John comes all the way to Brighton to have a face-to-face chat with Jeremy about the troubling ethical questions around who gets to design the future. Together they discuss the contrasting parenting patterns on display in Man Of Steel and Inception. Also: the HR issues raised by Ex Machina and Top Gun.
Warning: contains mental images of Michael Caine as the interface of the connected home that is the Fortress Of Solitude. Not a lot o’ people know that.
John Willshire is the founder of innovation studio, Smithery.
Smithery helps organisations Make Things People Want, rather than Make People Want Things. It lies somewhere on a strange map that features Product & Service Design, Research, Media, Marketing, Innovation and Organisational theory.
A proponent of a constructionist learning theory (i.e. Making Is Thinking), John has recently completed a new thesis on the relationship in organisations between People and Space, which has spawned a lot of tools, instruments and methods on how you can make the things you want to happen, happen (someone observed one of them “looks a bit… Gallifreyan” which is brilliant.)
Since 2011, Smithery has worked with numerous people including Konica Minolta, Penguin Random House, The Design Museum, Experian, Oxfam, Google, Carlsberg, Adaptive Lab, Gravity Road, Saïd Business School at The University of Oxford, London College of Communications, The Huffington Post, Royal Mail, Samsung, Google, Channel 4 and Skype.
John also created Artefact Cards, a way to help people and teams play with ideas, making up card games to find better ideas whilst having more fun. There are now over a million Artefact Cards are now out there in the world, helping people work in new ways, and they’ve been covered by everyone from the Financial Times and Maria Popova’s Brainpickings.
Prior to founding Smithery, John spent seven years at PHD Media in London, becoming Head of Innovation in 2007 when that wasn’t a thing.