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Chris Thompson

Strategic Design, Design Innovation

Chris is a great believer in the power of design methods to help address complex and complicated challenges. For Chris, design is an open, integrative, and inherently interdisciplinary practice that draws on the best of our knowledge, ingenuity, and creativity. Its purpose is to help make better decisions about what to do next and how to go about it, particularly at the fuzzy front end. Chris has advised organizations of all shapes and sizes on how to build and deploy a designerly mindset to make innovation happen.

Chris founded the innovation consultancy Viadynamics more than 20 years ago and has worked with the likes of 3M, Axa, ABInBev, IKEA, the Medical Research Council, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and Unilever, as well as numerous universities and start-ups. Before Viadynamics, Chris worked at design agencies both in the UK and the US. Prior to that, Chris studied physics, worked as an engineer, and became a management accountant.

At Viadynamics, Chris developed an approach called System Solution Mapping to address complex system challenges. This method originated from work for the EPSRC and the University of York on how to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance but has since been applied to other system challenges such as animal disease control, corrosion, and food sustainability. Chris is keen to work with other collaborators to develop, apply, and refine techniques that bring a designerly mindset to bear on Design for Planet challenges.

Chris Thompson