Speaking Engagements.

I am passionate about humanity and the power of design to find creative pathways towards a more abundant, resilient and equitable future. I am particularly interested in what it means to be human in this time of rapid change and shift.


Melis speaking at event
Melis speaking at the Business Romantic conference. Photo courtesy Julia Archibald

Creative State Summit—Melbourne, June 2018 Creativity in a Post-Truth World. This year’s summit theme will provoke delegates to think about the role creative practitioners, organisations and institutions can play in influencing, reflecting and interpreting our times. Speakers will examine bold new ideas and case studies, emerging trends and technology, and invite delegates to consider how they can build their skills, transform their practice, organisation or sector, and create new connections.

SXSW 2018 Conference—Austin, TX March 2018 The Shadow Side of Human Centred Design. Invited back to speak at SXSW, this year Melis will lead discussion around the repressed part of the design landscape. When it comes to talking about human-centred design, intentions are typically good. We seek positive results by designing meaningfully and deliberately, but sometimes even the most well-intentioned strategies darken, and take turns for the worse.

Humanities 21 Empathy Debate—Melbourne, November 2017 Is emapthy an impediment to success? Presented​ ​in​ ​partnership​ ​with​ ​Humanities​ ​21​ ​and​ ​Disruptive​ ​Business Network. In this Oxford-style debate Melis will be joined by Dr Steven Curry, Founder and co-director of Capability Builder, in debating the motion Empathy is not an impediment to success. Challenging Belle Lane and Stephanie Woollard, who are taking up the other side to this debate.

NewCo Melbourne 2017—Melbourne, November 2017 A platform to learn from founders and top executives who share their knowledge from the inside. Huddle are hosting the event in their new office space with Melis imparting What it takes to make impact: the hidden commitments. 

Service Design Days—Barcelona, October 2017 Melis is speaking about The realities and shadows of human centred organisations. This year’s event showcases How to put design at the heart of your organisation and stay relevant and connected in a fierce business landscape.

The Business Romantic 2017 Oz TourMelbourne, March 2017 The dark side of entrepreneurship. A unique one day conference exploring the radical humanisation of the workplace.

SXSW 2017 Conference—Austin, TX March 2017 This Human: The person designing for other people. A human-centric approach to focussing on people who are determined to have impact with their work and what it means to be human in this time of rapid change and shift.

A Vision for Australia: Global Access Partners Annual Economic SummitsSydney, NSW Parliament House. A series of Annual Economic Summits, held in September, hosted by Global Access Partners to incite discussion and “foster outcome-based engagement on key issues of value to Australia.”. Melis is an advisory board member and has participated in the following summits:

2017 Summit—Hidden Giants: The Future of Australia’s Midsize Business

2016 SummitSpaces of Australian Innovation. Melis spoke on the topic of mindsets conducive to innovation and creativity and shares her experience here.

2015 SummitThe Future of Jobs

Design to Align: Intersection’15 ConferenceBerlin, April 2015 Transforming a Product-Centric firm into a Customer & Design-Led Services Firm. 

 It’s not until we start challenging some of the fundamental assumptions that set up how we live our lives, that we can actually unlock spaces of opportunity that would otherwise not be available to us. 

Melis Senova


Melis speaking into microphone

Melis is a frequent guest on The Huddle Show, Huddle’s podcast that encompasses dialogue around all facets of design, human-centricity, meaningful work, humanity, impact, disruption and possibility. Melis has featured in several episodes in conversation around Design Sensibilities, Mastering the Future, The Meaning of Work, Leading Human Centricity, What is Human-Centred Design?, Key Mindsets for Innovation to name a few…Listen here.

Melis was a guest of Jon Faine’s on his weekly ABC Radio segment The Conversation Hour, joining Sarah Moran, co-founder and the CEO of Girl Geek Academy, and Juliet Kinchin, Curator of Modern Design in the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA (Museum of Modern Art, New York). Listen to the full episode here to join in the conversation.


If you are interested in booking Melis for any speaking engagements or events please contact her here and she will have her Producer, Annie Clarke, be in touch to discuss the finer details.