An exceptional group of people
organized in an innovative way
to do amazing things.
Technological and environmental change is speeding up. The challenges facing today’s businesses are in some ways unprecedented. The ubiquity of technology and the breadth of its impact on business, society and the planet have outstripped traditional approaches.
GROUP OF HUMANS is a collective of industry leading peers. Diverse, thought provoking individuals, whose work, reputation and skill sets push creativity and technology and define their categories.
All of us are determined to rethink the processes and priorities of modern business, for profitable and sustainable outcomes. Together we look at the world differently, change the way we accept risk, nurture insight and collaborate with clients.
Our behavior helps to define our mission, to Waste Not. We do not pitch, we do not pad, we refuse to pollute humanity and the world we live in. We believe technology with a human soul can support the present and nourish the future.
A network founded
on shared values
Everything is connected
To provide our clients with relevant answers, we combine the perspectives of the HUMANS to bring disruptive and collaborative thinking to products, services and brands quickly and honestly.
We call this Holistic Consulting and it provides connected thinking, breaking out of company silos and traditional disciplines to bring ideas to life. Today it comprises of five overlapping areas swarming around a core purpose:
What we do
GROUP OF HUMANS project teams are small, flexible and adaptable. Each team is selected from our global network to bring the skills, processes and experiences needed to take on the problem at hand. These curated teams form the backbone of our service offering, but sometimes the complexity of contemporary business problems means new questions emerge as projects progress and evolve.
When this happens we use our cloud platform to access the GROUP MIND; harnessing the collective experience of every human in our global network.
Humans involved in client project A
Humans involved in client project B
Humans involved in client project C
GROUP MIND engages all humans in problem solving
How is this possible?
Organized for the 21st century
To maintain a coherent, world-spanning virtual organization we leverage, buy or build the support services necessary to enable programs to flow seamlessly through humans. Our internal support services include:
and a Travel Service
As children we were told waste not, want not.
Now we are old we want not waste.
We are just a Group of Humans,
All status we disown,
We are grown beyond the baubles
the money and the shows.
Standing naked with ambition,
Stripped down to the core,
To leave what’s broken better than before.
Waste Not, your time, your talent, Waste Not your planet earth.
Waste Not your weakness or your wisdom, your anger or your mirth.
Become a HumanTalkTo@GroupOfHumans.com
A strategist and writer who specializes in telling stories about the artifacts and consequences of design, he’s helped dozens of companies and agencies improve their design outcomes by crafting narrative. His writing has appeared in WIRED, Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, Gizmodo, Forbes among others, on topics ranging from urban infrastructure to service innovation and the ethics of interaction design – anywhere creative decisions affect human experience. 5 years shaping content and marketing strategy for Ziba Design; before that, he edited and wrote at Core77 and Coroflot. Previously a 3D CAD modeler, a Peace Corps Volunteer in East Africa, and a high school science teacher, Carl holds a BS in Structural Engineering from UC San Diego and a Masters of Industrial Design from the Pratt Institute.
Design Systems Human
Jina is a design systems advocate and advisor. She advises Opvitae, leads an AIGA SF committee, and is a Product Design Expert in the Google Developers Experts network.
Jina led design systems at Amazon, Salesforce, and Apple. Jina founded Clarity, the Design Systems Coalition, and the Design Systems Slack.
Jina coauthored Design Systems Handbook, Fancy Form Design, and The Art & Science of CSS. She’s published several articles and speaks at conferences including Adobe MAX.
In French, you would say Héloïse is a “touche à tout” or maybe she is just curious to learn new things. She started as a travel writer and editor, and then followed the path of the Digital transformation in the media Industry and held senior roles in Technology, product management and Customer experience. Passionate about building diverse and happy teams and the right organisational culture, her dream job title would be Chief Happiness Officer. Experience Partner at Group of Humans, she ensures that the voice of the customer, whoever that may be – is heard to create engaging & happy experiences for all.
Lars was part of the first dotcom boom, which was the most fun ever. That led to creative leadership roles at agencies both digital (AKQA), traditional (Ogilvy) and at brands (Google). Lars has been lucky to work with a large number of the world’s leading brands, including Nike, Coca-Cola, LEGO, McDonald’s, Samsung and IKEA. These days, he consults and freelances, while trying to get his musical entertainment startup funded. He’s a writer by trade, but does mostly creative strategy work now, though he thoroughly enjoys writing scripts for both short and long form pieces of (branded) entertainment.
