United Kingdom and Hong Kong
Michael Young Design Studio
Michael Young was born in 1966 in Sunderland, a small industrial city in the North-East of England, and graduated from Kingston University in 1992. The following year, he founded the Michael Young Studio with the aim of providing exclusive, quality design services across an eclectic range of markets – from interiors to technology.
Over the past 20 years Michael Young has established himself as one of the leading international figures in his field. The unique nature of his work stems,from his constant questioning of typologies and habits, combined with his, innate passion for technology and his driving desire to discover new ways to reinterpret space.
Due to their unrivaled ability to generate an atmosphere that is at once both vibrant and relaxed, his designs have been imitated across the globe. The studio has developed a diverse network of relationships and produced work for clientele around the world.
Michael Young quickly came to the attention of revered retailers and institutions such as the Conran shop and the Pompidou Museum. He became known in the industry as a sophisticated minimalist acclaimed for his elegant, pared-down aesthetic design, which was in direct opposition to the elaborate style dominating London at the time.
After nearly a decade working across the UK and Iceland, Michael was enticed to Asia by his passion for pioneering technology, and in 2006 set up a studio in Hong Kong. Today the Michael Young studio is considered to be one of the most exciting and formidable design companies operating in Asia, responsible for designing icons for its clients that last a lifetime, have won awards and are presented in museums globally.
Michael Young continues to push the boundaries of experimental design. The studio specialises in creating modern design through exploring the endless possibilities Asia’s technological ingenuity provides. Propelled by the momentum created through collaboration with Chinese industrialists, the studio captures the strengthening ties between local industry and design, and exemplifies the skills of Asia’s industrial and manufacturing innovation.
Design Director, Neoteny
Bold in thought and approach, Michelle Gilmore is Design Director and Founder of Behaviour Centered Design company, Neo.
In a 13 year career Michelle has partnered with international public and private sector organisations on experience design that creates impact and enables change, across physical and digital spaces.
She blends expertise in strategy, design and technology to deliver products and services that transform businesses and disrupt markets. Her work has been adopted by local and international organisations such as the ATO, Westpac, Ingogo, Contiki, NAB and Telstra. Ultimately, she strives to design a world that works, beautifully.
Michelle’s specialties include: Service Design, Industrial Design, User Experience Design, Facilitation, Workshops, Design Strategy, Design Research, User Testing.
Managing Director, Tricky Jigsaw (an M&C Saatchi Group Company)
With 17+ years experience in digital media in London, Zurich and now Sydney, Ben has worked at brand, web and advertising agencies to develop cut-through and creative digital solutions.
His knowledge of social media has been employed across a variety of media and communication strategies. As digital becomes increasingly prevalent in both business and creative spheres, Ben’s aim is to maximise the opportunities between them; to create, across multiple platforms, digital strategies that inspire and impact upon an engaged and ultimately in control audience.
Director of Product Design, Designworks Group
Warren is the Founder of Designworks in Australia and a Director of Designworks globally.
He has over 17 years experience as an Industrial Designer developing products across many sectors including healthcare, defence, telecommunications, scientific, consumer electronics, IoT, sport, transportation and recreational products.
Warren provides value to Designworks clientele by bringing strategic vision and experience with new technologies to the product and brand.
This vision is always underpinned by a human-centred design approach and commercial mindset focused on delivering solutions that are optimised for manufacture.
Emeritus Professor Elivio Bonollo
Industrial Design, University of Canberra
Elivio Bonollo, PhD (Melb), MIEAust CPEng, CEng MIET, is one of Australia’s leading Industrial Design educators and researchers.
He is currently Emeritus Professor of Industrial Design at the University of Canberra.
In 2008 Livio was conferred with the Honour of Cavaliere by the President of the Republic of Italy in recognition of his collaborative international work in design and education.
He was formerly Professor of Industrial Design, Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Design and a Pro Vice Chancellor, and in 2012 he was awarded the University of Canberra’s Vice Chancellor’s Award for excellence in the supervision of PhD students by research.
He is the founder of the industrial design discipline at Monash University and the principal author of the original industrial design degrees at RMIT (1982) and Monash University (1989).
Head of Narrative Strategy, Deloitte Experience Design
Matt is the Head of Narrative Strategy at Deloitte Experience Design. He is passionate about creating innovative and engaging content, using the transformative power of design and storytelling to shape business.
With over 18 years experience in the film production industry, Matt has a core focus in online video content, animation direction and storytelling. As storytelling moves from a “nice to have” to a “must have” in strategic engagement, business narratives are now being told through new experiential formats and media. Matt uses a mix of design thinking, creativity and production experience, to uncover innovative ideas and compelling stories and then bringing them to life through immersive experiences.
