Trained in 3D design in Northern Ireland and Germany, Michael Thomson established Design Connect in London in 1995. As an independent design strategist and facilitator, Thomson has helped design-led businesses and organisations around the world to evolve their visions and strategies for growth.
He served on the Icsid Board (now WDO) from 2001 – 2005. As a member of the International Advisory Committee for Torino World Design Capital 2008, he initiated and directed “Shaping the Global Design Agenda”, the first international conference on national design policy. When President of the Bureau of European Design Associations (BEDA), Michael Thomson developed and led the high-level lobbying process that successfully persuaded the European Commission to include design in its Innovation Strategy for the first time in 2010. In 2011, he authored “Design for Growth and Prosperity”, the report of the European Commission’s European Design Leadership Board.
Michael Thomson was appointed the inaugural Japan Design Ambassador by the Japan Institute of Design Promotion in 2013. He became an Honorary Fellow of Aalto University in 2014 and, in the same year, was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts by the University of Brighton in recognition of his “significant contribution to design”.