New Speakers – April 2021
We are always delighted to expand our speaker options on our website and are thrilled to have recently added Product & Design Leader Ben Sauer, Co-Founder and President of the Women’s Equality Party Catherine Mayer, and Round the Worlds Yachtsman and Navigate the Storm speaker Mark Denton.
Ben Sauer is a product and design leader, speaker, and author on the potential of design, possible futures, voice technology, and team culture.
From 2018 to 2020, Ben worked at Babylon Health, first as a Director of Design, and then Director of Product where he led a large team of 100 designers, clinicians, data scientists, and engineers on AI-based products worth $100m+.
Some of his achievements include –
- redesigning the social network of a $100 billion dollar company with 400K employees (TCS)
- designing an app that won Apple’s Newsstand app of the year (Evo)
- designing a ground-breaking science journal (eLife)
- worked at the award-winning, design-changing agency Clearleft
- used information architecture to help a city save decades of time, and procure millions of pounds for digital transformation (Brighton and Hove City Council)
Ben Sauer has spoken at dozens of events and companies around the world (The Economist, NEXT Conference, VW / Audi, UX London, Penguin Random House, UX Scotland, Reakt Breakpoint Helsinki, Smart Voice Summit, amongst others). His speech topics include –
- The Potential of design
- Possible Futures
- Team Culture
- Voice Technology
Some examples of recent talks include –
Mind Your Metaphor – Is the iPhone really a ‘phone’? Is Alexa really an ‘assistant’? Humans love to communicate by analogy. The way we describe new ideas both unleashes and limits their potential at the same time. In this talk, Ben will take you through the unexpected use of metaphors in our strange technological history. He’ll show you how important they are when you’re creating change or making new things, and how to strengthen your ideas with a better choice of metaphor. This talk is for anyone involved in innovation who is interested in framing their ideas successfully.
Slow down to speed up: how efficiency is killing true innovation – Organisations making software have become obsessed with speed. Methods like Lean and Agile have been adopted dogmatically: efficiency is the rule, and business leaders are lapping it up. What we may have forgotten, is that many of the innovations we rely on every single day weren’t created this way. In this talk, Ben will examine the problems of the modern production process, recap how some of our most important innovations really happened, and propose a way forward.
Principles of Voice Design – Consumer behaviour is changing faster than organisations can keep up: smart speakers have grown faster than smartphones. As we move towards a voice-driven future, what should designers be doing to stay relevant? In this talk, Ben will give some practical advice on being a part of the voice future.
Catherine Mayer is a bestselling author, journalist, speaker, and activist. She is the co-founder and President of the Women’s Equality Party and co-founder of Primadonna, the festival celebrating brilliant writing, music, and ideas and giving prominence to women, launched in 2019.
Her books include Amortality: The Pleasures and Perils of Living Agelessly; Charles: The Heart of a King, and Attack of the Fifty Foot Women: How Gender Equality Can Save the World! Her most recent book, the memoir Good Grief: Embracing Life at a Time of Death, includes letters written by her mother after both women were widowed at the start of the pandemic. Launched in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa in December 2020, it will be published in the US and Canada in July 2021.
She has worked at The Economist, held deputy editorships at Business Traveller and International
Speaking topics include:
- The Future of Media in the Digital Age –
- Seizing the Turbulence: How to embrace change
- Tough at the Top: Hard lessons in leading and being led
- From Lightbulb Moment to Growing Enterprise: How to turn ideas into reality
- Difference Works: Why true diversity and inclusion is about much more than ticking boxes
- Wonder Women: How unlocking female potential benefits us all
Mark Denton is a leadership expert and speaker with vast experience navigating turbulent waters. In his professional sailing career he’s competed in countless races and sailed over 80,000 miles across the worlds’ toughest oceans. His most notable achievement was leading an amateur team to success in the BT Global Challenge 2000-01, dubbed ‘the worlds’ toughest round the world yacht race’.
But Mark also draws on 20+ years of working with some of the worlds’ greatest organisations, helping to reshape their cultures and improve their leadership and team resilience to deliver better, faster and more sustainably, especially in times of disruption and change.
It’s the unique combination of this experience that’s encapsulated in ‘Navigate the Storm’, and led to Mark winning a coveted IVCA Gold Award for this ground breaking real-life case study. Consequently, he has spoken at thousands of events in over 31 countries, achieving consistent 5 star reviews from all who have been educated and enthralled.
Mark talks on the combination of three main topic areas when sharing ‘Navigate the Storm’, which were the Teams’ chosen values: Safe, Happy, and Fast. Safe, Happy Fast. Easy to say individually, hard to achieve collectively, primarily as they can seem at odds with one another. But striving to achieve all three all of the time, was the secret to the team’s success and became their Mantra.
SAFETY – Physical, Emotional & Psychological Safety – Feeling safe is an innate human pre-requisite which has literally allowed us to evolve as a species. And our whole bodies are designed to seek this on three fronts; physically, emotionally, and psychologically. And only when we feel safe within these can we thrive. If anyone is threatened, then our focus is on protecting ourselves rather than taking the calculated risks necessary to advance ourselves and our cause. So creating a culture where people feel safe to perform is crucial, especially if the environment we are in is a challenging one.
HAPPY – Inclusion, Motivation, and Self Actualisation – Next up is the importance of doing all we can to help people be happy. Because happy people and teams are more productive, have more staying power, are more compassionate, and easier to work with and within. There are some key things we need in order to be happy at work. Feeling included and valued for instance. Being motivated by our work, its purpose, and its rewards. Having the opportunity to be stretched, give our all, realise our dreams and be the best that we can be. So creating a culture where these factors are ever-present is also crucial.
FAST – Focus, Efficiency, and Agility – And lastly the undeniable factor of the need to be Fast. Fast in terms of a clear focus on the destination to ensure the straightest course. Fast in terms of efficiency of the operation, in order to optimise the result. Fast in terms of agility, to rapidly innovate and change, when challenges demand the need. Why is it the last word? Because slow boats never win, not on the ocean and never in business, a fact that has been further magnified by the highly competitive, constantly changing, volatile world of today where speed and agility is everything.
If you would like to know more about Ben, Catherine or Mark, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 8854 7247.