Drawing upon 20 years experience consulting on innovation pathways for billion dollar blue chips, Kate provides road-tested insights on the technological and human innovations that will change the shape of business over the next five years. As founder and CEO, Kate is the chief story-teller at GDR Creative Intelligence, a retail trend and strategy consultancy working with an impressive roster of brands including Microsoft, Coca-Cola, P&G, Hilton, LVMH, Capital One, Macy’s, Tesco and Lego. She fuses big picture context with carefully curated case studies from the world's leading designers, technologists, marketeers, architects and thought leaders to illustrate how new technologies and consumer behaviours will impact physical and digital commerce. “Innovation almost always starts with cross fertilisation.” says Kate. “Looking outside of your sector and geography at non-competitors is far more likely to lead to disruptive breakthroughs than can be achieved by chasing your competitors.”
Rachel is responsible for leading and managing key client relationships and partnerships worldwide. She ensures that all clients are receiving best in class service and quality work to drive their innovation and business growth. Rachel has more than 20 years of international experience working within shopper marketing, retail and advertising on both the client and agency side. A specialist in multi-channel retail, she has previously been a buyer, managed retailer brand licensing, retail events, NPD and digital strategy. In her spare time, you can find Rachel jumping on a plane for an adventure somewhere hot and tropical, walking on Hampstead Heath, checking out the latest “must-see” pop-up around town, or working up a sweat in circuit training.
Nancy graduated from Oxford Media & Business school in 2017 and has since been working as a PA in the finance industry (although she happily admits she's completely hopeless when it comes to money). During her time in Oxford, Nancy was a member on the Oxford Union where she regularly went to see the famous speakers, most notably The Queen of Shops, Mary Portas, who really spiked her interest in all things fashion and retail. Nancy is a country bumpkin at heart and tries to get back home to Somerset as much as possible.
Eric is an analytical and creative thinker with more than eight years experience in brand and retail consulting gained in Paris and London for major agencies FutureBrand and Publicis. As a strategy consultant, his experience ranges from designing the Nespresso Boutique experience to working with major FMCGs like Perfetti Van Melle and Nestlé Purina in their transition to becoming ‘Shopper First’ companies. Keen to nurture and advise the next generation, Eric also delivers brand management lectures at a Paris university. A travel and food enthusiast, Eric is also our go-to for new foodie spots in London.
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.
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.
Daisy has more than eight years experience managing consumer brand and retail activation strategies for world-class accounts across multiple categories including FMCG, CPG, Drinks, Confectionary, Entertainment and Tech. Outside of work you’ll find Daisy volunteering for charity fundraisers with little or no training (past escapades involve climbing three mountains in 24 hours, and a 100km cycle around Box Hill).
After completing his degree in American Studies at the University of Leicester, Charlie stayed on to acquire a masters degree in History. In his first role in London, Charlie gained three years’ experience researching and writing about the latest trends in media and marketing. As well as being obsessed with sport, Charlie keeps himself keenly up-to-date with current affairs on both sides of the Atlantic and, thanks to the Great British Bake Off, enjoys spending Sundays burning chocolate éclairs.
Bill is one of the foremost retail experts in the UK, having been CEO of Wickes, Iceland, Booker, Focus DIY and Park n Shop Hong Kong. In 2013 he published The Grimsey Review, which explains the decline of the UK high street and sets out a vision for the future. In July 2018 he released the follow-up to this Review and he is also the author of Sold Out, which explores the same subject. Bill is working with GDR on a co-branded keynote for the speakers' circuit called “How to save the British high street”. Find out more on www.vanishinghighstreet.com
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.