Rama Gheerawo

Rama Gheerawo

Rama Gheerawo

Director AT The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art


Human first | Designer second.

Rama Gheerawo is an international and inspirational figure within design. He won a ‘Hall of Fame’ award for his work at the Design Week Awards in 2019 and was named a 2018 Creative Leaders by Creative Review alongside Paul Smith and Björk, As Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, he uses design to address issues around age, ability, gender and race. He is a serial innovator in the fields of Inclusive Design, Design Thinking and Creative Leadership having personally led over 100 projects working internationally with governments, business, academia and the third sector with clients such as Samsung, Toyota, AgeUK and Panasonic. He champions inclusive and empathic approaches for individuals and organisations through his pathfinding work in Creative Leadership, with training delivered globally to thousands of people including over 700 civil servants. He is in high demand as a keynote speaker, and writes, curates exhibitions and runs workshops for audiences that range from students to business executives. Rama sits on a number of advisory boards and committees for awards, universities and organisations such as the UK Design Council, The International Association for Universal Design, the Design Management Institute, The Bhavan Institute for Indian Culture and the RSA Decolonising Design Initiative. He has been a Visiting Professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and the Katowice Academy of Fine Art.


Human First, Designer Second: Design for equity and inclusion


Inclusive design, is design at its to most powerful and conscious. It puts people first. When we ask about who is included, we should also look at who is excluded. Rama will present frameworks and ideas that speak to exclusion by age, ability, gender or race, showing how this can be creatively limiting. Accepting all human beings on the planet can lead to a more innovative, connected and inspiring experience something that all creatives need to consider.

This talk will also draw insights from Rama‘s new book, Creative Leadership: Born from Design which aims to present a novel form of leadership for designers and innovators, based on the three values of empathy, clarity, and creativity. Drawn from the people-centred practice of inclusive design, Rama will look at how these ideas can be applied in the UX / UI space, drawing on over 300 projects completed after the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design. 

This leadership model speaks to issues of equity, diversity and inclusivity, something that is increasingly seen as being of importance across organisations and sectors. His talk will give you ideas to use the very next day.