Meet the experts

Because the’s mission is to spread the methods and dynamics of design thinking throughout our ecosystem, we regularly host experts in their field for a course, a workshop, or a lecture.

  • RONALD JONES Professor, The Royal College of Art (London)

    He is Senior Tutor at the Royal College of Art in London, serves on the faculty of the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University and has been named a Fellow at the d-School, Paris. He is a member of the Nobel Foundation’s Science and Humanities Program Committee.

    A member of the board for “Change Lab,” the d. School, Stanford University, he has served on the faculties of Yale University, and Columbia University. A board member of numerous cultural organizations, he is also a member of the Advisory Group for the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. A participant with NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera investigation, he assesses the significance and value of Exploration and it’s visual representation within a broad historical context.

    He is represented by Metro Pictures in New York. His work as an artist is in the permanent collections of numerous international museums including Tate Modern, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

  • BERNARD ROTH Professor, at Stanford University

    His design interests include organizing and presenting workshops on creativity, group interactions, and the problem solving process. Formerly he researched the kinematics, dynamics, control, and design of computer controlled mechanical devices. In kinematics, he studied the mathematical theory of rigid body motions and its application to the design of machines.

    He is the autor of The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing (2015).

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  • NATHAN SHEDROFF Associate Professor, California College of the Arts

    He was the founder and chair of the ground-breaking Design MBA programs at California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco, CA. This program prepares the next generation of innovation leaders for a world that is profitable, sustainable, ethical, and truly meaningful by uniting the perspectives of systems thinking, design thinking, sustainability, and generative leadership into a holistic strategic framework.

    He is a pioneer in Experience Design, Interaction Design and Information Design, is a serial entrepreneur, and researches, speaks and teaches internationally about meaning, strategic innovation, business value, and science fiction interfaces. His many books include: Experience Design 1.1, Making Meaning, Design is the Problem, Design Strategy in Action, Make It So, and the new Blindspot.

    Nathan is also on the board of directors for Teague and WE’VE.

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  • NATALIE W. NIXON Principal, Figure 8 Thinking, LLC

    Her public speaking invitations have included the Business Innovation Factory, 360 Possibles (Saint Malo, France), Creative Mornings, TEDx Philadelphia, The Copenhagen Institute for Interactive Design, The European Innovation Academy (Nice, France), SEB Bank (Tallinn,Estonia), FUSE and the Mayo Clinic’s Transform conference.

    She serves on the boards of the Philadelphia Art Commission, the Arts & Business Council of Philadelphia, CultureWorks of Greater Philadelphia, and the Alumni Association of Vassar College.

    Natalie earned her BA (Honors: Cum Laude) from Vassar College with a double major in Anthropology and Africana Studies; an MS in Global Textile Marketing from Philadelphia University (USA), Shenkar College (Israel) & Reutlingen University (Germany); and a PhD in Design Management from the University of Westminster, London.

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  • ROD C. TAYLOR Founder, Performance Learning Concepts

    Through PLC, he offers energetic, interactive programs on leadership, team building, multimedia presentation, speaking, music, and the arts—all while actively engage participants in the learning process. PLC clients include major businesses like Nissan North American and Deloitte Global, as well as universities like Stanford and Colorado State University. From 2008-2013, Rod taught literature, rhetoric, multimodal composition, and presentation at Stanford University (where he also served as a faculty Resident Fellow) and Indiana University before that. He currently lives in Nashville, TN.

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  • PIERRE VALADE Founder, Sunrise app

    After graduating from Ecole des Ponts and attending ME310 Design Innovation program at the Paris, Pierre attended in February 2011 the first Foursquare Hackathon and got the attention of Foursquare’s CEO, Dennis Crowley.  He then joined their Product team as a designer. In 2013, Valade co-founded Sunrise with Jeremy Le Van. The app was acquired in 2015 by Microsoft for more than $100 million. He is now working at Outlook Mobile.

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  • PIERRE LEVY Eindhoven University of Technology

  • ESTELLE MARQUE Agency for Clinical Innovation

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  • GREGORY POLLETTA Designer, founder of iGNITIATE and Professor at ENPC (PhD Engineering)

    He is the founder of iGNITIATE, an innovation strategy and industrial design firm that specializes in disruptive design — the art and science of creating new and innovative products and services that can transform a product category, shake up a market, and ensure international firms’ continued success. Polletta is also the co-founder of the international award-winning design brand gregorysung.

