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DesignEuropa Talks Speakers


Kari Kivinen
Observatory, European Union Intellectual Property Office


PhD Kari Kivinen, the Education Outreach Expert of EUIPO Observatory. He leads the Intellectual Property in Education project and Network to encourage and enhance creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and responsible digital engagement among young Europeans.


Christian Guellerin
Former President of Cumulus, The Global Association of Art and Design Education and Research. Executive Director of L’École de design Nantes Atlantique


Christian Guellerin (born August 9, 1961 in France) is the Executive Director of L’École de design Nantes Atlantique since 1998. The school has become one of the French and international references in design and innovation education. It has 1,650 students in France and several branches abroad (Shangai, Pune, São Paulo, Montréal and Cotonou). The institution has grown significantly under his leadership, striving to professionalize design studies and facilitate interactions between research, business and society at large.

Christian Guellerin is Honorary president of Cumulus, the largest international association of universities and schools of design, art and media. The association includes 340 international institutions on 5 continents. Its headquarter is in Helsinki. He is president of France Design Education, an association of design schools whose purpose is to promote design and applied arts as training, creation, innovation and research activities.

Since July 2018, Christian Guellerin is the Honorary President of the Chinese French designer’s association. He speaks at numerous conferences in France and abroad about design, strategy and innovation management. He is the author of numerous articles on design and pedagogy in France and abroad. In 2015 and 2016, he was one of the 50 personalities who make innovation in France according to the magazine “Usine Nouvelle”. In 2016, Christian Guellerin was named Knight of the National Order of Merit.


Isabelle Vérilhac
Head of International Affairs and Innovation, Cité du design, Saint-Étienne, France BEDA President. Focal point Saint-Étienne UNESCO City of Design


Isabelle Vérilhac holds a Post-Diploma in design & research, a Doctorate in material chemical physics, and gives lectures in industrial design. She was the director of the Saint-Étienne Medical Technologies Cluster from 2003 to 2007, and has worked in design, medical research and development activities.

For 12 years she has been in charge of the relations with economic stakeholders at the Cité du design Saint-Étienne. She created and set up the materials resource center, the innovative uses and practices labs (LUPI®) and the Design Creative City Living Lab of the Cité du design. She coordinated the European Project IDeALL (Integrating Design for All in Living Labs), that combined design and user-centered Living Labs methodologies, and one of the first design program funded by the European Commission in 2012. She’s in charge of the development and the management of projects for economic, territorial, societal projects. Since the beginning of 2019, Isabelle has been the International Manager and Coordinator of Saint-Étienne UNESCO City of Design and, as a member for some years of the Board of The Bureau of European Design Associations (BEDA) she was elected President in May 2021.


Chris Basias
Founder, CT Lights


Chris Basias is a product designer, specializing in lighting.

In 2012 he founded his studio based in Athens, Greece. There he designs, produces and globally distributes his handcrafted lights, bespoke or custom made lighting pieces and lighting installations. He also manufactures on site all his prototypes. He has a passion for the creative process and loves getting involved in production.

The studio is supported by a talented network of manufacturers and a number of other specialist workshops who are experts in the process of producing handmade artifacts.His well considered designs are original and minimal and are characterized by simple lines and geometric forms that create abstract forms at first sight, however each design represents something.

His designs often hint at an eccentric and romantic ideal, with an element of playfulness. Some of his designs invite interaction, others highlight the nature of the materials used as well as gravity and balance. Most of his creations are sculptural and have a symmetry based on the golden ratio. Each hand-made piece has a story to tell, beauty and emotion underpinning the innovative craftsmanship.


Gemma Tost
Editorial and creative director, On Diseño magazine


Since 2005, Gemma Tost has been the Editorial Manager of On Diseño magazine, one of the most prestigious Spanish architecture and design publications. Based in Barcelona, On Diseño is characterized by its independent editorial content that has transformed the magazine into a benchmark in the culture of Spanish design over the last thirty eight years.

