My professional research profile

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PROFESSIONAL RESEARCH PROFILE

I am a Senior Design Management Lecturer, Business Model Innovation Coach and Consultant.

As an experienced Business Development Manager, with more than fifteen years of experience in Interaction Design, I specialised in User Centred Design, Usability and User Experience.

Recently, I founded a research institute dŠola Ljutomer. In October 2016, I started to teach at the Faculty of Design (Ljubljana), the topics of Brand Development Studio and Project Management.

My professional background comes from outdoor advertising, and sports education and volleyball coaching. My leisure time consists of city-bicycling, (beach) volleyball and social dancing. Books are my everyday passion.

PRIZE
Best Prezentation Award

International Citizen Focused Design Challenge 2014, Oslo Innovation Week. Leader&Coach of the interdisciplinary group (of designers, architects, urban planners, students, business representatives, and one citizen as the lead user) that won the prize for the best presentation (Oslo, Norwegian Design Council).

The purpose of the challenge held in 2014 was to demonstrate to a wider audience and workshops delegates the impact of involving a diversity of citizens in the process when developing new products, services or environments that include the needs of the widest possible range of people.

Group Leader at the Citizen Focused Design Challenge 2014: Winners of Best Presentation

citizen-focused-design-challenge-2014-winners-of-best-presentation-2

Photo: Johnny Syversen. Presentation video => vimeo.com/110117574

CURRENT POSITION
Senior Lecturer, Design Management: Faculty of Design. An associated member of the University of Primorska.

Prevale 10 , Trzin, Slovenia. From October 2016. Sector: academia.

Independent Researcher: dŠola Ljutomer. Business Design School & Research Institute.

Glavni trg 6, Ljutomer, Slovenia. From January 2013. Sector: research.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Head Volleyball Coach. VBK Wörther-See-Löwen.

Figarogasse 6, Klagenfurt, Austria. September 2016. Sector: sport.
Contact: Mag. Karin Frühbauer, +43 676 5833925.

Managing Director: Vizuarna. Strategic Design Consultancy.

Görlitzer Straße 52, c/o Nest (Coworking), Berlin. Dec. 2010 to Dec. 2012. Sector: design.

Managing Director: Vizuarna. Strategic Design Consultancy.

Grablovičeva ulica 1, Ljubljana. From May 2006 till Nov. 2010. Sector: design.

Deputy Manager: Tam-Tam. Outdoor advertising.

Slovenčeva ulica 153, Ljubljana. Nov. 2001 to May 2006. Sector: advertising.
Contact: Tomaž Drozg, Managing Director, t: +386 1 51 56 596.

Project Manager & Desk Officer: Slovenian Sports Office.

Celovška cesta 25, SI-1000 Ljubljana, May 2001 to Dec. 2001 & Jan. 2000 to Jan. 2001. Sector: public.
Contact: Marjeta Kovač, Full Professor, PhD; t: +386 1 520 78 36.

Public Relations & Promotions: Volleyball Federation of Slovenia.

Celovška cesta 25, Ljubljana, May 2000 to Aug. 2000. Sector: sport.
Contact: Branko Maček, Competition Secretary; t: +386 1 43 85 372.

Head Volleyball Coach: Volleyball Club Ljutomer.

Mota 11, Ljutomer, Aug. 1998 to May 1999. Sector: civic/sport.
Contact: Jože Šumak, MD, t: +386 2 584 11 86.

MY STORY

My first professional experience was when I was a coach of the men’s volleyball team Ljutomer/Slovenia. I was very demanding as a Coach during training and if I needed to be, also very loud! I really enjoyed leading the matches. And I’m still proud that I succeeded to keep the rejuvenated Ljutomer team in Division B of the Slovenian national league in the 1998/1999 season.

My second significant professional experience was when I worked as Desk Officer and later as Project Manager at the Slovenian Sports Office. This time, I was more involved in managing the business than the people. I am still grateful to the then director of the Institute, Ms. Marjeta Kovač, PhD, who believed in me and some other fresh graduates from the Faculty of Sport and offered us jobs.

I remember my move into the private sector very clearly. It was in November 2001 when I started working for the outdoor advertising company Tam-tam. Taking care of clients was the first rule for companies competing in that market – an invaluable lesson for me. And my proudest achievement, which came out of my own idea, was setting up a whole new organisational structure within the company. I was lucky the company’s director trusted me to go for it.

One of my biggest tasks was to manage the advertising campaign for the ‘Month of Recreation’ that we later renamed ‘Recreation 2000 – We live healthy for fun’. I had the chance to work with several external partners on the project not only for advertising campaign but also for interaction design. For the first time, I found myself in the shoes of a client, when I had to run public tenders on behalf of Slovenia’s Ministry of Education and Sport.

We consolidated ‘marketing and sales’ and optimised ‘business and administration’. I also helped change Tam-tam’s entire pricing policy in the middle of the year, a brave decision I must say. We managed to communicate it well with clients and they accepted it. Importantly, it also increased the company’s profits. Tam-tam’s website and their intranet, designed for managing media plans at various advertising locations, were also projects that came about under my direction. And I’m still not ashamed of them today.

Having the courage to implement those changes in organisational structure and revenue model, I think was a direct consequence of my one-year international MBA at the ICPE & Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana. It was a very interesting and challenging year. In that year, I combined my work and studies, and it really enriched my theoretical view of economics and business. I successfully defended my thesis called ‘Corporate design strategy and branding: the role of design management in developing the corporate identity’ in September 2012.

I also enjoyed interactive annual reports, which, according to my colleagues, I can sometimes get a bit too involved in, when I move out of the strictly design remit and start making suggestions about structure and content. It’s all part of doing a good job in my opinion, so I hope my clients didn’t mind my meddling! As for Vizuarna, my biggest challenge was building a team that would allow us to survive and thrive in the market. I failed in finding markets and developing the product abroad for the company while spending two years in Berlin.

Vizuarna, a strategic design consultancy was a good excuse for putting my thesis on hold for several years. I helped set up and fund the company in May 2006. I never would have imagined I’d find myself so at ease in the design business. To eventually become a business designer. But in a relatively short period of time, I’ve worked on a huge variety of projects. I was probably most attracted by interaction design work. With my colleagues, we have successfully developed several company brand architectures.

In 2013, I founded a research Institute and a Business Design School to be in the future—dŠola Ljutomer where I serve as the Independent Researcher. I also returned to my event management routes and organized a series of the events in recent years. And in the meantime, I try to follow my mission of connecting business model innovation with design thinking. That’s why I wrote the book on the business model innovation (in Slovene: Oblikovanje poslovnih modelov). As part of my mission, I’m also a Senior Lecturer of Design Management at the Faculty of Design in Ljubljana.

I like spending my free time doing sport, whenever possible. My favourite is volleyball, beach-volley in the summer. Recently I started social dancing. Nevertheless, books are still my greatest passion. And yes, I need a cup of tea at least three times a day. I’m not bad at making boiling it for you, so if you’d like to join me for a cup of tea, next time you’re around Ljubljana, you’d be more than welcome.

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS & CERTIFICATIONS
  • Certificate of qualification for a member of the Supervisory Board and a non-executive member of the Board at the Slovenian Directors’ Association, February 2013;
  • Member of the Designers Society of Slovenia;
  • Member of the Volleyball Federation of Slovenia.

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