Roben Allong

Rogue moderator focused on what’s next in the consumer social and cultural zeitgeist. Former music business executive who fell into brand strategy development and qualitative research when clients asked her to help them gain a better understanding and harness trends to gain a competitive advantage. That was 15 years ago. Since then, Roben’s rogueish approach has been used by both the private and public sector entities to find fresh insights that continue to rock the boat but  also use it to explore unchartered waters and discover new worlds, languages, tribes, customs and cultures.


Claudia Antoni

Claudia holds a degree in French/German from the University of London. After living in the UK for 7 years, she joined Happy Thinking People in 1991. As a Senior Project Director, she works on international research projects and conducts strategic concept and innovation workshops around the globe. As from July 2016, Claudia is Director Creative & Ideation. She is responsible for Creative Think Tank projects and has founded the Creative Factory within Happy Thinking People. Additionally, she gives talks and writes papers for international research congresses (Esomar, QRCA, IiEX, BVM…). She has a certificate as a professional coach and trainer.   


Daniel Berkal

Daniel Berkal is SVP Research & Innovation and a partner at Toronto’s The Palmerston Group. An accomplished leader in the industry, Daniel’s team has conducted literally hundreds of energetic focus groups of various sizes, in-depth interviews, ethnographies, accompanied shops, mystery shops, videographies and ideation sessions among consumers and professionals in North America, Central America, Europe and Asia. The recipient of the 2011 “Qually” for excellence in Qualitative Research, Daniel has worked on some of the most innovative brands in business and is best known for completely immersing himself in consumer environments. With projects featured in Fast Company and Forbes, he’s been called “Hands down, the most unique, thought-provoking and game-changing qualitative researcher in the business. Period.” His team was awarded back-to-back 2012 and 2013 Great Mind Awards by the Advertising Research Foundation in New York City. In 2013 he completed a 25 city speaking tour which included stops in Canada, the United States, Italy, New Zealand and South Africa. Daniel holds degrees from McGill University and The University of Texas at Austin. He regularly instructs at the Miami Ad School campuses in New York, Minneapolis, Toronto and Miami and recently finished a term on the board of directors of the QRCA.


Missy Goldwasser Carvin

Missy Goldwasser Carvin joined New Directions Consulting, Inc. in 2007. Although she had worked for the firm on a part-time basis for almost 15 years, she had put her BA in theater and history from Hartwick College into service working for Girl Scouts. Now she heads up the research and innovation services for New Directions, designing and implementing “traditional” research projects, online studies, and creative problem solving workshops. She has been a leader at CPSI since 2011 and has also presented workshops at Florida Creativity Weekend and Mindcamp. Missy is a serving as co-chair of the C+I SIG, was the QRCA Annual Conference Chair in 2013, and has received both the Rising Star and Maryanne Pflug Spirit Awards.


Rachel Cox

Rachel is one of our stellar Qualitative Account Directors at Relish Research.  She has over 9 years experience, having joined Relish 3 years ago from a brand consultancy.  Rachel ran an AQR Breakfast Bites session on Infographics last year and by popular demand was recently invited back to present it again, to much acclaim from a packed audience.      Rachel is a passionate Qualitative Account Director at Relish Research.  She brings a wealth of experience to the mix from previous roles in media agencies and branding consultancies, as well as being ever curious about how we can harness new ways of thinking to best address business challenges. With a keen interest in semiotics and a passion for creating visually engaging work, Rachel is constantly looking to push the boundaries to eliciting and bringing insights to life to have a lasting legacy in any client business.


Lesley Croskery

Passionate about both exploring and conducting qual research in Africa, I started In Focus Qualitative Research in 2003, and am based in Cape Town. Deliberately small we remain focused on getting the best out of our research. I am an assessor on the Unilever accreditation panel [since 2011], and a Unilever-accredited Research Lead and Moderator.


Tom De Ruyck

Tom gives more than 100 keynote speeches, workshops and in-company presentations every year. He has spoken in 40+ countries and on 6 continents at major business, marketing, technology and research events. Tom is an expert in understanding and collaborating with consumers, creating consumer-centric-thinking organisations & preparing organisations and their employees for a future full of technological change, societal challenges and tremendous business opportunities.


