Agnes is the Founder and CEO of MindTheSystem. MindTheSystem offers consultancy and training in complex problem-solving. Its methodology combines futures foresight, systems thinking, human-centred design and cognitive behavioural theory. Agnes spent 20 years of her career in the Singapore Administrative Service, in diverse portfolios from defence, labour policy, community organisation and social welfare, public service innovation, transport and creative industry. Her niche is in transforming organisations through design, and she has a decade of experience in public sector transformation and large-scale systems change.
Angel is a researcher and product manager at YUX Design who is passionate about how quantitative research can shape the success of a digital product or service. After the completion of her Computer Science degree, she was looking to create products that can impact people. In the last few years, she has worked on various projects in Africa with a focus on Agritech and Fintech.
Ariane is a researcher at the Digital Health Center of the Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) in Potsdam (Germany). She is interested in improving healthcare through technology. Ariane’s main interests include using machine learning and biostatistics to make sense of health-related data (e.g., from sensors or electronic health records) and improving the visualization and communication of information to users regarding health-related data.
Bernard Roth is the Rodney H. Adams Professor of Engineering at Stanford University. He earned B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and was awarded honorary PhDs by the University of Paris and the University of Casino. He has published widely in the areas of design, creativity, education, kinematics, and robotics, and has received many awards for both his teaching and research. These include: seven Best Conference Paper Awards, the Melville Medal and the Outstanding Design Educator Award (ASME), J. F. Engleberger Award (IFR), the Pioneer in Robotics Award and the Robotics and Automation Award (IEEE). He has served as an industrial and government consultant, and as a director of several corporations. He has held top leadership positions in several international professional societies. He is the organizer of workshops on creativity and personal effectiveness, and one of the founders of Stanford’s “d.school,” where he now serves as Academic Director.
Caroline Grellier is a French designer, design educator and design researcher who has been based in West Africa for 10 years. Her deep commitment to design education in Africa led her to set up the first design school in francophone Africa; Africa Design School in Cotonou, Benin. Passionate about design cultures, she is preparing a PhD in design anthropology to identify and analyse the roles of African endogenous design thinking cultures in global design History. In January 2022, she joined the YUX Academy in Dakar as a Director, in order to contribute to developing instructional design suitable to local African contexts.
Christine Niewöhner is responsible for “STEM & Creativity” at Siemens Stiftung and heads the “Design Thinking in STEM” project, which links scientific education with creative processes and nurtures young people holistically. She is convinced that creativity is essential both for personal development and for meeting future challenges. The project is currently being implemented in schools in South Africa, Chile, Mexico and Peru and is being continued in Germany starting from October 22.
As an applied theatre and embodiment practitioner for over 20 years, Colin is inspired to explore how thinking, creativity, and cognition are enhanced through intentional movement and physical constellations. He has also been a design thinking trainer for the last 6 years, having worked with the global agency, DesignThinkers Group. His facilitation style is a blended approach of storytelling, embodiment, improvisation, and creativity. Colin draws on his roots in the applied performance arts and many years of global travel to incorporate the latest insights from neuroscience into his practice. He has years of experience designing and facilitating online workshops and interactions. Colin holds a Master’s degree (MADA with distinction) from Wits University (2008).
Danielly is currently a Senior Researcher at the Chair of Design Thinking and Innovation Research at the Hasso-Plattner-Institut in Potsdam, Germany. She is a teaching team member of the SUGAR network and team member of the Hasso Plattner Design Thinking Research Program in partnership with Stanford University. Her research interests include combining Design Thinking with data science to design digital health innovation.
Elina Zheleva is an alumni of the d-school in Potsdam and has specialised in human-centred research at the d-school at Stanford University. She is a pioneer in introducing the methodology to Bulgaria and CEE. As a managing director of launchlabs, Sofia has worked on large scale innovation projects and redesign programmes for Fortune 500 companies, public institutions and NGOs. She is the founder of BG4UA – a Bulgaria for Ukraine initiative that has helped thousands of war refugees flee Ukraine and find a home in Bulgaria. Elina is also the President of the Funding Committee at Techfugees – a leading global impact organisation empowering displaced persons whilst supporting tech innovations designed by, with and for them.
