Meet the team behind ThingsCon.
Simon Höher (@jimmiehu) is co-founder of ThingsCon and CURRENT, a multi-disciplinary research studio. As a strategy and innovation consultant he works with DAX30 companies, start ups, public organizations and cities across various industries around the globe, drawing on concepts of lean product and service design, and human-centered innovation for resilient digital transformation.
Earlier he co-founded .process, a conference about the patterns of emerging innovation in art, tech, and business and headed his own Start Up for five years, launching two digital products around innovation, hardware, and local collaboration. Simon’s academic background is in politics, economics, and philosophy and his work and projects have been featured in national and international media like WIRED, Fast.co, Make: Magazine, BILD, PAGE, Deutschland Radio, and others.
Iskander Smit (@iskandr) is chairman of the foundation ThingsCon Amsterdam. He is innovation director at agency INFO in Amsterdam, that crafts connected digital products and services. Iskander is responsible for research and development and leading LABS.
Next to that Iskander is visiting professor at Delft University of Technology faculty of Industrial Design researching Cities of Things.
Since 2010 Iskander is a member of the Council Internet of Things and co-founded the Behavior Design AMS meetup in 2013.
Max Krüger (@krgermax) co-founded ThingsCon. He’s a researcher for Human Computer Interaction at the University of Siegen. Max started a Makerspace in Pakistan (certainly not alone), and works for the Global Innovation Gathering, a network of great people and community spaces all over the globe. Sometime he takes pictures, or plays music for people.
Dries de Roeck
Dries De Roeck (@driesderoeck) has a background in industrial design and has been switching between the academic research and design practitioner hats ever since. He is a designer and researcher, with a strong interest in how technology impacts the day to day life of people.
He currently leads the research activities at the creative agency Studio Dott (Belgium) where he is also wrapping up his PhD research. A recent outcome of his work is the IoT design kit, a configurable set of design tools for exploring and defining Internet of Things ideas.
Dries hosts and co-hosts local ThingsCon events within the Belgian and Dutch IoT community. He co-organises the family friendly hackercamp Fri3d Camp and organises technology related activities for primary schools.
Ashlee Valdes, Treasurer, ThingsCon NL
Ashlee Valdes (@ashevaldes) is fascinated by new technology and human behavior, a combination which has led her to become a facilitator of innovation methodologies. Drawing from a background in psychology and business she has worked in research management in 3 countries, her native USA, South Africa and the Netherlands.
Bringing together research, service design and new technology development, she has worked with innovation labs at INFO and Thomson Reuters, on topics ranging from IoT, AI/ML, to fin-tech. Building communities around topics of impact and learning are one of her motivators, and as such she has joined the board of ThingsCon in early 2019.
Pieter Diepenmaat (@__pieter__) is board member of ThingsCom and runs DIEP, an invention studio for smart, well-behaved products. Combining design, research and prototyping they help companies create and validate new IoT solutions, specialising in mobility and industry. His clients include Pfizer, SKF, NS, Ford and Roetz Bikes.
Besides organising Thingscon events and inventing products, Pieter also plays joysticks in the band WLDRF.
Prof Andrea Krajewski (@krajewski) is an industrial designer, speaker and blogger. Since 25 years she is fascinated by the changing role of design in innovation processes. In 1994 she co-founded 360° – a design agency with an interdisciplinary approach, designing products at the border of digital and analogue media. In 2002 she was appointed as a professor for the Design of Interactive Media Systems at the University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt. Here she established the interdisciplinary study course Interactive Media Design the UX-Lab and the THINGS-Lab – the current centres of her research. The contact to the ThingsCon-Team for her was like love at first sight.
She is a founding member of ThingsCon e.V. and hosts the ThingsCon Salon Darmstadt
Peter Bihr (@peterbihr) co-founded and chairs the board of ThingsCon e.V.. Peter is the founder and Managing Director of The Waving Cat, a boutique research, strategy & foresight company. He explores how emerging technologies can have a positive social impact. Peter is a Mozilla Fellow (2018-19) and Edgeryders Fellow (2019), and Postscapes named him a Top 20 Influencer in IoT (2019). He is the author of View Source: Shenzhen and Understanding the Connected Home (with Michelle Thorne). He blogs at thewavingcat.com/blog.