Liya is co-founder of The Center for Deep Self Design. She joined the Center as it was re-incarnating post-pandemic, bringing a welcome set of insight and expertise that is harmonious and complementary to the mission. Due to the breadth and depth of her career, Liya’s role at CDSD is multi-faceted. She manages strategy and operations, as well as co-leading UX and customer research, method design and testing, course architecting, workshop facilitation, and service innovation. Liya also offers individual Deep Self Design™ sessions that focus on helping learners, seekers, and/or high achievers find clarity and focus while softening internalized fears, limiting beliefs, and negative thought patterns.
Like Sun, Liya’s origin story fueled an intense drive to succeed that was natural and understandable but not sustainable. In her previous life, she was a high-achieving entrepreneur, design leader and innovation consultant, starting and running multi-million dollar businesses including Idean where she was the head of the Austin studio (now Frog Design) and Totally Human, an inclusive design consultancy. She coached, advised, and consulted with entrepreneurs in various industries, often working with them from the inception of their ventures and leading to exits that total $3+ billion. She also worked for over a decade as an innovation consultant for Fortune 500 companies, facilitating teams to take products from idea to launch and leading innovation and creativity training globally.
Liya’s professional success was notable but ultimately unfulfilling, and it took a huge toll on her body, heart and mind. Her awakening began when she accidentally found herself walking alongside pilgrims on the road to Lhasa in 2010. She turned toward this invitation by journeying for several years into expanded states of consciousness assisted by Aya, Bufo, Huachuma, skilled facilitators, and her own breath. From these experiences was born a true passion for inner work and a commitment to techniques that serve human healing and human potential. This lifelong journey of growth and recovery motivates Liya to continue her personal internal work while giving clients and students at CDSD the compassionate support they need to create results. Her certifications in personal development include Trauma-Informed Coaching, Embodied Processing, Root-Cause Therapy from the Centre for Healing, and Certified Somatic Healer from the International Institute for Complementary Therapists.
Tent Talks Session: The Deep Self Design Method
On Tuesday, November 21st at 5:00pm Central, Sunni (Sun) Brown and Liya James join us for a live Q&A session: “The Deep Self Design Method.”
Leadership By Design 2022
Inclusive Design Leadership: Beyond Human-Centered
As technology increasingly becomes a conduit for meeting our basic needs—from finding love or taking care of our health to buying groceries and booking travel—it is becoming clear that technology is no longer neutral. How the technology works can be either a force that perpetuates cycles of exclusion and inequity, or it can carry the torch of equity and inclusion.
In this presentation, Liya will discuss living up to our mission as “user advocates” for all of our users, no matter their race, gender identity, age, or socioeconomic background. She will also explore strategies to embed inclusive mindsets into the design process and help organizations realize the full potential of human-centered design.