Matt has won two Good Design Awards and has worked with a broad range of briefs and clients from re-designing on the on-air identity for Mythbusters, art directing the MTV awards, explaining climate modelling for CSIRO and creating online educational resources for the Human Rights Commission explaining democracy which is now part of the Australian school curriculum.
Founder and CEO, i-Manifest
With a strong philanthropic and creative background, I-Manifest was founded as a way of unifying Jo’s experience and beliefs. Her vision is to build the schools of the future on a global scale, and create an international continuum of life-long learning with everyone – students, teachers and industry – working as one.
Jo believes that creativity is the key to shaping a resilient, prosperous and socially inclusive future for all, and must be celebrated and understood as an infinite resource. “Live from heart and be of service to others” is her mantra, and she hopes to inspire others to do the same.
“Young men and women are not passive beneficiaries, but equal and effective partners. Their aspirations extend far beyond jobs; youth also want a seat at the table – a real voice in shaping the policies that shape their lives. We need to listen to and engage with young people. Youth can determine whether this era moves toward greater peril or more positive change.” ~ Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General
General Manager, SBS On Demand
Abigail Thomas is the General Manager of SBS On Demand where she leads a team of product developers, marketers and designers to create a delightful digital experience for SBS’s streaming customers.
She has over twenty years’ experience in digital strategy, innovation and product development, having led digital teams at the Commonwealth Bank, Deloitte and the ABC. Her career highlights include the creation and launch of ABC2, the development of ABC iView, leading the multi-award winning CommBank mobile app, leading the successful bid for Sydney to be recognised as a UNESCO City of Film, and now landing her dream job to build the team who will take SBS On Demand to the next level.
Outside of work, she is passionate about using digital to help build a better society and runs a not-for-profit called OneStep which connects refugees with local Australians to build empathy through a walk and talk. She was also a Board Director and Vice Chair of the Australian Design Centre for six years.
Co-Founder, Auxiliary Design School
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyse a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialisation is for insects.” – Robert Heinlein
Growing up on a farm with parents who where teachers, engineers and innovators, Neil was lucky enough to pick up most of Heinlein’s human competency expertise before leaving school.
After university and 14 years working with one of Australasia’s great product design and innovation consultancies, Neil left the CMD Creative Director position to explore new career experiences and opportunities.
Early 2014 the first opportunity reengaged Neil with the family manufacturing business called innovan. Neil has enjoyed taking on the role of design manager, applying a decade of strategic and tactical experience to the business.
Mid 2014, the second opportunity presented itself with Sunbeam, an iconic Australian appliance manufacturer where he assisted them as interim Design Director for several months.
At the end of 2014, Neil founded Clandestine Design Group (CGD) whose mission is to covertly, collaboratively and creatively help entrepreneurs, businesses and venture partners with innovative design driven strategic and tactical processes.
The first born from Neil’s collaborative efforts is the AUXILIARY Product Design School whose students work in a real consultancy, for real clients, on real projects, delivering commercially viable outcomes to industry standards.
Neil is always happy to connect to see how design can take on your business challenges and convert them to opportunities and solutions. Our ability to design and take on range of challenges is what differentiates us…as Heinlein says, specialisation is for insects!
Managing Director, The Customer Experience Company
Raj is the Founder and Managing Director of The Customer Experience Company (CEC). CEC works with some of Australia’s leading commercial and government organisations to help transform them to become more customer centric using design.
Raj and CEC are passionate about using design thinking and service design to drive change – with people at the centre and enabled by technology to deliver better customer experiences.
CEC’s work over the past 14 years has resulted in creating better futures for people and organisations including Service NSW, AMP, New Zealand Inland Revenue and Primary Health Care.
Head of Operations, Design and Innovation, AMP
Gareth Rydon is a versatile and innovative thinker with strong experience in Human Centred Design methodologies and tools.
Gareth’s career path has seen him constantly focusing on how to make things better for people. These experiences range from working as the executive adviser to PwC Australia’s CEO, to customer led strategy consultant to some of Australia’s largest financial institutions.
More recently having seen the opportunity that Design Thinking could bring, Gareth pursued opportunities, through study and new roles, to understand and experience more of Human Centred Design.
This lead him to his role today where he runs the operations for AMP’s Design and Innovation Team. This team represents AMP’s centre of excellence for Human Centred Design, the key objective for this team is to make AMP’s customer centred strategy real and tangible for our customers.