Ben is investigating the links between diversity and views of sustainability and what this means for the wider design industry. Ben's research is inspired by driving social change due to the lack of diversity within the design workforce and speculating upon the likely impact this is having on design creativity and the solutions proposed to move the world into a more sustainable future.
Alongside the PhD, Ben is a Postgraduate Teacher, teaching on the Interactions and Experiences module focussed on understanding the need for empathy when interpreting users’ needs and motivations, and unconscious bias. Additionally, Ben teaches on the Experiential Futures module, exploring and anticipating future contexts, scenarios and experiences. He volunteers as Doctoral Representative within the School of Design and Creative Arts to provide voice to the students.
Prior to undertaking a fully-funded PhD, Ben led the design and project management of medical and clean-tech projects at a design consultancy. He aims to create and develop great ideas into successful innovation and ultimately into world-changing businesses. Experienced in leading large-scale research and development programmes in a collaborative way, adopting a delivery focused approach ensuring continuous improvement. His approach is driven by strategic, analytical, and sustainable decision making whilst systematically helping to create, build and support long-term partnerships.
Ben also acts as Mentor and Facilitator at Cranfield University's Idea 2 Innovation (i2i) programme and University of Cambridge’s Impulse programme. Both encourage PhD students and Postdoctoral researchers to consider the social and economic relevance of their research. This programme also helps participants to explore entrepreneurship for corporate innovation and new venture creation, whilst gainining basic business understanding and developing knowledge of how to commercialize their research.
Thesis title: Leveraging Diversity and Inclusion for Increased Sustainable Innovation
Design and Creativity are critical elements of economic and social development and therefore sustainability. Ben's research is grounded in the belief we should no longer create as individual minds but as an interconnected society that inhabits the same socio-material world.