28. SEPTEMBER 2017



Outthink Innovation – Create a Better Tomorrow


Innovation is the key to sustainable entrepreneurial success. In practice, however, innovating often proves difficult because many picture the innovation journey as a straight path from A to B – and think all they need to do is build a bridge between the two. But in reality, the process that leads from insight to innovation, from an idea to its implementation, is far from linear.

Many insights are too caught up with the current status quo, others present a virtually unmanageable abundance of potential departure points. Often, their translation into innovations is too middle of the road or not really disruptive. And from time to time, you come across successful innovations that have come about more or less by chance.

So how can this chaos of possibilities be brought under control and the innovation process managed successfully? Which tools and methods can help navigate the unpredictable waters of the innovation journey and expose the blind spots?

The DESIGN RESEARCH & DESIGN STRATEGY CONFERENCE #4 has the answers! Get inspired by best-case examples from top international speakers and take advantage of hands-on workshops during the event to learn new methods and tools covering the following topics:

» RIP THE BRIEF «  How to ask the right question to get to the right starting point.

» RETHINK RESEARCH «  How to gain relevant insights that enable the creation of something really new.

» REFINE TOOLS «  How can design facilitate a different way of thinking in companies so as to depart from well-trodden paths and achieve results?

» REFRAME VALIDATION «  How can the success of an idea or innovation for tomorrow be tested today?

Our participants come from a wide range of different sectors and are active in areas such as innovation management, market research, design, marketing and R&D. Experience how the joint expertise of different divisions of the company can break down silos and expedite processes.

Each of the presentations is followed by a corresponding workshop. Build on the learnings you gain from the lectures in practical training sessions and take away relevant know-how for your day-to-day processes.

A get-together, coffee breaks, lunch and an after-work meetup provide plenty of opportunities to interact with like-minded participants and intensify the day’s takeout. Take the opportunity for some informal networking with the speakers, workshop leaders, initiators and other attendees.

International speakers . Insights from innovative companies . Interactive workshops . Information and networking



  • Signature Theme

    According to Businessweek on of the 25 best innovators in the world. Her motto: ‚Frame. Generate. Embed. Lead.’

    From the USA
    Dr. Nancy Tennant
    Adjunct Professor Innovation
    University of Chicago
  • Signature Theme

    What leads to genuine innovations? Rethinking research and returning to ‚Start’

    From the VAE
    Hector Paris Ayala Garcia
    Senior Manager Market Research
    Etihad Airways
  • Signature Theme

    Becoming the ‚Apple of Toys’ with LEGO’s Future Lab Team

    From Denmark
    David Gram
    Senior Innovation Director Creative Play Lab LEGO Group
    LEGO Group
  • Signature Theme

    Serious needs sharpen the focus: developing target group-oriented and needs-oriented innovation programs

    From Kosovo
    Hana Sahatqija
    Innovations Lab Program Manager
  • Signature Theme

    Mission possible: Establishing a sustainable innovation culture and an effective innovation environment across all functions

    From Germany
    Dr. Markus Durstewitz
    Head of Innovation Methods and Tools
  • Signature Theme
    From the USA
    Kevin Bethune
    Vice President Strategic Design
    BCG Digital Ventures
  • Signature Theme

    The Market Opportunity Navigator: Identifying and exploiting new market opportunities and establishing key new ways of value creation

    From Switzerland
    Prof. Dr. Marc Gruber
    Vice President for Innovation and Professor at the College of Management of Technology
  • Signature Theme

    The perfect questions to get through the day: inspiring and motivating to come to fascinating results

    Ingmar Höhmann
    Senior Editor
    Harvard Business Manager
  • Signature Theme

    Interaction – Seeing business intelligence from a new perspective and reinventing the own business model

    From Germany
    Maria Krüger
    Innovation & Research Manager
    TOI Tools of Innovators
  • Signature Theme

    Interaction – Market Research as a springboard for innovation

    From Germany
    Geoffrey Hildbrand
    Strategischer Planer und Designforscher
    mc markt-consult
  • Signature Theme

    Interaction – Experimental Approach in shaping the human-brand-product relationship

    From Germany
    Arnd von Romatowski
    mc markt-consult
  • Signature Theme

    How to develop product and service innovations with insights and co-creation and lead them to success in the market.

