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Our team—

It’s what we do—
and how we do it.

In the beginning

Empathy was founded more than ten years ago when Emma Saunders and Matthew Ellingsen saw their human-centered design approach had the potential to do more good for more people.

Matt and Emma lead the Empathy team to help organisations truly understand their customers.

Meet the team

Our small, high-performing team brings together capabilities in anthropology, design, business consultancy and communications. Each of us has different skills, expertise, backgrounds and areas of responsibility.

For breadth and depth, projects always involve multiple team members.

The design mindset is at the heart of everything we do.

  • Understands what motivates people to behave the way they do and how this translates to business. Turns what Empathy dreams up into reality.

    Emma Saunders

    Co-founder and managing director

  • Designer by day, dreamer by night. Matt thinks big ideas — but always balanced with that “99% perspiration” bit of the quote.

    Matt Ellingsen

    Co-founder and design director

  • Endlessly fascinated by what makes people tick, and the human cogs, wheels and levers that make up the character of your organization.

    Dani Cuaron

    Research + strategy lead

  • Uses her fascination with stories — how people tell, use and learn from them — to write engaging and empathetic content for her readers.

    MaiLynn Stormon-Trinh

    Senior design researcher + writer

  • Whether it’s fieldwork or fonts, Ruth has uncanny attention to detail and never lets anything slip through the cracks.

    Ruth Elliott

    Business designer

  • California-residing cultural qualitative researcher, speed reader and intuitive theme tracker who whittles vast amounts of information into targeted, comprehensible deliverables.

    Ann Pistacchi-Peck

    Design research lead

  • A seasoned outside-the-box product and experience designer, Dipesh discovers new opportunities in the space between customer and brand.

    Dipesh Chhita

    Experience + innovation lead

  • An empath dedicated to science and sensitivity, Taylor understands people and systems like nobody’s business.

    Taylor Ferrari

    Senior design researcher + strategist

  • Former BBC journalist who specialises in translating government and business doublespeak into plain English that truly sings.

    Megan Lane

    Content lead

  • Puts the bop in the bop-shoo-bop-she-bop. Rhythm-obsessed story distiller who sees the quickest path to helping others understand what you really mean.

    Nik Jarvie-Waldrom

    Senior writer + strategist

  • At one with her inner geek, finds the core of an idea and carefully shapes content until its essence is clear to her readers.

    Cat Chappell Harrison

    Senior writer + content designer

  • Versatile storyteller who gets to the heart of a question to connect people with information they need.

    Tessa Prebble

    Senior writer

  • Perceptive guide and motivator. Investigates the goal from every angle for flexible, resilient strategy.

    Sarah McLellan

    Senior strategist

  • Enables Empathy’s business and people to be at their best. Efficiency and support delivered with a beaming smile.

    Trudy Dalziel

    Operations support

  • From financials to HR, team engagement to acting leader when Emma and Matt are offshore — Tracey keeps Empathy humming.

    Tracey Tillick

    Operations manager

  • Shapes strategy to set a course for positive change. Liss helps business leaders achieve goals with clarity and inventiveness.

    Liss Neustroski

    Client lead

  • Seeker of answers, connector of dots, and builder of teams. Gill helps organisations strategise for creative and viable ways to meet customer needs.

    Gill Coltart

    Client lead

  • Notices everything. Combines deep knowledge, finely tuned instinct, and perceptive analysis to make sense of it all.

    Julie Watson

    Design research lead

  • Design explorer, collaborator, and communicator. Helps people realise their design potential and take ideas further.

    Tina Shirmohammadi

    Senior designer

Design greatness with us

We hire passionate people who want to create a better future by design. Our strength lies in our differences. We welcome people with different backgrounds and experiences from all around the world.

Our team is doing incredible things.

If you want to do some excellent work with some excellent people…

Get In Touch

We promise to grow your capacity for greatness across a range of projects.
We will offer steadfast support along the way.