Paul is a Design human, who’s obsessed by clever, considered, beautiful typography, created digitally or by hand. A designer that will gently push each project as far as it can go, to live up to its potential. A designer who will strip away the nonessentials to make the communication as powerful as possible. But most importantly, I’m a designer who loves, lives and breathes design. As happy in front of a screen, as a piece of paper, with a pen and pencil, a keyboard and mouse, or a tablet and a stylus in hand.
Equal parts maker and strategist, Garth has applied his credo of “Innovate, Simplify, Have Purpose” to his two decades in technology and advertising. His career has spanned both scale and type of engagement, from the development of digital strategies for small startups to the flawless execution of digital solutions for Fortune 500 companies.
Executive Producer Partner
Pat is an entrepreneur and maker of things. He’s opened two “old school” brick and mortar companies; a commercial production company and a digital ad agency. In between, he has sold out to large agencies forming production departments in four of these. If he can’t make it, he’ll find someone who can. As a child he broke everything he touched. Great irony.
Service Design Human
Zafer is passionate about human centred design, setting up its foundations in corporations and training people about it. He helped businesses design new and engaging services, desirable products, and drive innovation through strategic design. During his academic career, he published over 40 research papers and presented his work in the US, Europe and Australia.
Experience Design Human
Elena is a goal-oriented, flexible in approach, User Experience Designer with a passion for everything futurethinking, minimal, elegant and practical. She strongly believes in the power of thought-through design and its ability to positively affect every aspect of our lives. Everything she does is informed by her curiosity towards the human mind and driven by the desire to improve things around her.
Chris is a writer, strategist and conceptual thinker with 20 years experience in the design and advertising industries. His career started in Stockholm with .com businesses before agency life took him via 10 M&A scenarios to LBi, DigitasLBi / Publicis. Chris has always been passionate about guiding companies towards “enlightened self interest”. He believes fiercely that everything is connected, and that John Donne can teach us more than Bernbach. He has spoken around the world on subjects like “Has the Internet Made Everything Shit”, which got him on stage at Bestival. EX UK PM David Cameron called him terrifying, which he is more proud of than any award.
Don is a seasoned marketing and design leader with over 30 years experience establishing and leading teams. He has played key marketing and design roles that took Xbox from a concept to a multibillion-dollar business, helped Nintendo become a household word and worked in major advertising agencies on package goods clients. Along the way, he built and managed large teams in a variety of categories and helped drive for a design-oriented culture within Microsoft.
He is passionate about identifying and capitalizing on people’s superpowers and building cultures that define the “soul” of a product experience – shepherding it from concept through development to launch.
I’m now a Human.
With a focus on Agile, Lean UX and Design Thinking, he strives for team efficiency and harmony without compromising quality, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible within any given environment. His passion for technology combined with the desire to understand and fulfil human needs allow him to be the glue between businesses, their product teams and theie users.
Kyle is a frontend developer who’s been working in the industry for 10 years. He is the go-to developer for several small creative agencies and businesses in London and the US. He loves great web design, and always tries to give it the respect it deserves in his coding. Once a pixel-perfectionist, now faithful to responsive web design principles, he never compromises on the interpretation of design into code.
Business Growth Partner
Kat has over 20 years experience as an entrepreneur and business leader with a focus successful change, innovation and what’s next. Kat co-founded the award winning creative agency Exopolis in 2001 (acquired in 2010). Kat connects teams with organizations to create meaningful partnerships and, ultimately, impactful and successful insights. She is a passionate advocate for and a connector to exceptional creatives, strategists, artists, makers, technologists, and brand specialists.
Scott is passionate about building brands and using a combination of art and science to help companies succeed.
With 20+ years of experience working with brands like Microsoft, Amazon, MIT, Apple, and Xbox, Scott has built and marketed products and services used every day in every corner of the world. From launching the world’s first holographic computer for Microsoft, to international advertising for NOKIA, to redesigning brands for neighborhood bakeries, Scott’s experience revolves around helping companies uncover the essence of their brand and then marketing in an authentic way.
A lover of both the analytical and the artistic, Scott is just as happy digging through research cross-tabs as designing a logo. He’s usually working on new technologies, reinvigorating well-known brands, or helping artistic non-profits succeed.
Jane is a creative director and brand creator with over 30 years experience. She has run her own agency and creative consultancy since 1995 with clients such as Maserati, Revlon and James Squire Beer. She has recently been named as one of Campaign Magazine’s Trailblazers of the Future for her work in re-positioning women over 50. She is passionate about ideas, simplicity, and the art of persuasion.