Elizabeth Akpan is a User researcher at YUX. She is passionate about using qualitative and quantitative research to enhance the user experience for digital products. Studying Computer Science as her undergraduate degree and taking a Human-Computer Interaction course sparked her interest in user experience and design. She has worked on multi-country UX research projects on the African continent and in various sectors such as open knowledge, fintech and agritech.
She also led the first-ever YUX study on the State of UX research in Africa and is excited about conducting more studies that deepen the conversation on user research and design in Africa.
Esona is a human-centred Designer and cross-cultural facilitator. He has over 5 years of experience facilitating workshops for clients in the public and private sectors, as well as multilateral development actors. For example, for the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Esona co-facilitated and supported the development of a week-long hybrid design sprint workshop for 30 participants from diverse disciplines and geographies to craft food safety interventions to test in traditional markets in Nigeria. Esona also co-facilitated the French Development Agency Biodiversity Partners Program where Southern African participants validated ideas to build a local ecosystem of pro-nature actors. Currently, he designs, plans, adapts and facilitates design thinking learning experiences for the Hasso Plattner d-school Afrika at the University of Cape Town. Personally, Esona has found great benefit in applying design thinking methods in his personal life, new venture creation and music production.
Felix Ofori Dartey is a design researcher with a graphic design background. His research area of interest is within Health Promotion (visual communication) and Healthcare Communication (visual communication). He has worked with NHS health professionals to solve health communication issues. He is currently finishing his PhD in multidisciplinary research project in graphic design, media studies and healthcare at the University of Leeds. He is also interested in Afrikan Design knowledge. He is the President of PADI, the Pan AfriKan Design Institute.
George Kembel is an entrepreneur, educator and investor. He co-founded and led the Stanford d.school, scaling it from an idea on a napkin to a world-renowned institution for innovation impacting hundreds of millions of lives, generating billions of dollars in economic value and ushering in a wider global design thinking movement. He now works with leaders and investors around the world to reshape the way we design our organizations, technologies and cultures to unlock diverse human capacities, increase adaptability and resilience, accelerate breakthroughs and foster greater creative flourishing at scale.
GK VanPatter is the author of Rethinking Design Thinking, CoAuthor of Innovation Methods Mapping and an internationally recognized innovation capacity building advisor. His passion is helping to build next generation innovation leadership skills and inclusive innovation cultures. Prior to co-founding Humantific, GK was VP of Innovation at Scient, a Scient Fellow and CoFounder of Scient’s Innovation Acceleration Lab. He holds a Masters Degree in design from Pratt Institute in New York. He was an early advocate of Design for Complexity. He has years of consulting experience helping organizations tackle complex challenges and build Complexity Navigation Capacity. GK Lives in New York City.
Hoda is a Professor of Practice and the Director at the Center for Learning and Teaching, American University in Cairo. She works in educational development, digital education and strategic pedagogical and institutional initiatives. She collaborates across AUC, as a faculty developer, supporting innovation in teaching and learning, digital education, experiential learning, and integration of creative and critical thinking. She led her team to support the university’s transition to remote teaching during the pandemic and has partnered in high impact institutional initiatives including AUC Quality of Education Taskforce, Learning Spaces Plan, Online Learning and Design Thinking Initiative.
Jeanett has held executive roles and served on Boards of various companies for more than twenty years, driving strategy and operations in HR, Procurement and Facilities Management within the technology, mining, and financial sectors. Jeanett Modise is the former Group Human Capital Executive and Director on the board of JSE listed Sanlam Limited up to September 2022.
