— Artificial Intelligence Summit at Denver University —

Creating the systems and structures that will unlock interdisciplinary university-wide collaboration around artificial intelligence to serve the public good.


Denver University

Solutions and Services

Workshop Design and Facilitation

Facilitation Team

Led by Mark Eckhart, COMMON CEO

Michelle Fox, The Bridge Studio

Michelle Desmaris, Independent

Emma Ruffin, Desert Raven Designs

The Challenge

In 2019, Denver University’s leadership was considering how to embrace artificial intelligence (AI) as a growing field and emerging technology. With so many perspectives to draw on at the University, gathering input seemed challenging. How to best approach this university-wide conversation was uncertain.

The Solution

COMMON* was hired to facilitate a university-wide design workshop.

Over two-hundred students, faculty, and staff joined throughout the day. Mark Eckhardt, CEO of COMMON, was supported by Michelle Fox, Director of The Bridge Studio, and Michelle Desmaris, Independent. They were accompanied by the skilled graphic scribe, Emma Ruffin of Desert Raven Designs, and a team of student volunteers.

The engaging and collaborative design workshop pushed participants out of their comfort zone, into different ways of thinking, in an enviroment where they can feel safe imagining the impossible, working in wildly creative ways about how the university might define, consider, and approach artificial intelligence in the years to come.


*COMMON is a community powered by a global collection of over four thousand innovative professionals and creative visionaries who want to help organizations build a better world. For more information, see www.common.is

The Results

This event brought together a diverse range of people from across the university system, providing a unique opportunity for collaboration and knowledge sharing. In the end, five strategies were produced for the leadership to use as they consider next steps and a direction forward. These strategies were synthesized and reviewed during a debrief session with the COMMON team (pictured below).

Left to Right: Michelle Desmaris (Independent), Marty Katz (DU’s Chief Innovation Officer and Senior Advisor for Academic Innovation and Design), Michelle Fox (The Bridge Studio), JB Holston (Dean, School of Computer Science and Engineering at DU), Haluk Ogmen (Senior Associate Dean & Professor, School of Computer Science and Engineering at DU), Emma Ruffin (Desert Raven Designs), Mark Eckhardt (COMMON).