Parker Gates

Parker is a design thinking facilitator/coach hailing from Nashville, Tn, where his primary role is around building teams and facilitating projects for creative problem solving. He believes deeply in user-centered design as a way to solve big challenges and create an organizational culture where collaboration is encouraged and celebrated.

Parker started working with the Stanford in 2010 and is a graduate of the Customer Focused Innovation program. In May of 2011 Parker became a certified d.leader at Stanford’s Advanced Facilitation Bootcamp. He continues to work closely with the on an ongoing basis coaching their design thinking d.bootcamps and Customer Focused Innovation programs.

Prior to diving headfirst into design thinking, Parker worked in the information technology and consulting space with several companies in Nashville and Seattle.

When he’s not teaching and facilitating design projects Parker spends most of his time outside on a bike, running trails, or with his family. When indoors you will find him honing his barista skills.


1) Empathy always wins. I seem to learn this over and over. Ethnographic field work transforms individual team members into passionate a passionate team that has a strong desire to solve problems for users.

2) Collaboration is not only awesome, but extremely effective. I love watching teams build and feed on each others ideas. You definitely see the kinds of solutions come to fruition that are unavailable to the lone problem solver.

3) Building creative confidence is so helpful while working on a design thinking project. I work with so many people that feel they aren’t creative or that thinking in new and innovative ways is uncomfortable. This is super common and it’s because working/thinking creatively has been pushed out of most workplace environments (unless you happen to be in a creative business). This doesn’t mean you’re not creative, it means you haven’t practiced in a long time. We can help you flex your creative muscles and you’ll quickly learn that you do indeed have innate creative talent lying dormant within you!