She has led teams with the focus on organisational culture, change, transformation and mostrecently the pandemic management, in dynamic, customer-focused, growth businesses withattraction, retention, and development of top talent as one of the key business drivers. Jeanett has been an advocate for Design thinking for more almost ten years and has played a key role in the development of capability and application thereof to drive strategy, change and transformation in roles as HR Director for SAP Africa and for Sanlam Group.
As a mentor and coach, Jeanett helps leaders achieve personal and professional goals. A lifelong learner who started her career as a professional nurse and midwife before she transitioned to business. Jeanett holds a master’s in business leadership (MBL), B. Com business management (Unisa), Senior Executive Programmes (SEP) with Harvard and Advanced Management Programme (AMP) with Insead Business School. She is now completing MPhil, Management Coaching with USB.
Jeanne Liedtka is the UTC Professor of Business at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business, where she has taught Design Thinking to thousands of people, both students and executives, and to hundreds of thousands in her popular online Design Thinking courses on the Coursera platform. Beginning her career as a strategy consultant for the Boston Consulting Group, Jeanne has also served as Chief Learning Officer at United Technologies, and as the Senior Associate Dean of Darden’s MBA Program. She has written seven books and many articles on the subject of strategy, innovation and design thinking, in both the private and the service sector. Her most recent book, Experiencing Design: The Innovator’s Journey was published in July, 2021.
Dr. Jekatarina Rindt is a lecturer at Lancaster University and academic co-lead on the EEUK project with Dr. Radka Newton. Jekaterina’s work focuses on exploring the challenges of using Design Thinking in complex innovation ecosystems. Her most recent work is funded by the British Academy and examines the use of Design Thinking in advancing decarbonisation efforts in the UK and Germany. She has also advised the UK Ministry of Defense on Design Thinking and innovation practices in complex organisations. Her passion for transforming teaching in Higher Education won her the university Teaching Award. Her aim to advance the impact of Design Thinking on local communities drives her contribution to the project to be shared at the d-school Afrika event.
Over 23 years of global exposure at Nestlé have shaped Joern to be recognized as a valued multicultural diplomatic rebel. His insatiable curiosity about valuable transformation combined with deep insights into diverse businesses and technologies have enabled him to build impactful human-centered corporate vision strategies. He has a profound belief that building bridges between organisations and joining forces will develop more accurate understanding of collective human needs. He has co-founded and is leading as Global Chair at the internationally acknowledged Design at Business association; a diverse community of creators, innovators and change makers
Johannes Wedenig has extensive experience in development cooperation in leadership positions. He has a proven track record of thinking differently and innovating. He believes that traditional development organizations must reinvent themselves to stay relevant. Recent examples were the opening of the first humanitarian drone testing corridor in Africa and the foundation of the African Drone and Data Academy in Malawi.He has now embarked on a design journey with young people in Africa that gave birth to “Yoma”, a youth centric market place and partnership ecosystem that matches young people’s aspirations with opportunities to make an impact, grow their talent and enhance their livelihoods.
John is a Sinologist, Intercultural Communicator, Economist and Design Strategist. He is executive member and program lead for future trends at Design at Business that serves as an interdisciplinary platform to connect creators, innovators, and disruptors. John currently works at the real estate developer Jones Lang La Salle (JLL) and consults decision makers on their “Future of Work” journey and cultural transformation. John is an advocate of cultural diversity and that embracing the genuine values of human-centered design in connection with business strategy and intercultural acumen are essential for the cultivation of sustainable innovation.
Dr Katherine Train is co-founder of Empathic Intervision. She is responsible for developing Integrative Empathy with her partner Dr Lidewij Niezink. For the past 20 years she has developed learning material, facilitates, trains and writes about Integrative empathy. She holds a PhD from UCT GSB. A short career foray into pharmacy practice sparked her interest in patient-centricity in medicine, resulting in research towards a masters and PhD studying the capacities of agents required to empathize in resource-challenged circumstances. Specifically in South Africa emerging as a new democracy with its socio-economic and cultural complexity. She has authored journal articles and book chapters on the topic of self-empathy and empathy in diverse contexts and publishes a regular blog on Psychology Today.
