Tom Wujec is a Fellow at Autodesk, a global leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, where he charts long-term strategy and helps leadership teams tackle tough industry challenges. He has brought several award-winning products to market, including SketchBook Pro, now used by over 40 million creative designers, illustrators and hobbyists, as well as Maya, visual effects technology which won an Academy Award for its contribution to the film industry.
Creative Exploration & Problem-Solving
As a recognized global thought-leader, Tom studies collaborative creativity, wicked problem-solving and the impact of emerging technologies on how we design and make things. He organizes and hosts forward-thinking events, including Autodesk IDEAS, Innovation Forums and TED IDEAS Cage Matches. He is the author and editor of five books, a passionate advocate of graphic facilitation and design exercises, has served as an adjunct professor at Singularity University and Great Northern Way and lives with his wife in Toronto.
Tom shares insights and best practices in formal keynotes and informal talks. He has delivered over 400 presentations internationally on fostering innovation, cultivating creative leadership and harnessing emerging technologies to businesses, industry associations, non-profits and government organizations. Tom has been on the TED stage seven times and has spoken on How to Make Toast, The Marshmallow Challenge and Using the Astrolabe which have collectively been viewed by over 5 million people.
Tom is a master facilitator who delivers Visual Strategy and Wicked Problem-Solving™ sessions for a wide range of organizations. Combining large scale visualization and rapid prototyping, Visual Strategy workshops enables teams to articulate, map, prototype and solve complex problems. Wicked Problem-Solving sessions are how-to workshops that equip organizations with a range of soft-skills to ask better questions, make their ideas visible and facilitate meaningful changes in how they collaborate.
Tom has been a student of creative thinking for over 35 years and has written and edited five books on design, technology, creativity and mental exercise. With over 500,000 copies in print, his books have been translated into over 20 languages and have been part of design innovation curricula since 1998. Download free digital copies of several titles.
Design is an expression of human creativity. Here you’ll find a wide range of design projects including fun collaboration exercises such as DrawToast and the Marshmallow Challenge which reveal profound lessons about collaboration and systems thinking.
When a product, service or industry becomes computable – that is, digitized – it is transformed. As design tools continue to evolve and ride an accruing exponential growth curve, they radically change how we make things as well as what we make. Understanding these changes is a vital component in planning for the future of manufacturing, architecture, fashion, and most everything that we will create.
SketchNotes and Visualizations
Collecting data is easy. Making sense of it, deciding what it means is hard – especially when collaborating with a group. Tom has been a long-term SketchNote artist where he visualizes conferences, meetings and major events. Working both digitally and physically, he synthesizes complex ideas into knowledge maps that reveal the essential in easy to understand graphics. Tom also uses computer animation to illustrate the power of ideas.
Tom has been attending TED Conferences for over 20 years, since TED5. Originally emphasizing Technology, Entertainment and Design, the event features a vast range of speakers exploring their scientific, artistic, social and environmental passions. The event has played a major roles in Tom’s professional work. At TED, Tom has launched two software applications and two books, delivered several master-classes and run four IDEAS Cage Matches, showcased high tech and low tech visualizations, participated as an invited visual artist and TED host, and presented seven TED Talks.
Tom’s personal passions also include landscape, travel, nature and micro photography. His travels average 150,000 miles each year and provide a wonderful opportunity to record the natural and built world. He also uses Momento Software to create three-dimensional models of everything from dinosaur bones and mushroom caps to landscapes and insects.