Brown Tim 217px bTim Brown is CEO and president of IDEO. He frequently speaks about the value of design thinking and innovation to business people and designers around the world. He participates in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and his talks Serious Play and Change by Design appear on TED.com.

An industrial designer by training, Tim has earned numerous design awards and has exhibited work at the Axis Gallery in Tokyo, the Design Museum in London, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He takes special interest in the convergence of technology and the arts, as well as the ways in which design can be used to promote the well-being of people living in emerging economies.

Tim advises senior executives and boards of Fortune 100 companies and has led strategic client relationships with such organizations as the Mayo Clinic, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, and Steelcase. He is a board member of the Mayo Innovation Advisory Council and the Advisory Council of Acumen Fund, a nonprofit global venture fund focused on improving the lives of the poor. Additionally, he writes for the Harvard Business Review, The Economist, and other prominent publications. His book on how design thinking transforms organizations, Change by Design, was released by HarperBusiness in September 2009.

20 responses to About

  1. Hi Tim. I’m writing from Creative Bloq (www.creativebloq.com), the design blog from the makers of Computer Arts magazine. We love your blog and I wondered if you’d fancy writing us a guest post – maybe an opinion piece like this – http://www.creativebloq.com/branding/discover-how-brands-can-beat-digital-autism-11121318

    We could provide links back to your site, some essential Google juice and lots of love from the professional designer community. Let me know your thoughts :)

  2. Alexandra Greenhill January 29, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    I am a co-founder and CEO of a startup in Canada called myBestHelper and a huge fan of your writing. (Also – am a volunteer school board trustee and just found your toolkit – excited to read it!).

    I was wondering of you have considered creating an email subscription to your blog as I would like to receive alerts when new posts are uploaded.

    Thank you, Alexandra

  3. Lennard Taylor June 10, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Hello Tim,

    I am a young designer who has never been formally trained. My main focus has been fashion design however my brain doesn’t seem to shut off. I am currently working on some innovative collaborations with Architects, new style bicycle design with my main focus being clothing design. I am currently in the CYBF program (Canadian Youth Business Foundation) for my fashion business, in this program you are appointed a mentor/adviser. After meeting several times over the past few months this adviser has labelled me an “idea” man, and has suggested I reach out to you for guidance. I am struggling to understand where and how to bring my ideas to market, perhaps working in an organization such as your is a good fit? Perhaps linking up with someone or some company to give my ideas to run with is best?

    I know that whatever I do I will continue to be passionate and positive about my path in life/design. Would you consider taking 5 minutes in your schedule to speak with me? I would GREATLY appreciate your insight into the world of design.

    Thank you very much and I hope you make it an amazing day,

  4. Rufus Blauert July 1, 2013 at 12:55 am


    I had found this video to the new theme “BioThinking”. Maybe you want to write about this one :)


  5. We are a Mexican speakers agency, looking to contact Tim Brown to give a lecture in Mexico city in November. We need to know his fee and his requirements.What would be the best way to get in touch?
    We look forward to hearing from you soon.

    thank you

  6. ( This question was meant for “The Next Big Thing In Design Is…” post) In regards to the question posed, I can say that I am not sure how design will evolve in the future. But I want to tell you how I think design SHOULD evolve. I believe that designers, or more aptly named: Inventors, should return to their roots. Instead of being influenced by economics where inventors will create things that will eventually become obsolete, so in turn the consumer is forced to purchase their newest “creation”. What inventors should do, like Tushar said, is design something that will last generations. I don’t believe that I need to list any items, but take a look around the room you are in now. If you really think about it, a lot of the inventions in the last few decades have been designed halfway. As much as I love Steve Jobs for his innovation, how many iPod’s have there been now? Unfortunately, people need to make a living so this continuation of obsolete products is necessary, without that factor I believe we as a people would be able to accomplish so much more. If anyone actually read this, thank you, I know this isn’t the most intellectual comment ever ( I am still in High School), but I do appreciate it. All my life I have loved innovation and wanted to change the world, but never had the platform to do it on. Getting to work at IDEO would be my dream job. But anyways, that’s my two cents, once again thanks.