Lillian is an Innovation Strategist, Business Designer, Community Leader and Dancer. Currently leading the co-creation of IBM solutions with clients through the enterprise design thinking approach. She graduated in Systems Analysis with an MBA in Business Strategy and a specialization in Corporate Innovation. She has spent 20 years combining creativity and technology to co-create solutions with a high impact on business, society, and the environment. She is also the Co-founder of Design at Business Brasil, a global community that connects innovation leaders to promote cultural transformation.
Lucille started at the d-school in January 2021 as head of programmes. She is a leader and manager in the tertiary and executive education sector with more than twenty years’ experience. She is passionate about being a behavioural change agent through education and development. Her list of qualifications include a Masters in Coaching and Behavioural Change (University of Reading, Henley Business School, UK), Executive Masters in Business Administration (University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business), Associate in Management Programme (University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business), National Diploma in Marketing & Sales Management (Cape Peninsula University of Technology).
Dr. Mana Taheri is an educator, researcher and illustrator with a passion for the intersection of design and social justice. She has been part of the coaching team at the HPI d-school since 2014. She is also an alumna of the HPI-Stanford DT Research Program, where together with her team, she designed and ran three Massive Open Online Courses on DT, for the openHPI platform. Originally from Tehran, Mana has years of experience working with education institutes and organizations around the world. She has been part of the teaching team at the Humboldt University for the International Summer School in Havana, since 2014. Mana wrote her Doctoral thesis on the impact of the socio-cultural contexts on DT education, reporting on learnings from two pioneering schools in Cape Town and Kuala Lumpur.
Prof. Mugendi K. M’Rithaa is a Senator and past President of the World Design Organization (WDO) and presently works at Machakos University, Kenya. He studied in Kenya, the USA, India, and South Africa. He is widely travelled and has taught in Kenya, Botswana, Canada, India, Norway, South Africa, Sweden and Uganda and is passionate about various expressions of socially responsible design, including Design Thinking, Designerly Strategies for Mitigating Climate Change, Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability, Distributed Renewable Energy, Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS), Participatory/Co-Design, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Transportation and Universal/Inclusive Design.
Nailah has been a lecturer in Health Innovation and Design since its inception in 2015. She guides multidisciplinary students to innovate for health through the use of design thinking methodologies and has played a major role in the development of the course curriculum. Nailah has trained as a Coach and Lead with the Hasso Plattner School of Design Thinking at the University of Cape Town since 2016 and facilitates the use of design tools among diverse participants, ranging from members of the finance industry to postgraduate. Nailah believes that innovation will lead to better health services and products that will alleviate South Africa’s massive burden of disease. Nailah holds an MPhil in Health Innovation from the Division of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Cape Town .
Dr. Nina Smidt is responsible for the operational management of Siemens Stiftung’s working areas in development cooperation, education, culture and communication across its focus regions in Africa, Latin America and Europe. Previously, Nina Smidt led the American Friends of Bucerius Inc. in New York City along with serving as the Director of International Planning and Development at ZEIT-Stiftung. She has also served as the CEO of Bucerius Education GmbH and Deputy Director at the International Center for Graduate Studies at Hamburg University. She has a PhD in literary and cultural theory from Hamburg University and postdoctoral fellowships from Cornell University and Haifa University.
Ntsako Mgiba is a qualified Mechatronics Engineer from UCT. He is also the CEO and co-founder of a security technology company called Jonga that seeks to democratise access to safety in township communities. He is a Mandela Rhodes Foundation alumni (class of 2018), Harambeans Fellow (Class of 2020) & Oppenheimer Generations Fellow (class of 2020). He has product management experience working for a local fintech giant, Yoco.He considers himself a first principles thinker & thoroughly enjoys solving complex problems using design, technology, and some strategic thinking. When he is not building his own company, he advises other founders and creates content for his YouTube channel, where he teaches about leadership & early-stage start-up knowledge.
