Hello, I’m Tim Brown

Co-Chair of IDEO

What’s next for design? As co-chair of IDEO, that’s the question I’m continually asking, both in terms of where IDEO should be turning its attention, and how, as a team of creative people, we should be going about our work. Through writing and speaking, and through guiding the choices we make within IDEO, I try to champion the interdisciplinary, multi-faceted nature of design. I am proud of our progress in applying design thinking to topics such as service design, system design and strategy, and across sectors such as education, health, government, technology, the social sector and business.

What you won't learn from my bio:
One of the first products I ever designed was a table saw for an old British company called Wadkin. More than 30 years later, one of those saws is still in use in the workshop of the Central St. Martins Design School in London, helping new generations of designers build their making skills and creative confidence.

Joined IDEO:

My Work

Books by IDEOTim Brown

Change By Design

ArticleHarvard Business Review

Tim Brown: Design for Action

Full Bio

Tim Brown is co-chair of IDEO. He frequently speaks about the value of design thinking, creative leadership, and innovation to business leaders and designers around the world. He participates in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and his talks Serious Play and Change by Design appear on TED.com.

An industrial designer by training, Tim has earned numerous design awards and has exhibited work at the Axis Gallery in Tokyo, the Design Museum in London, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He takes special interest in the convergence of technology and the arts, as well as the ways in which design can be used to promote the well-being of people.

Tim advises senior executives and boards of global Fortune 100 companies. He serves on the Board of Directors of Steelcase Inc. and is member of the board of trustees of IDEO.org. He writes for the Harvard Business Review, The Economist, and other prominent publications. His book on how design thinking transforms organizations, Change by Design, was released by Harper Business in September 2009, and revised and updated in 2019. Tim holds honorary doctorates from The Royal College of Art (London), Keio University (Tokyo), Claremont McKenna Graduate University (Los Angeles), and Art Center College of Art and Design (Los Angeles).

In 2021 Tim was awarded a CBE for services to design in Queen Elizabeth’s new year’s honors list.

In 2022, he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law from Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK.

Tim contributes as one of LinkedIn's original top 150 Influencers. He is also an instructor for the IDEO U Leading for Creativity course.

Selected Published Work

March 2019
"Change By Design," Revised and Updated, Tim Brown

March 2017
"We should design businesses like circles, not straight lines," Quartz

September 2015
"Design for Action," Harvard Business Review

August 2015
"When Everyone Is Doing Design Thinking, Is It Still a Competitive Advantage?," Harvard Business Review

February 2015
"Cover Interview," AXIS Magazine

August 2013
"The Future of Industrial Design," National Endowment for the Arts

November 2012
"Design Firms Go Beyond Gadgets as Portfolios Expand," The Wall Street Journal

September 2012
"5 Reasons Global Firms Should Serve The Developing World," Fast Company

September 2012
"Opening Remarks," Clinton Global Initiative

September 2012
"The Secret Phrase Top Innovators Use," Harvard Business Review

August 2012
"Design Your Thinking," Huffington Post

May 2012
"From Blueprint to Genetic Code: The Merits of an Evolutionary Approach to Design," Rotman Magazine

November 2011
"Why Social Innovators Need Design Thinking," Stanford Social Innovation Review

March 2010
"Using Design to Change Behavior," Harvard Business Review

January 2010
"Debating Sustainability," The New York Times

October 2009
"He Prizes Questions More Than Answers," The New York Times

September 2009
"Change By Design," Tim Brown

June 2008
"Design Thinking," Harvard Business Review

January 2008
"Innovate or Else: 6 Thinkers' Ideas," U.S. News & World Report

November 2007
"Bringing Design to Blue Chips," Fortune

October 2007
"A Dark Art No More," The Economist

March 2007
"America Needs More Boing Boing Economics," U.S. News & World Report

December 2006
"Designing a Better World," Forbes

November 2006
"Acumen's New Model for Third-World Aid," BusinessWeek

September 2006
"The Deans of Design," U.S. News & World Report

September 2005
"A Laboratory for Insights," BusinessWeek

May 2005
"Strategy by Design," Fast Company

March 2005
"IDEO's Collaborative Design Process," BusinessWeek

May 2004
"Power of Design," BusinessWeek

June 2003
"Master of Design," MIT Technology Review