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Design Steps-Up: Strategy Meets Design
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Kevin McCullagh

Founder, Plan

Paul Gardien

Vice President, Philips Design

Kwame Nyanning

VP Experience Design, McKinsey & Co.

Philipp Thesen

Senior Vice President Design, Deutsche Telekom







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Session Description:


The recent wave of acquisitions of top design agencies by management consultancies like McKinsey and EY, is but one indicator of a growing intersection between design and strategy. This shift is driven by factors including the elevation of design and ‘design thinking’ in the board room, and the ‘era of software’ driving a growth in demand for digital experience design. How does this development change the meaning of design and strategy within organisations? How is this intersection likely to develop, and what are opportunities (and risks) for design managers.





Kevin McCullagh

Kevin is founder of a product strategy consultancy based in London called Plan. It focuses on opportunity scoping, product experience strategy and innovation management.

While at Plan and at his previous role as a director at Seymour Powell, his clients have included: Coca-Cola, Deutsche Telecom, Ford, HP, Lenovo, Mars, Nokia, Orange, 02, P&G, Samsung, Shell, Toyota, Unilever and Yamaha.

His background spans design, marketing, engineering and social forecasting. Never short of an opinion or three, he writes, speaks, and chairs conferences on design, business, and society. He has been published and cited in numerous publications including: The Wall Street Journal, The Telegraph, FastCompany, Design Management Review, Core77 and Blueprint.



Paul Gardien

Paul Gardien is Vice President of Philips Design and as member of the Philips Design Board responsible for both the strategic development of the global design function and the Design Research & Innovation program. In his strategy role, he has been instrumental in transforming Philips Design from a service unit into a global function. The Design Research & Innovation program creates new design competences, future visions and new propositions for Philips and has won numerous awards. The drive in the program is to create meaningful and relevant propositions based on a solid understanding of how these will evolve in the future, while ensuring that the propositions land in the various businesses increasing their hit rate of innovation.


Paul has spent his entire professional career at Philips Design, working in many different areas ranging from product-, multimedia- and internet design, to different management and development functions. He is and has been a member of various boards, juried in multiple renowned design competitions. He’s also a frequent speaker at international design and innovation conferences. Paul studied industrial design engineering at the Delft University of Technology and holds a PhD in Design Innovation from the Eindhoven University of Technology.



Kwame Nyanning

Kwame has over 15 years’ experience in Product, Service and Customer Experience Design at such organisations as Studio Archetype, Sapient, frog design, Adaptive Path, Infosys Technology and Native Design.

Given this diverse background Kwame brings a unique perspective to the experience design process that fuses strategy, technology and design craft.

Working at the intersection of emerging consumer behaviours, technology ecosystems and commercial capability, Kwame develops Customer Experiences and Product Development Strategies that are forward-looking, credible, grounded and actionable.

He has worked with a broad range of clients and organisations, such as Ford, Pernod Ricard, Apple, Microsoft, ING, Hewlett Packard, AT&T, Toyota, Lloyds of London, Disney and NASA, to plan, research, concept, design and build some of the most innovative physical and digital platforms, products and services on the market.



Philipp Thesen

Philipp is the Senior Vice President of Design at Deutsche Telekom AG and is responsible for the design of all products and interactive experiences. He began his career at Deutsche Telekom in 2009, and has worked as a design strategist and executive creative director on a big range of products and user experiences. Today, as the head of a newly structured unit, he leads the design strategy of the entire company.  


In addition to his industry work, Mr. Thesen is a lecturer devoted to the further development of design education. He acquired a Masters Degree at the renowned Aalto University in Helsinki, and he is committed to the field of international design strategy. He is also a member of the Art Directors Club of Germany, a German Design Council donor, and he has served in the juries of several international design competitions.  


In his current position, he draws on several years of experience as a design consultant, UX creative director, and design strategist who has worked on a multitude of product, platform, and service innovations throughout the digital world.   


The abilities of Mr. Thesen and his team have been confirmed by more than hundred national and international design awards, including the iF design Award, the German Design Award, the Annual Multimedia Award, the Good Design Award Chicago, and the Red Dot design award.



more Calendar

10/7/2018 » 10/9/2018
dmi: Design Leadership Conference

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