  7. Hi Mr Brown,
    I’m an avid learner and practitioner of human centered design thinking, a product designer by education. I have been inspired on several occasions by IDEO and IDEO.org’s path breaking work in this domain. Having learnt several methods from IDEO’s HCD toolkit and the recent +Acumen course.

    I have recently started my own professional practise, and I had a question for you: Is the phrase “human-centered” IDEO’s intellectual property or can it be used by anyone to describe their work? Why I ask is, I’d like to call the work I do “human centric consulting”. Not that I’d like to make anything my intellectual property. I believe language must belong to everyone.

    Looking forward to a response,
    Thanking you,
    Adhirath Bali

  8. alexandrina dodsworth October 1, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Good afternoon,

    I am a final year student from Belfast, Northern Ireland currently studying design for visual communications/graphic design & illustration. Design is a huge passion of mine.

    I have a few quick questions and would be extremely appreciative and insightful to hear your thoughts on the broader topic of ‘Transforming design begins with transforming yourself’.

    1. Is transforming your attitude of how you approach you work key in producing a good outcome? Can happiness alone enhance and develop your approach top design?

    2. How important is your interaction with the design process. What have you learnt from this throughout the years as a designer. How heavily does design education affect your design work?

    3. How important is networking to a designer? Has becoming part of the design community developed your approach to your work? Do you feel it is important to have a role in the wider designer family?

    4. How important is self reflection and processing your develop to you? Do you use methods like notebooks or blogs to record your development and how has this developed how you work?

    5. Has becoming a designer transformed your general lifestyle? If so how? Are there any particular parts of your lifestyle outside work that you feel have heavily contributed to your thought process and attitude as a designer. Eg, going to the gym, fishing, music, cooking, social events outside design etc?

    If you have any questions at all, I would be more than happy to answer them?

    Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to hearing your views and thoughts on the topic!


    Alexandrina Dodsworth

  9. Hello,

    You have great content here, and a lot of knowledge. Have you thought about hosting a webinar? I would participate. You should check out http://www.liveninja.com.

    Hope you do.


  10. Giselle Araujo April 8, 2014 at 6:18 am

    Hello Tim,
    My name is Giselle and I’m the UX Team Lead of Nokia Institute of Technology in Brazil.

    I’m wondering if you would accept invitation for speaking in our company. (of course, as a paid service).
    We are a team of around 20 multidisciplinary designers, but my main goal is to bring you to talk to our directors and other managers. They are who needs to listen about Design thinking most.

    Would you be available for a speak or a workshop anytime this year? The sooner the better, for sure! :)

    Best Regards,
    Would you be available for a speak or a workshop?

  11. Hi Tim,
    I’m trying to source a high-res image for an article by Bruce Snaddon for Art South Africa magazine. It’s the image of the OPEN IDEO Website ( from the post “Nurture Your Design Courage, One Challenge At a Time”December 18, 2012). Would you be able to assist me with this?
    Many Thanks,

  12. Claudia Radau May 9, 2014 at 3:10 am


    My name is Claudia Radau and I handle the PR for Inky Deals, one of the leading deals websites in the design community.

    I’ve contacted you last month about promoting one of our best-selling products. I’d be very excited to collaborate with you, because your blog is one of the first my manager showed me when I started working here.

    I’m trying to get the word out about our biggest bundle, The Big Bang Bundle: $14,979 worth of Top-Quality Resources – From $49. Would you be kind enough to post an article about it, for your usual fee of course? I’m sure your visitors will
    love it.

    As a ‘Thank you’ for your trouble, here’s a coupon for your own free copy of the bundle: BIGBANG79. Please take note that it will expire on June 7th.

    Looking forward to hearing from you,
    Claudia Radau

  13. Gastón Vizziano May 22, 2014 at 11:13 am

    How about IDEO in Uruguay, south america?

  14. Alex Naylor-Johnson December 3, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Hello Mr.Brown,
    I am a high school sophomore and am taking a engineering class and we were asked to interview someone in our field of interest for me that is an industrial designer. I would just like to ask you a few question for my assignment (due on 12-9-14).

    Thank You
    Alex Naylor-Johnson

  15. Hi there,

    My name is Jason and I work with Checkworks. Checkworks is a company that prints/sells checks. They sell to both businesses and individuals.

