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Design Thinking

​​​Additional Forum Information 

Registration: 17h45 - 18h00

Forum Start Time: 18h00​​​​​​​​

Length: 1 hour 30 minutes

Cocktails will be served after the event​​​​​​​


We look at how design thinking leads to faster time to market, quicker decisions, lower project costs and less re-work. This new way of thinking is transforming the way people do business and driving innovative solutions that people love. This forum also explores Drive Breakthrough Thinking which gives employees the freedom and the structure to identify challenges, develop concepts, test prototypes and implement finished solutions​​​​


Derrick Cooks, CEO, Freethinking

Derrick has over 18 years experience in the Financial Services sector having started his career at Standard Bank in 1997 where he obtained extensive experience in implementing strategic and complex projects in Retail and Corporate Banking locally and in Africa.  While working at Standard Bank, Derrick identified an opportunity for a consulting company to drive change by infusing design thinking into every level of the organisation and helping them put ideas to work and from there Freethinking was born. Freethinking is a multi-disciplinary financial services and telecoms consultancy that blends design thinking and analytics in creating human centred designed products and services. Derrick is passionate about helping his clients grow by building creative cultures, systems and new ways of working. Derrick holds an MBA from The Gordon Institute of Business Science, and a BCom (Honours) in Business Management.

Luis Rodriguez Del Barrio, Managing Director, Accenture

Luis has been working with Financial Services clients for 18 years to develop and implement strategic change, he has worked in Europe, America, Asia and Africa with clients in Banking, Insurance and Capital Markets. In his current role as a Business Strategy Senior Manager, he leads projects to capture growth through new digital propositions, transform organisations to adapt to the new world, expand in new markets, drastically increase the value of digital business and extract value from innovation / disruption. His industry experience includes; Retail Banking, Corporate & Commercial, Insurance, Investment Banking, Broker Dealer, Payments and Innovation, while his function experience entails; Product, Service and Experience Strategy and Design, Operating Model Design, Strategy Definition, Process Transformation – Design & Implementation, Strategy Through M&A, Program Management & Roadmaps.

Farai Madzima, Head of Experience Design, Standard Bank Group

Farai has designed banking apps used every day by people across Africa. Currently he leads Standard Bank’s talented team of designers and researchers in Johannesburg. Their ambition: to make money matters simpler to understand, and simpler to manage. Farai’s also works to prepare the wider Standard Bank Group to embrace design as a way to do better business. Not just as a way to improve service delivery. During his time in the UK, Farai designed digital products for BBC, Audi and​​ the Virgin group. Now based in South Africa, he organises the Pixel Up! conference which brings designer from around the world to share ideas in South Africa.

Rob Cowie, Head of User Experience (UX), Design & Standards, Discovery Health Systems

Rob has been designing and developing in the digital space for the last 17 years, focusing on user experience for the last 10. He is currently the Head of UX and Design at Discovery Health. He is passionate about promoting User-Centred Design by building and leading high performance teams, and delivering world class experiences. Having travelled extensively and lived in places as diverse as the Czech Republic and the Cayman Islands, he returned to South Africa with a strong international perspective on design. He glimpsed the future of the field after spending some time in New York with pioneering firm IDEO learning their Design Thinking methodology. Rob is a regular speaker at digital events such Tech 4 Africa, UX South Africa and World IA Day.

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