About us

The CDI Foundation develops design standards that create human-centric and inclusive AI Assistants. We do this through promoting design patterns and best practices and by doing research, education and industry development.

We are guided by our core principles.

Our core principles


We are an open community where all industry stakeholders can voice their opinions so that our standards can have the most impact.


We are pragmatic in our approach and seek to make progress towards developing industry standards every day.


We are transparent in everything that we do. We share freely through our public events.


We are collaborative and work with other stakeholders and institutions.


We are inclusive and strive to have a diverse advisory board that has representatives from all stakeholders.

Want to support The CDI Foundation?

Supporting The CDI Foundation helps to accelerate the adoption of human-centric, inclusive, and empathetic standards for designing conversational AI Assistants.

Created by The Conversation Design Institute

The CDI Foundation was created by The Conversation Design Institute, world’s leading training and certification institute for creating human-centric AI Assistants.

The Conversation Design Institute created the Foundation because it realized the industry needs a body that goes beyond commercial goals and seeks to develop industry standards that benefit the industry as a whole.

By working together, we can develop the standards that advance the industry.

How we work

The Foundation has a Board and an Advisory Committee. 


The Board’s role is to ensure the Foundation’s effective operation and make decisions in the best interests of the Foundation and its stakeholders. 


The inaugural President of the Foundation Board is Dr Peter Thomas, who is Global Education Strategist for the Conversation Design Institute and director of FORWARD, The RMIT University Center for Future Skills and Workforce Transformation. He has a background in conversation analysis, human factors, UX, CX and NLP. He was formerly co-founder and Executive Director of The Leasing Foundation.


The Advisory Committee is composed of Partners of the Foundation.


The Advisory Committee’s role is to support the Foundation’s effective operation and the development of each of its activities. The Committee may be asked to set up subgroups to lead the development in the four key areas of our research: education, best practice, and industry development.


The Advisory Committee operates by open, inclusive, authentic peer-led discussion. Partners have seats on the Advisory Committee depending on their Partnership tier and meet 4 times yearly.


What we do

We work in the following areas



  • support collaborative research to uncover best practices and create design patterns

  • research emerging technologies and how they relate to the conversational AI industry

  • develop our Conversational AI Personality Research project, together with Talent Data Labs

  • create new university partnerships to help bring academic research to market alongside our existing projects with Tilburg University, VU, Utrecht University, Radboud University and Loughborough University


  • create educational programs to teach design patterns

  • support inclusive scholarships for those wishing to enter the industry, especially focused on underrepresented people and groups

Best Practice

  • develop maturity models that map out the proven design patterns and best practices per level of maturity in conversational AI

  • publish design patterns and use cases

Industry Development

  • create and continuously evolve the CDI Manifesto to align the industry around common goals

  • organise The CDI Festival, a global meeting to celebrate people working in conversational AI

  • establish an Industry Fellowship scheme that allows the Foundation to engage with leaders and experts across the industry

  • Establish a Conversational AI leaders list to highlight those who are shaping the industry

  • build our programme of industry speaking engagements, workshops and bootcamps at leading venues, including with Open Voice Network, part of the Linux foundation.