Gemma Tost has been a member of the Board of Directors of ADI-FAD (Association of Industrial Designers). After working for the Italian company Miroglio (Vestebene group) as a printed fabric designer, she worked in different fields related to design and has written several articles about industrial design, interiors, arts and fashion.

Gemma Tost studied Fashion Design at the EATM (Barcelona) and the Winchester School of Art (UK), followed by a Postgraduate in Fashion Communication and Journalism at IDEC (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona) and a Postgraduate in Business Studies by the University of Barcelona.


Päivi Tahkokallio
CEO, Tahkokallio Design+


Päivi Tahkokallio is the Founder and CEO of Tahkokallio Design+, a strategic design agency operating from the Arctic north in Finland.

With her track record in strategic and social design Päivi has been called the Mother of Arctic Design, a design approach to support sustainable development of the Arctic, more topical than ever at the time when Europe has set an objective to become climate neutral by 2050. We know now that the Arctic is warming four times faster than the rest of the world, and design is an effective tool for transformation, be it environ-mental or social.

Päivi is the past President of BEDA, Bureau of the European Design Associations with more than 50 mem-ber organisations in close to 30 across Europe, closing her term in 2021. As President Päivi was leading the design policy work in Europe, with climate change, digitalisation and values as key topics, especially relevant in BEDA’s input related to the New European Bauhaus initiative, an initiative with a stronger co-design approach than ever before in the European Commission’s history.

Päivi has acted as a jury member of international design competitions, with Compasso d’Oro, DesignEuro-pa, German Design Award, Taiwan International Student Design Awards, The One Show and Turkey De-sign Awards amongst them.

Päivi is Fellow of Royal Society of Arts in the UK, FRSA, and a Committee Member of Arctic Society of Finland.


Luisa Bocchietto
Founder, Luisa Bocchietto Studio di Architettura e Design


Luisa Bocchietto graduated in Architecture at the Politecnico in Milano in 1985.At the same time she obtained the IED certificate - Milano for architectural interiors. Since then, with her own studio, she works both for public and private clients. She has carried out local projects focusing on development, urban renewal, residential construction, furniture, events.

She has curated exhibitions on design, as “Dcome design” (Turin, Orta - Italy, Alexandria-Egypt), “Pop Design” (Caraglio-Italy), “Compasso d'Oro Award” (Lima-Peru’, Bogotà - Colombia, Brussels - Belgium), Design and Sustainability (Berlin 2019). Recently she curated “SustainabItaly” at the Wolfsonian Museum in Miami USA (2021-2022).

She is invited like a lecturer in numerous conferences in Italy and abroad (Milan, Turin, Rome, Shenzhen, Ningbo, Berlin, Mexico City, Shanghai, Nairobi, Taipei, Lille, Valencia). Jury member in many international awards (IF, Red Dot, Interzum, Europe Design Award, Szidf, Golden Pin Design Award, CIDI Iberoamericana Interior Design, TIDA -Taipei International Design Award, POC Lille WDC 2020 France, Grand Prix du Design Canada, CGA – China. Scientific Coordinator of the Design Week in Turin in 2017. Ambassador for IDD - Italian Design Day in the world for the Italian Ministry of foreign affairs in 2017 in Barcellona, 2018 in Berlin, 2019 in Montreal, 2021 in Vancouver.

She has been President of ADI, the Industrial Design Association in Italy (2008-2014). Board member of ICSID from 2013, actually WDO - World Design Organization. She became President of WDO - World Design Organization (term 2017/2019). Actually she is Senator of WDO.

Actually she is part of the Advisors Committee for Valencia World Design Capital 2022 and part of the Scientific Committee for the Candidacy of the “Italian art cooking” at the Unesco.


Robin Edman
Founder, Robin Edman Innovation


Robin Edman is an independent strategic design consultant, working through his own company, Robin Edman Innovation. He is the former President of the Bureau of European Design Associations (BEDA) 2015-2017 and served as Chief Executive of SVID, the Swedish Industrial Design Foundation, between 2001 and 2017. He holds a degree in industrial design from Rhode Island School of Design, and joined AB Electrolux Global Design organisation in 1981. In parallel, he also started his own design consultancy, which he ran for the next eight years.