Andy Dexter

Andy has 25 years’ experience and expertise as a serial entrepreneur, ideas person, CEO and senior advisor in the world of marketing, insight and strategy.    He has founded various successful insight agencies along the way, and now leads the Culturise Collaboration – part think tank, part virtual agency, with a mission to help businesses rediscover the art of the common good. He’s also co-founder of Signoi, a new AdTech startup developing AI tools for quantifying implicit meaning in text and visual imagery.    As an explorer and creative strategist, Andy has worked with many of the world’s leading brands on a vast range of groundbreaking projects, and won too many awards to mention.


Lydia Fuller

Lydia is the founding director of Full Colour Research and a board member of the AQR. Lydia began her career over 12 years ago at TNS (formerly Research International) before moving to Spring Research (now LRW Tonic) followed by Razor Research. During her career Lydia has worked across a wide array of accounts covering retail, FMCG, technology, advertising development, NDP and has a real interest in Gen Z as well as International Research.  Lydia describes herself as a naturally inquisitive person who feels fortunate to work in such an exciting, varied and fast paced industry


Alex Gordon

Alex is the founder & CEO of Sign Salad, an international cultural insight & semiotics agency, and has been working as a commercial semiotician for 18 years.  He has conducted international multi-market semiotic analyses, in most industry sectors including fmcg, telecoms, automotive, UK Govt, alcoholic beverages, pharmaceuticals, construction, travel, sports, banking & financial services.  Often working in partnership with qualitative agencies, Sign Salad provides cultural, branding & marketing insight for its clients to aid innovations, brand architecture & positioning, new brand development & new product development, creative development, packaging and all forms of visual identity & design.  Clients include Danone, PepsiCo, MasterCard, Kraft, Unilever, Diageo, BMW, Viacom, BBC, American Airlines, British Airways Pfizer, Playstation, LG, Wrigley, Molson Coors, Reckitt Benckiser, Mars, HBOS, Pernod Ricard, Nokia, T-Mobile, InBev, UK Civil Service, UK Prime Minister’s Press Office, Advertising & Design Agencies, He was previously Head of Semiotics at Flamingo International.  He has a PhD in Semiotics and Identity Politics, and previously lectured at the Universities of London & East Anglia, and was a financial journalist. He regularly appears at conferences & seminars, as well as on BBC radio & television, to talk about brands, and is a Fellow of NIECI (National Institute for Excellence in the Creative Industries).   


Rebecca Harrison

Coming soon


Maya Ilic

Maya has been with Ipsos since 2008. With strong expertise in FMCG, retail and tech, she leads project teams in designing, executing and analysing custom research. She specialises in digital research, and as the Communities practice lead in Spain, is responsible for helping different teams develop best strategy for their communities projects.     Maya has a BA in Psychology from Webster University Leiden in the Netherlands, and an MA in Social Psychology from London School of Economics.


Sarah Jay

Qualitative Research Director at Acacia Avenue with 16 years’ research experience and a particular passion for behavioural economics and evolutionary psychology.


Sarah Johnson

In a past life, Sarah worked as an Account Planner at ad agencies in New York, London, and Toronto which has given her a deep knowledge of best practice in brand communications, as well as a rich understanding of the cultural nuances in all three markets.    Sarah has worked in almost every category and with every customer target; from confectionery to cars, from technology to toys, from packaged goods to pharmaceuticals, from financial services to food, and from women and children to boomers and business decision-makers. Some of her clients  include Campari, Visa, AbbVie, Procter & Gamble, Sony, AbbVie, Walmart, Coca Cola and Eli Lilly.    Sarah is experienced in a range of qualitative methods, including traditional focus groups and IDIs, in-situ interviewing, online web-enabled interviews and online communities.    Sarah studied Anthropology, Philosophy and English at McGill University and went on to pursue further studies in English at Cambridge. She is a Riva-trained moderator, with additional skills in Semiotic Analysis, and has also been trained in Creative Problem Solving (CPSI).    Sarah is a member in good standing of the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA), the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA).  She has presented at conferences and colleges on a range of market research topics.


Andrew Konya

A computational physicist by training, Andrew has spent the past nine years developing and applying artificial intelligence and machine-learning algorithms to problems in language, bio-sensing,  image analysis and other applications. His current focus is on developing artificial intelligence capable of engaging and understanding large  groups of people on behalf of a moderator. As a consultant to the United Nations, he works on  applying artificial intelligence to optimize peacekeeping operations.


