Meredith Smith: Alumna of MAIM 2012 and host of the MAIM 2016 conference

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Meredith Smith graduated from the MA Innovation Management in 2012, and since then passionately works in strategic foresight and innovation. She is coming back to Central Saint Martins for the evening of the conference “Through the Kaleidoscope: Perspectives on Innovation Management” on 24 June as a host of the conference and panel discussion. We met her to find out about her curiosity and obsessions.

Meredith’s passions are strategic foresight & innovation. She studies the world and the people in it, the actors that indicate shifts in society, in opinion, in habits and desires. She is obsessed with behavior: peoples’ foibles, their guilty pleasures and mundane acts. She feels that the small details of life contribute to the ability to predict what will inspire people in future.

 

As an associate director at Stripe Partners and practitioner of both foresight and innovation management, Meredith is always seeking new ways to engage clients in the cultural shifts that can help them enact relevant change. By understanding the landscape in which one operates from a sociocultural point of view, she strives to serve clients in ways that enable them to make relevant choices that lead to actionable innovation.

 

 

The Interview

 

We met Meredith on 6 June, 7PM, at The Rising Sun Pub (38 Cloth Fair, London EC1A 7JQ). For now, we are asking the questions, but at the MAIM 2016 conference she will be the one winkling out insights from the speakers. Her bubbly personality and curiosity makes her the perfect host.
 
Can you describe yourself with three words?
1. Filter – hope: filter down goals and expectations
2. Curious: understand people from observation – understand people, all their little weirdness, and what motivates them
3. Creatively – problematic: I’m never afraid to ask – hugely influenced due to my background in foresight – what would the future look like? I want to explore all possibilities.
 
What is the biggest innovation ever to you?
The Internet. It changes the way people interact. The value is generated through the users because they get to decide what they want. Something really innovative doesn’t have value until the users show you what is valuable. The Internet was created and everyone hacked it, creating something so open that it can be anything.
 
Where do you get inspiration from?
People-watching. I come from a small city in the States. Having lived and worked in big cities like New York and London really opened my vision about how much we can learn just through simply observing people’s daily activities.
 
Who would you like to have dinner with?
Stephen Fry
David Bowie
 
What would you say to your 20-year-old self?
Focus on skincare! (Note: as Meredith is currently working on a project about skincare. A business trip to Asia showed her HOW MUCH women love skincare.)
There is no right or wrong when it comes to making decisions. They can be good or bad, but it’s always a learning experience. Don’t get tied up in taking a right or wrong stop. When I stopped thinking that way its been nothing but an interesting or fascinating ride.

 

 

Secure your free ticket for the MAIM 2016 conference “Through the Kaleidoscope: Perspectives on Innovation Management”, taking place at the LVMH Lecture Theatre at Central Saint Martins on 24 June 2016.

 

The illustrations are proudly presented by Anna Andersson.