Design Thinking & Innovation Week March 2020

Joanna combined two areas of research, ethnography and trends, for the purpose of innovation. The intO studio research people’s attitudes and behaviour in their local language, developing strategies for businesses and organisations within the context of cultural influences, regional trends and wider worldwide patterns.

Having a team on the ground brings great benefits; friendships are formed, research/workshops are delivered in the native tongue which removes barriers with clients and processes are optimised globally. Joanna share the importance of expanding your methods and taking into account global nuances and trends. One method studio intO uses to make sure research is tested and not biased is making sure there is a team member who is native in language and culture in any project, as well as someone who is from a completely different context and can pick up on cultural behaviours and positively challenge these if needs be.

Joanna gave us some great tips for working in remote teams such as scheduling emails to accommodate a colleagues time zone, creating digital touch points that resemble in person interactions such as the morning coffee, peer-to-peer catch ups, and welcoming new ways of working.

Exploring the Value of Data & AI for Businesses

Tom Castle, Head of UK Advisory at Futurice

Futurice introduces tools and frameworks to help their clients explore opportunities for data and AI in their business. Tom hosted a workshop that helped us identify market forces and how to respond to it as well as understand how intangible assets, such as algorithms and data, can be used as a competitor advantage. He noted that a lot of companies miss out on valuable assets by seeing data as a liability and would often erase all data they have because of a shortage of storage space or are not willing to think about security.

Design for Consistency

Lydia Howland & Experience Team at Deliveroo

Deliveroo is an app that over five years has transformed the way consumers use food delivery; ensuring that they have access to the best of the food-scene, no matter where they live. How is it possible to deliver consistent user experiences in global markets?

Deliveroo's Experience Team shared how they approach the challenge of scaling consistency in a fast-paced, high-growth environment by prioritising each client group (user, restaurants, courier) through tools such as establishing a consistent design system to create the building blocks used across their product.

Personal not Personalised

Jonathan Legge, Co-founder at &Open

Now more than ever, brands want to make sure they are engaging with the customers on personal level and creating meaningful experiences that feel thought-through and unique. Jonathan uncovered the story behind &Open, the world's first customer happiness platform, delivering brand gifting experiences at scale.

Building Design-Enabled Organisations

Niharika Hariharan - Associate Partner, Emily Cheng - Senior Experience Designer, Suzanne Mouton - Associate Design Director at McKinsey & Company

Creating change that matters is at the core of McKinsey & Company. Niharika, Emily and Suzanne presented models for building design-centric organisations discerning the ingredients to build a sustainable creative culture that facilitates cross collaboration.

They noticed a trend in Embedded Models where there are different teams for different features or experience for example Spotify, Facebook and Airbnb who has a design team for host experience and guest experience. This model generates efficient communication and shared ownership and trust, however work streams may become less focused on the holistic view of the experience. Spotify addresses this with a separated team that gels the design experience across all product touch points.


It's always interesting to hear what the speakers are reading at the moment, here are some they added to our list:

  • White by Kenya Hara
  • Sense & Respond: How Successful Organizations Listen to Customers and Create New Products Continuously by Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden
  • AI Super-Powers: China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order by Kai-Fu Lee
  • Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  • The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen


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