Aleksandr is an enthusiastic explorer of anything that concerns layouts on the Web. Considerable experience in digital design has built his interests that lie in between technology, organisation, and design. Having spent many years in teaching what he’s passionate about to university students, Aleksandr has also worked with numerous clients as a web designer and front end developer. His particular focus now is on design systems, though he still likes to tinker around and push good old CSS to the limit. He’s also a strong proponent of usability and accessibility in both UIs and physical environments.
Axel has built accelerators and innovation departments focusing on new products and their business models e.g. from the inside for the biggest global insurance company and outside for the second largest investment company, FinTechs and successfully for his own startup ventures. He heads innovation programs with the aim to establish a human-centered, interdisciplinary process that creates desirable and sustainable changes in behavior and form – of individuals, systems and organizations – often for socially progressive outcomes. Design, in his experience, is about applying contextual skills in non-traditional territories, which then yield non-traditional, creatively designed outputs; i.e., new roles, new organizations, new systems, and disruptive business models can be formed.As a true “hybrid” he holds an degree in Engineering, a Master of Fine Arts, and an Executive MBA from China, Japan and the US. He lectures at programs like Google’s Digital Academy or currently at the Pi School for Artificial Intelligence in Rome and is part of the Singularity University in Silicon Valley.
Birgit is an interaction designer in Trinidad Wiseman, a company focusing on UX-design and software development. She is creating user-friendly webpages that are created using different qualitative research methods. One of the main tools Birgit uses in her work is web prototyping, which helps to validate different ideas to ensure that they meet real user needs.
Christina is the founder and Managing Director of Miltton Sparks Oy. She holds a Ph.D. in Marketing from Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki, Finland and is a trained leadership coach. Christina has 12 years of managerial experience and has worked with leadership development and executive education since 2001. She works with international leadership and organizational development projects for many Finnish and Nordic leading companies. Her passion is leadership development that aims to increase performance, while improving both - customer and employee experiences. Christina has worked as the CEO at Hanken & SSE Executive Education Ab, as Business Unit Director at TNS Gallup Oy and as researcher and partnership manager at Hanken School of Economics. She is currently a board member of Aktia Bank Ltd, Antti Ahlström Perilliset Oy, and Stiftelsen för Svenska Handelshögskolan.
Helelyn Tammsaar is the CEO of the Centre for Applied Anthropology in Estonia. She tries to find a healthy balance between filling her administrative duties versus doing fieldwork - for the latter is the true calling of every anthropologist. The way how each project opens a door to a completely new world, how you can connect and earn the trust of strangers and be part of their lifeworld, is an exceptionally exhilarating experience. Anthropological methods continue to amaze her in how they always widen and shift the perspectives, bring forth hidden nuances and disprove widely accepted assumptions. Anthropology is not so much as a profession, but a way of seeing, experiencing and comprehending the world around us. It offers a deeper understanding of human behaviour and cultural diversity, but also the skills to translate and communicate these findings to others.
Helen is a partner and head of service design / user experience in Nortal. She has created user experience for both public and private sector products. Besides that, she has been a part of many different startups and given her input to their appearance and functioning. She is working globally currently with companies in US, Germany, Finland, Estonia and Emirates.
Helleka Koppel is the co-founder and Research Manager of the Center for Applied Anthropology of Estonia. She graduated from the University of Tartu with an M.A. degree in ethnology. Over the last four years, she has mostly been working on the applied field of anthropology coordinating and conducting research projects in both the public and private sector and building up the Center. Being interested in organizational culture, UX-design and public policy she has also given lectures and seminars about anthropological methods and applied anthropology in different Estonian universities, as well as for public sector officials. Together with her colleagues at the CAAE, she hopes to build a bridge between academia and the “real life”. Helleka believes in qualitative research methods and their power to find out what people really do and need in their everyday life.
Margus is a Swiss-Swedish-Canadian-Estonian and a founding partner of Brand Manual. His main responsibility is the international growth of the Brand Manual as well as the continuous development of the process and tools of service design that Brand Manual applies daily to client projects. He is a frequent speaker at national and international branding and service design conferences as well as a lecturer at schools and universities. He has published numerous articles on the subject of branding and service design both in the press and on the Brand Manual blog and is the author of the book “How to have your cake and eat it too – an introduction to service design”. He is also the catalyst behind the global Service Design Award, which was launched in October 2015 in New York. He is a member of the board of the Swedish-Estonian Chamber of Commerce in Stockholm and a design mentor at the European Innovation Academy.
Jane is design thinking coach, initiator and curator of the Design Thinking Conference and founder of Design Minds. "I started believing in design thinking while leading the Estonian Design Center for 6 years. By conducting a number of design thinking and service design trainings, masterclasses and business and public sector innovation programs, I saw the change in peoples’ mindset. Applying the design thinking approach, innovative and more human centered solutions emerged! I saw a new purpose and drive in the eyes of the people developing them”.