Product Design Human
Product Designer with an extensive international experience focused on innovation. Expert in UX Design & Strategy and hands-on Visual and UI Design. Having been exposed to a wide range of industries from digital agencies to large corporations and tech startups, I’m enthusiastic to work closely with teams and to advise solo entrepreneurs starting a new business. Energetic and positive, constantly exploring stimulating opportunities to learn, share and design experiences that ultimately have a positive impact on society.
Experience Design Partner
I’m an Experience Designer and Design Executive. I’ve dedicated my career to creating and growing design-focused businesses that take complex technologies and commercialize them to make them usable to customers – from enterprise to consumers. I’ve developed a deep understanding of product innovation, cross-disciplinary teams, design systems, and translating customer and business needs into product and brand solutions. I’ve had the fortune of collaborating with companies such as Apple, BBC, Microsoft, MoMA, Nike, Google, and TED Conferences. I founded and was CEO of the international design fi rm Method where I led the cross-functional research, strategy, design, and technology teams responsible for delivery.
Service Design Human
Audree is a strategist, researcher and designer. With more than 15 years experience in the public and social sectors, including Director-level and C-level roles, Audree’s multidisciplinary background spans design for policy, products, services, operations, organisations and strategy.
CX Partner and Strategist
Innovator, artist, protagonist, activist, and positive provocateur, Maria has pursued a vision of intelligent, elegant, people-centered design throughout her professional life. Her grasp of the pragmatic, the authentic, and the essential have kept her at the forefront of design and business for over 30 years.
Under Maria’s leadership, Hot Studio, the award-winning experience design firm she founded in 1997, grew into a full-service creative agency with an impressive list of Fortune 500 clients. In 2013, Facebook acquired the talent behind Hot Studio, where Maria worked as a Director of Product Design. From 2015 to 2017, Maria led a global team of designers as Autodesk’s first VP of Experience Design.
Maria’s third book, Rise of the DEO: Leadership by Design, is available in several languages. She has spoken at conferences all over the world. Maria serves on several Boards and is a trustee at California College of the Arts.
Experience Design Human
Jan is a solver of creative puzzles across brand and experience design. He has helped hundreds of B2B and B2C companies unlock the potential for their brands to better connect to their customers across a variety of digital media with nearly 20 years in the field. After several years running his own successful creative agency, Jan has once again dedicated himself to his true craft and joined the plight of The Humans to drive forward the principles of human centred design.
Photo, Video & Agile Creative Human
Jill is a photographer, director, entrepreneur and artist who has been making pictures since she was 9 years old. An early adopter to digital imaging as well as social media platforms, she was working in Photoshop since version 1.0, had her website done by Razorfish in 1995, Later her site was done by Group94 in Belgium, later was one of the first Tumblr based sites. For a while in 2009, hers was the second highest trafficked photography website in the world. She was shooting covers for Time, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly and Wired regularly in the 90s.
She was one of the few Photoshoppers in NYC in the early 90s- and still loves to learn and use the top technology- continuing always to retouch her own work.
Recent award-winning campaigns for television and film such as The Handmaid’s Tale S1 for Hulu, the first four seasons of Orange is the New Black for Netflix, Dexter, House of Lies for Showtime, Da Ali G Show and Hung for HBO Charlie’s Angels.
In Oct ’18, she aced an experiential activation for Google where she photographed 182 real New Yorkers in Grand Central over 2 days which utilized and solidified her Influencer status on Instagram. The stats when she posted the grid of day-glo images on LinkedIn were through the roof at more 18,000 views.
It is her fine art and outspokenness which has set her apart. Her portraiture is empathetic and full of HUMAN connection with the viewer. While she is best known for her uniquely human animal portraits of monkeys and apes, grizzly and polar bears, and sexy horses, it was the infamous series of crying toddlers, “End Times” which put her on the map due the media frenzy over the pseudo-controversy that toddlers cry, the images have become memes, used to illustrate personal and political issues. The photography style was copied and taught in schools all over the world. She continually pivots and reinvents, coming up with new visual techniques to stay relevant throughout her 28-year career.
Early in 2018, Greenberg was invited to do a TEDx talk which she used as a platform to found an initiative Alreadymade.org – a site listing all of the top female advertising photographers since the ratios 1-10 for awarded jobs.
She recently wrote and directed a short film called “Honeypot” about Weinstein. Is in post-production on“Feminist Pigs” an animated comedy superhero pilot, and a YouTube Premium pilot called “Dick Move” about a female game designer who goes undercover as a man to subvert her workplace sexism.
