John Dewey, one of the most influential educational philosophers of the 20th century, emphasized the importance of learning through experience and reflection. He believed that learning should not be a one-way transmission of knowledge, but rather a collaborative process of shared discovery.

The Lean Product and Process Development Exchange (LPPDE) Conference, taking place in Ann Arbor October 2-5, 2023, embodies Dewey's philosophy of learning and sharing. Held at SPARK Ann Arbor (, the conference provides a platform for Lean Product Development professionals to come together, share their experiences, and learn from each other in a collaborative environment.

All genuine learning comes through experience.

John Dewey

As Dewey believed, the best way to learn is through experience. At the LPPDE Conference, you'll have the opportunity to learn from others who have faced similar challenges and found innovative solutions. You'll hear firsthand accounts of successful Lean Product Development initiatives, as well as strategies for overcoming common obstacles. We embrace the notion of learning through dialogue and observation. For example, at this conference, Menlo Innovation will graciously open their doors to show us directly how they create their culture of innovation on October 3rd.

But learning is not just about dialogue and observation, Dewey also emphasized the importance of reflection for learning to occur. Embedded in the conference is an opportunity for learning circles where participants build relationships as they share their learnings and reflect as a team. Through this process, the LPPDE Conference also embodies Dewey's philosophy of collaboration and shared learning. By bringing together Lean Product Development professionals from a variety of industries and backgrounds, the conference encourages a diverse range of perspectives and ideas. Participants can engage in lively discussions, share best practices, and collaborate on new strategies for Lean Product Development.

Now for a specific challenge to you: We are looking for lean development professionals who want to share their experiences and insights with others. In sharing your insights, you'll not only solidify your own learning, but also contribute to the collective knowledge of the Lean Product Development community.

If you're a Lean Product Development professional and believe you have an experience or message to benefit the Lean Development community, we’d love to hear from you. Please submit your suggestion for a topic you would like to speak on, or a topic you would like to have someone else share at the conference that would benefit you. You may contact me at, [email protected] 

Don't miss this fantastic opportunity to learn from and share with others at the LPPDE Conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan October 2-5, 2023 (Registration Link)

Dantar Oosterwal

Chair of Conference, LPPDE NA 2023

Dantar Oosterwal has a passion for Innovation and an enthusiasm for the improvement of Business Systems. At the intersection of these two interests, Dantar is a leader in the application of lean methods in new product development creating dramatic improvements in effectiveness and efficiency. Besides the award winning book, ‘The Lean Machine’, Dantar has also co-authored together with Durward Sobek the publication of Allan Ward’s manuscript, ‘Visible Knowledge for Flawless Design’.You can learn more at Or you can learn about Dantar’s latest initiative at Dantar holds a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Michigan and a Masters degree in Management from the Sloan School of Management at MIT.