Kate is the driving force behind GDR Creative Intelligence, a globally recognised consultancy focused on innovation and emerging trends in retail, leisure and hospitality. Clients include Microsoft, Coca-Cola, P&G, Hilton, LVMH, Capital One, Macy’s, Tesco, Dixons Carphone, Lego and Sephora. World-renowned as an inspirational speaker on retail futures, Kate won the Jennifer d’Abo Memorial Scholarship for female entrepreneurs in 2007 and was selected as one of the UK’s top 100 business people to watch in the Courvoisier Future 500 in 2009.
With 10 years’ experience at management level in the creative and digital industries, Marie has a whip-smart business mind and is a passionate supporter of new thinking. This none-too-common combination is driving GDR Creative Intelligence into its next growth phase. The first film Marie saw in her native Paris at the age of 10 was Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which was the start of a long love affair with the UK.
Christine’s background is in luxury retail and food innovations. Before joining GDR, she launched the first cricket flour food product in the UK, pioneering insects as a new and sustainable protein source. She is passionate about health food and has been a judge at several food innovation award schemes. In her free time she enjoys rock climbing and running, in particular obstacle races.
Felix spent 15 years as a partner at brand agency Webb Scarlett de Vlam, and time as head of industrial design for Electrolux UK. Originally a product designer, his broad experience in strategy, brand development and creative direction means his insight is rooted in practical, considered opinion and crystal-clear translations of big concepts. Felix is frustrated in his desire for a sophisticated minimalist lifestyle by two rescue dogs and a large flock of chickens.
A masters graduate from the University of Sydney, James started his career as a journalist, writing for a breadth of audiences, from the FT Weekend to CAR and FourFourTwo. He then had seven years’ experience editing print and digital magazines before joining GDR in 2013, as well as several years working on bespoke video and TV projects for the likes of Triumph Motorcycles and Sky. A keen hockey and football player, James likes to play as hard as he works.
Will has three years’ experience monitoring emerging trends for companies all around the world. Since graduating from Cambridge University, where he studied English Literature, Will has been fascinated by the effects of today’s fast-paced change on our global consumer culture. His favourite innovations are those that spell huge shifts in the way we think, communicate, and consume. In spare moments Will can usually be found painting oversized portraits of his favourite people.
Sophie has spent five years working in Marketing and Innovation for two of Britain's most iconic retailers on both the consultancy and client side. She is passionate about uncovering meaningful consumer insights and considering how they can be creatively applied across the retail experience. In her spare time she still nurtures her dream of being the next Darcy Bussell at weekly dance classes in London.
A writer and editor with more than eight years’ experience, Andrew’s work has taken him everywhere from Los Angeles to New Zealand to North Korea, and he has written for outlets as diverse as The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, Wired and – once – Men’s Health. He’s particularly fascinated by the coming wave of automation and the opportunities it offers, as well as the chances it will improve commuting in London. His hobbies include pretending to know about world cinema, cooking extravagantly fiery curries, and savouring Ireland’s ongoing domination of world rugby.
John is a trained production journalist with a wealth of experience writing for and editing print and digital publications for a range of local, regional and international brands. A graduate from the University of Warwick, John has written for some of the world’s most well-respected media titles including The Sunday Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times. Born in the US to Irish parents and with siblings living on three different continents, John has a unique global outlook and is mad about sports.
With an education in 3D design, Harriet has five years experience researching and writing for the likes of Samsung, LG and Starbucks. Keen on all things design related, she has reported on trends in industrial design, FMCG and CMF. In her spare time you can find her navigating the waterways of England's South Coast in a very small kayak in search of a nice country pub.
After gaining her degree in English Literature and History of Art at Glasgow University, Sophia went on to complete her Masters in Curatorial Practice (Contemporary Art) from the Glasgow School of Art. She relocated back to London to pursue a career in fashion trend forecasting before joining GDR, where she fuses her passion for fashion, beauty and culture with retail innovation. In her spare time she can be found creating surreal illustrations and doting on her beloved cat, Mouse.
Dave has three years experience investigating consumer behaviours, insights and trends for the UK’s leading advertising agencies and holds undergraduate and masters degrees from the LSE and KCL. Interested in the fraying boundaries between media, technology, culture and politics, he’s always on the lookout for innovations that say something new about the shape and pace of change. A former congressional intern, Dave also remains pathologically obsessed with American politics and subscribes to more podcasts on the subject than it’s possible to listen to each week.