Dionne is a business development, marketing and communications specialist based in London.
Over the last 24 years she has worked with some of the most respected names in international architecture, design, technology and contemporary art including United Visual Artists, Adjaye Associates, IDEO, Pentagram, Wolff Olins, Peter Saville, Sebastian Conran Associates, Central Saint Martins and The New Craftsmen. Roles have varied from strategic marketing and PR consultancy and implementation to client relationship development. She has also acted as a curator, editor and commissioner of content for books, special projects, exhibitions and workshops.
Experience Design Partner
Brian is a mix of engineer, storyteller and designer who invariably draws on aspects of all three when designing human-centred product or service experiences, or new organisational structures or capabilities. He likes to work with smart, passionate people and organisations that are courageous enough to embrace design and its potential to shape their thinking.
Lucy is a neurodivergent human, a founder, and an award-winning Senior Creative. Over the past 20 years, she has worked at some of London’s best-known agencies, on a variety of brands and channels. She brings to the table the ability to think big, fast and deeply, turning insights into culturally relevant ideas and experiences. In March 2018 Lucy founded The future is ND, a network for neurodivergents working in the creative and tech industries. This platform aims to make visible and empower this usually hidden minority group. She continues to organise evenings of talks where speakers share their unique journeys through adversity to success.
Over the last 15+ years, Avery has been fortunate to lead a variety of global product launches for Nike, Adidas, Aflac, Ford, Google, Care.com, and others. A strategic systems thinker, Avery knows that the best products/platforms come out of an equal consideration of consumer/market insight, business operations, and internal culture and empowerment. This is where she thrives in a leadership team – outlining business models, hiring/coaching teams, customizing product processes, and advocating for consumer engagement.
In addition to large scale corporate environments, Avery has recognized this same need in the startup world. She co-founded Google’s first design accelerator and entrepreneur training program; then built both an agency and personal consultancy with startup focus. While still occasionally consulting for global brands, she spends most of her time partnered with Founders from seed-level to Series-B, with a focus on supporting women & diversity-led businesses.
Scott is a creative with an unconventional background. Law degree, MA in philosophy – and then media strategy. Wanting more than a PowerPoint as a work end-point, he started devising content and executions. As these initiatives caught fire, his role changed. He became UMs first European Creative Director and led the agency’s content practice across the region. Under Scott’s watch, UM was voted ‘most creative media agency’ in a WARC client survey. Scott looks to combine ad tech, data and media to connect in a new and different ways, and has produced award winning work every year for the past ten years.
Nikita is a passionate and dedicated Product Evangelist. She started her career in South Africa as a Business Analyst. If you need someone who’s a qualified rocket scientist with crazy attention to detail look no further. She’s truly an advocate for transparent communication with stakeholders, and for working hands-on with tech, data and design to build amazing products.
Project Manager Human
Laura has spent the last 20+ years assuring the successful delivery of innovative design and technology solutions.
She’s been lucky to work for some of the world’s most recognized technology companies from Adobe and Microsoft, to Dolby and Cisco. She has launched products for some of the world’s most recognized brands, including launching Virgin Mobile and re-imagining how Nike designers create and collaborate on footwear and apparel design.
Laura has a distinct background in design-led consulting, program management and product delivery. She combines a strategy mindset with a focus on delivery, making her a trusted partner to senior executives who rely on strategy well-executed.
Victoria is an experience strategist who’s spent 15 years helping businesses profit from change at some of the world’s most successful creative agencies. She’s led strategic and creative development on products, service design, and integrated brand experience programmes for a host of international businesses, including Unilever, Lenovo, Barclay’s, Kellogg’s, and BUPA, as well as non-profits and social enterprises. Her training in product design gives her a knack for making things that function well, delight consumers, and make business sense.
Before joining Group of Humans, she was Strategy Director at Isobar (Dentsu Aegis), and prior to that spent 6 years with the Ogilvy Group in Director and team leadership roles, including a secondment to Ogilvy in Bangalore to build a strategic planning capability.
Victoria holds a Masters in Industrial Design from the Pratt Institute, and has lived and worked in the US, Asia, and Europe. A no-nonsense native New Yorker, she’s called London home for over a decade.
Brian is an Experience Designer and Creative Executive with over two decades of expertise in digital design, consumer brand experiences, VR, architecture and product design. He has led global design teams delivering a wide range of innovative products for mobile, entertainment and home devices at Amazon, Nokia and Microsoft.
