Helen Kerr Co-president, KerrSmith Design
Director of Strategy, Research and Innovation
Helen Kerr has over 25 years experience as the leader of one of North America’s pre-eminent, research driven, innovation and implementation companies. With degrees in both Environmental Studies and Industrial Design, her work crosses the boundaries of design, foresight and strategy. Helen holds over 40 product and process patents and is recognized by the Canadian government for her experimental work. Multi-disciplinary approaches to highly complex problems have been the undercurrent of her career.
Helen is also a professor and researcher in the Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation program at OCAD University. She has been principle investigator for foresight projects in the government, philanthropic, educational and financial sectors, leading participatory and co-creative processes involving enterprise wide engagement. The recently completed citizen centric study on the Economic Futures for Ontario used a cross-departmental approach to elicit perspectives despite siloed departmental habits. Helen has authored reports on the Future of Mass Affluence, the Future of Regulatory Bodies and the Future of Philanthropy in Canada. Her most current project is focused on exploring multi- modal transportation and land use in Southern Ontario. Helen consulted with the Higher Education Council in Pakistan to introduce integrated design into engineering programmes to achieve more impactful research translation and achieve development objectives. Helen also recently participated in a forum on the future of medical education in Ontario.
Helen has lectured and written extensively on research, strategy, design and innovation. In May 2012, she was the focus of a CBC documentary film entitled “Great Minds of Design”, and was admitted to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2016.