    I wanted to reach out to see if I could write an article for your blog. I have a few ideas in finance that I believe would be a good fit and informative to your readers.

    Here are some topics I have written about in the past.

    – Top 5 Problems with Mobile Banking Apps
    – Pitfalls of Annual Tax Procrastination
    – Time to put your wallet on an IV drip.

    If you like any of these I can see if it’s available or do something similar. Let me know which works best for you.

    I appreciate you taking the time to read this email and hope to hear from you soon.

    Thank you and have a great day!

    Best regards,

    Jason Kane – Outreach
    Checkworks, Inc.
    315 Cloverleaf Drive Bldg. J
    Baldwin Park, CA 91706
    818-907-8400 | 866-803-0082 fax

  16. Hello,

    My name is Alex. I am doing online marketing for different brands.

    I was wondering if you might be interested in publishing a guest/sponsored article on your website (designthinking.ideo.com) or writing a product review. Do you allow such options?
    Please let me know your thoughts!

    Thank you for your time.

  17. Michael Bailey Jr June 1, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Dear Mr. Rast
    I think what you did and have done is amazing. However, I do have a question that may be random but first let me give you background.
    I am an incoming Junior at Purdue University majoring in Mechanical Engineering. I heard about Ideo from a friend of mine that said the company would be perfect for me. I have always had a passion for innovation and the creation of great ideas but, I have never had any guidance or direction. I was wondering if looking for an internship through Ideo would be the way to go to sharpen and test my skills and push myself.
    I ask this because most of my friends and family know me as the guy who doesn’t stop thinking. When I was little I had an “invention” book and even though the ideas came about as a child I have still always wanted to either improve things that are already created or create something new entirely. I am currently doing Mechanical Engineering because it is the broadest option that I could think of. I love the process behind robotics, but not a fan of coding, I embrace design but don’t believe I’m the greatest artist, and I like seeing things come together but have never been a hands on type of guy.
    In conclusion, I guess I am asking for some help in direction or assistance of what to do with this non-stop thinking. I feel like I could possible be an entrepreneur one day but I definitely would have to have more understanding of what it is I want to do and how to do it.

    Michael Bailey Jr

    P.S. I greatly apologize if this wasn’t the place/person to ask but any help would be greatly appreciated. I feel like everyone has an idea of what or where they belong and nothing seems to be fitting me right now.

    P.P.S Again sorry for the huge reply

  18. Dear Mr. Brown,

    my name is Ilias Soto, I’m an engineering student currently finishing my Bachelor’s degree in Munich, Germany. For the last few months I’ve been working on a project launching a new Web-Conferencing and Brainstorming Tool called IdeaClouds, which is based on the idea that everyone can be innovative if given the right tools. Innovation and creativity can be boosted by specific so called “creativity techniques”. These techniques are implemented on the online-whiteboard we developed in our website, and we strongly believe these kind of meetings represent a great new way for project managers to moderate their creative meetings.

    We strongly believe that design thinking can be boosted with these special tools and techniques,

    This short YouTube-video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3GyOs2M5u4) contains some of the product’s details.

    We’re currently looking for more information about innovation in general and also for some experts to give us feedback on our product, that’s how we found your website. And for us it would be extremely helpful if you could give us an opinion about our project.

    I look forward to hearing from you. Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Thank you very much and kind regards,

    Ilias Soto

  19. Rosemberg Caicedo April 6, 2016 at 3:50 am

    Hi Tim, I’m part of a committee of a group of engineers in Australia Central Coast NSW, can you refer me to a potential speaker for a presentation around september this year in the innovation or knowledge management topic.

    appreciate your time



  20. Sergio Messias May 16, 2016 at 8:27 am

    I am a student from Brazil and learning about DT I had some problems with my teacher about the words used to show graphically the way DT proceed. UNDERSTAND as the first step, without any explanations seems out-of-order before OBSERVE.
    I know that UNDERSTAND stands for research and clarify the problem but that word do not match our logical way of think. I’ve suggested to my teacher that we could change that for RESEARCH but he told we was unable to do or think about that.
    Sorry about these question being so presumptuous.

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