or projects for improvement
  • Employ design concepts core to innovation practices
  • Use a service design methodology tailored to libraries
  • Pitch your ideas and solutions to supporters and stakeholders
  • Navigate risk and challenges to project implementation
  • Network with proactive problem solvers
  • Build internal and external partnerships
  • Promote ingenuity and cooperation in your workplace

We've assembled a dynamic lineup of presenters comprised of AALL members and other thought leaders to deliver a customized learning experience.


Legal information professionals, law librarians in every setting and type of library, professionals looking for a new approach to problem solving


Thursday afternoon


Design Thinking: A Strategy for Creative Problem Solving

Design is not just a verb—it is a way of thinking. In this interactive session, David will highlight some of the fundamentals of Design Thinking and discuss how they can be applied to everything from products and services to business models. We’ll explore how we can apply these principles across a variety of industries organizations, small and large alike. You don’t need a background in design or engineering to benefit from this session—you just need a bit of curiosity and a desire to view the world through a more human-centered lens.

A senior portfolio director in the Business Design practice at IDEO, David Schonthal has helped develop initiatives such as the Startup-in-Residence program. Outside of IDEO, David is a clinical associate professor of innovation & entrepreneurship at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. Learn more about David.


Innovation in Practice: Facilitated Add+Venture Scenario #1

Learn more about Beth and Carlos.


Annie Downey

Using Service Design to Connect and Innovate

Annie Downey headshot

Libraries and library users are in a constant state of flux as they attempt to understand and work within the complex information landscape that is increasingly shaped around technological innovation and disruption. It's our job to not only keep up, but forecast ahead in response to the people we're serving and the environmental changes impacting them. The service design methodology and mindset provide plenty of tools to help you do just that. In this session, we'll explore the importance of looking at everything you provide to clients as a service, how to identify and respond to user needs and expectations, and how to co-create solutions with clients.

Annie Downey is Associate College Librarian and Director of Research Services for the Reed College Library. She was a 2016 fellow of the Leading Change Institute, was awarded (with Joe Marquez) the first Future of Libraries Fellowship in 2017 from the ALA Center for the Future of Libraries, and was named a 2018 Mover and Shaker by Library Journal. Learn more about Annie.


Innovation in Practice: Facilitated Add+Venture Scenario #2

Learn more about Beth and Carlos.

Friday morning

Carlos Gámez

Innovation Strategy


How do you define and execute innovation priorities? How do you secure buy-in from those involved? How do you drive organic growth using partnerships?  In this session, we will discuss answers to these questions to create solutions for your organization.

Carlos is the senior director of innovation for Thomson Reuters Labs. In his role, he partners internally with stakeholders across the enterprise focusing on the practice of law, as well as externally with customers, startups, academic institutions, and industry forums to help define & refine the innovation and emerging technology strategy for law firms and corporate counsel. Learn more about Carlos.


Innovation in Practice: Facilitated Add+Venture Scenario #3

Learn more about Beth and Carlos.

Kristen Sonday

Access to Justice Tech in the Trenches

Improving delivery systems to increase access, eliminate barriers, and deliver fair and just legal asssistance are core to tackling our access to justice crises in the justice system. In this session, Kristen will discuss the co-development process Paladin and Dentons used to design a pro-bono access to justice platform usable across audiences including law firms and legal aid organizations.

Kristen Sonday is the co-founder and COO of Paladin, whose mission is to increase access to justice by helping legal teams run more efficient pro bono programs. In her role, she works with law firms, in-house teams, and law schools to staff, manage, and track their pro bono on a centralized dashboard, as well as visualize their impact. Learn more about Kristen.

Panel Discussion

Showcasing Innovators within AALL


Friday afternoon

David Whelan

Innovation “IRL”: Temperature Checks and Course Corrections

Fish or cut bait. Throw good money after bad. David Whelan has had to make similar choices while moving projects from imagination to operation at law libraries he's led. He will share lessons and approaches he's taken in deciding when to pivot or retreat, what's a success, and how to make a project "stick." David will also provide examples—some that have worked, and some that haven't—of how to defend your decisions to stakeholders and communicate expectations when delegating decision-making.

David Whelan has managed technology and information teams in the U.S. and Canada for over 20 years. He has worked to improve access to information as director of the American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Resource Center, at Ohio’s Cincinnati Law Library Association, and for Ontario’s lawyer regulator as director of the Great Library and manager for corporate records and archives. Learn more about David.


Innovation in Practice: Facilitated Add+Venture Scenario #4

Learn more about Beth and Carlos.

Sponsored By

The program is sponsored by AALL in partnership with Bloomberg Law.

Contact Celeste R. Smith, AALL director of education, via email or at 312.205.8032 for more information.