Janno is a Design Lead and Partner at Velvet. He is saying about himself: "I am a Dad, a Hubby, a Son, a Brother, a Dyslexic and an Introvert! For more than 15 years I've been responsible for visual and functional harmony of various business development projects from web environments, information architecture, visual identities to service and business model design. I have been working with some of the most exciting clients on some of the most challenging cases. I have learned a lot, and taught a bit. I have received some awards and sat on a couple of juries. I believe, it is all about making sense, so... this is what I do and I do it well."
At his one-on-one coachings Kaido is convinced, that every personality can be developed and at his group-trainings he is certain that communication between different personalities can be learned. Kaido has been a fan of different personality types and DISC model for over 15 years by now. During this time he has done sales in USA, where he communicated with more than 20 000 people door-to-door; and he's been a consultant/trainer in Estonia, where he has done group-trainings for thousands of self-development enthusiasts and more than 900 one-on-one coachings to professionals with most different backgrounds and industries.
Kaja is a partner and service designer in design and software development company Proekspert. She has created user experience for both digital services and physical products. As her passion is to bring out the hidden potential of the people, she has initiated a creativity and design thinking course at Proekspert. The aim of the course, where theory is intertwined with playful tasks, is to bring design thinking to a strategic level in Proekspert.
Kristi is a trusted advisor with 20+ years of experience in the field of leadership and strategic communication. Her help is seeked during major changes, in developing strategies and when there is a need for clarity in chaos. Kristi's professional background has unique cornerstones in all three sectors of society. She has worked as a marketing and communication manager and advisor for many major Estonian and Scandinavian private and public sector companies. She has lead the Estonian Government's Communication Office and devoting her time and energy for the greater good, she has been one of the founders of various influential societal initiatives in Estonia. She is the initiator of the Arvamusfestival / Opinion Festival in 2013 - 2015 and the anti-bullying foundation Kiusamisvaba Kool seven years ago. Kristi is a valued communication coach and also member of the council of the independent think tank Praxis. Kristi loves hiking, practises yoga daily and labrador Emma is a very important member of her big family.
Kristine is a Graphic Designer at Nortal where she is responsible for creating brand materials. Her everyday work involves working side by side with the brand manager and the marketing & communication team. She is passionate about different papers and printing techniques, also how the usage of them can show business value. She also enjoys participating in hackatons where she can share her knowledge and pick up new ideas.
Leonore Riitsalu has been passionate about behavioral insights ever since learning about them on an OECD financial education conference in 2010. Leonore has participated and presented on several behavioral insights conferences (Behavioural Exchange 2015 & 2019, Behavioural Insights in Research and Policy Making, Research in Behavioural Finance Conference, Leveraging Behavioural Insights) and learned about conducting experiments for improving behavior in Harvard Behavioral Insights Group´s doctoral workshop. She has been lecturing in Financial Education and Behavioural Finance, and Behavioural Insights in Policymaking in the University of Tartu, and in Consumer Behaviour in the Estonian Business School. Her doctoral dissertation is entitled Books and Biases – the Explanation for Bounded Rationality in Managing Personal Finances. Leonore is a co-founder of MTÜ Rahatarkus, non-profit specializing in financial education.
Mari-Liis is a UI/UX designer. She is part of Nortal UX team where the main focus is on improving user experience of digital products and services and also creating new solutions from scratch. Her daily work mostly includes dealing with information system interfaces: analysing the situation, designing their visual appearance and testing how it works to create a better user experience.
In past 25 years I have consulted over 200 organizations with branding, packaging and communication issues, founded few creative companies and acted as a spokesperson for Estonian design industry. Today I share my time between designing digital services, lecturing and being a co-founder of few startup companies. My goal is to create new products and services that are aesthetically pleasing, easy to use and solve real life problems.
Päivi Hietanen is an architect (M.S.Arch) working as a City Design Manager for City of Helsinki. Päivi manages the Helsinki Lab that implements design thinking and supports city divisions in developing their services and customer experience. Päivi´s ambition is to use design to drive public sector transformation.
Steph is an independent strategist and researcher. She was most recently the Head of Research at digital agency Clearleft, where she helped companies and organisations build customer intelligence through combining design research with other disciplines. She previously led design research at the Telegraph and spearheaded European customer research with MailChimp. Currently, she is a senior researcher on contract at Google. In 20 years of working in the digital industry, Steph has worn many hats, including a product lead for a startup in digital publishing and a director of technology at a digital agency. She is also a regular speaker at conferences and guest lectures annually at the University of Greenwich. When not bound to a digital device, she makes things by hand, grows edible flowers and has a tendency to cook enough to feed a continent at a time. She now lives on her 4th continent on her 4th island in the UK.
After years of working in advertising as an Art Director, Tanel decided to dig deeper into branding and joined Nortal as a Brand Manager and Senior Graphics Designer. Today he is a part of the Nortal UX team and is working seamlessly with the Marketing Department. Having the knowledge from working with different clients and their brands in the past, he is well aware of the common do’s and dont’s in Brand Strategy. His daily work consists mostly of data visualisation, print design and marketing collateral. He’s also passionate about animation, architecture and interior design.