CATALYST  | AUTHOR  | SPEAKER

KATHRYN BEST

about-brooklyn

WELCOME

I am an author, speaker and educator in design, strategy and systemic change. I offer insight and foresight on ways to enable change through creativity, design, innovation and transformation. My goal is to inspire others to make the changes necessary so as to place universal values, beauty, wisdom and wellbeing at the core of life and business.

  • Creativity is about the power of imagination. What can be imagined can be created.

    KATHRYN BEST
  • Design is about purposeful creativity. It’s about honoring yourself with balance and beauty.

    KATHRYN BEST
  • Innovation is about unlocking resources, capacities and new ways to organize.

    KATHRYN BEST
  • Transformation is about changing the state of play, the status quo, into something better.

    KATHRYN BEST

 

Much of what I do involves being a catalyst in how individuals and organizations think about:

 

Where am I?

Where do I want to go?

How can I get there?

 

All change produces entrepreneurial opportunity.

We live in challenging times, and there are many different opportunities now available to us.

Future growth will come from taking the risk necessary to imagine things differently, to design new realities and to bring them into concrete form.

 

Vision is the way.

Purpose is key.

Intention matters.

Perception is everything.


 

 

SPEAKER
business | government | education | cultural events

 

CATALYST
insight | foresight | hindsight

 

AUTHOR
design management | design strategy | systems design

 

ENTREPRENEUR
creative leadership | win-win partnership | business development

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" Design is a people-centred transformational process. "
Kathryn Best
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ABOUT ME

I grew up in the United States and Northern Ireland, studied in Scotland, worked professionally in the United States, United Kingdom and the Netherlands, and now live between Egypt and the United Kingdom. In London I teach about creativity, design, innovation and transformation and occasionally run a Meet-up group called ‘the new enlightenment’ via GlobalNet21. In Luxor I am piloting a project to do with social enterprise, local empowerment, tribal wisdom and the role that creativity and design can play in catalysing the wellbeing of a small community. I am also an RSA Fellow, a Freeman of the City of London, a Reiki Master and an architect of books, buildings and new philosophical realities. I do more than a little globetrotting for speaking and teaching engagements.

The origins of the name ‘Best’ are from the days of the Medieval Courts where the troubadours – lyric poets – were granted great freedom of speech. They were charged with spreading stories of chivalry and courtly love, and acting out news of far off lands and historical events – since it was long before the invention of theatres and newspapers.

Troubaire (langue d’oc): to compose, to discuss, to invent

Troubadours were trained artists who lovingly crafted their words to please and woo the listeners. Compositions were formulaic in their inclusion of metaphysics and intelligence, metaphor and symbol. What a poem appeared to be about on the surface was rarely the only meaning available.

During the Crusades, the troubadour tradition led to a new and unprecedented interest in beautiful objects, elegant manners, poetry, music and literature. Eleanor of Aquitaine was the matriarch and worldwide patron of the troubadours and their ‘courts of love’.

Today, courts of love and stories of inspiration and beauty are needed more than ever. I believe that the wisdom of love, compassion and wellbeing is the most valuable asset we can share with each other. It is especially important in light of the world we live in, the challenges we face, and the systemic rethink taking place all around us. We need to put beauty and balance back into our systems.

The other origin of the name is… Beste (French): beast or ‘brutal person’…..

 

work

BOOKS

Please click on the relevant book for further details.

Wellbeing by Design
Design Management: revised second edition
What can design bring to strategy?
The Fundamentals of Design Management
Design Management
The Idiots Guide to Virtual World Design

 

CLICK HERE FOR DOWNLOAD PAGE

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SERVICES

Kathryn is available worldwide for all your business needs.

 

PROGRAMS

courses | workshops | study trips

PRESENTATIONS

talks | webinars | curated content 

PERSPECTIVES

panels | reviews | direction 

PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS

in person | by phone | by Skype 

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BOOK REVIEWS

Read about other people's experiences of using my books.

  • Amazon.co.uk

    A great holistic introduction to design management. A book which succinctly covers the many areas that design management touches. It’s a hard task to explain design management to anyone, as it covers so many subjects and areas, but by the end of this book you have a great feeling of understanding and appreciation of the discipline. Short, concise, no waffle, gets straight to the point and covers it enough to go off and ponder what she has touched on and further develop yourself.

    Amazon.co.uk
  • Royal Society of the Arts

     A clear guide to the key knowledge, practice and skills required when applying design to business. It promotes a clearer understanding of the relationship between design and management and its importance within a successful organisation. Having established a long-running and successful tradition of projects that celebrate and promote good design, the RSA has a strong commitment to exploring how design can be used to remove the barriers to social progress. Encouraging the effective use of design in business strategy, Design Management makes a vital contribution to our understanding of the potential uses design.