    From Germany
    Alessandro Brandolisio
    Innovation Specialist TOI
    Tools of Innovators


7:30 p.m. Pre-Evening Event
More details will follow soon


8:30 a.m. Registration & Welcome
Join us for coffee and connect with new friends

9:15 a.m. Opening Remarks
Time to kick things off! We will make quick introductions and let you know what to expect

9:30 a.m. Keynote: Dr. Nancy Tennant (USA)
Business Schools at The University of Chicago and The University of Notre Dame,
Former Chief Innovation Officer, VP Innovation, VP Leadership Development, VP Core Competencies

10:15 a.m. Hector Paris Ayala Garcia (VAE)
Senior Manager Market Research, Etihad Airways

11:00 a.m. Networking Break
Take some time to refresh and network with other participants 

11:30 a.m. David Gram (DNK)
Former Senior Innovation Director, Creative Play Lab
Former Marketing Director, Future Lab, LEGO Group

12:15 p.m. Interactive Workshops Part 1
Choose one of four amazing workshops
More details will follow soon

1:15 p.m. Lunch Break
Recharge for the second half of the day

2:15 p.m. Dr. Markus Durstewitz (DEU)
Head of Innovation Methods and Tools, AIRBUS Group 

3:00 p.m. Interactive Workshops Part 2
Choose one of four amazing workshops
More details will follow soon

4:00 p.m. Network Break
Time to recharge and network with other participants

4:30 p.m. Marc Gruber
Vice President Innovation und Professor für Entrepreneurship & Technology Commercialization EPFL

5:00 p.m. Hana Sahatqija (geplant)
Innovations Lab Program Manager, UNICEF

5:30 p.m. Get together
While enjoying drinks and appetizers, you can discuss a day full of learning and connect with other professionals



Professor, consultant, best-selling author, former Chief Innovation Officer at Whirlpool, Co-founder of numerous mentor-programs and boot camps: According to Businessweek, Dr. Nancy Tennant is one of the 25 best innovators in the world!

For DRDS she is a real asset, especially thanks to her extensive practical experience. For more than 17 years she was responsible for transformation, leadership development and growth at Whirlpool – with the consequential increase in sales. At that time, Co-founder of the Whirlpool University and head of the divisions for Leadership and Strategy, today she is a professor at the University of Chicago as well as the University of Notre Dame.

Her motto: “Frame. Generate. Embed. Lead.” made her the ideal keynote-speaker for our conference. First insights can be found in her blog:



How can a brand successfully compete within a tough environment and remain at the top with methods other than just the price bar? These and similar questions are the core thoughts of Hector Paris Ayala Garcia. For more than 2 years, he has been managing the market research division for the Saudi Arabian airline Etihad Airways.

As a market research expert with years of practice, he will come up with concrete insight on what drives a company foward. In doing so, he is focusing on rethinking research and „going back to Start“. After all, the question of how relevant insights can be gained and how they then lead to genuine innovations is crucial for promising results.

With more than 15 years of work experience for international research agencies in South- and Central America as well as in the United Arab Emirates, extensive knowledge in applied analysis and data modeling, and practical exercise in the field of FMCG and automotive, he can draw from a wealth of experience and can therefore provide us with concrete knowledge.



Innovation in a very different light: Hana Sahatqija has been the head of the innovation lab in Kosovo since 2015, and enables and inspires teenagers and young adults to use this important issue for their own purposes for social development. With her “By youth – for youth” method and the use of innovative technologies and human-centered design, the lab has already successfully created start-ups and social facilities and has been a role model for copies all around the world.

The concept of the Stanford graduate, who was previously responsible for the development of social approaches and youth programs within the World Bank and the UNDP, is most importantly to make innovation skills a natural part of everyone’s education. This is a substantial goal in an environment where this aspect actually contributes crucially to the satisfaction of people’s basic needs.

So how does innovation work in organizations and how can our culture and our society develop further from this? Hana Sahtqija demonstrates to us which social constructs knowledge companies can draw from the experiences of the Innovations Lab.



The manifold technological disruptions that we are currently witnessing enable new and established companies to achieve phenomenal successes and to create substantial new value. But there are also many companies that lose market share and drop out of business.

Based on his 20+ years of research on the topic, Prof. Dr. Marc Gruber will discuss how companies can identify and exploit new market opportunities in a more systematic fashion, thereby establishing key new ways of value creation. He will introduce a new business tool – the Market Opportunity Navigator – that offers an easy-to-apply framework for identifying and exploiting business opportunities.

Prof. Dr. Marc Gruber is Vice President for Innovation and full professor at the College of Management of Technology at the École Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne where he holds the Chair of Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization. Furthermore he is an author of books as well as deputy editor at the Academy of Management Journal, the highest ranked empirical research journal in the management domain, and he writes for several economic magazines and newspapers (eg Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). The Market Opportunity Navigator forms part of his new book “Where to Play”.