    Polletta is a true 21st-century Renaissance man whose research, start-ups and designs span many fields, including architecture (where he and his team have designed eye-catching facades for buildings under renovation), medical technology, computer memory devices, mobile phone software, furniture design, artificial lighting, object design, and consumer product packaging. He has brought his talents for high-tech research and development commercialization and design to bear for such clients as Guzzini, Roche Bobois, Fujitsu, Louis-Vuitton, and Pfizer.

    Prior to iGNITIATE, Polletta worked at the legendary Xerox PARC Labs, the American Management Center for Advanced Technology, and DARPA/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Professor Polletta holds a MS in Industrial Design from Domus Academy in Milan, a BS in Information Systems in the Management & Engineering for Manufacturing program and a minor in Emerging Technology Development from the University of Connecticut United States with a concentration in Medieval Society at Selwyn College, Cambridge University UK. Gregory is a full professor at France’s Grande Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées ENPC PhD Engineering and MBA program in Paris, and the Parsons School of Design in Paris, France as well as lecturing at the Royal College of Art in London, UK; and many other universities on the topics of design innovation, strategic management, research and development commercialization, entrepreneurship, industrial design, and new product development. After almost 10 years with ENPC, and after more than 500 industry professionals have passed through his Ignite program classes, Professor Polletta was named the most inspirational professor ENPC Ph.D
    Engineering & MBA Program in 2014.

  • MARC GIGET President, European Institute for Creative Strategies and Innovation

    Marc Giget is a graduate of the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), with a doctorate in International Economics/Development Economics (EHESS – Panthéon/Sorbonne). In 1973, he created SEST, the group for research on Sociological, Economic and Strategic Problems associated with new technologies, which he headed until 1983. In 1983, he set up Euroconsult, an independent research and assessment group working on large innovation projects, which has since provided services to more than 600 clients in 60 countries. In 1998, Marc Giget was appointed to the Chair of Technology and Innovation Economics and Management at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in Paris.

    In 1999, he launched Innovation Tuesdays in Paris, open format courses/lectures on the cultures of innovation and feedback from the world’s most efficient companies and organizations, which has since been disseminated in some 100 countries. In 2002, he created the European Institute of Creative and Innovation Strategies, a research and education body dedicated to innovation and company renewal, which works for some 100 companies, universities, and research entities across three continents.

    In 2008, Marc Giget set up the Paris Innovation Directors Club, whose members include some 40 big European firms, and which conducts research on innovation throughout the world, on modern forms of innovation management, and shares feedback on best innovation practices.

  • YOUENN COLIN Director of Design, IDEO Palo Alto

    Youenn studied design at ENSCI in Paris, where he obtained a Masters in Industrial Design. Before settling in California, he worked for 5 years in France at Salomon/Adidas. In 2001, Youenn joined One & Co, a flourishing design studio in San Francisco that focuses its solutions on lifestyles through a wide range of industrial firms. He worked for more than 10 years for a wide variety of clients and businesses. Drawing on this experience, he worked with sports brands like K2 sports, Nike, Merrell, Pearl Izumi, and Incase. At the same time, he extended his sphere of expertise to mass-market electronics, applying his social and visual vision to processes and projects for Microsoft, Dell, Kodak, Motorola, and HTC. His work has been spotlighted in international exhibitions and publications. He has received awards from the magazines ID, Business Week / IDEA, Good Design and Red Dot Design Awards.

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  • SEAN CORCORRAN General Manager, Steelcase Education

    From 2008 to 2011, Sean was Director of Product Development and Marketing for Steelcase Education Solutions. In this role, Sean was responsible for research, product development, and marketing of Steelcase products for secondary and higher education, including the new node™ classroom seating line.


    From 2005 to 2008, Sean was Vice President of Product Development for Vecta and PolyVision. In these positions, he was responsible for research and development of new education solutions including visual collaboration technologies, interactive whiteboards, and furniture, for classrooms and other learning environments.

    Before joining PolyVision and Vecta, Sean spent 16 years at IDEO, the world’s premier design and innovation professional services firm based in Silicon Valley, CA where he led an interdisciplinary design and engineering studio in the development of furniture and technologies for education and business applications, consumer telecommunications products such as the ubiquitous VOIP phone from Cisco, medical devices, computer hardware, and household tools and appliances. Sean speaks widely on trends in education environments, design thinking, and innovation. He holds many patents, advisory board positions, as well as an engineering degree from UC Berkeley.

