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Content + Resources

Hello, I’m Paul Bennett

Chief Creative Officer and co-CEO

Creative excellence is my remit, across all aspects of our business—from participating in projects myself to encouraging our designers to create their best possible work. I am always pushing, and hopefully inspiring, our clients and the world at large to think boldly, bravely and big.

What you won't learn from my bio:
I pitched a cooking show years ago and a network wanted to pick it up. If I wasn’t at IDEO, I’d probably be a SoulCycle instructor.

Joined IDEO:
2001

My Work

Full Bio

With a 20-plus year career at IDEO, Paul works with clients, partners, and colleagues to bring to market human-centric, commercially successful, and socially significant new businesses, products, services, and experiences. He is responsible for content excellence across IDEO, and is active in developing and publishing new thinking in the field of human-centered and design-led innovation.

Paul, a Brit who spent his early years in Singapore, has worked in all IDEO's key markets and has a personally-informed international perspective. He created IDEO’s largest global practice, Consumer Experience Design; ran its San Francisco office, setting a robust and enduring creative direction; extended IDEO’s international reach as part of the team that created its presence in China; established and led its New York office, increasing IDEO’s share of influence in the US market; and delivered impact to clients and new growth to IDEO’s business in Europe. Today, Paul continues to provide creative leadership and cross-pollination of insights and ideas to clients and colleagues on an extended scale by traveling, learning, and working across the globe. He has worked with several governments, developing human centered services, often focused on unleashing the creative capacity of the next generation.

Paul is a sought-after speaker and is invited to speak at major forums, including: COP26, The World Government Summit, The World Economic Forum; Boao Forum for Asia, TED Global; TEDx Tohoku, Dubai and Amazonia; The Economist Redesigning Business Summit, The AOL CEO Conference, the American Express Luxury Summit and Tokyo Midtown Opening, and more.

Paul’s thought leadership is also regularly published in a range of influential media, including: the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Bloomberg Businessweek, Harvard Business Review, The Independent, The Guardian, China Entrepreneur Magazine, The Straits Times (Singapore), L’Espresso (Italy), RÚV TV (Iceland), To Vima (Greece), Khaleej Times (Dubai), ABC TV (Australia), and Channel News Asia. He has also appeared in prime-time BBC documentary Genius of Design, produced by the Oscar-winning production company, Wall-to-Wall, and A Meeting of Minds, a documentary co-produced by CNBC and Star Alliance.

A keen educator, Paul has taught and coached students from the Royal College of Art (UK), Stanford University, Columbia Business School, and FIT’s (Fashion Institute of Technology, New York) Executive Beauty and Fragrance Marketing program and Capstone Project in the US. Most recently he has taught in Norway on the Masters program at Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo, (KHiO) in Oslo and at Listaháskóli Íslands (Iceland Academy of the Arts) in Reykjavík.

Paul currently resides in Hvalfjörður, a small town in rural Iceland close to Reykjavík, with his partner Jim and their two rescue cats, Freddie and Ziggy.


Selected Published Work

March 2020

"The Story of the Wild Geese," Medium

March 2015
"Death, Redesigned," The California Sunday Magazine

February 2014
"Where The Fish Swims, Ideas Fly," The New York Times

October 2013
"Time for Asia to Build its Creative Confidence," Today

October 2013
"Alice's Tears," Medium

September 2013
"Michael's Fingers," Medium

July 2013
"Seismic Creativity," Medium

January 2013
"
A Letter to the CEO of China," CBN Weekly

June 2012
"Trying is the New Talking," The Business Times, Singapore

March 2012
"Curious About... Home," Metropolis Magazine

December 2011
"S'pore 'too cautious for its own good'," The Straits Times

October 2011
"Curious About... Learning," Metropolis Magazine

December 2009
"Big Idea Might Be Learning to Think Small," Financial Times

April 2007
"Paul Bennett: Design Is in the Details," TED Talks

December 2006
"The Most Memorable Ads of 2006," BusinessWeek

June 2006
"Time for Some Buzz-Kill," BusinessWeek