Usability Pros To Meet On ‘Creativity Through Play’: The Michigan Usability Professionals Association will meet on “Creativity Through Play” Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. at Cengage Learning, 27500 Drake Road, Farmington Hills. How can we engage more people in the user experience process? How can we get team members excited and engaged? How can we push the diversity of ideas created? Using games, with a diverse group of individuals, will help to open people’s minds, facilitate fun, and most importantly encourage creativity. Agreements, discussions, and debates are encouraged and fostered in an open and inviting environment. This type of environment speeds up the idea generation and evaluation process. Focusing on great activities for the idea generation process digs up opportunities and ideas that exist within the people you work with. This set-up allows for divergent thinking to occur, which eventually builds into convergent thinking, which leads to rapid iterative prototyping and testing. We will look at ways to plan, run, and execute brainstorming sessions in a manner that is set up for fun and function. We will review ways to use games to help cultivate an atmosphere that generates ideas and prototypes. Through images, samples, and stories, we will see how games can be put to use to produce tangible results. I have taken my experience in game design, teaching, and user experience and applied it to the people, which is at the core of creating great ideas and products! The purpose of this talk is to show how cultivating a highly diverse group of people, with fun and games, can create productive meetings and innovative brainstorming. Design, Development, and Management members will benefit from learning new opportunities to add to their creative process.

CBI Sets Disaster Recovery Webinar: The Troy IT security firm Creative Breakthroughs Inc. will sponsor a Webinar, “Disaster Recovery in a Virtual World – Are you Ready?” The event takes place Thursday, Sept. 6 from 1 to 2 p.m. Eastern time. With the focus turned to business critical applications, virtualization is now the platform of choice. There are many challenges; however, the benefits of a virtual environment are great. Is your organization using mixed media for disaster recovery? Is your storage footprint growing larger each year? Are you restoring from tape, disks, or both? If you said yes to any one of these, then this Webinar is for you. Join Marc Johnson, principal strategist at CBI, for this free live webinar as he discusses situations that organizations are facing today and how today’s solutions can create an impact on not only resources, but cost as well. More at

Merit Network Sets Fall MJTS Meeting: Merit Network Inc. will hold its fall MJTS meeting on Thursday, Oct. 11. All Merit member organizations are encouraged to attend for a free day of learning and interaction with your peer organizations in Michigan. In the southern Lower Peninsula the meeting will be held at the West Campus of Lansing Community College at 5708 Cornerstone Drive, Lansing. Additional locations joining the meeting via videoconference will be announced shortly, serving the northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula. The multiple locations will help members take part in the interactions that are an important part of MJTS, regardless of where they live and work. The meeting will run from 9:30 a.m. to about 3 p.m. MJTS stands for “Merit Joint Technical Staff,” a term meant to include all IT professionals from Merit’s member institutions. Meetings feature presentations from Merit member organizations and Merit staff on all aspects of networking and related technologies. The emphasis is on learning from each other; along with the presentations, the agenda includes significant break time for informal conversations. MJTS meetings are an effective way to remain current with technological change, learn how organizations are adopting new technologies and get to know others who build IT services at your neighboring institutions. The meetings are free and are open only to Merit member organizations. Registration and further information is available at