Stephen Newbury

Stephen started his career 19 years ago working as a chartered engineer in the structural design simulation team at MG Rover.  He then moved to TWR, a large automotive consultancy where he played a key role in the development of high performance road cars for brands including Volvo, Renault, Bugatti, and VW.  He also worked as head of concept design on a number of vehicle concepts as well as technical project manager for BTO Inc, a new Californian vehicle brand designed to disrupt the American automotive sector. He is curator and co-author of the car design yearbook series which is now in its eighth year and sold to car aficionados worldwide. He has also spent some time working in product development in China.

Stephen has been involved in the formation of two start-up businesses.  The first a contemporary furniture and lighting brand, established to offer a distinctly British alternative to the otherwise sleek Italian brands dominating the market.  The second, a unique 24/7 veterinary telephone advisory service for pet owners, based on the UK’s NHS Direct model, but for pets. 

Stephen has a strong passion for all forms of innovation, be it technology, design, or business.  It is this passion that underpins the desire to bring together a global research team and form the Innovation Intelligence Group.  Stephen has a mechanical engineering degree from Bristol in the UK.  His other interests include design and architecture.


Kirsty Seymour-Ure

Kirsty has 20 years of editorial experience in the publishing industry, having specialized in illustrated non-fiction titles in a broad range of subjects. She has been freelance for fifteen years and before that worked for five years for Mitchell Beazley and Reed International in London. As a general interest editor she has handled subject areas ranging from art, architecture, fashion and style to engineering, car design and college textbooks. She has also had clients in the PR and building industries and written bilingual copy for websites. 

Kirsty’s experience in working across diverse subject areas, editing text that is often written in the language of experts but aimed at laypeople with little knowledge of the field, means that she is expert at taking a complex, jargon-filled article and turning it into sharp, clear, accessible text that can be understood by any reader. 

Kirsty holds a BA (Hons) from the University of Durham in the UK.


Anne Hsieh Analyst

Anne is originally from Taiwan but left for the US to pursue higher education. After graduation Anne continued to work in the USA for 8 years, in the research departments for several American, Taiwanese, and Chinese companies based in Detroit, San Francisco and Chicago. After returning to Taiwan for a brief spell in 2003, Anne managed the HR and Finance division of an Australian owned product design and manufacturing company based in Shenzhen, China. Anne brings her knowledge of international business to IIG, is fluent in English and Chinese, and has a working level knowledge of Cantonese. She also brings a detailed understanding of Chinese and Western culture, crucial to our international research team and clients.

Anne holds a bachelor degree in Business Administration from Michigan State University.


Richard Linington
Associate Ethnographer

As a people centred researcher, Richard takes a holistic approach to carrying out research where he uses his skills to help solve complex problems.  The ethnographic research he carries out helps companies uncover the surface and latent needs of customers and consumers which are then projected forward into development of solutions that focus on the target audiences who will use them - aligning research findings with business needs.   Richard is passionate about placing customers and consumers at the centre of his work.

He often works in multi-disciplinary teams and over the past 13 years Richard has carried out research for a number of organisations including the Design Council, Participle and Kodak.   Prior to setting up Experience Research and Consulting Richard worked for several companies including Razorfish where he worked with a range of companies including the Wellcome Trust and Astra Zeneca.  Richard has an MA in the Sociology and Anthropology of Travel and Tourism. Richard is principal of Experience Research and Consulting Limited and supports IIG with ethnographic research.



Ana Karina Toral
Business Development – Latin America & Spain

Ana graduated in from ITESM University in Mexico with a degree in International Trade. She then worked for Delphi Automotive Systems in Ciudad Juárez before moving to eValueServe as a business analyst. In this job she was responsible for helping companies penetrate the Latin American market, and entailed market studies, market sizing and modelling, strategy development, industry analysis and competitive analysis.

Ana brings another international dimension to IIG with her knowledge of Latin America both from a business innovation and market perspective.

She is also passionate about social enterprise having represented the UN at the World Youth Conference. She is bilingual in English and Spanish and has lived, studied and worked in Chile, India, Mexico, and Spain.


Javier Guevara
Director IIG-Panama

Javier graduated in from Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencias y Tecnología de Panama with a degree in Business Administration, later he obtained a masters degree in Business Administration with a specialization in finance, he has participated in Retail Management, Sales Management, Leadership, and Business Model Design Programs. Has a certificate as International Faciliator and Innovation Coach.

Javier has held strategic positions in Distribution, Technology and Retail in different companies. He has experience in retail, delivering courses, design and business model development, marketing and sales, administrative management, negotiation, leadership, logistics, project management, control and inventories´ management.

He speaks English and Spanish


Naresh Yerrabachu
Director IIG-India

Before joining IIG Naresh worked for 12 years with in GE Aviation and Siemens Industry Software in PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) and in the Digital Manufacturing domain with a specialisation in the Aerospace and Defence verticals and also extensively involved with Automotive and Heavy Machinery manufacturing companies. He has been involved in Business Process Analysis and the re-engineering of engineering and manufacturing process using PLM software including Six Sigma and lean solutions. Naresh recently finished his EMBA at Cranfield.


Elena Balakhnova 
Design Manager 

Elena spent the first five years of her career working in Moscow for advertising companies BBDO and DDB.  Whilst working there she worked on many projects including leading the art direction for two TV commercials. 

