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08:45 – 09:45

Welcome & Registration

Join us from 8:45 for the conference warm-up. Plenty of time to register and browse the programme for the day over breakfast, all ready for kick-off at 9:45 in the Main Auditorium of the Birmingham Town Hall.

Rowland Manthorpe

09:45 – 10:00

Rowland Manthorpe



Welcome to Canvas Conference

Our host Rowland Manthorpe will kick off the conference and talk about what you can expect from our day of insider stories from product people.

Rowland is a writer and editor at Wired magazine. His writing has been published in the Guardian, Observer, Sunday Telegraph, Atlantic and Spectator.

Hamish Grierson

10:00 – 10:30

Hamish Grierson

CEO & Cofounder


Sending blood in the post (and why you’ll be doing it soon).

Thriva believes the world would be a better place if everyone was blissfully informed about their health. But how do you build product able to deliver that future to consumers, today?

Hamish will talk about the unique challenges and opportunities associated with a semi digital product, the consequences of ignoring your customers and the tools Thriva use to ensure they're less reliant on luck.

Haiyan Zhang

10:30 – 11:00

Haiyan Zhang

Innovation Director

Microsoft Research

Innovating Technology for Social Good

Technology can be an empowering or alienating force, bringing us new forms of expression and connection, but also creating new barriers to use. How can we leverage technology to create an inclusive and accessible culture for all? Haiyan Zhang, Innovation Director at Microsoft Research and inventor on the BBC2 documentary series Big Life Fix, showcases some unique projects that aim to elevate the positive impact of technology on people’s lives.

11:00 – 11:30

Morning Break

Sponsored by


Time to refuel with your beverage of choice and meet fellow product people. Please be back in your seats ready for our second session at 11:30.

Thanks to our Morning Coffee Break Sponsor, Prodlytic - Analytics for Product Managers.

Zan Gilani

11:30 – 12:00

Zan Gilani

Product Manager


Talk overview coming soon…

Jane Kelly

12:00 – 12:30

Jane Kelly

Director of Data Products


Tools for the Ever-Changing Creative

How do you focus creators on human connections when everything is constantly changing? BuzzFeed’s Director of Data Products Jane Kelly talks about building tools to keep up with the company’s growth from a website to a distributed media company, including false starts, lessons learned, new tools and where they ended up.

Sarah Milton

12:30 – 13:00

Sarah Milton

Head of Product

All 4

Big Screens, Big Data and Big Backlogs

All 4’s unique proposition combines a vast catalogue of premium TV boxes with live broadcast channels, 30 day catch up and a growing collection of exclusive shows, all completely free and available on over 20 different platforms. With this unique proposition come some unique - and some not so unique - product challenges.

This talk will provide an insight into how we approach those challenges at Channel 4 and share some of the success stories, along with the odd learning opportunity, from over a decade of growth and innovation.

13:00 – 14:20


Sponsored by

London Midland Labs mParticle

Head out & our stewards will direct you to one of the three places lunch is being served - the downstairs bar, upstairs bar and front reception space.

Enjoy the food and don’t forget to check out our fantastic sponsors in the lobby area - a huge thank you to our main sponsors, London Midland Labs and mParticle.

Please be back in your seats for 14:20, when the afternoon session will get going.

Bo Ren

14:25 – 14:55

Bo Ren

Product Manager


How to tackle redesigns with shared humanity

Redesigns are hard to do. Tackling big redesign projects are challenging given their scale and cross-functional impact. How do you approach such a monolithic task? Rooted in user empathy, Bo draws upon early days of working in customer service to solve product problems. Using a combination of behavioral science, design-thinking, and curiosity, Bo will explain how she approached the Facebook Notes redesign and Tumblr mobile redesign. She will cover learnings from launching and growing Facebook Notes and how the Notes playbook informed the Tumblr mobile redesign of new post forms.

Hugo Cornejo

14:55 – 15:25

Hugo Cornejo

Head of Design


Something people want

Building a bank is a challenging task. Since the very first day at Monzo (before having a name, funding or a product), they knew that to succeed they needed to “make something people want”.

A couple of years into they’ve built a customer base of 400,000 people that grows 5% week over week but also made a few mistakes along the way. Hugo will share the ups and downs of the ride from the point of view of product design: designing prototypes, building nice feedback loop, growing a team and keeping up with hyper-growth.

Emma Coats

15:25 – 15:55

Emma Coats

Editorial Lead - Google Assistant


Storytelling for the Google Assistant

Storytelling may be simple, but that doesn't mean it's easy - especially when designing for deeply interactive experiences. Where's the roadmap from high-level concept to seamless execution? In a medium so young, there isn't a roadmap yet. What we do have is a treasure map made from pieces of many disciplines.

15:55 – 16:30

Afternoon Break

Sponsored by


Time for our final break, and to grab something sweet to keep you going until the end of the day.

Our afternoon break is sponsored by SendGrid, the world’s most-trusted communication platform.

Sarah Guha

16:30 – 17:00

Sarah Guha

Product Director

Starling Bank

Building a trusted bank

Despite technology moving so fast, banking is considered a hassle and often feels like a necessary evil. By examining and understanding the challenges customers face; creating an account, access to credit, keeping cards safe, paying securely and saving for what’s most important, Starling Bank has been built (from scratch) to give the 70 million underserved current account holders in the UK the tools to create a healthier financial life.

The challenge is to put customers in control and to use technology to do things differently, and to make the right decisions to meet customer expectations, provide assurance and gain trust.

Jeffrey Veen

17:00 – 17:30

Jeffrey Veen

Design Partner

True Ventures

Crafting a Creative Culture

We have arrived in an age of design. No longer relegated to a function of the marketing department or tacked on to an engineering process, Designers are increasingly taking leadership positions in the top companies in tech. But how do we manage creative teams to achieve their full potential? Jeff will share stories from his years of leading product development — both successful and not — to show that investing in culture might be the best competitive edge you can gain.

17:30 until late


Sponsored by


That’s a wrap!

Our afterparty is happening at Rub Smokehouse (just a few minutes walk from the Town Hall: Regency Wharf, Broad St, Birmingham, B1 2DS). Join us to carry on the conversations over some light food & drinks.

This couldn’t happen without our Afterparty Sponsor, InVision; the world's leading prototyping, collaboration & workflow platform.