Catalyst Thought Leadership. Sparking what's next.

Catalyst Thought Leadership - a workplace webinar series. Brought to you by Catalyst Workplace Activation and our Subject Matter Experts. We're excited to support you with relevant topics that allow you to think and work in new ways.

Virtual TL Website Header Primary

Read on to view our past webinars, complete with recordings and downloadable content, and resources for you to reference at any time.

We’d also love to know how we’re doing! Let us know how we can continue to make our future Thought Leadership events valuable and relevant to you by taking this short 1-min survey.

Link to Catalyst Thought Leadership Survey >

Current Webinar

VTL Webpage Banners MC LI Zoom3

Join Gabe Wing, Director of Sustainability at MillerKnoll for a discussion about corporate sustainability. Stewardship of the environment has long been a core value for Herman Miller. Their GreenHouse manufacturing facility is a LEED Pioneer Building and they are a founding member of the Green Building Council.

Gabe Wing is responsible for managing Herman Miller's sustainability efforts including sustainable product design, environmental footprint reduction, and safety. The goal of his team is to help create a better world. He has played an important role in developing the environmental policies of Herman Miller since joining the company in 2001. Among his contributions is the integration of sustainable design principles into Herman Miller's innovation process.

Speaker: Gabe Wing - Director of Sustainability at MillerKnoll

Date: January 19th, 2021, 11:00 am - 11:30 am PST

Register Now >

Past Webinars

Back to the Office Website

As more and more employees are vaccinated, and life begins to return to normal, we are getting offices ready for employees again. Attracting and retaining talent continues to be a top priority for companies, and office design is a huge driver for both. More shared spaces, hoteling, and an increased need for ample circulation space abound in recent remodels. Flexibility in where employees work is more important than ever, and offices need to adapt to this new hybrid, agile work style. Many organizations are itching to recreate the spontaneous collaboration which happens when their employees are in the office. "There is a large body of evidence that close proximity, with its face-to-face communication, shared social settings, and frequency of spontaneous communication is beneficial to relationships and group interaction"*.

We're hosting a discussion about returning to work with three unique perspectives: Facilities planner, Linda Brent from Tacoma Public Utilities, commercial real estate professional, Katie Patchin from Boots Construction, and workplace research expert, Jesse Garcia from Herman Miller. Join us in this dynamic returning to work discussion as we touch on the following points:

  • Why nearness matters for collaboration and innovation
  • Worker flexibility and policy
  • Workplace design for Attraction and Retention - How to create and measure its efficacy
  • State of the real estate and building markets
  • Current business priorities of top organizations

Moderator: Jesse Garcia - Workplace Consulting Lead at Herman Miller

Linda Brent - Facilities Planner at Tacoma Public Utilities
Katie Patchin - Commercial Real Estate Professional at Boots Construction

June 23rd, 2021

Resources: Link to Webinar Recording >

*Nearness Matters - By Jesse Garcia

VTL Webpage Banners Website

Toward a Greener Future: The Intersection of Climate Science, Policy, and Industry

Between extreme weather and natural disasters, such as the West Coast wildfires, we've experienced firsthand the effects of climate change and global warming. Changes that impact the stability of the earth and dramatically impact the economy and human life. But there is hope for a greener future.

We've gathered two leading experts in climate science and policy to help address these issues and improve your understanding and day-to-day ability to act against climate change. This webinar will be led by Dr. Heidi A. Roop, Assistant Professor of Climate Science at the University of Minnesota, and Elizabeth de Regt, AICP, AIA WA Climate Chair and Senior Planner for the City of Bellevue. They will break down the science, the policy designed to support that science and improve industry adaptation, and opportunities to shift the way you operate your businesses and advise your clients to create a better future. Please join us as we discuss the following subjects:

  • Why is the climate change topic important and urgent—The science
  • What is already happening—The role and nature of climate policy and our industry standards
  • How you can make a difference
    • Easily achievable changes you can make now both personally and professionally
    • Starting the conversation with your clients
    • How to create an integrated framework within your business
  • Examples of companies that are building a greener future

Dr. Heidi A. Roop - Assistant Professor of Climate Science at the University of Minnesota and Minnesota’s Climate Change Extension Specialist
Elizabeth de Regt AICP, AIA, LEED AP ND - Architect and urban planner for the City to Bellevue, chair of the AIA Washington Council Climate Committee, sits on the AIA Seattle Public Policy Board and is the Advocate Director for AIA Seattle

Date: March 24th, 2021

Successful Urbanism

Successful Urbanism

2020 has dramatically impacted the nature of how we live, particularly in the urban environment. Cities are essential to civilization, not only for innovation but for responsible and sustainable population growth for the communities that thrive therein. We have assembled an incredible panel of speakers to give you a micro to macro perspective on people, buildings, and our cities. You won't want to miss this profoundly engaging conversation. Please join us as we discuss the following subjects:

  • The impacts of 2020 on the urban environment, the positives thus far, and the responses we might reject
  • Density, diversity, and connectedness - How building a resilient and sustainable future starts with our cities
  • Biophilic cities, design, and health - How 2020 has spurred an emerging awareness of nature's value for human health and wellness
  • How to be a champion for sustainable and prosperous urbanism - from people to offices, to the entire city
  • How to integrate and promote co-design for co-benefit approaches in design, building, and your professional work


