Scott Smith

Founder and Managing Partner

Scott Smith is the founder of Changeist, where he leads strategy, research and design activities. His work is built on over 20 years’ experience tracking social, cultural, technological and economic trends, and combines grounded research with narrative design to explore the unanticipated. 

Before founding Changeist, Scott served as director of research applications at Social Technologies, a futures and innovation consultancy. Prior to this, he spent a decade leading start-up research and consulting teams for international technology research firms in New York City, Washington, DC, and London. 

Scott has mapped possible futures for public- and private-sector strategy, design and innovation teams worldwide, with some of the largest brands in tech, media, mobility, health and travel. He has also worked with leading non-governmental organizations such as UNICEF, international bodies such as the European Commission, and supported scenario development for the Museum of the Future 2015 and 2016 developed by the Prime Minister's Office of the UAE. He also leads Changeist's work with the cultural sector, including engagements with museums in the UK and Spain and cultural programmes in Belgium and Malta.

Scott has been deeply involved in foresight and innovation education, designing and launching programmes at Duke University TIP, as programme coordinator and lead lecturer in futures and innovation at IED Barcelona, and as a 2015 visiting lecturer at the School of International Futures in the UK. He also designed and facilitated an innovation lab for FutureEverything in fall 2015 in Singapore. He now leads a new education partnership with the Dubai Future Academy focused on future design for government and private organizations. 

On the public side, Scott is also a commentary writer for Quartz and a contributor to The Atlantic, How We Get to Next, WIRED UK and HOLO. He has guest lectured at the RCA in London, and has been a returning speaker at LIFT, FutureEverything, and Media Future Week, and has spoken at SxSW, Sibos, Finland’s Flow Festival, Australia’s Open State, FutureFest, and The Next Web, among other public and private international events. 

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Susan Cox-Smith

Partner, Creative Strategist

Susan Cox-Smith is a partner and Creative Strategist at Changeist. She brings over 25 years’ experience creating and managing delivery of knowledge and information products to guide decision making. She manages Changeist’s design, trend, and strategy engagements, including work for several of the largest global technology, pharma and health brands worldwide. Susan also leads Changeist’s design for immersive experiences about the future, and oversees experience design for new futures tools for workshops, education and group collaboration.

She manages the How to Future project, from material to curriculum design and delivery with global clients. She also co-designs and delivers workshops for Thingclash, Changeist’s project to bring critical thinking to design in the Internet of Things, including co-design and facilitation for senior executives from global financial institutions at the annual Sibos global financial conference in Geneva. 


On the research side, Susan tracks trends around emerging technology and the future of human issues, including international development, health, work, sustainability, shelter, aging, families, education, and culture. Her recent work has focused on health, work and personal data.   

She has written for Medium and How We Get To Next on issues of gender, education, work and technology. She has post-graduate certificates from The Portfolio Center and New York University.

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Natalie D. Kane

Natalie Kane works as a researcher for Changeist, alongside additional responsibility as Curator & Editor for FutureEverything, an innovation and culture lab and festival in Manchester. As a curator, writer and researcher exploring the intersection of culture, futures, design and technology, she has a particular interest in the uses and abuses of personal data, ethics and innovation in wearable technologies and issues surrounding the Quantified Self, as well as an interest in the cultural and social impact of engineering. She co-developed and contributes to Changeist’s Thingclash project, and leads workshops around technology, ethics and the future. 


Natalie has written on engineering, culture and technology, and has worked with artists and technologists on projects surrounding open data, producing the second Data as Culture exhibition in partnership with the Open Data Institute, facilitating participation in the Pink Sheet Method, an experimental project on transparency in personal data and future scenarios in ‘data fracking’ presented at FutureEverything.

Natalie is also co-curator of the Haunted Machines conference, an ongoing research and curatorial project that reflects on narratives of magic and hauntings in our relationship to technology, and is co-curator of the 2017 IMPAKT festival in Utrecht. She has also been a visiting lecturer in Innovation & Futures Thinking at IED Barcelona and at the 2017 RITSC Winterschool in Brussels. She was previously Programme Assistant for Lighthouse in Brighton.

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Madeline Ashby

Photo credit: Kayleigh McCollum

Photo credit: Kayleigh McCollum

Madeline Ashby is a futurist and science fiction writer based in Toronto. Alongside supporting Changeist projects. she has worked with organizations like the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Nesta, Data & Society, the Atlantic Council, Strategic Innovation Lab, and others. She has conducted workshops with groups like Engineers Without Borders Canada, United Way Canada, and the Ontario Media Development Corporation.

She also lectures on science fiction and design thinking at OCAD University in Toronto, where she graduated with a Masters of Design from the Strategic Foresight & Innovation programme, and in creativity and collaboration at Ryerson University. Madeline is also a guest lecturer in the Future Design programme at the Dubai Future Academy.

Madeline has spoken at FutureEverything, Media Future Week, and Mozfest 2016 in London.

She is also the author of the Machine Dynasty series, and the novel Company Town from Tor Books, which was runner up for the Canada Reads prize in 2017. Her fiction has been translated into Japanese and German. 

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