Along the way he’s developed a deep understanding of production development, cross-disciplinary team collaboration and building in house creative culture at scale. Brian has a strong passion for experimentation and design thinking, and as a maker enjoys working closely with marketing, engineering and business partners to deliver integrated hardware, software and services solutions for customers.
Alessandra (Ale) consults in the innovation space with a special interest in partnership strategies, team design and community building. Having spent half of her career in advertising and the other half in design/innovation, Ale can help companies create amazing brand experiences for growth. She’s a creative with a business strategy mind. She has won 18 industry awards and was in Fast Company’s “League of extraordinary women” with 60 other amazing ladies like Hillary Clinton, Oprah. Ale is the co-founder of SheSays an award-winning global organization focused on the advancement of women in the creative industries. She learned by doing on what makes communities grow and thrive.
Gerardo (Jerry) Laster is a starter and a builder. He initiated his career as a humans rights activist and as a human during the Argentina Junta regime. He was the co-founder and early contributor of “the” avant-garde literary magazine of Argentina in the 1990s, and a founder and early contributor of the literary supplements of three Argentinian newspapers. He founded three companies and was an initial contributor to many teams and startups. He’s currently working on ways of using blockchain technologies to drive the adoption of embedded quality in software development. His hobby is to help large organizations to adopt systematic approaches to product development from product strategy to product delivery and beyond.
Matt is a change designer. His thing is helping organisations and teams adapt to the changing world around us. He is often works alongside transformation or strategy people, using his experience as a design leader to effect change through human-centred design. Matt is currently working on ways of disrupting secondary school education to better meet the changing needs of the workplace.
Craig has spent the last 20+ years working in the creative industry. He’s been lucky to work with some of the world’s most recognized brands while working in some of the world’s best advertising agencies. Since creating and launching the ‘Hello Tomorrow’ brand platform for Emirates Airline and building the ‘In-House’ agency at Staples, Craig found his love for close client engagement. He combines a creative agency mentality with an in-house agency agility. Craig spends much of his time learning and honing his love for creativity, productivity and human-improvement. An advocate of Simon Sinek’s Start With Why and Sir Ken Robinson’s The Element, Craig likes to get under the bonnet of brands and a have genuine connection with the people he collaborates with, making life less stressful and work more enjoyable.
Duncan loves to write, so he’s carved a career out of doing just that in all its myriad forms. Running his own show for 15 years, he tells human-centred travel stories from all four corners, creates user experiences that focus on value, loyalty and engagement, and brings new perspectives to businesses and organisations losing their focus. He believes quality of the process is crucial to quality of the outcome, no matter if it’s how we collaborate to create something magic or how we engage with new people to tell new stories. He writes for everyone from Forbes to Lonely Planet, and has built services and products with global agencies, telcos, banks and tech companies, and sparked ideas into life with SMEs, startups and creative souls.
Design & Operations Human
Dave Malouf is passionate about how technology can help people connect to each other and help them achieve their personal and organizational goals. As a veteran design leader, strategist, facilitator, researcher, and educator he has worked with some of the largest and fastest growing organizations globally. He is taking that experience and passion and helping organizations amplify the value they get from their investment in design. Dave is a writer, teacher, and facilitator sought after around the globe for speaking and workshop engagements helping to teach designers how to build strategic, visionary, empathetic, and creative organizations.
Ex: Scholar, raver, industrial designer, dj, management consultant. Amateur: DJ, music producer, coach. Professional: Consultant, designer, strategist. I like to move people in positive ways. Through music, design, leadership and strategy. To me there’s nothing more human than the progression of our society. I’m a renowned provocateur in the fi eld of User Experience, a community leader through my work with IxDA London, and an Experience Design leader in my consulting work in all things UX, Product, British Service, Innovation and Interaction.
Business Design Human
Jeff leads digital business strategy for brands, helping to create new experiences, products, and companies. He serves as a translator and orchestrator – merging C suite business requirements with amazing creative, UX, technology, and data teams to drive change and revenue. He’s worked for global and boutique agencies and started and sold his own digital transformation consulting shop. Jeff is a data geek, a lover of inspiring creative, and believer in the power of tech to improve lives (when done right).
Combining her skills in digital product design, project management, technical writing, and data analysis & visualization, Jacquie is focused on transforming how human’s make and use one of our most basic needs — electricity. She is personally dedicated to research on the smart, cost-effective integration of distributed energy resources, including renewable energy, energy storage, Internet of Things technologies, and electric vehicles.
