UCD UK Conferences was set up by Be Kaler, Karl Smith and Chandra Harrison. In 2014 Chandra Harrison left UCD UK Conferences as part of a move to New Zealand. In 2015 Julian Hirst joined the team as a Director.
Be, is a well known and respected recruiter, often invited to speak at conferences and offer opinion on how the User Experience market is changing and growing. She has specialised in user experience for half of my 18 year career in digital recruitment. She is an adviser and lecturer to new graduates joining the industry, coaching and nurturing new talent. I was recently invited to join the BIMA board and help work with the executive team to grow the digital industry nationally.
I am known for a slick, knowledgeable and passionate approach to recruitment, I have a vast and deep network of people at all levels of user experience and have been key to building core teams within digital agencies and internal teams in telecoms, broadcast, finance, government, retail and web and software companies.
Futureheads is an exciting digital recruitment business launched in September 2009 by four highly experienced and successful digital experts. Respected as passionate advocates of a professional, knowledgeable and no-nonsense brand of recruitment, we forge long-term partnerships with our clients, understanding their business drivers, helping them define their requirements and ultimately offering them the best candidates to suit their businesses. We bring strong ethics to our relationships and business transactions and invest time and energy in helping our candidates exceed their career expectations, nurturing alliances that continue for many years. We offer a sound knowledge of the digital industry, a vast network of contacts and an impressive track record in sourcing and securing the best talent in user experience, project management and creative & front end technology.
Julian is a design and innovation leader, Julian has more than 15 years’ experience working with (and for) sophisticated organisations that invest in service design and digital engagement.
In those fifteen years, we have seen UCD earn its seat at the table – and our community has helped launch a new world economy. In the next fifteen years, Julian believes strongly that the UCD community’s ambition and motivations must be broader than digital. We – scientists, artists, technologists, designers, philosophers – are uniquely positioned to enable a new era, through IoT, ambient intelligence, big data, sympathetic machines, hyper-personalisation, social science, virtual reality, service design, artificial intelligence, gaming, cryptocurrency, human behaviour analysis, computer vision, security, automation, simulated worlds, digital content and engagement, machine learning, the future of defence or flight or energy or cities or media or social and civic action or cars or commerce or health or finance… it’s an endlessly exciting list.
As a Director on the Board of the British Interactive Media Association (www.bima.co.uk), and a Patron of Digital Futures (www.wearedigitalfutures.co.uk), Julian works hard to support new talent entering the marketplace. This includes speaking in schools and universities, teaching in education programs, and mentoring students and professionals.
Through a boutique strategic consultancy in Marseille, Julian supports entrepreneurship and innovation in large and small businesses in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Initiatives include a recent project with The World Bank to drive economic growth in Maghreb (Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria) through engagement with its diaspora.
Julian also sits on the Board of the Do-It Trust, an award-winning digital social enterprise that promotes and enables social action through Do-It.org, the UK’s first and largest digital volunteering service.
Karl Smith works as an interim consultant on the leading edge of what business, customer and digital means, where it’s going and helping clients to understand what they need to do now, to still exist in a shrinking global marketplace. He works in Digital Transformation and is also involved in defining how an open IoT ecosystem will work with blockchain and AI avatars in order to bring the massive economic and social change promised.
He has been involved in Human-Centered Design as a catalyst for Transformation and Change in organization, services, products and processes professionally since 1989. As a Strategist, Consultant and Architect; instructional designer, information architect, user experience architect and customer experience architect focused on customer engagement He works through Paradigm Interactions as an Interim Director and consultant in the fields of Digital Transformation and Strategy using Customer Experience as a catalyst for change and IoT, IoA, Smart Ecosystem Experiences.
He tends to be involved in M&A activities on the due diligence and verification side of what is being offered by a company. He also works on the integration strategy, service or product restructuring, key staffing and market proposition modeling. Lastly, he works on VC exit strategies for clients, directing a refocus of company activity, launch of new offerings using market insights and invention to get businesses in the right situation for exit.
He is also a Founder of The Ubiquity Open Standard Project and The Human Centered Design Society and (Industry Members of The All-Party Parliamentary design & innovation group in Westminster) a Global Membership Organisation. He is a public speaker on subjects including Human Centered Design, Smart Technologies, Innovation, Smart Living, Internet of Things, Ubiquity.