    Royal Society of the Arts
  • Goodreads.com

    It’s like having a lot of ideas but logically you get someone puts them in order. Very good and very didactic.

    Goodreads.com
  • There few books on design management and none like this. It is almost a ‘coffee table’ volume with excellent figures and color pictures throughout. The first amazing thing about it is the price. Compare what you get with this with other similar books to see what good value it is. Kathryn takes a broad view of design management eliciting the views of many other authors and this gives the volume the ‘balance’ that many design books fail to achieve. It helps the designer clarify the role and position of their particular specialism in the ‘big picture’ of the total design process. It is also such an enjoyable read that I would even recommend it to non-designers. The structure of the book is quite clever. A good feature of any book is to inspire the reader to take things a bit further, and certainly Kathryn’s book has achieved this. There is an excellent glossary – I personally believe that defining design terminology is important so that designers and non-designers at least are using the same words in the same way.

    Engineering Designer
  • Amazon.co.uk

    If you are a designer or a design manager or just interested in design this is for you. This book opens your mind and knowledge of design and how it can be developed to improve your understanding of design management within an organization, internally and externally. It provides you with the basic principles that can be applied to any industry to make your new-found skills transferable. A very valuable toolkit to have.

    Amazon.co.uk
  • This is a dynamic publication that delivers exactly what it says on the tin. The second of two books by Kathryn Best is a critical addition to any aspiring design manager’s library. It would also serve as a valuable reference tool for any business leader who wishes to successfully harness the power of design.

    Engineering Designer
  • Wellbeing is something that should definitely concern all of us. Well-being can transform our world, starting with the individual and radiating out into local and regional communities and from there the planet itself. Wellbeing By Design offers easy to assimilate gems of information as well as practical tools to turn this inspiring vision of personal and global wellbeing into a reality.

    Steve Nobel, founder of Conscious Media
  • Amazon.co.uk

    A great holistic introduction to design management. A book which succinctly covers the many areas that design management touches. It’s a hard task to explain design management to anyone, as it covers so many subjects and areas, but by the end of this book you have a great feeling of understanding and appreciation of the discipline. Short, concise, no waffle, gets straight to the point and covers it enough to go off and ponder what she has touched on and further develop yourself.

    Amazon.co.uk
  • Royal Society of the Arts

     A clear guide to the key knowledge, practice and skills required when applying design to business. It promotes a clearer understanding of the relationship between design and management and its importance within a successful organisation. Having established a long-running and successful tradition of projects that celebrate and promote good design, the RSA has a strong commitment to exploring how design can be used to remove the barriers to social progress. Encouraging the effective use of design in business strategy, Design Management makes a vital contribution to our understanding of the potential uses design.

    Royal Society of the Arts
  • Goodreads.com

    It’s like having a lot of ideas but logically you get someone puts them in order. Very good and very didactic.

    Goodreads.com
  • There few books on design management and none like this. It is almost a ‘coffee table’ volume with excellent figures and color pictures throughout. The first amazing thing about it is the price. Compare what you get with this with other similar books to see what good value it is. Kathryn takes a broad view of design management eliciting the views of many other authors and this gives the volume the ‘balance’ that many design books fail to achieve. It helps the designer clarify the role and position of their particular specialism in the ‘big picture’ of the total design process. It is also such an enjoyable read that I would even recommend it to non-designers. The structure of the book is quite clever. A good feature of any book is to inspire the reader to take things a bit further, and certainly Kathryn’s book has achieved this. There is an excellent glossary – I personally believe that defining design terminology is important so that designers and non-designers at least are using the same words in the same way.

    Engineering Designer
  • Amazon.co.uk

    If you are a designer or a design manager or just interested in design this is for you. This book opens your mind and knowledge of design and how it can be developed to improve your understanding of design management within an organization, internally and externally. It provides you with the basic principles that can be applied to any industry to make your new-found skills transferable. A very valuable toolkit to have.

    Amazon.co.uk
  • This is a dynamic publication that delivers exactly what it says on the tin. The second of two books by Kathryn Best is a critical addition to any aspiring design manager’s library. It would also serve as a valuable reference tool for any business leader who wishes to successfully harness the power of design.

    Engineering Designer
  • Wellbeing is something that should definitely concern all of us. Well-being can transform our world, starting with the individual and radiating out into local and regional communities and from there the planet itself. Wellbeing By Design offers easy to assimilate gems of information as well as practical tools to turn this inspiring vision of personal and global wellbeing into a reality.