Rob has dedicated his career to understanding design and its ability to influence and improve how businesses work. His values lie at the heart of the teams he has curated; loyalty, authenticity and courage. Rob founded Group of Humans, his third design focussed company, to guide the global technology disruption towards a more human future.
Product Design, Innovation and Strategy Leadership
Trip’s design career began at the head of a classroom as a volunteer teacher on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. During his two years of service, he introduced new technologies like which enabled his students to tell stories in entirely new ways. Those two years changed his life and served as the trailhead for a career spanning two decades designing experiences that empowers people and amplify human potential.
Trip’s design work at Adobe, Microsoft, and Amazon has touched the lives people around the world with products that shape the ways we learn, shop, communicate with loved ones, experience literature, get our packages and even turn on the lights.
Trip combines a deep sense of empathy, an analytical mind, and a knack for connecting complex systems with the human needs. His work has resulted in numerous awards, patents, new products, features and a reputation for building high performing teams that get to the right solutions and outcomes quickly.
His experience features projects that range from designing video games for the Chicago Field Museum to building the service design team responsible for scaling Amazon’s ‘last mile’ delivery experience from a 2-city pilot to an $11.5 billion global logistics system delivering over 1.5 billion packages globally, in just 18 months.
Rick is an entrepreneur, company founder and general creator and manager of things. He is never happier than when working with open-minded, positive thinkers and thrives when given the chance to help mould and steer businesses to greatness. He founded his first company whilst studying Graphics at Central Saint Martins, and sold his first company in his early 20’s to a UK-based PLC. 20+ yrs later he has built and sold a number of companies, including a digital agency, online gaming company and an online art business. He’s worked all over the world, spent a 2-year-long holiday drinking rosé in Annecy with his wife and two young children and now divides his time between an M&A advisory firm, a national (UK) fruit juice company and an online art business. …And now the wonderful Group of Humans too!
Adah is a Polymath, Futurist, Tech Philosopher, Activist and Artist. She has over 20 years of experience creating and nurturing new educational learning models and structures, changing the cultural behaviour of large organisations and creating immersive storytelling experiences, using a humanity-centred design approach for creative problem solving and innovation.
She has worked with businesses and individuals in marketing, advertising, media, entrepreneurship, technology start-ups, and education and was recently recognised as one of the Top 100 BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) Leaders in Tech (UK).
Ezra is a multidisciplinary Creative Director working in advertising and marketing and specializing in entertainment and technology brands. His background is in art direction, design, and animation. With over 20 years of experience he has worked with some of the worlds largest brands including Xbox, Netflix, Pandora, Hulu, Warner Brothers, Marvel, EA, Google, Apple, Ebay, Intel, and Reebok and has won a number of accolades and recognitions along the way including multiple Cannes Lions, Effies, Clios, a D&AD Pencil, multiple ADDYs and even an Emmy.
A creative by trade, I’ve championed digital innovation within the industry for 17 years, perfecting a framework for people-focused innovation driven by behavioural trends and strategic insight. I’m passionate about open ideation and creative problem solving, and collaborate with businesses to create new product/service experiences that empower them, and their customers. As Innovation Director I’ve led large-scale transformation projects across most sectors, I love what I do and am driven by the chance to make a difference. I particularly enjoy leading innovation workshops for organisations in change paralysis, helping to lift their heads. I’m no stranger to public speaking, although I prefer to coach than preach, externally mentoring a diverse range of innovation students at the London SCA.
Em has spent the past decade helping companies streamline and optimize, from Accounting and Human Resources to restructuring corporations from the inside out. Starting out with a Law Degree in the UK then moving across the pond she became a New York State Attorney, until she found her calling working with clients to attain their goals by taking over the nitty gritty details. Working with small startups to well established companies, Em loves teaming up with clients to make the differences that count to allow progression and promote corporate confidence.
Steve Portigal helps companies to think and act strategically when innovating with user insights. He is principal of Portigal Consulting, and the author of two books: The classic Interviewing Users: How To Uncover Compelling Insights and new, Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries: User Research War Stories. He’s also the host of the Dollars to Donuts podcast, where he interviews people who lead user research in their organizations. Steve is an accomplished presenter who speaks about culture, innovation, and design at companies and conferences across the globe.
Georgie is a value-driven corporate strategy, business development and partnership doer. Her technology & media experience spans four continents, with tier 1 strategy consultants, Google and now, as CEO of a leading Digital Wellbeing solution, SPACE. She is smart, collaborative and believes in technology designed consciously for the greater good of humanity.