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  • CHRIS LUNCH Founder, InsightShare

    He co-founded InsightShare with his brother Nick fifteen years ago. Chris leads the overall strategy, operations and financial management of the organisation and continues to facilitate projects in the field. Chris studied Anthropology and Archaeology at Oxford University.

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  • LARRY LEIFER Center for Design Research, Stanford University

    He has served as founding director of the Stanford Veterans Administration Rehabilitation Engineering R&D Center; Smart Product Design Lab; Center for Design Research (CDR); Stanford Learning Lab; and Hasso Plattner Design Thinking Research Program at Stanford.

    His teaching-laboratory is the graduate course ME310-Global, “Industry Project Based Engineering Design, Innovation, and Development.” Research themes include: 1) creating collaborative engineering design environments for distributed new product innovation teams; 2) instrumenting that environment for design knowledge capture, indexing, reuse, and performance assessment; and 3), design-for-sustainable-wellbeing. His top R&D priorities in the moment include,, human-robot teamwork relationship design, and the notion of a pan-disciplinary PhD program in Design Thinking.

    His top honors include an honorary doctorate from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, SE; honorary fellow of the Design Society; and visiting Professor at the University of Tokyo, JP; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, CH; and the Norwegian Institute of Systems Engineering, Kongsberg, NO.

  • RANDY SWEARER VP, Autodesk Education

    He also served as deputy director of the design program of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Design Division head at the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas, where he was awarded the Texas Excellence Teaching Prize. With a foundation in technology, Randy began his career as the senior designer and supervisor at Wang Laboratories and also served as a senior communications specialist at IBM.

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  • MATTEO VIGNOLI Director, Food Innovation Program, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

    He is a member of Ideasquare, the CERN platform for innovation by Design Thinking. At present, he is involved in building the future of research in terms of education and business focused around the application of Design Thinking. He speaks at different universities on Masters programs in Business Education. He also teaches on several Masters programs and in business schools. He has published more than 30 international articles, and has worked with on innovation projects numerous companies in Italy and abroad, especially in the agri-food sector.

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  • LEDIA ANDRAWES Programs Director, ThinkPlace Foundation

    At ThinkPlace, Ledia has worked with many public organizations, helping them to achieve successful change in community and organization through the creation of innovative services and new strategies in the spheres of health, immigration, international aid, or renewable energies.

    Ledia likes working on projects that give individuals the opportunity to innovate within their own communities.
    In our role as director of programs for the ThinkPlace Foundation, the focus of her attention is the impact and integrity of its projects.

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  • RODGER WATSON Director, Department Design &Public Sector, University of Technology, Sydney

    Designing Out Crime work with partner organisations on real world problems and the results can be seen in NSW and internationally in product design, policy development and educational programs. The practice model is currently being taught on the NSW Public Service Commission’s Innovation Leadership Development Program.

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  • ULRICH WEINBERG Director, School of Design Thinking, HPI

    Modelled on the famous at Stanford University in California (US), the one-year program in Design Thinking will enable students to develop particularly user-friendly IT-based products and services in multidisciplinary teams. After 25 years of innovation work in the field of film and 3-D, of this 13 years as professor at the University of Film in Babelsberg, Uli Weinberg didn’t hesitate for a minute to accept the challenge of the new task – to visualize innovation in an even greater way than before now.

    The truly revolutionary aspect of the concept of Design Thinking is that both the three to four students in each team as well as their professors all come from different academic disciplines. Teams of computer scientists and usability experts, designers and management specialists, biologists, sociologists, and medical doctors work towards innovative solutions and the development of prototypes.

    Students from practically all disciplines, who are in the final phase of their M.A.-level university studies, are eligible to apply for this supplementary training in Design Thinking in Potsdam. The course starts annually in the fall.

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  • STÉPHANE GAUTHIER Co-founder, Proofmakers

    In 1995, he joined the Daewoo Electronics group as artistic director of the European design center. In 1998, he joined the Plan créatif group and became director of Plan créatif Design in 2002, with the task of developing innovation processes and methodologies. After a position as Innovation Director at the Babel agency, he founded Proofmakers.

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  • FÉLIX MARQUETTE Designer and visual thinking expert, Valeo

    He is now a designer for Valeo, in Bobigny. He is a regular contributor at the as a teacher of visual thinking, a technique used to organize ideas and improve communication with peers. Or how to translate complex concepts into easily understood illustrations.

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  • NICOLAS BUTTIN Designer and co-founder of Wiithaa agency

    He also teaches in business, design and engineering schools.

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