Ingmar Hoehmann is a senior editor of Harvard Business Manager, the German edition of Harvard Business Review and one of the world’s most prestigious management magazines. During the recent years he has interviewed thought leaders like Harvard professor Clayton Christensen, inventor of the theory of disruptive innovation, on the future of the consulting industry; Gary Hamel, one of the world’s preeminent management thinkers, on new exciting ways on how change management can actually work; and Alexander Osterwalder, Strategyzer, inventor of the Business Model Canvas, on business model innovation. Ingmar Hoehmann is an award-winning journalist who has previously worked for several German and British newspapers, such as Handelsblatt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung and The Times. Before joining Harvard Business Manager he lived and worked as a journalist in the U.S., the United Kingdom, Spain, and France.



Maria Krüger graduated in business psychology and specialises in business development and innovation management. At TOI – Tools of Innovators, she uses her skills to develop user–centred insights. Her experience in the field of user research includes a social innovation project in India – yet another example that demonstrates the importance of user-centred design in a supposedly alien context. Above all, however, the great affinity with business models and brand strategies she has acquired in the course of her career enables her to help companies see business intelligence from a new and totally different perspective.



Geoffrey Hildbrand holds a degree in business administration and is a strategic planner and design researcher at mc markt-consult, where his work focuses on innovation and brands. Among other things, he explores how market research can become a springboard for innovation and how the exchange between various disciplines can be made more effective.



For Arnd von Romatowski, Managing Director of mc markt-consult, design research covers all the marks a company makes when it comes to shaping the human-brand-product relationship. And because the really exciting things are rarely revealed in response to enquiry but have to be deduced analytically instead, the degreed sociologist, economist and passionate hermeneutician relies on experimental approaches and a strongly interlinked mix of qualitative and quantitative methods. He attaches particular importance to the early stages of product development – the identification of relevant consumer insights and viable product and design concepts.



Alessandro Brandolisio does not only have extensive practical knowledge in the development of digital and physical product experiences to the point of marketability, but especially as a trainer and workshop leader. As innovation specialist at “TOI – Tools of Innovators,”  he is the expert for insight and co-creative workshops which enable the participants to innovate independently.

Due to his background as industrial designer within international projects, he speaks the languages of various business sectors and understands how to translate this knowledge into effective product and service innovations.


INDEED’s vision is to establish design as the single most effective steward of our being human in the computational age. Embracing advanced technologies, they combine business savvy with this vision and the creativity needed to thrive in a globally connected world.

Based on a no-bullshit, highly collaborative approach, INDEED’s multi cultural team of designers, innovation specialists, engineers and business strategists translates complexity into smart, surprisingly simple products and services. Thus helping companies such as Melitta, Wagner, Freudenberg, KABA and Beiersdorf, as well as international corporations like Airbus, the Linde Group and Turkish industrial group Eczacibasi innovate in the computational age.

Karel J. Golta, founder & managing director:
“Design research and design strategy are indispensable if we want to facilitate commercially successful innovations. Bringing leading minds together, getting inspired and swapping thoughts on the ideas presented afterwards: that’s what encourages this kind of development – and precisely what the Design Research & Design Strategy Conference offers in compact form.”


mc markt-consult helps companies shape the human-brand-product relationship. For clients like Philips, Ideal Standard, Bayer Health Care, Nivea and Melitta, the institute investigates what influences this relationship during the purchase process and beyond: design. Because design is relationship, interaction and interface all rolled into one – and therefore a great deal more than just aesthetics and ergonomics.

Arnd von Romatowski, managing partner:
“Design research isn’t just a channel for testing and a feedback loop for design strategy. It is an explorative and evolutionary process and therefore also an innovation tool that provides important input, ideas and inspiration for design strategy. Communicating this in a vivid and down-to-earth way calls for experts who can speak from experience – and that’s exactly what anyone who attends the Design Research & Design Strategy Conference can look forward to.”






+49 (0)40 38 60 420








Press release

PAGE Online
Wie man FBI-Profiling im Design Thinking einsetzt

planung & analyse
Von Profilern und Marktforschern

design report

On the basis of concrete case studies, executives from Europe, the USA and China reveal how design research has enabled them to develop relevant design strategies and thus lay the foundations for change, growth and innovation. Get inspired by new approaches and methods from real-life corporate practice and boost your own innovativeness!