Nyariara is a Human Centered Designer based in Nairobi Kenya. Passionate about healing systems to work well for those they are created for, she refers to herself as a Systems Doctor. With experience in healthcare, education and climate change design, Nyariara has worked with organizations such as ThinkPlace and Equalize Health. She tends to help clients and communities meet their true needs by figuring out the invisible connection between people’s behaviours to products and services and their core obscure drivers. As a member at the Interaction Design Foundation IxDF, she has completed tens of courses earning her thought leadership in User Experience. Moreover, she is a Certified Professional Coach, a meaningful behavioural science skill she brings in her design work.
Patricia Villarroel is a psychologist and Coach in Design Thinking. She has worked as a psychologist in educational organizations in Araucanía, Chile, specifically creating and implementing Integration Programs at different schools. She currently works as a lecturer at the Psychology School at Universidad Mayor and also as a Design Thinking Coach at D-School.
Paul Steenkamp is the Founder & Chief Executive at Jack Frost. Scott believes in the power of creative problem-solving and collaboration to solve the world’s greatest challenges, differently. In 2016, he founded Jack Frost, an effective problem-solving consultancy. They help a broad range of corporate, civic, and non-profit clients creating a regenerative and inclusive future. Paul served on the executive committee of Standard Bank’s Personal & Business Banking and headed up the award-winning FNB Innovators program.
He holds an Executive MBA from Henley Business School and Honours in Industrial Psychology from Rhodes University. He has completed learning programs at Saïd Business School, THNK School of Creative Leadership, SingularityU SA and the d-school. His book, Character Insights For A Regenerative Future – 5 Leadership Superpowers to Drive Growth, Innovation and The Future of Work , was published in July 2022.
Dr Phumzile Mmope is a leadership coach, consultant, and part-time lecturer at Stellenbosch Business School. She believes Ubuntu-infused leadership is a powerful way to frame the leadership needed as we move into new ways of co-creation and innovation in increasingly culturally diverse contexts. She holds a PhD in Communication Studies from the North-West University focusing on intercultural communication competence in facilitating strategic alignment and employee engagement in culturally diverse and inclusive workplaces. Phumzile became a coach and consultant following a rewarding 20-year career leading and working with high-performing, award-winning, multicultural, and multilingual teams.
Prof. Hasso Plattner has been successfully linking business and science for decades. Plattner, majored in Communications Engineering at the University of Karlsruhe and graduated with an advanced degree in engineering. He began his professional career in 1968 at IBM. Four years later, together with four former colleagues, Plattner founded the enterprise software group SAP.
In addition to his business career, Plattner is also passionate about research and science. In 1994 Plattner received an honorary professorship in Business Informatics from the University of Saarbrücken. Since 2004 Hasso Plattner has been active in this capacity at the University of Potsdam and as a member of Board of the Stanford University School of Engineering.
Beyond his activities as professor, Plattner made plans to establish his own institute. In 1998, he announced the founding of the Hasso Plattner Institute for Software Systems Engineering (HPI).In 2007 Plattner expanded the institute to include the “HPI School of Design Thinking”, modelled on the renowned d.school in Stanford. In Potsdam, higher semesters of all faculties, working in multidisciplinary teams, can learn how to develop innovative products and services for all areas of life with the help of Design Thinking. The facility has been growing, and in 2016 another branch opened in Cape Town (South Africa).
Hasso Plattner promotes research in the field of design thinking through a joint research program with the US elite Stanford University. In 2005 the opening of the “Hasso Plattner Institute of Design” was made possible with Plattner’s financial support. In 2016 Plattner was awarded the German Design Award for his commitment to design thinking.