Elena moved to China in 2002 where she worked for a product development company, developing all their in-house marketing materials, as well as leading the graphic design output for a wide cross-section of projects for all major international markets.  Keeping abreast with new design trends for the main international markets is a key part of Elena’s interest.  She has also worked in Beijing overseeing the graphics management for a major US brand in China.  She likes to bring contemporary visual ideas to both product and marketing materials design.

It was Elena’s passion for Chinese culture that originally brought her to China.  She is an avid fan of Chinese painting, calligraphy and music.  Elena enjoys immersing herself in the local culture visiting art galleries and following the Chinese folk music scene.  She is also a keen photographer, and has recorded memories of Shenzhen life, particularly in the old parts which are rapidly being demolished and rebuilt. 

Elena graduated in Literature and Art from Moscow University in 2002.


Chris van der Hoven is a lecturer in Innovation at the Cranfield School of Management. In the earlier part of his career Chris worked as a specialist (QS/cost engineering), and then as a general manager dealing with capital projects.

Prior to joining Cranfield, he was a director and ran the European office of a niche consultancy company. Chris has facilitated, project managed, or supported various strategic business projects (including "One Europe" for Seagram, the EU "Corporate Project Office" implementation for Capital One, "Streamline" for Shell International, and numerous projects for the catalogue retailer Argos).

At Cranfield, he was the course director for the core Project Management module and Project & Programme Leadership theme on the MBA for many years. His current role is in innovation and as a member of the Centre for Innovative Products and Services (CIPS).

He has been a member of the Institute of Directors (IoD), the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) and is still a registered practitioner of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). He has a BSc, MBA and is in the final stages of completing his Phd at Cambridge University.


Following the completion of a BSc in Information Technology under an EU ERASMUS scholarship in 1993, Dr Tsagdis read for an MA in Administrative Management under the Humberside Training and Enterprise Council’s funding.

He then pursued a PhD in Process and Knowledge Management at Lincoln University under a research grant from the National Scholarship Foundation of Greece. In 1999, before completing his PhD he started working full time as a Research Fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School at the International Business Unit. In 2001 he received his PhD title and in 2003 was appointed as a lecturer at Hull University Business School where he helped develop the MRes and InternationalBusiness programmes; he has lead the latter ever since. Dimitrios is now a senior lecturer at the Scarborough Management Centre.

In 2008 he was appointed as an external examiner at Leeds University Business School. He has also held a number of visiting and associate professorships: Roskilde University (Denmark 2003-04), Kaplan Institute (Singapore 2007-2008), Los Andes University (Bogota, Colombia 2009-2010), Bordeaux Management School (France


Paul Hobcraft runs Agility Innovation Specialists; an advisory business that focuses on stimulating sound innovation practice. He helps build innovation capability and capacity for organisations, teams and individuals. Agility Innovation research topics that relate to innovation for the future, applying the learning to further develop organizations core innovation activity, offer appropriate advice on tools, techniques and frameworks.

Paul´s personal journey has been varied and global. He has lived and worked in Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Malaysia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, USA, Australia, and recently spent eleven years in Singapore. Paul is based in Switzerland and presently shares his time between Asia and Europe. He has an MBA from Henley Management College.




Julian Simmonds - Innovation Leaders Institute

Julian is chairman of Palo Alto Media Group and co-founder of the Innovation Leaders Institute.

He is an international marketing and joint venture consultant. Julian is a specialist in running cross-cultural workshops on Leadership, Communication, Innovation & Creativity. During the last 30 years he has focused on strategic communications and international alliance strategies involving launch plans, media presentations, conference and event planning for both the public and private sector. Clients include; ALC Education AON, Euroclear Bank, Teijin, Kuraray, Works Infrastructure, British Consulate-General and UK Trade & Investment.

He is an adjunct professor at Stanford University, University of California - Santa Cruz & California State University – East Bay. He is a visiting lecturer at University of Cambridge, Oxford Brookes, Bristol University, Glion Institute of Higher Education & University of Zürich.

In 2006 he wrote and directed a theatre piece focusing on leadership and communication for an audience of entrepreneurs and academics at Oxford University. He has worked in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Italy, Netherlands, Mozambique, USA, Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Japan,


Chris Henderson
Innovation Leaders Institute

Chris Henderson is a co-founder of the Innovation Leaders Institute. He is the Director Global Projects of Palo Alto Media Group - a partner to the iLi.

He was a well-regarded British Diplomat for over 20 years working in: Denmark, Malawi, Saudi Arabia, Barbados, Jordan, Russia, Taiwan, DR Congo, The Gambia, Ghana, Bahrain, Nigeria, Italy, Kosovo, Lithuania, Germany, Sweden, South Africa, Cameroon, Australia and the USA. 

Chris has direct experience in crisis & disaster preparedness having worked on a number of incidents helping British Citizens around the world during his years as a member of the Diplomatic Service; this includes natural disasters, acts of terrorism, war and civil unrest. 

He is well-versed in scenario planning both for business continuity and help for travellers.

He has been involved in a number of world events: such as The Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust in January 2000, as well as the UN World Summit for Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg, 2002.

He has first hand experience with companies, both large and small, wishing to do international business across the globe.  He is also possesses a practical drive thanks to the number of infrastructure and IT projects he has dealt with over the years – and in many different countries!

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