All over the world, design research and design strategy are becoming an increasingly important factor for commercial success. The application of both disciplines provides the basis for the successful evolution of technologies, products and services – and ultimately of the company itself.

Terms like ‘design-driven companies’, ‘design thinking’ and ‘human-centred design’ have long since conquered the boardroom and fostering the company’s innovation culture is seen as the ideal way to master future challenges successfully.

So how do pioneers in various sectors go about it? What can we learn from them? Where do you start, and which methods have proved particularly effective in real-life practice?

The Design Research & Design Strategy Conference provides clear-cut answers to these questions and considers the very latest insights on the topic from a realistic perspective.

Speakers 2016

Dr. Carsten Brosda, Staatsrat für Kultur, Medien und Digitales, Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg
Philip Hambach, Director Global Consumer Strategy & Insights, Adidas AG
Markus Klopfer, Senior Manager Global Consumer Strategy & Insights, Adidas AG
Johnson Li, Executive Design Director, Lenovo
Mark Safarik, Criminal Profiler, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Jens Andersson, Design Lead, Philips Consumer Lifestyle
Philipp Thesen, Senior Vice President Design Deutschen Telekom AG
Maria Krüger, Innovation & Research Manager, INDEED Innovation
Armin Kreiner­Norkūnas, Head of Innovation & Design Management, INDEED Innovation
Arnd von Romatowski, Geschäftsführer, mc markt-consult
Geoffrey Hildbrand, Strategischer Planer und Designforscher, mc markt-consult


The varied and well-rounded programme at the second Design Research Day on 5 May 2015 met with an enthusiastic reception from the good one hundred attendees, who were only too keen to take an active part in the event and join in the lively discussions. The topics presented dealt with the necessity for companies to transform and the importance of design and design research within the transformation processes involved – and proved equally fascinating for marketing and innovation experts, strategists, designers and market researchers.

As the initiators, we are once again delighted to look back on an inspiring day full of fascinating lectures and talks. Our thanks to our excellent speakers, sponsors and media partners, but also to all who attended for their indispensable contribution to the success of the event!

Speakers 2015

Jenny Fleischer, Program Lead Global Business Unit Digital, Beiersdorf AG
Jeremy Abbett, Creative Evangelist, Google
Hanswerner Dreissigacker, Head of Frontrunner App Teams Global Design, SAP SE
Karel Golta, Geschäftsführer, Indeed Innovation
Karsten Henze, Leiter CI/CD, Deutsche Bahn AG
David Kuntzsch, Head of Marketing, ERCO
Dr. Stephan Langer, Senior Research Manager, Bayer Consumer Care Deutschland
Dr. Dag Piper, Global Head of Consumer Technical Insights, MARS Petcare
Christian Prill, Partner Brand Strategy, Factor Design
Lars Quadejacob, Chefredakteur, design report
Arnd von Romatowski, geschäftsführender Gesellschafter, mc markt-consult
Alessia Rullo, UX Team Lead, Hewlett Packard Barcelona
Sebastian Troll, Executive Director Marketing, RE/MAX Europe








Press release

planung & analyse
design report
Research & Results

Photography: mc markt-consult


Fascinating empirical insights from the real-life business practices of diverse companies, a discussion amongst keen participants and, above all, the realisation that there is still a great deal more to be said about the topic of design research – that was the outcome of the first Design Research Day that took place in Hamburg on 20 March 2014.

As the initiators, we are delighted that the conference was such a success and would like to thank our speakers for their excellent contributions, our sponsors and media partners for their support and of course all those who attended for their enthusiastic participation. We look forward to a successful second edition of the event in 2015!

Speakers 2014

Adrian Ulrich, Deputy CEO, Chamber of Commerce Hamburg
Lutz Dietzold, CEO, German Design Council
Jildou de Raad, Senior Marketing Intelligence Manager, Philips Consumer Lifestyle
Geoffrey Hildbrand, Strategic Planner and Design Researcher, mc markt-consult
Jeff Zwerner, Vice President, Evernote
Peter Brooren, Brand Innovation Expert, unmet Innovation
Uwe Melichar,  Member of the Management, Factor Design
Benoit Jacob,  Head of Design, BMWi
Steve Daniels, Design Leadership Team, IBM
Dr. Eberhard Dziobek, Market Researcher, Bayer HealthCare GmbH
Dr. Ulrich Föhl, Professor of Psychological market research, Hochschule Pforzheim



Contact Press:
effective minds
Andrea vorm Walde
+49 (0)40 182 995 00


+49 (0)40 38 60 420

8:30 – 18:30 UHR