Mamokgethi (Kgethi) Phakeng is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town. She holds a PhD in Mathematics Education from the University of the Witwatersrand and is a B1 NRF-rated scientist with over 80 research papers and five edited volumes published. She has won numerous awards for her research and community work. In 2020 she was included in Forbes’ inaugural list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Africa. In 2019 the University of Bristol conferred on her an Honorary Doctorate in Science in recognition of her leadership role in mathematics education in South Africa. Kgethi is founder of the Adopt-a-learner Foundation.
Dr. Radka Newton is a Senior Teaching Fellow at Lancaster University where she has been pioneering Design Thinking integration into business and management learning. Radka’s passion is not only to immerse her students into a designer mindset but she also challenges her fellow educators to develop design as their approach to transforming education for better. Her holistic and human-centred approach to University experience has been globally presented as scholarly research but also as a practical method that has enhanced many global institutions in their desire to make things better for students and staff. In 2019 she co-founded a global network Service Design in Education developing a community of practice for educators open to experiment and try new ways of understanding our complex environment. The project to be shared at the d-school Afrika event builds on a connection between people, places and design for a common purpose to make our places better. Radka will share with you how places can inspire responsible and sustainable design, develop agency and commitment and show the value of design for something that is happening right here and right now.
Raj us the CEO of Techfugees, a leading global impact organisation empowering inclusion and dignity for those displaced, with responsible digital technology. With several tech start-ups behind him, Raj is a Fellow of the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs. Raj is both a venture growth specialist and a social impact protagonist with three decades of experience. He is a previous Ambassador to the UN Global Poverty Project, co-founder of a philanthropic venture for WPP Group, mentor-advisor with TERN (The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network) and a board members on the Refugee Youth Service. Raj loves working with entrepreneurs, innovators and difference-makers to get their greatest work to the world.
Ralitsa is a designer and educator with over a decade experience of consulting both locally and internationally. She is a lecturer at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana; and a facilitator at the e/merge Africa Network – CILT, CHED, University of Cape Town, South Africa. She serves as a committee member and Juror on several design organizations such as Open Design Afrika, DesignGhana, Pan Afrikan Design Institute, Type Directors Club, Cumulus and DESIS Network. She is a co-founder and acts as the Technology and Innovation Specialist for Inclusive-Tech-Group in Ghana. She also supports WDO-YDC initiatives as a coach for 2022-2023 cohort. Her research interests include: Design, Sustainability, HCI and EdTech. She is a lifelong learner and a futurist.
“Richard Perez is the founding director of the Hasso Plattner School of Design Thinking at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Richard’s expertise and experience combines human centered design with business thinking, management and strategy. His area of specialisation is design thinking for innovation and strategic leadership. He advises organisations (private and public) in both South Africa, the Africa region and internationally.
Richard’s education includes a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Cape Town, a Masters in Innovation Design Engineering from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College of Science and Technology (London) and an Executive MBA from the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business, where his research topic focused on the inter-relationships between constraints and creativity”
Sam Yen is JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Head of Innovation for Commercial Banking leading digital transformation and design-led innovation practices. Prior to JPMC, Sam was SAP’s first Chief Design Officer responsible for driving SAP’s Design and User Experience strategy and execution across the company. He was also Managing Director for SAP’s Silicon Valley presence. Sam holds a Ph.D. from Stanford’s Design Division and has taught courses at Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Institute for Design (the “d.school”), Graduate School of Business, and Executive Education as a Consulting Associate Professor on topics of creative cultures and scaling innovation in large organizations.
Sasha Ofori is a UX Researcher and trainer in Human-Centered Design and Design Thinking from Accra, Ghana. She joined YUX and YUX Academy in early 2021. She delivers training and capacity buildings programs for international organizations.