    Steve Nobel, founder of Conscious Media

       

      quote-three
      " Design is about honoring yourself with balance and beauty. "
      Kathryn Best
      our-team

      TESTIMONIALS

      Read about other people's experiences of working with me.

      • Kathryn supports you to understand the inspirational importance of beauty and design in the business domain and guides you through the process to really achieve this.

        Professor Frans van der Reep, The Netherlands
      • Kathryn showed excellent communication and management skills. She closely supervised a group of 30 delegates and over 10 experts and speakers, and successfully gave each one of the experts, speakers and delegates the space for their own independence and creativity to shine thorough. It would be a great pleasure to experience Kathryn’s (DM) process and implementation again in the future.

        Malwina Studzińska, Gdynia Design Centre, Poland
      • ‘… An inspiring mentor. Much of her knowledge and characteristics have been passed on to many under and post graduate learners who are now practicing in industry. With her warm and humorous personality, Kathryn is consummate professional who is a delight to work with and a great person to know.

        Elroy Blackwood, Owner, Indelible Design
      • There are many observations I can make of her warmth, insight and ability to communicate complex ideas to students. She has a natural ability to be one step ahead and ready with answers while also structuring ‘learning’ in a way that engages. Her understanding of her subject matter was phenomenal.

        Julian Lindley Sustainability Consultant and Senior Lecturer, University of Herefordshire
      • Kathryn was beyond inspiring and captivating in her teachings… dedicated and passionate in all respects. Not only that but she has guided me throughout my career since graduating. I highly recommend Kathryn to anyone looking to learn from or work with her.

        Sam Selby, Designer and Founder/Owner of BoboStar
      • Let me express my utmost appreciation for accepting our invitation… your personal participation, engagement and substantive contribution determined to a great extent the success of the conference, which is proven by numerous positive opinions voiced by the guests of our event.

        The Patent Office of the Republic of Poland
      • I haven’t met anyone before who is so skilled at swiftly integrating ideas and complex multidisciplinary information into sound and innovative texts. She demonstrates this in her design management books and I had the delight of witnessing it live when we worked on research projects at Inholland. We got great quality work done under her guidance and in perfect team harmony.

        Jaap van der Grinten, teacher/research fellow at INHOLLAND
      • Kathryn is very inspiring to work with. With her energy and humor and in a motivated team, she could move mountains. As a design management expert, she is very skilled and she has led very successful projects.

        Niels Broekzitter, INHOLLAND
      • Kathryn’s leadership and the successful ‘topic led’ experiment are helping us enormously – enlightenment is a worthy work in progress. I recommend Kathryn as an assured and calm facilitator, who creates a gathered, focused and stimulating atmosphere to support effective group engagement and co-working.

        Anne Bennett, Anne Bennett Consulting
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      Media

      KATHRYN'S ENGAGEMENTS

      Click on image for full details

       

      Archives and Special Collections Centre (ASCC) – Project to Enrich Practice-led Teaching, Learning and Research
      Open Eyes Economic Summit
      DMI Academic Design Management Conference
      Zamek Cieszyn: Designing Possibilities
      Culford Scholars Programme
      Creative Leadership: Presentation at the Saatchi Gallery for Europe Talks
      London Design Festival: LCC Design Research Exhibition
      Research at the Intersections of Design + Management and Academia + Industry (DESMA)
      One Day Two Delays: London Exhibition and Education Event by Kathryn Best and Peter Suchin
      WIPO/UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY OF WOMEN
      WELLBEING BY DESIGN: A DESIGN CHARETTE FOR UK-MEXICO YEAR OF CULTURE
      MIND MEXICO: MEXICO INNOVATION AND DESIGN THINK TANK TEC SESSION
      DESMA Network
      PILOT PROJECT ON EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES, LEARNING COLLABORATIVELY AND IMPROVING WELLBEING
      TANGIBLE LEADERSHIP SERIES: INSPIRING BUSINESS CIVIC LEADERSHIP
      European House of Design Management (EHDM)
      The World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT)
      United Nations Environmental Programme Seminar-Presenter
      Gran Canaria
      International Forum Design Awards
      Curitiba Design Week
      Gdynia Design Center
      Inaugural Speech
      Estonian Book
      Design and Economic Growth
      Clerkenwell Design Week
      21 Design Stories | Co-curators Krzysztof Bielski and Kathryn Best

       

      TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD INFORMATION ABOUT KATHRYN CLICK BELOW

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