Teodora Migdalovici: On Design Feeling
A pioneer, Teodora was always a believer in the transformational power of empathical creativity. She is an awarded brand therapist with a soft spot for anthropology and visual arts, an international public speaker on emotional intelligence, strategy, kindful brands, customer cure and future thinking. Her students from The Alternative School managed to win Gold Lions in Design and Cyber, while hundreds of C suites applied efficiently her perspective on business growth through emotional intelligence and design feeling. Through Loveandlobby.com, she encourages the West to discover other worlds’ richness, in terms of diversity, sophistication and catalyst-ideas for the better. At the third edition of Design Thinking Forum, she will give several reasons to love the problems, since the solutions are within.
- Your personal approach on design thinking. What is your definition of the concept?
Tedi Migdalovici: Since the question is about a personal approach, I’ll answer with a personal story. As a kid, for some good years I had the most boring Sundays mornings – 3 to 4 hours in front of tough mathematical problems my dad used to choose from a specialised magazine, created to train performers of the field, from a young age. As I was more of a storyteller, connected to imagination and sensory world, everything abstract seemed so unappealing. And when I was eventually managing to break down a problem, my dad – a phd in Mathematics – used to keep being discontent and constantly ruining my short Evrika moments. “It’s not enough to just solve a problem. You need to solve it elegantly”. And then he would explain what “elegance in mathematics” meant: a fast, brilliantly simple solution, like a checkmate in 3 moves.
Design Thinking is to me like dad’s perspective: simple, sharply brilliant, fast, exponentially efficient. Looking back to his wise mind-set, I realised how fascinating was the process, when you are not focussing on the problem, but on the elegance of the solution. That’s Design Thinking to me and I am applying its values instinctively, ever since.
- The most memorable example of design thinking
I would like to come up with a reverse engineering example, with a case study that checks all the boxes of Design Thinking principles. Expect more of this at my presentation at Design Thinking Forum, on September, 19th.
- A childhood story that announced your career path.
I was an entrepreneur with a great belief in my dreams from a very early age, being sure that if I will do my part well, impossible things would eventually happen. I was about 5 and wanted badly a magician box for Christmas. From 3 to 5, I’ve asked my parents to send Santa the message, but apparently they didn’t manage to speak loud and clear, since all I’ve got were books, pyjamas and stupid logic games. In the meantime, I’ve learned to write individual words. With Christmas fast approaching, I decided to take the matter into my hands and write a letter to Santa. How hard could that be? I saw adults doing it and it didn’t t seem that complicated. So I took a nicely sharped pencil and with a white page in front of my eyes, I had all the letter topics in my mind. One small problem – I didn’t know where to start. I was left-handed and the most natural thing to do it was to write from left to right. 3 lines later, I was done and incredibly proud of myself. Now mom and dad couldn’t get it wrong again. They will just have to hand over the document to Santa and he will take care of it. I think Christmas came earlier for my mom that year, because she was astonished by my initiative. I think this initiative spirit, this need to anticipate and get involved more so the impossible will become a reality, this belief in doing everything in my power – even experimenting and piloting and trying things for the first time – announced the pioneering, entrepreneurial projects I developed later in life.
- A message for companies that are still reluctant to design thinking. Why those entities should use it and what is the expected outcome.
We live in unsettling times. Ignoring innovation, creativity, the need to be better, faster, not trying to find scalable solutions are the shortest ways to decline. Would they afford to decline? Then they should ignore Design Thinking & Design Feeling.
- The essence of your presentation at Design Thinking Forum, in one sentence.
Love the problems, because the solutions are within.
TEODORA MIGDALOVICI // EXTENSIVE INFO
As an international speaker, Tedi shared her view of the industry’s future on global stages, from London to KL, from Paris to Singapore, from Vienna to Tel Aviv, working in the last two decades with British American Tobacco, Coca-Cola, Google, Geometry, DDB Malaysia, Nestle, Mauritius Commercial Bank, McCann Adriatics & Tel Aviv, P&G Europe, UM or Vodafone.
Teodora Migdalovici is an International Public Speaker, an Awarded brand therapist & author and The Alternative’s School’s Founder. Moreover, she is the founder of several pioneering initiatives – MEALCHEMY.COM for personal branding, The Alternative School for Creative Thinking, one of the most successful Creative MBAs in Eastern Europe and LOVEANDLOBBY.COM, a private diplomacy platform exploring less known cultures through the lenses of their design, innovation and creative industries.
As a firm believer in the benefits of diverse thought and a constant supporter of genuine talent, in 2016 at Cannes Lions, she launched Ladies First, a LoveAndLobby project, to promote female talent in the cultural context of their nations. She started with Romania, continued with Turkey and currently she is documenting the topics of innovation for the better, the rise of local design as cultural statement and the gender dynamics in the Middle Eastern creative industries.
Beyond her BA in Literature and Foreign Languages, she has entrepreneurship and innovation studies via ESSEC Business School and the ambassadors’ post-university Diplomatic education.
Private Diplomacy Award, Brand Leadership Award, Global Super Achiever Award, European Excellence Award, Stevie Award, Lions Most Passionate Ambassador – silver, Dragan Sakan Award for the impact on Eastern European Creativity, are distinctions associated with her books, research or educational projects.