Skip to content

Deborah Rey-Burns

ArtsDesign Critic, Writer, CuratorSystemic Design, Policy Design

Deborah Rey-Burns started her career as an investment banker and then retrained as an industrial designer at Central Saint Martins. After a short stint in branding and living in China, she transitioned into a cultural entrepreneur and founded Propela, a visionary speaking agency dedicated to pioneering ideas and forward-looking innovation. Deborah's aim is to push the boundaries for the creative sector and business world. She represents a diverse, highly selective group of leading-edge thinkers and global change-makers. For 12 years, her roster of designers, artists, futurists, and interdisciplinary experts has electrified audiences around the world.


Her roster includes artist and technologist James Bridle, Neil Harbisson (the world's first Cyborg), Designer Dr. Nelly Ben Hayoun, Speculative Architect Liam Young, Bas Van Abel (designer and founder of Fairphone, the world leader in sustainable smartphones), and author Jon Alexander. Propela has delivered keynotes for major tech companies such as Adobe, Google, Airbnb, Microsoft, prestigious institutions like the U.N., V&A, MoMA, renowned conferences like The Next Web, Websummit, Cannes Lions, and global corporations like Unilever, Lego, Kia, and Samsung. Deborah also curates events; she has curated for the V&A and collaborated with Cat Drew to curate the Design Council's inaugural COP2 conference in Dundee in 2021. Additionally, she organizes her own events, ReDesign Business and The Future Of_, both spotlighting the intersection of creativity and business.