Dr. Kathleen Wolf - Research Social Scientist, University of Washington, College of the Environment
Lyle Bicknell - Principal Urban Designer, City of Seattle's Office of Planning and Community Development
Myer Harrell, AIA, LFA, LEED AP, BD+C, Homes - Principal and Director of Sustainability, Weber Thompson

Date: Wednesday, January 13th, 2020
Link to Webinar Recording >

Remote Work: The Long Haul

Amidst a challenging time when in-person discussion and networking are not an option, we wanted to provide industry professionals the opportunity to come together again, as we had at past thought leadership events. Today we are excited to introduce Catalyst Thought Leadership Discussions - an interactive networking experience. In these virtual events, you'll have dedicated time to discuss a range of top-of-mind topics led by workplace thought leaders. We will be kicking this collaborative event with no other than People and Culture expert and Catalyst Thought Leadership veteran Linda Wagener.

To kick things off, Linda will give a brief review of best practices for remote business culture. From there, we’ll spend most of the time in breakout discussion groups. You will also be able to use the chat function to pose questions and comments to the group as a whole.

You will have an hour to collectively discuss the long term issues surrounding remote work and how it has impacted business culture, including the difficulties you're facing and the things that are working to maintain your culture.

Speaker: Linda Wagener, Ph.D. - Chief Culture Officer, Blink
Date: Wednesday, October 28th, 2020
Link to Webinar Recording >

Insights into the Eastside Migration

Despite the impacts of COVID-19 across the globe, according to a recent 2020 CBRE research report, early economic data indicates that the Puget Sound area is continuing to grow, most notably, the Tech industry on the Eastside. New development is expected to add approximately 2.5 million sq. ft. to the Eastside by the end of 2021. In Downtown Bellevue, over 2 million sq. ft. of office space has already been pre-leased by incoming tech tenants.*

As the Eastside continues to prepare for this ongoing growth, here to give us a detailed look into the City of Bellevue's planning efforts are CEO of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, Joe Fain, and Director of Community Development in Bellevue, Mac Cummins. Join us for this unscripted discussion as we delve into the following topics:

  • Urban livability and the future of the Bellevue growth corridor
  • Why the Eastside offers a safe environment for businesses looking to relocate or expand
  • How Bellevue is planning for an influx of companies migrating to their city
  • Navigating Bellevue's economic development strategic plan as it relates to small business support

Speakers: Joe Fain - CEO, Bellevue Chamber, and Mac Cummins - Director of Community Development, City of Bellevue
Date: Wednesday, October 28th, 2020
Link to Webinar Recording >

Embracing a New Era of Distributed Collaboration

The nature of how we collaborate has been evolving in recent years, and the adoption of new technologies in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis has dramatically accelerated that evolution. While traditional means of collaborating in-person aren’t going away, adopting new technologies and processes that enable us to collaborate across time and distance has changed peoples’ behaviors and expectations for how they’ll collaborate in the future. Join Ryan Anderson from Herman Miller and Zach Holmquist from Hitched as they discuss how better to understand the current and future state of collaboration and how facilities will need to evolve to support these changes.

Ryan Anderson - VP of Digital Innovation, Herman Miller and Zach Holmquist - Chief Product Officer, Hitched
Wednesday, July 29th, 2020
Resources: Link to Webinar Recording >

Ensuring Psychological Safety in the Workplace

Now more than ever, our teams need to be performing at their highest level. We do this by ensuring people feel safe to express themselves at work. Psychological safety is the #1 indicator of high performing teams. By definition, psychological safety is “being able to show and employ one’s self without fear of negative consequences of self-image, status, or career.” In this Catalyst Thought Leadership Webinar, you will be guided by Sr. Learning Strategist at Herman Miller and workplace Psychological Safety expert, Heather Esposito, M.Ed, PCC. Tune-in and discover the science behind psychological safety, how to create and foster it in your teams, identify ways you may be threatening it, and tips for practical application. If you’re looking to maximize team performance and help your organization do that same, you won’t want to miss this.

Speaker: Heather Esposito - Sr. Learning Strategist & Psychological Safety Expert, Herman Miller
Wednesday, June 24th, 2020
Resources: Link to Webinar Recording >

Fractured Trust & The New Employee Experience

As we turn our attention to our suddenly revised future of the workplace, we’re faced with a difficult reality – our foundational trust levels at work have been rocked to the core. Along with the top-of-mind issues such as occupancy schedules, cleaning protocols, work point seat spacing, and cost optimization of real estate, it is equally imperative that we examine factors that affect our most basic levels of trust at work for the next six months, one year, even longer. We’ll focus this interactive discussion on three critical workplace trust questions that may influence the future of work, expectations for the employee experience, and the short- and long-term decisions that have organization’s wondering, “should we, or shouldn’t we?”

Speaker: Kristin Reed - Workplace Consultant, Herman Miller
Date: Wednesday, April 29th, 2020
Link to Webinar Recording >

Link to Webinar Presentation PDF >

Workplace Wellbeing

Speaker: Melissa Steach, Ph.D. - Workplace Wellbeing Knowledge Lead, Herman Miller
Date: Wednesday, April 15th, 2020
Link to Webinar Recording >

Link to Webinar Presentation PDF >

*CBRE, Inc. (2020). Puget Sound Techbook Report.

Join our mailing list

Like to receive product discounts, workplace research, and invites to explore ideas with the top thought leaders about the world of work?

Join Now