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Student Showcase Archive
RCA talks

Design.Different Week – Creative Leaders Circle: A call to Action

16 October 2020 | 4pm – 5.30pm


Part of the Design.Different Week organised by The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design.

The Creative Leaders Circle (CLC) is a coming together of people across all ages, abilities, genders, cultures, job titles and so forth, to envisage, enact and enable new models and pathways for global leadership. Creative Leadership is not just a strategy, or an abstract concept. It’s a transformational and inclusive process for everyone to contribute, participate and apply in their life and work. 

Join us on Fri 16th October for a session filled with diverse voices and perspectives and hear Rama Gheerawo’s previously untold story about bringing together the three values of empathy, clarity and creativity! 

The Creative Leaders Circle was born from a shared need for action by all who have benefitted from our model, experiential learning and practice over the last decade. This is your time to join in! We do not want to define leadership, we want to open-source it.

Rama Gheerawo, Director, HHCD 
Melanie Flory, Founding Director, MindRheo
Christopher Patnoe, Head of Accessibility, Google
Irene Mbari-Kirika, Founder and Executive Director, inABLE
Ninela Ivanova, Innovation Fellow, HHCD 
Ivelina Gadzehva, Inclusive Design Researcher 

Rama Gheerawo, Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design
Rama is an international and inspirational figure within design. He is a serial innovator in the fields of Inclusive Design, Design Thinking and Creative Leadership having personally led over 100 projects working internationally with governments, business, academia and the third sector. He won a ‘Hall of Fame’ award for his work at the Design Week Awards in 2019 and was named a 2018 Creative Leaders by Creative Review alongside Paul Smith and Björk. Empathy is at the heart of his practice. As Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, he uses design to address society’s toughest issues from ageing and healthcare, to ability and diversity. He looks at how to instigate positive change in individuals and organisations through personal research in Creative Leadership, with workshops delivered globally to thousands of people including 700 civil servants. He is in high demand as a keynote speaker, writes, curates exhibitions and runs workshops for audiences that range from students to business executives. Rama advises major institutions such as the UK Design Council, the Design Museum, the Royal Society of Arts and the Design Management Institute.

Dr Melanie Flory, Founding Director, MindRheo
Melanie Flory is Founding Director of MindRheo, a consultancy intersecting neuroscience, design and systems thinking to develop people-centred business and cultural architecture for organisations-in-change. Prior to MindRheo, Melanie’s academic and clinical career involved working in multi-disciplinary teams across EMEA and USA, specialising in brain plasticity and human behaviour. With a research background in neuroconnectivity, she continues to collaborate and partner with academia and organisations to research and co-design educational content, and product and services for optimising and activating neuroplasticity to enable new learning and behavioural change.  She has been neuroscience partner to The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design since 2018.

Christopher Patnoe, Head of Accessibility Programs, Google
Christopher Patnoe leads Google's efforts around the accessibility of product, people (both Googler and end users) and partnerships. He has more than twenty years experience in Tech, working at companies like Apple, Sony Ericsson and Disney where he's built hardware, software and services. His current passion is Accessibility at the intersection of immersive technologies (AR/VR) and consumer hardware. He is the chair for the Immersive Captions Community Group with the W3C and also sits on the Board of Trustees for the American Foundation for the Blind. Christopher has a degree in Music from U.C. Berkeley.

Irene Mbari-Kirika, Founder and Executive Director, inABLE
Irene Mbari-Kirika founded inABLE in 2009, and serves as Executive Director.  inABLE’s mission is truly “visionary,” because it empowers blind and visually impaired students in Africa through technology.  Due to Irene’s ability to form strategic relationships, inABLE is a leader in inclusive education, accessible computer skills training, and assistive technology research.  Irene’s leadership has created technology-powered special-educational environments to improve the lives of marginalized youth in Africa. Her recent venture, Technoprise Consulting, is a next-generation tech inclusion global company. Technoprise employs people with disabilities who provide digital accessibility services to public and private sector companies around the world. Irene holds a Global Master’s of Arts, International Affairs, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University in Massachusetts, USA. In recognition of her many accomplishments in service to Kenya, Irene was awarded the Order of the Grand Warrior of Kenya in 2016 by the Kenyan government.

Dr Ninela Ivanova
Dr Ninela Ivanova is an Innovation Fellow at The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design (HHCD) at London’s Royal College of Art. She is an interdisciplinary designer, researcher and facilitator, who is passionate about working co-creatively with individuals and groups to educate and inspire audiences towards people-centred design, innovation, and transdisciplinary collaboration. Ninela leads HHCD’s Inclusive Design for Business Impact area, which looks at how the methods, tools and processes of Inclusive Design, Design Thinking and Creative Leadership can directly impact and transform business and industry.

Ivelina Gadzheva
Ivelina has a Master’s degree in Inclusive Design from Mid Sweden University and an extended hands-on experience in delivering training for professionals, business and non-government organisations on how to use design for social innovation and business transformation. 

Ivelina consults public and private sectors on how to expand their innovation capacity and add value by developing a deep understanding of people-centered design approaches and qualitative research. She is the founder of Design for All Bulgaria Foundation, which is a member organisation of Design for All Europe, and the co-founder of Service Design Network chapter Bulgaria, member of the Global Service Design Network. Ivelina educates and inspires individuals and groups how to use human diversity to create social inclusion and develop sustainable solutions. 

Watch a recording here
HHCD Resources page for other outputs