Design Means Business (as Usual): an online design conference for these strange times

Where : Anywhere you happen to be

When: Any time you like


We are living in rather weird times, but if we as a design network can't respond to a global crisis, then we might as well give up.

So to inspire you if you're working from home, self isolating, or just need a little boost, we're bringing you Design Means Business (as Usual).

The Design Means Business conference has been held in Gateshead since 2011 and features insiprational speakers from some of the worlds biggest and best design-led companies, sharing the value and benefits of design to businesses and the wider community.

We've compiled over twenty presentations filmed between 2011 and 2017, featuring senior designers from companies including Nokia, Microsoft, Philips, Aston Martin, Hasbro, Mars and many more.

So sit back, put your feet up and prepare to be inspired, informed and entertained by some of the most fascinating people you'll ever meet.

Speakers include:

Sir Richard Needham, Senior Independent Director, Dyson.

Richard touches on the problems facing innovation and the value of design in business. Using examples from the rebuilding of Belfast, and the growth of Dyson, he explores innovation as a philosophy rather than a tool.

Richard Heayes, Global Design Director, Hasbro

The Importance of Design to Create a Strong Product Identity. Richard also gives an insight into the origins of some of Hasbro's best loved games, including Monopoly and Jenga

Marek Reichman, Director of Design, Aston Martin

Marek tells fascinating stories and gives insights into one of the most beautiful cars in the world, it's famous friends and the design elements that make it truly timeless.

Will King, Founder, King of Shaves

Product Design to Access New Markets. Will shares the story of his business, and how he took on the mighty Gillette with his Azor razor. 

Alistair Curtis, Offficial, (formerly Design Director, Nokia)

Alistair gives his take on the importance of an innovation culture in embedding design in business.

Ignacio Germade, former Head of Design, Motorola

Design, Vision and Innovation

Amanda Jennings, Innovation Director, Mamas and Papas

Asking Bigger Questions for Greater Growth. Amanda talks about how they engaged with their customers in a new, deeper way in order to build a new service business for Mamas amd Papas.

Supply Chain North East sees four key partners joining forces to work with over 800 businesses between 2018-2021 supporting businesses to identify opportunities in new and existing markets. An integral part of the North East Growth Hub, Supply Chain North East is delivered across the region by RTC North, Generator, North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) and North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC). Supply Chain North East is receiving up to £3,148,514 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.