and who is this then?
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Hello – My name is Mario.
Future-proofing businesses through design since 1994.
Connect with me on LinkedIn
Unconventional
by design
I am a designer/strategist. Speaker/workshop facilitator. Author. Mentor. Advocate.
My name is Mario Van der Meulen. I am a rare breed; a graphicdesignosaurus. You see, I graduated in Graphic Design before computers ruled the world. For the past 25+ years, I’ve purpose-built myself to innovate for businesses. I am originally from Belgium but have worked in Asia this entire century, having moved to Shanghai in 2000 and relocated to Singapore in 2013.

In 2012 I was named 'One of Fifty Innovation Design Pioneers in China' by CBN Weekly. Blending design, research and strategy, I shape the now, near and next for brands to excel in current cultures – and in the rapidly unfolding future. My touchstone is responsible design – creating value for people, business, and society. How we craft thoughtful, empathetic acts of design that have a positive impact on people, the businesses that serve them, and the environments that hold them. To have technology work on human terms. So we create a future that will be more human by tech, not less because of it.

In our design-by-humans-for-humans world, I lead a process where each participant can find the right conversation, the right advice, the right mind-meld, at the right time for the right reasons. Enhancing decision velocity for teams, agency and clients. In short, I facilitate how people come together, work together, create together and potentially change the world together.
Design is conversation
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What I envision, define or design is shaped by the conversations I can and cannot have. Constructive conversation is one of humanity’s first and most powerful tools. Conversations built our first communities and helped emerging civilization progress. Public discourse was the foundation of democracy and has been the underpinning of all aspects of government and governance throughout history. And whatever we may feel about our handheld devices and pinging social media accounts, technological “progress” arose from constructive conversations. Creative collaboration was what put humans on the moon and what still keeps us in the digital ether.

Yes, the irony of writing this monologue about the importance of dialogue does not escape me. However, given so much of my work is based on the back and forth exchange of ideas and decisions, it’s not surprising that dialogue is at the center of my efforts. Dialogues build collaborative relationships, and great relationships yield great results.

How do we design better conversations in the practice– and in service– of human centred design? I can think of no more important role for a designer.

“Counterintuitivity” Making meaningful innovation —
Innovation has become a lazy industry word. In my first book ”Counterintuitivity”, I propose nine counterintuitive principles to serve as a catalyst for meaningful innovation and design action, with aim to inspire positive changes in our tech-driven world and put humans at the center of our decision-making.

Click here for free chapters and bonus principles

Click here to order on Amazon
People ignore design that ignores people
Frank Chimero

This is the reason I jump out of bed in the morning. I’ve been fortunate in my career to have worked at agencies that partner with brands who reach millions of people, but even if my design proposals help one or two people, that is a good outcome for me. I've previously worked at frog design Shanghai, LPK, and foolproof - and ran my own studio in Shanghai, called SGTH.

I currently work as Head of CX Design & Strategy for TribalWorldwide Singapore (part of the DDB group).

Recent Keynote
"Lead and align to the new normal”— UXIndia 2020
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Book me to speak —
Keynote, Lightning Talk, Workshop, Panel

I am regularly asked to speak and facilitate collaborative sessions on Creativity, Sustainability, Innovation, UX, Change Management and the Design Mindset. I have delivered over 150 speeches and sessions in over 18 countries on 4 continents.

My talks have been on stage at UXPA, UXIndia, UXSEA, TedX, IXDA, DesignUp and SXSW. I've spoken at institutions like Singapore Poly, NUS, the universities of Shanghai and Beijing, and the British American Business Council. And I've had the honor and pleasure to deliver keynote sessions for brands such as Orange, P&G, Google and Disney.

To enquire about my availability, topics or programs, connect with me on LinkedIn

“By understanding people I craft human-centred design to help businesses thrive in a connected world, have people make sense of everything, and have tech work on human terms” —