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Michael Thomson

CEO, Design Connect


Michael is the Founder and Director of Design Connect which he established in London in 1995 to work at a strategic level with design consultancy clients, in-house design teams and companies across a number of sectors utilising design.

A former Executive Board Member of Icsid for two terms, and inaugural Design Ambassador to Japan, Michael also served as President of BEDA from 2007-2009. During this time, he led the successful approach to the European Commission to introduce design into the European Innovation strategy for the first time in 2010. This led to the establishment of the Commission’s European Design Innovation Initiative unlocking some €8million EU funding for design.

Michael has extensive experience of design-led innovation across the globe and is well connected to Europe, in addition to having good networks in Asia and South America. He is well known and respected by the Commission and the Design Industry across Europe and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Brighton in 2014 in recognition of his services to design.