In 1989 Robin joined the North American operation of Electrolux, serving as Vice-President of Industrial Design for the Frigidaire Company. During this period, he started and ran the Electrolux Global Concept Design Team, to forecast future user needs. Throughout Robin’s entire career he has worked towards integrating a better understanding of the importance of design from a user perspective. In 1997 Robin moved back to Stockholm as Vice President of Electrolux Global Design. He has served on the board, and been treasurer of, the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid).


Borislava Woodford
Policy Analyst, New European Bauhaus Initiative, European Commission


Ms Borislava Woodford is a Policy Analyst at the New European Bauhaus Initiative Team run under the auspices of the President of the European Commission Mrs Ursula von der Leyen.

She has over 12 years of experience in the field of EU structural and investment funds in several different units of the EU Commission’s Directorate for Regional and Urban Development, focusing on working with local and regional authorities on EU funds project management and financial instruments engineering.

Previously, Borislava had a short stint in the Cabinet of Corina Cretu, former Commissioner for regional policy and was part of the team negotiating the European Regional Development Fund Regulation for 2021-2027 in the European Council and Parliament.

That builds on her previous experience of a decade in the private sector working for PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young Consultants in London, Paris and Brussels in their Tax and Legal Departments.

A former member of the UK’s ‘’Association of Tax Technicians’, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Financial Services and Spanish from London Metropolitan University and a Masters’ degree in European Integration and Development at University of VUB and Solvay Business School in Brussels.


Nathan Wajsman
Observatory, European Union Intellectual Property Office


Born in Wrocław, Poland and a dual Polish/Danish national, Nathan Wajsman was educated at the University of Aarhus in Denmark and later undertook graduate studies in the USA, earning a PhD in Economics from the University of Florida and an MBA from Temple University in Philadelphia.

Dr. Wajsman was named Chief Economist of the EUIPO in May 2011. He has been with the agency since 2007, previously working in Finance and Quality Management. His team carries out economic research focusing on the role of IP in the European economy, as well as studies of infringement of IP rights and its economic consequences.

Prior to joining the Office, he spent 20 years working in the private sector. A stint as a forecasting analyst at an electric utility in Florida was followed by a career in telecommunications and finance industries in the USA and several European countries, including positions with AT&T in the USA and Belgium, Swiss Reinsurance Company in Zurich, and Claranet Benelux, a managed hosting and internet service provider in the Netherlands.


Hannie van Iersel
Head of Trademark & Design, Philips


I started with Royal Philips about 28 years ago as a software designer in the medical field holding a Masters in Computer Science from Eindhoven University of Technology.

I joined the Intellectual Property and Standards (IP&S) department in 2000 and worked as a Dutch and European Patent attorney in a diversity of technical fields like: televisions, domestic appliances, medical image processing, defibrillators, patient vital signs monitoring etc. Always with a strong focus upon the digital aspects thereof and exploring the best way to protect and create value for Philips’ intellectual property rights through patents, designs and trademarks.

Since September I am heading the Trademark and Design department of IP&S, including a team of specialist from Europe, China, India, Japan and the US to further strengthen the Philips IP portfolio.


Wojciech Radomski
CEO & Co-Founder, Stethome


Strategy and business project leader with more than 15 years of business-IT experience. Innovator, visioner, successfully launched and managed Software House and currently, Wojciech is focused on developing StethoMe®, which is about to revolutionize healthcare.

He works great in a team, the idea which he is convinced about becomes his passion, which he is fully devoted to. When it comes to the quality of products, he does not like compromises. He is interested in things, which are crucial socially and advanced technologically.

Privately, he likes challenges that build his character - Vice-champion of Polish ATV Cup, marathoner, triathlete, Enduro rider. He sees potential in people, and he knows how to develop it.