James is a creative director who specialises in image-led strategy, creating visual content across moving image, print and digital to help launch and build brands. He has been involved in contemporary film, photography, art and design for twenty years. Recent clients include Airbnb Samara, where James developed creative concepts for their new flagship Backyard ADU project, and Uber, where he developed creative concepts and narrative visions for the company’s ten-year future vision.
He co-founded London-based creative agency Field Projects, working with clients including Hermès, Onefinestay, Luxottica, The Modern House and Grace Hotels. Prior to that, as long-standing Photography Director of Wallpaper*, James was instrumental in creating and shaping the visual identity of one of the world’s leading design titles. Whilst there he collaborated with people as diverse as Kanye West, Ed Ruscha, Zaha Hadid, Robert Wilson, Maurizio Cattelan and Pharrell Williams on ambitious projects.
Lee is the founder of Door, a creative business consultancy that helps organisations discover and launch new products, services and businesses. With over 25 years experience Lee is a recognised business, design and innovation leader. He began his career designing running shoes for Puma aged 18 and has since worked with global brands such as Volvo, Skype, Sky, Virgin, Vodafone and Yamaha on diverse projects spanning strategy, product innovation, customer experience and new ventures.
Prior to founding Door, Lee was Group Director of Customer Experience and Innovation at Barclays PLC where he was responsible for building and leading interdisciplinary teams to create and deliver the next era of financial services. He masterminded and helped create the entrepreneurial banking proposition including the global ecosystem of Barclays Rise spaces for start-ups.
Lee has spoken at numerous conferences, companies and universities including The FT, Harvard Business Review, BBC, Warwick Business School and Wired Money.
Lee is also a critically acclaimed musician and songwriter. Brainstruments, his music neuroscience project about the mental models of musicians, features interviews with over 50 of the world’s leading jazz and blues musicians has appeared in Wired Magazine and the BBC.
Jinal Shah is a strategist, business leader, and team leader. She has worked for and with some of the most admired brands and built a niche connecting brand and e-commerce to drive cultural and commercial impact. She has held VP roles at S’well Bottle and Newell Brands. At Newell Brands, she was responsible for a team of 80 (which she built from scratch) and driving over $250M in revenue across e-commerce platforms for the company’s 50+ brand portfolio including renowned brands such as Marmot, Yankee Candle Company, Rubbermaid and Sharpie among others.
Prior to gaining client-experience, she spent nine years on the agency side, the majority of them at WPP’s J. Walter Thompson where she developed an expertise in retail and beauty working with brands such as Estee Lauder, Revlon, Avon, Nestle, Unilever, and Macy’s.
She is known for asking a lot of why’s and breaking down complacency and silos. She does this by merging systems thinking with creativity, bringing relentless discipline to brand and marketing strategy, and by building optimistic, diverse, no-assholes teams that fight for the work and only for the work.
Research and Strategy Human
Anjeli Sharma is a Senior Design Research and Strategy Consultant with experience working in design and innovation agencies in New York, Sydney and London. She uses a human-centered, collaborative approach to navigate teams through complexity and ambiguity – translating bespoke insights into strategic frameworks that create value and meaningful experiences, products, and services.
Anjeli has led insight and strategy efforts in numerous sectors – from education and healthcare, to financial services, retail and consumer packaged goods – in diverse areas, including system, service, brand strategy, product, and experience design. Prior to building her consultancy, Anjeli worked as a Senior Design Researcher and Strategist at IDEO, learning and applying the tools of Design Thinking and Innovation.
In addition to her marketing background, Anjeli holds a Master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University. When not scouring the globe for cultural inspiration, she can be found kicking back with her loving husband, two beautiful kids and one spritely Boston Terrier.
Alex started his design career at Razorfish at the beginning of the first web boom. Since then, he has worked with clients ranging from software startups to major television networks to athletics brands to international educational institutions. Alex’s work in design research explores the use of ideal types, patterns, and pattern language as tools for understanding the structure of design problems and computational design and digital fabrication techniques as methods for developing new, hitherto impossible forms. He is a professor at the Pratt Institute of the Arts, where he has developed course work aimed at helping students to uncover their own theories of design and to develop strategies for the application of those theories beyond the traditional boundaries of the fi eld.
Tec Support Human
Heath has been an Apple support engineer all his career. Started out as a field engineer, when Apple launched their first colour Mac. He went on to work on Apple UK’s paid-for support team. Long before the stores and Genius Bars! Learnt to speak Windows fluently as a second language and was an early adopter of what became the Internet.
