Philipp T. Ernst, McKinsey & Company, Germany

Philipp has more than 8 years of experience in top management consulting on exactly these questions with McKinsey & Company. He is advising companies on all things innovation and has supported clients across different industries. His work is ranging from long-term innovation and R&D strategy over innovation operating model and process redesign to running concrete pilots applying design thinking concepts including collaboration efforts with McKinsey Design. Building on his deep experience in management of R&D and technology, he has been developing and applying approaches bringing together design and innovation management. Philipp holds a PhD in Experimental Physics and a Master of Arts in Japanese Studies.

Karel J. Golta, Indeed Innovation, Germany

“Innovations need to be human centered”, says Karel J. Golta, adding: “… this is something only design can do”. For the founder and managing director of three companies – INDEED Innovation, TOI  ̶  Tools of Innovators, and Simplexion – this is indisputable, but he loves to debate the disputable and addresses controversial topics and sensitive issues that others are either unaware of or try to avoid. In his various roles, as a speaker at international events and lecturer at the Steinbeis University in Berlin or as co-initiator of successful conference formats such as the “DRDS Conference”, board member of “Life Science Nord”, or as a columnist and author, Karel J. Golta is thought-provoking and inspiring. He influences students and executives alike, but above all, it is his entrepreneurial approach that makes the biggest impact. It is important to him that design is understood as an activity that creates value, rather than the simple creation of objects. In particular, he wants his listeners and readers to see the important role design plays in realizing change.

Johannes Torpe, Johannes Torpe Sudios, Denmark

The founder and visionary behind Johannes Torpe Studios, Danish designer Johannes Torpe is an unconventional creative in every way imaginable. A self-trained interior architect, industrial designer, lighting designer, graphic artist, music producer and drummer, he doesn’t conform to established boundaries and simply calls himself a design activist. Guided by the belief that we do our best work when we pursue things that move us, he advocates an unrestrained and intuitive approach to design and life in general. As a practitioner who has worked on several continents and in a variety of disciplines and industries, the diversity of his portfolio reveals a fearless approach to the business of design. On the basis of this mindset and his extensive experience he is able to share his unique insights into the creative industries on both a personal and a professional level. A talk or lecture by Johannes Torpe is enhanced by an abundance of photos and videos, providing much food for thought. He reports on everything from his intuition-driven design process to creative leadership in general, the pitfalls and benefits of running a relationship-driven business and how he addresses the Chinese market and communicates with clients across cultural boundaries. He also generously shares anecdotes from his unconventional and free-spirited upbringing in a hippie commune in Denmark in the 70’s and thoughtfully connects this to where he is today. Johannes shares his story with honesty and humour, and his ‘rock star’ attitude always engages and entertains the audience, leaving them exhilarated.

Andreas Milk, MILK Food & Design, Germany

The packaging design agency based in Frankfurt am Main specializes in food and beverages, creating products from the original idea to the marketplace. Andreas was born into the industry, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather into meat production. However, he decided to leave the production side to set up his own consultancy and design company instead. Today M.I.L.K. is responsible for nation-wide product design launches for some of the biggest food producers and retailers in Germany.

Thuong Tan, Noodelist, US

Thuong has over 14 years of experience in the Silicon Valley ecosystem, while worked for the Finnish funding agency and advised hundreds of Finnish companies entering the US market. One of the projects she worked on in December 2017 was the Westfield Showcase called “Finland Under The Dome”, which featured 43 Finnish consumer design brands in San Francisco. Thuong Tan has also lived and worked in the world capital of entertainment in Los Angeles. She completed her MBA in luxury brand management in Shanghai and Paris. After over a decade working for the Finnish government, Thuong’s next career step is being a newly minted start-up founder. Her current mission is to create the world’s coolest premium instant noodles with design driven packaging. Thuong is a true global connector and citizen who speaks fluent Finnish, English, Cantonese, and Vietnamese. She is known to her peers as a foodie capable of ordering noodle soup in any language.

Armin Bonelli, Factor, Austria

Armin refers to himself as a relationship coach for companies. He has been advising companies on identity, positioning and marketing for 20 years. As a Partner at Factor in Vienna, he has worked with clients such as OTIS, Unicef, A1 and Deloitte. He has received numerous awards. Armin is a co-founder of Factor’s Vienna location.

Joachim Haag, isi, Germany

Joachim Haag is Managing Director at isi, one of Europe’s leading agencies for Sensory Marketing Research. Their work supports international clients in developing fascinating product experiences for all senses: taste, smell, sight, touch and hearing. Joachim studied business management & marketing and joined isi in 2002. Since then, design research has been his passion and he has worked on numerous projects in the fields of home appliances, consumer electronics, and FMCG. He has worked as a lecturer for marketing, market research and innovation management at various universities and academies and is a frequent speaker at conferences and exhibitions.