Niels Marcus Pedersen
CEO, Marcus Pedersen


Niels Marcus Pedersen is the CEO for the Danish industrial design company Marcus Pedersen, specialized in designing, developing, and manufacturing products and furniture for airports.

Niels holds an MSc Eng. in Operations and Supply Chain Management and a Ba in Mechanical Engineering from Aalborg University, Denmark. He has held management positions within several companies such as the Danish design company Vipp and the furniture company Paustian.

In the past, Niels has lived in Shanghai where he was part of a furniture start-up, but he is now back living in Denmark. The family-owned Marcus Pedersen was established in 1908 and has from 2013 been developed from industrial carpenters to industrial designers focusing on airports. Marcus Pedersen has won several design prices; among others the DesignEurope Awards 2018.


Anna Szonyi
Founder, Studio Anna Szonyi


Anna Szonyi began her career studying fine art, architecture and furniture design at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest, the school of Erno Rubik (the creator of the Rubik's cube). Upon graduating from the Department of Architecture Anna moved to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where she has spent 12 years working as an architect and design manager. Her professional experience ranges from designing bespoke furniture and small scale architectural projects, like high end villas, to managing the design of new cities and large scale master plans.

Between 2017 and 2019 she ran a design gallery and design studio in Dubai Design District: AR. Gallery + Studio.

In 2019 she shifted back her focus on furniture design, architecture and interior design projects and currently works between Dubai, Budapest and Bali.

When she designs her aim is to create beautiful, unique, functional spaces and objects by theoretical research and experimentation with systems, forms and materials. Her work is based on an idea-driven design methodology which allows the final concept to be original, aesthetically stunning, intelligently designed works that function well and that people enjoy. She designed the IDO bench, manufactured by French urban furniture maker Aubrilam, which was a finalist design in the Small and Emerging Companies category at the DesignEuropa Awards 2016.


Mar Portillo
Operations Department, European Union Intellectual Property Office


Mar Portillo examined her first Registered Community Design Application in her early twenties, back in 2007. After working in other areas for a few years, she came back to the Designs area of the EUIPO in 2013 and has steadily worked as a Design Examiner ever since, which has allowed her to develop a great expertise in this area. In addition, for the past two years she has been actively involved in cross-departmental projects that seek to understand how the EUIPO tools and processes are perceived by its customers in order to enhance the EUIPO user experience.


Marco Bozzola
Founder and CEO Relio Labs


Marco Bozzola is the owner and designer of Relio². He defines himself as an inventor, product engineer and full-stack developer. He is passionate about reverse-engineering, teaching and project management and has a degree in IT Security.

Bozzola has been working on LED solid-state-lighting since 2012. Among his products are scientific illuminators, optical collimation systems (which accurately adjust the line of sight) and automotive hardware devices.


Carolin Kunert
Founder and CEO, Knister


Carolin Kunert studied industrial design at Munich University of Applied Sciences, as well as studying at the University of Southern Denmark. She wanted to develop long-lasting, innovative, local, affordable products and in the winter of 2017 founded Knister Grill in Munich.

At Knister Grill she leads the product development team and is responsible for management and sales. Since 2020, Carolin has been on the Forbes 30 under 30 list and is one of Europe’s aspiring young business founders.


Franco Caimi
CEO, Caimi Brevetti


Franco Caimi is the CEO of Caimi Brevetti, one of the leading manufacturers of design furniture, accessories and acoustic systems for the workspace and contract markets. He is Member of the Board of ADI Design Museum in Milan and Member of Jury of Design. He has been the Coordinator of the Companies Department of ADI (Association for the Industrial Design) and Ambassador of the Italian Design. Caimi Brevetti is a leading company in design innovation; the firm’s products have been displayed in museums and in design exhibitions in Italy and around the world. The company has won many awards since its foundation in 1949, including three Compasso d’Oro awards. Caimi Brevetti won the DesignEuropa Award 2016 in the Small and Emerging Companies category.


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