Kevin Bethune is an author, designer, and entrepreneur. He is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Dreams Design + Life, an agency that offers design and innovation services with a human-centered approach. In this episode, we explore his remarkable background, which ranges from engineering to finance to design, while maintaining a creatively curious eye. We also discuss the future of design in an increasingly interconnected world. Listen and learn how to help the world by delivering important innovations that will benefit everyone.
Kevin Bethune is the Founder & Chief Creative Officer of dreams • design + life, a "think tank" that delivers design & innovation services using a human-centered approach. Kevin's background spans engineering, business and design in equal proportion over his 20+ year career, positioning him to help brands deliver meaningful innovations to enrich people's lives. His work represents creative problem-solving that brings multidisciplinary teams together to see the future through an open aperture, and a deep industrial design approach to inform and influence desirable, feasible and business-viable design outcomes. Kevin began his career as a mechanical engineer in the nuclear power industry. This chapter gave him deep product experience working with high performing teams across 14 nuclear reactor upgrade campaigns. After his MBA, Kevin joined Nike, Inc. in a business capacity, but quickly navigated to the Global Footwear product engine to drive advanced digital product creation capabilities, discovering the world of design in the process. After solidifying his creative foundation through further studies at ArtCenter College of Design, Kevin co-founded distinct design & innovation capabilities at two Tier 1 management consulting firms in Booz & Co. and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). As Vice President of Strategic Design at BCG Digital Ventures, he led a large cohort of designers that would influence and shape every corporate venture spun out from the incubator. Kevin left BCG Digital Ventures to carve his own path under the banner of dreams • design + life, focusing on unlocking human potential through strategic design, industrial design and the building of new ecologies. Kevin also serves as a Board Trustee for ArtCenter College of Design and the Board Chair for the Design Management Institute (DMI).
(00:57) - Introducing Kevin Bethune: his dream and vision of shaping the future that led to the creation of the agency DreamsDesign + Life.
(4:21) - Getting to know the creatively curious person Kevin: his love of music, where he finds inspiration, and his creative heroes.
(8:44) - Kevin's soul-searching journey: from engineering to finance to startups and, eventually, to running his own agency and publishing a book.
(16:33) - DreamsDesign + Life: the motivation to start an agency where multidisciplinary collaboration and innovation coexist.
(20:27) - More on Kevin's book, "Reimagining Design, Unlocking Strategic Innovation": the connection of design and business, and the value of multidisciplinary collaboration.
(24:02) - What's next for design? More representation and diversity is needed in the field to break through and have a better future.