Helpdesk, System Management, Network Admin are just a few of the many titles he’s held, but at the heart always tec support.
technical untanglement / iFix things
Billy is a T-shaped designer with a broad knowledge of experience design and deep knowledge of UI design and development. Over the past 15 years he has helped SME’s, agencies, consultancies and fortune 500’s design and build better digital experiences for their users to help drive success and business value.
Design Education Human
Experienced designer and educator creating learning experiences for individuals, schools and businesses within areas such as technology, design thinking, communication, innovation, culture and entrepreneurship.
With eighteen years experience working in the design industry, Jenny can now be found working with some of the world’s leading schools, as well as helping corporate companies become learning organisations through co-designing internal processes and programs.
Recent clients include H&M Foundation, WaterAid, Halebop, Hyper Island and Bergh’s School of Communication. Recent co-creation include Arwidsson Talks, a conference exploring innovative urban planning and sustainable development.
Joel is proudly ‘Human’ he’s also an award-winning, strategically minded, Senior Copywriter. He brings extensive experience across industry sectors and media channels with a passion for digital. For clients and businesses he adds value, shifts perceptions and creates memorable communications. Driven by bringing brand stories to life, while writing sparkling copy and content that persuades, informs and sells.
For over two decades now, I have been relentlessly passionate about using design as a catalyst for innovation. While I have spent the better part of my career building digital experiences (formerly a filmmaker), it is storytelling – connecting deeply and personally with an audience and taking them on a fantastic ride – that has been the pride of my work and process. After building global, strategic, design organizations for three digital powerhouses (Oracle, Adobe and Vodafone), I appreciate and am drawn to the opportunity and responsibility of design, not simply to impact the product experience, but to redefine the business. Truly, intimately knowing a customer, and leaning on the power of creativity, collaboration, iteration and attention to detail, leads to powerful change.
Vassoula is a creative branding powerhouse with proven success around the globe. Following her extensive experience managing branding projects for international design firms including Fitch, Landor, and XMPR, Vassoula was tapped to be the in-house Creative Director for the global headquarters of Office Depot, where she directed numerous strategic business and marketing initiatives for the private brand group. Subsequent to her tenure at OD, Vassoula has continued to drive groundbreaking creative for a myriad of clients from coast to coast and internationally.
Vassoula has successfully guided product innovation, visual brand expressions and guideline systems for numerous global organizations in the Fortune 500, such as Nissan, LEGOLand, Visa, Italian State Railways and Office Depot, to name a few.
Vassoula is a dynamic thought leader, who happens to build and motivate creative teams across a variety of disciplines. She is a true advocate of the design craft and always strives to find ways to transform and innovate brands, products and services.
Business Design Partner
Doer, thinker, “perpetual newbie” and loving it. I love being on teams with messy problems and finding paths out of them. I’ve been lucky to earn doing varied things: game designer, creative director, strategist, programmer, M&A suit, consultant, and team lead. I never get over the thrill of making tech do things to make our lives better.
Simon has worked in the media for his entire professional career. For 20 years he was an award-winning photojournalist for a variety of internationally renowned newspapers, magazines and photographic agencies and most recently as a senior staff photographer on The Times newspaper before becoming its News Picture Editor. Subsequently he has run his own social media business, been the director of brand strategy business and is now consulting for a number of major media businesses including Thomson Reuters. He balanced his consultancy work with portraiture and reportage photography.
Waterfall is a Creative Director in industries from digital to industrial design, advertising to engineering, narrative conception to brand behavior. Currently setting up a VC fund whose currency is creativity, last year he was Airbnb’s Creative Director and Head of Operations in its far-future studio, Samara. Formerly, Vice President and Creative Director at Intel’s innovation lab, Verizon’s media future and Vevo’s brand behavior and platform step-change. In the UK, he co-founded three major digital agencies: Deepend, Poke and fray.
Kim started his professional life in the early years of digital communications (BIP). This got him on a journey with the global news agency Reuters, delivering the first truly global information networks and transaction systems. Taking up senior business positions in Hong Kong, Sweden, Norway, Turkey, Africa and Amsterdam. These days it’s a mixed bag of activities ranging from Events, food festivals, environmental organisations and getting teams to work smarter and be more “human” in different outdoor places.
Caio has been writing software since 1998. Tech Lead with 10+ years of experience in the mobile industry alone, where he’s been focusing on since the iPhone/iOS was released. Caio loves building functional mobile dev teams to deliver robust, well-engineered, profitable and beautiful applications. In the UK, he’s co-founded EssentialDeveloper.com where he’s been developing software and mentoring devs and dev teams to achieve their best potential.