Design Leadership - from the creative studios to the corporate world with Juliana Proserpio

Episode: 033

Design Thinking has been helping companies overcome obstacles, improve customer service and get a competitive advantage by focusing on creativity and collaboration. As we navigate through rapid and big changes, the emerging role of the Design Leader is a necessity in bringing together unique perspectives from across the globe to create a powerful collective brain that leads to optimal solutions.

Join our host, Michael Banks and Juliana Proserpio, co-Founder and Chief Design Officer of ECHOS (a global innovation lab, as they delve into the emerging role of Design Thinking in creating a desired vision of the future that includes all stakeholders.

It is a tool to navigate change and requires 1) Empathy, 2) Creativity and 2) Imagination. A successful Design Leader knows how to facilitate the process of “changing existing conditions into preferred ones”.

Design Leaders recognise the importance of diversity and know how to manage healthy and necessary conflict by creating psychological safety. A diverse team spanning the globe and using technology to work together online is able to realize the ‘desired’ future far more effectively than having the team working in person in a more localised and homogenised stakeholder group..

Juliana describes the ‘Four Degrees of Naturality’ and why humanity is now faced with the challenge of the fourth degree in which machines create the future. Design thinking is transitioning into ‘generative design’ where humans provide the input and machines produce the output.

By 2030 design will be more and more about “layers upon layers of abstraction” and in this context the role of Design Leaders will become increasingly central to the future of organisations and society as a whole as Human Centered Design evolves into Life Centered Design.

If you are business leader and you think design thinking will be important in your organisation’s future, you should listen to this episode to understand how the role of a Design Leader will serve both your company and your customers, so that no matter what kind of problems come your way next, you’ll be prepared to solve them.


Juliana Proserpio is the co-founder and Chief Design Officer of ECHOS, a global innovation lab and over the last 11 years, Juliana has worked to develop an innovation ecosystem in APAC & Latin America to foster the power of design for desirable futures.

Today we will be hearing from Juliana about the emerging world of design leadership and how it is rapidly becoming vital to the future success of companies and, indeed, society as a whole

Juliana was responsible for creating the first Google News Initiative Design Accelerator in 2019 in the Asia Pacific, and later designed and implemented the GNI Startup Labs in Brazil, and in India. She also led innovation projects with Worksafe in Australia (helping them design their future vision for 2048) and is currently leading a Design Accelerator for the House and Property Department (NSW Government).

As an educator, the ECHOS School of Design thinking has already helped to shape 40.000 + innovators, and is currently in the vanguard of design education with a global program on design leadership, bringing the best designers and innovators into the same room.

As a thought leader, Juliana is a columnist at the MIT Sloan Management Review, as well as a columnist for Epoca Negocios (business magazine in Brazil). As a speaker, Juliana has participated in events such as the Global Innovation Summit in San Jose – California, TEDxMaua in São Paulo, and the Sydney Design Festival.

Juliana is also a content producer in her field of design and innovation, writing e-books such as “The Power of Design”, “The role of innovation during a pandemic”, The Design Thinking toolkit, and pioneering a podcast called Desired.

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