Stuart SMITH

Chief, Digital Innovation & Design Practice


Stuart is currently Chief of Service Innovation & Design at National University of Singapore’s Institute of Systems Science (NUS-ISS). He has over 20 years experience working at the highest level of service innovation and design both in consulting, agency, blue chip corporate and government contexts. Stuart is an expert in digital innovation, corporate strategy & organisational transformation, the use of human centred design techniques, narrative & storytelling.

Since 2012, at NUS-ISS, along with his team, he has developed and delivered a novel and wide ranging service innovation curriculum which is highly practical and combines real world projects with robust training in the tools and techniques of innovation. He has championed the adoption of UXD and service design in Singapore technology sector as well as supporting the wider service innovation and productivity agenda in Singapore. To date, the team has trained over 1,000 individuals from both Singapore and around the world in a wide range of UX, Service Design and Service Innovation approaches.

He has worked with organisations such as UOB, OCBC, DBS, CapitaLand, Singtel, Singapore Police Force, Marina Bay Sands, SATS as well as many other Singapore organisations.

Originally trained as an environmental technologist at Imperial College London, Stuart built environmental informatics systems, automated pollution sensor networks and GIS. He completed several projects using GIS systems to manage and communicate complex urban/environmental data sets.

In 1998, during the first “” boom Stuart joined a major global telecoms firm as part of their newly created Internet Centric Innovation Team. Reporting directly to the Board, this team developed and delivered some of the largest digital transformation projects of the time. These included delivery of large scale Oracle & PeopleSoft ERP implementations, design of web content management systems, cybersecurity and intranets.

In 2003 Stuart acquired a stake in boutique marketing agency Wood Holmes Group, completing full takeover in 2008. As CEO and then Chairman he grew that business into a globally recognised innovation and strategic design with offices in London, Manchester, Newcastle & Singapore with specialities in digital, urban infrastructure and sustainable innovation.

Prior to selling the business 2012 he had completed innovation, strategy and design projects with organisations in multiple vertical sectors such as Deloitte, BBC, Sabic, Mars, Pepsico, HSBC, UK Design Council, Hunting Oil & Gas, Bouygues, Gentoo Group, ACAS, NHS and several UK Government Departments. These ranged from small scale policy advice to multi-year, multi million pound delivery projects.

Stuart is an accomplished public speaker and is in demand as a key note speaker on a range of topics including service innovation, futures, design thinking, smart cities & urbanism, storytelling and entrepreneurship.

He currently serves on the Singapore National Library Board (NLB) IT Steering Committee, SPRING Singapore GAAP Panel, Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) Productivity Expert Panel. He has been an active investor in start ups and acts as a mentor to the JFDI Start Up Accelerator Programme in Singapore.

His current consulting & research work focusses primarily on Financial Services, Healthcare, Urban & Government digital service innovation.

What I Teach

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