Meet the Team
Esko has been called by turns ‘a heretic’ and ‘a visionary leader with a social conscience’. Over his career he has spent time in the military, as a theatre director, in cultural administration, as a local government officer, and various hacking disciplines.
His current practice was prototyped during his architecture of the Monmouthshire Intrapreneurship School as part of the Nesta Creative Councils innovation programme, and is further being refined through innovation work with a range of clients including housing associations, the Cabinet Office, and city governments around the UK.
Drawing from a range of intellectual resources from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA) to Aalto University (Finland) and collaborative practice in international networks, he is developing tools, methods and processes that help organisations undergo radical change. If you need to understand how the confluence of complex adaptive systems, peer based modes of production, agile development, user centred design, culture transformation and radical innovation matter to the survival of your organisation, you may just want to invite him for lunch…
Jo is co founder of The Satori Lab. She worked in the public and private sector before setting up The Satori Lab with Esko in 2013.
Having worked in local government, Jo knows what it’s like being a cog in the wheel of a large traditional organisation. In the past, Jo was a Chartered Surveyor, running a team of valuers and estate managers in local government. Participating in the Intrapreneurship Programme at Monmouthshire County Council ignited in her a real passion for innovation and service design. “When you put users at the heart of what you do, decisions become easy.” Jo's experience includes community development, design and facilitation of participatory workshops on service design and innovation and organising unconferences.
Jo has worked in partnership with many local authorities, housing associations and other third sector organisations to help them to put users at the heart of what they do. Jo is also one of the first in the UK to use Strategizer’s new Culture Mapping tool and it's originator, Dave Gray describes her and Esko as “the most advanced in Europe that are currently doing culture mapping".
She is one of those people who you can rely on to get a job done. When she says she’ll do something, you may as well consider it done. She dislikes fluffy language and jargon.
Ben is a communications and community development professional with a particular interest in digital technology and data. He has worked for local authorities in England and Wales as well as managing a UK-wide community sustainability programme.
He focuses on the interface between culture, data and digital technology. He draws on a long experience of leading successful change programmes in public value organisations and his current work with private, public and third sector organisations supporting them to make better use of their data.
As well as his wide ranging technical and scientific training Ben is a skilled communicator (a Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations) and facilitator. He specialises in facilitating and supporting stakeholder dialogue and consensus building events.
He leads on technical and data aspects of Satori Lab projects.
Ben is actively involved in the digital humanitarian movement and is a core team member of the Standby Task Force (a global crisis mapping movement). The Standby Task Force uses cutting edge digital tools to improve the response to disasters by ensuring responders have timely and accurate information.
He has experience as a non-executive director in housing and as a charity trustee. He is also an Associate of the BrightSpace Foundation.
Michelle joins us from her brand agency which she has run for 12 years. In 2012 she trained as a service designer, following which she founded Insight Service Design, the first dedicated service design agency in Wales. The USP of the company was the approach, which puts people at the heart of innovation.
Michelle is an experienced facilitator of seminars, workshops, training and toolkits for business innovation, brand and service design. She uses qualitative customer research and insight to successfully transform products, services, systems and entire organisations. Over the last four years she has developed a core suite of service design tools that form the basis of her service design work.
Her experience in service design combined with business acumen in the private, public and third sectors has provided her with a steady stream of recent clients, including NatWest (RBS), Companies House, Caerphilly and Torfaen Councils and Monmouthshire Housing Association.
Michelle is currently a business coach for the Accelerated Growth Program for Welsh Government and has been:
• Consultant for European and Welsh design policy development at PDR
• Executive Associate of Cardiff Business School (for Service Design)
• Board member and previous Vice Chair of Caerphilly Business Forum
• Steering committee member for The ION Leadership Program
If you’re in the mood for a laugh and have 5 minutes to spare, you can catch her Ignite Talk here.