Jaime Kornick

As CEO of Undercover Insights, Jaime Kornick been a fearless leader in the market research space, designing innovative and creative approaches for the past ten years. She’s collaborated with companies across industries from Facebook to Nestle, collecting valuable information to fuel strategic business decisions. She founded Experiential Market Research, a differentiated technique built to cultivate unique conversations and in-depth understandings through behavior-driven frameworks that have been translated to the world we live in today. J-Me is passionate about leveraging new technologies to systematically gather data and uncover authentic insights focusing on how people make decisions driven with their hearts and minds.


Lucia Laurent-Neva

As founder of Visual Signo and co-founder of Semiofest she is responsible for demonstrating the increasing relevance of semiotics, applied anthropology and design to global brand strategy in commercial and non-commercial organisations. Lucia is academically trained in Design, Semiotics and Anthropology. She started Visual Signo driven by the belief that design thinking, cultural semiotics, and anthropology provide perfect tools to help brands and organisations with their strategic and innovation challenges. She has more than 15 years experience in converting complex cultural data and analyses into clear and relevant cultural and design insights, supporting brand strategy, creative development and product innovation for organisations across different continents in a wealth of sectors. A constant advocator of the use of new methods derived from social sciences and design applied to commercial environments.


Kendall Nash

Kendall Nash is a deeply rooted lover of qualitative research. As the Vice President of Qualitative Research Services at Burke, she is passionate about bringing her clients closer to consumers. She gets a thrill from studying and interacting with people and strives to reveal their authentic reactions, needs, and emotional connections to brands. Kendall is an instructor with the Burke Institute and a past president of the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA). She has two little humans at home, along with a husband who often discovers himself being researched, and she finds her biggest smiles on a bike in the mountains.


Dorrie Paynter

Coming soon


Luke Perry

Luke is deputy head of Qualitative Research at Jigsaw Research and has spoken at numerous research conferences including for the MRS, AQR, QRCA, AURA in both the UK and Europe, including award winning presentations. He is driven by one thing only, curiosity, about people and how they relate to the world around them. He has delivered both research projects referenced in this proposal and is keen to share his passion for what they do as a profession and help ensure we build our presence as an essential voice in today’s challenging world   


Oana Popa Rengle

Oana Rengle has a lifelong passion for qualitative research, with 17 years of experience. Currently she is consulting independently under the Anamnesis brand on qualitative research and strategic insight integration into business. In addition to being a research practitioner, she is also a certified Idea Generation and Creative Problem Solving processes facilitator, and a psychotherapist practicing Systemic Family Therapy.


Maria Rosa Puras

Since the age of three, María has traveled and lived in various cities between USA and Puerto Rico. Meeting new people, learning languages and cultures planted the seeds for this future market researcher. María found her passion in qualitative research, when she worked on the supplier side at TNS Market Development specializing in the Hispanic Market and LATAM.  Curious to experience the client side, she created and built the marketing research division at El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico’s largest newspaper and media company. In 2012, she founded Insight Marketing Touch. María Rosa has conducted qualitative research for Fortune 500 companies in various categories and audiences. She enjoys discovering insights, identifying new brand opportunities and optimizing marketing strategies to reach target markets effectively at all customer touchpoints. Her pastimes are spending time with her family and three children, singing and traveling. She is bilingual and bicultural development in Spanish and English and proficient in Portuguese. She has a BA from Washington University in St. Louis and an MBA from San Diego State University.   


Leonore Saintville

With a passion for uncovering new consumer insights and ideas, Léonore has spent 15 years shaking up the consumer insight scenes at L’Oréal, Reckitt Benckiser and Unilever.  Three years ago she set up Brand Act!, a brand consultancy specialising in innovation and consumer co-creation using cultural insight, qualitative research and creative techniques, including improvisational theatre. Under the Brand Act! flag, she has lead research projects and workshops for Reckitt Benckiser, Unilever or Etsy. Lately, she has helped Britvic develop exciting new drink concepts for kids! Her expertise spans across foresight, innovation, brand development. Leonore is also a fully trained actress! Graduated from Sciences Po Paris (Institute of Political Study in Paris) and post-graduate in marketing strategy and market research  Graduated from the London School of Dramatic Art


Alice Salisbury

Alice has always believed that nothing helps a company see a problem in a new light like the fresh eyes of the consumer. She’s put that belief into practice, as both researcher and planner, at the likes of Flamingo, M&C Saatchi and BBH.    Frustrated by the increasing gap between company strategy and customer understanding she co-founded Inkling in 2012, where she leads the research team.


Simon Shaw

Coming soon


Luigi Tolati

Coming soon


Tomoko Yoshida


Coming soon