Scott Weiss is the Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Catalest, a global design firm focused on helping the public sector solve systemic challenges related to innovation and modernization. Catalest was born out of his experience as a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow, where he helped Federal leaders and communities across Government strengthen their human-centered design, customer experience, and innovation capabilities and practices. Prior to joining the White House, he co-led a social innovation and design consultancy based in New York called Community by Design, that delivered human-centric concepts at the intersection of design thinking, civic innovation, and community organizing. Scott began his professional design journey at the award-winning agency IDEO, where he worked as an organizational and systems strategist for 6.5 years. This work focused on helping organizations of all shapes, sizes, and industries transform themselves into more design-led and innovative organizations. In his spare time, Scott guest lectures at NYU, Parsons, Duke University, and the University of Illinois on topics such as Design Thinking for Social Impact, Design Research, and Storytelling.
Prof. Dr. Sebastian Kernbach is a Professor at the University of St. Gallen, Visiting Fellow at Stanford University, and Guest Professor at the African Doctoral Academy. He has worked as a manager for Xerox, a Swiss start-up, and as a consultant at Interbrand. He currently consults for organizations such as Nike, United Nations, IBM, and others. He founded the Visual Collaboration Lab (www.ViCoLa.org) and the Life Design Lab (www.LifeDesignLab.ch). His work focuses on design thinking, visual thinking, storytelling, creativity, and life design. He is part of the “Research as Design” team at Stanford’s Institute of Design. The work, curriculum and book are available here: www.CreativityInResearch.org.
Sherif is a program lead at the HPI School of Design Thinking in Potsdam, where he is responsible for designing and leading the short format programs including the upcoming Global Design Thinking Challenge (GDTC). Sherif holds a Masters in Educational Studies and is currently pursuing a PhD in the field of learning experience design. He is particularly interested in human and life-centered design projects and how they manifest in different regions, contexts and cultures.
Simon Blake is a founder and managing director of launchlabs Berlin. He has successfully set up a large number of strategic innovation projects and accompanied the managers in their transformation to an agile organization. He has also trained several thousand people in the application of Design Thinking methods during his career. He has designed some of today’s common teaching methods and exercises himself. Based on his experience, Simon has developed furniture with partners to optimally support agile teamwork and brought it to product maturity.
Ssanyu is an Art & Design, and an Entrepreneurial Leadership Faculty member at the African Leadership Academy (ALA). Entrepreneurial Leadership is designed to build the interpersonal leadership skills that are essential for future agents of change. She has a BA Degree in Graphic Design, BA Honours in Visual Communication, and Postgraduate Diploma in Innovation & Design Thinking, and is currently completing her Masters in Digital Art by Research at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg South Africa.
Tobias is an experienced facilitator and agile coach with a high understanding of intercultural work. He trains and coaches companies of all sizes and is an expert and speaker for remote and hybrid work. Furthermore, he has a background as a technical engineer and has worked for 13 years in a medium-sized company, most recently as Head of Product. During this time he has developed, among other products, magnetic sticky notes which are reusable.
Prof. Uli Weinberg has headed the School of Design Thinking at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam since 2007. He supports companies and organizations in the necessary cultural change on the path to digital transformation and heads the Global Design Thinking Alliance. The business magazine Handelsblatt counts him among the top 100 innovators in Germany. In his book “Network Thinking – Beyond Brockhaus Thinking?” he calls for radically new thinking in education and business.
Ulrich is an innovation, human-centered design, corporate venturing and organisational strategy specialist with a proven track record of more than 20 years across multiple industries, NGOs and geographies. Having worked across various domains, he is familiar with creating space for inclusive innovation, human-centered design and new business development within diverse settings. Ulrich is a hands-on, entrepreneurial, pioneering and agile innovation & design advisor with practical exposure to both established and emerging markets. For the last decade, he has been actively building homegrown, human-centered design and innovation ecosystems by developing talent pools across the African continent.
Ximena Arias has a bachelor´s degree in business administration, a master´s in University Pedagogy, a master´s in Planning and Management Control© and PhD with a Major in Strategic Management©. In January 2019 she received a certification from Hasso Plattner Institute as a Design Thinking Coach. Currently she is Program Manager at D-School Universidad Mayor in Chile.
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