Any one that is active in local communities such as Refresh or IxDA or has attended an Adaptive Path conference has some passing experience with Stephen P. Anderson. Stephen just went out to start his own thing recently after a tenure at Sabre and I think he's one of our most cogent thinkers in the design space. But he also knows how to have fun in going about that inspiration. See the presentation below for example. Back in December I had a chance to see George Lucas speak in Chicago at the Chicago Economics club and Stephen does a pitch perfect job of telling this story the same way that George does but also includes his design focused spin. I'd LOVE to hear Stephen give this presentation.
In Microsoft many of my peers and I spend an inordinate about time developing the stories that talk about the importance of design. We spend a lot of time catering these messages to different audiences too. Now, more often than not, I point people towards some of the thinking Steve has done on this subjects, I'm not sure there's anyone out there right now that can put a more human face on design and it's value in such a delightful and accessible way.
If you get a chance to hear Steve talk, don't miss it.