Trained in 3D design in Northern Ireland and Germany, Michael Thomson established Design Connect in London in 1995 to provide design-led strategy and facilitation services to help organisations evolve their strategies for growth.
From 2001-2005, Michael served two terms on WDO (World Design Organization), he was also a member of the committees for both Torino and Seoul World Design Capitals in 2008 and 2010. He initiated the first ever international conference on national design policy.
From 2000-2009 he was Board member, Vice-President and President of the Bureau of European Design Associations (BEDA). He led the process that persuaded the European Commission to include design in its Innovation Strategy for the first time in 2010.
His current engagements include brand strategy in the hospitality sector and wayfinding strategy for a hub airport.
The Japan Design Ambassador (2013), an Honorary Fellow of Aalto University and an Honorary Doctor of Arts for his ‘significant contribution to design’ (2014).
Design-led strategy thinking for growth - sensitising cultures to design
Drawing upon twenty-two years’ experience as a design-led strategist and facilitator collaborating with design consultancies, corporates and the public sector around the world, Michael will speak about the role of design in shaping cultural change and its impact on organisational and team growth.
Design is high-level strategy. Design methodologies facilitate the building of shared language on purpose and direction in multiple-stakeholder environments driven and constrained by the complex needs of achieving corporate, organisational or project goals and complicated by the presence of often conflicting agendas.
As instigators and managers of perception change and focused on user needs, whether inside or outside the organisation, guardians and drivers for design can evolve clarity on purpose, goals and direction through introducing and integrating design-led strategy thinking for growth.