Master Thinker on Tech X Design: Bernard Suen

Feature Story

Co-founder, InTechnigence
Master Lecturer at HKDI inspire*

Hong Kong’s Bernard Suen has worked in the digital technology, business consultancy, design and education sectors for more than 30 years. He has domestic, Mainland China and international consulting and management experience. In 2010, he co-founded InTechnigence Limited, a Hong Kong-based company providing digital-technology consultancy and training services. Currently, he is also a Project Director of the Chinese University of Hong Kong Centre for Entrepreneurship.

Suen has held management and executive positions with Ernst & Young, the Kenneth Leventhal Real Estate Group, the Emperor Group, Panorama Distribution Ltd., Lovable Products (Hong Kong) Ltd., yU+Co and SharpMotion Enterprises Ltd., where he was responsible for information and communications technology and New Media strategy, solution-development and operations.
Since 2001 till the present day, he has taught courses in New Media, entrepreneurship, creative industries, Design Thinking and data-driven product and service design for The Chinese University of Hong Kong, as well as at Swinburne University of Technology (2011-2012) and the Hong Kong Design Institute (2011-2016). He has also conducted workshops and consultancy services for various organisations in private, public and NGO sectors.

Suen is the author of Eight Lessons In Entrepreneurship For Design And Creative Business published by ET Press in 2013, and co-author of the The Heart’s Way — Design With Empathy Through Creative Thinking, published by the Hong Kong Design Institute in 2014.

As a renowned teacher of Design Thinking, can you explain in a few words what you see as its main benefits for commercial companies?

Design Thinking is user-centric, which includes taking on board the perspectives of customers and other related stake-holders with empathy when looking at a problem. In addition, its emphasis on using a multi-disciplinary approach throughout the entire process can bring tremendous insights and capacities to problem discovery and solution.

And how can it help government departments and public services to become more effective in their organisational activities?

Public engagement is essential for government departments and public-service providers. Being user-centric involves leaving the comfort of one’s office to interact with the affected communities and stake-holders in issues that most concern them. Again, the multi-disciplinary approach fosters more cross-departmental collaboration, bringing different expertise into the situation and breaking away from the silos that prevent more effective handling of complicated matters.

Do you see any synergy between motivating a large body of people to work well together as a team and the sport of rugby in any of its manifestations?

I don’t know rugby so I will stay away from that metaphor for comparison. But like any team sport involving multiple skills, effective collaboration between the members is almost mandatory for achieving set goals. Design Thinking can become the common language for them to communicate in, bringing out the best from everyone to accomplish the tasks at hand throughout the process.