Jakob Kattner, WARDA Network, Austria

Jakob studied Fine Arts and Cultural Studies at the Zurich University of Arts and the University of art in  Linz. In 2010, Jakob worked as a program coordinator at the Reykjavik International Film Festival. In 2016, he wrote a dissertation on “Urban Art in Latin America” at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Since 2014, he has directed Calle Libre, Central Europe’s largest street art festival. He has given lectures at various national and international art colleges, universities, congresses and festivals as at Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Vienna University of Economics and Business, UERJ – Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, and Fifteen Seconds Festival. In addition to short films and documentaries, he is also responsible for a variety of music videos. Jakob currently works as Creative Director in a Viennese creative agency. He was awarded the state prize in 2015 and 2019 with his agency.

Fabienne Le Tadic, EVRYTHNG Switzerland

As the General Manager Europe for EVRYTHNG, Fabienne Le Tadic is focused on scaling up the start-up, creating a high performing team, and helping customers in their Innovation and Digital Transformation journey. For over 25 years she has held leadership positions, transforming organizations to increase growth and profitability, leveraging technology wherever relevant. Her approach is based on 3 pillars: people empowerment, a systematic focus on the quality of interfaces and a very strong market or customer driven vision. No matter where she has worked, from private equity firms to start-ups, she is passionate about inspiring people and organisation to visualize and realize their full potential.

Chris Bailey, Bailey Brand Consulting, United States

Chris founded the firm in 1985. As president, Chris is responsible for the overall management and direction of the firm including shaping and implementing vision and mission. Throughout his career, Chris has led a variety of branding initiatives for clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to promising start-up ventures. His firm serves clients in business categories including academics, electronics, consumer  packaged goods, financial services, foodservice, hardware, lodging, pharmaceuticals, professional services and transportation. The firm has been recognized for its branding expertise through awards and recognition from organizations such as AIGA, American Corporate Identity and the London International Advertising Awards. A recognized branding expert, Chris has authored articles for periodicals, such as World Trademark Review and The Journal of Brand Strategy; he has contributed to books on food and pharmaceutical marketing; and he has spoken on branding, environmental branding and brand package design. 

Chris Lee, Asylum, Singapore

Chris Lee is the founder and creative director of Asylum, one of the most respected creative companies in Asia. Since its inception in 1999, the agency has focused on cross-disciplinary projects that include interactive design, product development, environmental and interior design, packaging, apparel design, branding and graphic design. Asylum’s work has been recognised with more than 100 international awards. Chris Lee was awarded Designer of the Year and given the Design of the Year award in the President’s Design Award Singapore. He has served as a juror for many of the top international creative awards, e.g. for the Red Dot Award, D&AD, The One Show and Tokyo Type Directors Club. Chris Lee is a founding member and president of “The Design Society”, a non-profit organisation.

Thomas Boucoiran, Siegwerk, Germany

Thomas Boucoiran heads the Brand Owner Collaboration Team at Siegwerk, where he establishes business relationships with brand owners from the FMCG sector and promotes the impact of printing inks on packaging – with the primary focus on innovation and sustainability. Outside work, Thomas enjoys dining and cooking, especially French cuisine.



Jordan Katzarov, Henkel Beauty Care, Germany

Jordan’s career began when he enrolled in Cisco Networking Academy at the age of 11 and received the award for best student of EMEA at the age of 13. He was the youngest certified Cisco networking expert and started his career at the age of 16 in one of the biggest telecommunication providers. His combined experience of 14+ years comes from a big variety of backgrounds: networking, data and storage analysis to full stack software development and business leadership. His career pathway reveals several CTO/CDO positions and Jordan has been deeply involved in the start-up scene both as a start-up founder and employee. Some of his project work includes work with Google, Amazon and Facebook. Jordan holds a degree in “Global Management and Leadership” from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (Japan), Harvard Business School “Finance” and received multiple awards as “Deloitte’s award for Most Innovative Project”, “Manager of the Year” and his recent project with Henkel received 2 x CES innovation awards and 7 other awards. Jordan is an expert in the Internet of Things and a technology visionary. Describing himself as “CDO on-demand” he is member of the venture capital and start-up community due to his previous experience with companies such as relay, amazon and google. He has worked across various technology sectors such as communications, software development and cryptography, whereby he   always places a strong focus on consumer-centric business models. Now he is part of Henkel Beauty Care R&D, where he creates the technology for the future in beauty.

Johanna Joppien, Tools of Innovators, Germany

Johanna is Senior Innovation Strategist at Tools of Innovators. She knows how to generate and maintain momentum in the innovative process in large corporations. With her experience of complex corporate structures, she leads international innovation culture projects at a CxO level. She has successfully demonstrated how innovation methods can meaningfully and effectively optimize the way companies work for clients such as Deutsche Telekom, Freudenberg Group, Allianz Global Investors and Oiltanking. Before joining TOI, Johanna was responsible for improving the transfer passenger journey at Fraport AG, applying her methodological expertise in realizing this project. Johanna’s daily business at Tools of Innovators embraces innovation management, multidisciplinary agile projects, moderation of workshops at CxO level, Design Thinking & service design methods, trend analyses and insight generation, as well as brand-driven innovation methods, facilitation of innovation culture development and innovation project road mapping. Johanna holds a Master of Science Strategic Design from Delft University of Technology.