Sami Niemelä is a designer and creative director who lives the future so you don’t have to. In his daily work he helps companies to change the world with culture shaping strategies, products and services, and become resilient and future proof themselves. He has been working on the field for the past 20 years both in the theoretical side of things, teaching and developing new frameworks and also in practice — he holds several international patents and is an awarded designer and a strategist.

Currently he is one of the founders and the creative director of an advanced design firm Nordkapp headquartered in Helsinki, and working all over the world. On the side, he co-founded IxDA Helsinki in 2008, co-chaired sold out 1200 strong Interaction 16 conference in Helsinki and has been invited to judge several competitions such as the Webbys. Sami is a member of the advisory board at EDACY, startup aiming to revolutionise the higher education on African continent. In addition, he is a member of the board at Grafia, and serving member at Ico-D’s National Design Policy workgroup.

Coming up:

  • Value and purpose of Design @ Design Forum Finland, Helsinki
  • Digitalisation and build environment @ KIRADigi, Helsinki
  • Rise of Design in China @ IxDA Oslo, Norway


  • Actionable Futures Toolkit @ Google Sprint Conference,
  • National Design Policy @ Ico-D AGM, September 18-20th, Beijing, China
  • Designing Sleep @ Thingscon Salon, June 1st, Amsterdam
  • Actionable Futures Toolkit @ PRIMER 18, May 5th, San Francisco, US
  • Actionable Futures Toolkit @ Service Design Network Conference, April 25th, Helsinki
  • Designing Sleep @ Health Design 2017, Otaniemi, Finland.
  • National Design Policy @ Ico-D AGM Platform Meetings, Montreal, Canada
  • EDACY Exponential Innovation bootcamp, Dakar, Senegal
  • EDACY Talks, Dakar, Senegal
  • Digitalist Forum, Tennispalatsi, Helsinki, Finland
  • Alma Talent, Helsinki, Finland
  • HealthSPA @ Microsoft Flux, Helsinki, Finland
  • Product Design Camp Helsinki
  • EDACY Product Design Bootcamp, Dakar, Senegal
  • EDACY Talks, Dakar, Senegal
  • Interaction 17, New York, United States of America
  • Interaction 16, Helsinki, Finland (co-chair, host)
  • Interaction 12, Dublin, Ireland
  • Urban Design London (a Transport for London initiative)
  • Next Conference in Hamburg, Germany
  • Thingscon in Berlin, twice.
  • BMWi Guggenheim Labs Berlin, Germany
  • Arkitekturens Grannen, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Aalto Pro, Course on Interaction Design x 2
  • Aalto ITP (formerly HSE) summer program 2003–2015

Corporate: Microsoft, Finnish Public Broadcasting Corporation Yle, Handelsbanken, Kesko and others. Full speaking references available on request.

Awards: Red Dot Communication Design x 2, Core77 Design Awards Honoree x 2, Webby Awards Honoree x 2, Vuoden Huiput Gold x 1, Silver x 3, Grand One Winner x 5, several shortlists and jury duties in Finland and abroad.

Unwork: bicycles, coffee, travel and family. Not necessarily in that order.