Hello! Thank you for visiting. 

My name is Ksenia Benifand.  I am a social researcher, designer, and a futurist, working to create healthy, equitable, empathy-driven, and sustainable futures. 

Over the last decade, I have developed extensive expertise helping organizations and governments use the design thinking and strategic foresight processes to gain deeper insights about user needs and help map out complex social systems to pinpoint challenges and opportunities for strategic design interventions. I get excited seeing people have an “aha” moment when they realize the design thinking & foresight processes at work! 

I use a variety of design and technology tools such as Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence,  experiential futures, and facilitate workshops and experiences that help people envision and collaboratively create alternative futures. 

I am a graduate from OCAD University with a Master of Design (M.Des) in Strategic Foresight and Innovation, and a BA, International Development, University of Guelph.

What I am up to lately....

1) Over the last 6 months, I have been working with Mars Academy USA taking part in immersive, in-person, Analog Astronaut experiential futures training where crews from different disciplines, cultures and professions live, work and collaborate together in isolated, confined and extreme environments. I am currently prototyping a Virtual Reality tool that can help crews living and working in isolated environments resolve conflict and create cohesion. The VR app is being tested in each mission, and we are collecting data on it's effectiveness. You can see more about this work here.

2) I am also working on a new initiative called Rising Women, bringing together an international community of women who are exploring, working on, and manifesting social change within our local communities and worldwide. The purpose of this collective is for women to support one another in our personal and professional growth journeys and enable collective social impact. We do this through intimate storytelling, mentorship, and wisdom sharing during in-person retreats and on-line gatherings. If you are interested in more information about this group, please connect with me directly. 

3) I am developing an AI chatbot that can use image and voice recognition prompts using IBM Watson. This is a product for AvatarMEDIC, an integrated “holistic system” to address the myriad of challenges in the fields of emergency medicine, telemedicine, tele-robotics, disaster relief, medical triage and remote search and rescues.  In April 2019, our team won for Best Use of IBM Watson or IBM Cloud in Entertainment, Media or Gaming, AT&T Hackathon. You can see more about this work here


Areas of Expertise

User Research 

Gain key insights about the needs, pains, goals and dreams of the users, people and communities that matter to the success of your organization and community. 

Strategic Foresight 

Understand how the rapidly changing environment may impact your organization or community. Uncover blind spots and provide critical insights to map out risks and prospects for innovation by anticipating emerging trends and opportunities. See more about my foresight work here.

Strategy Design & Implementation 

Co-design your organizational strategy with key stakeholders to achieve your desired outcomes using a human-centered approach, to ensure relevancy, early buy-in, and a more robust action plan.

Training & Workshops 

Build capacity for your staff and stakeholders to drive and spread innovation across your organization through customized innovation workshops.  

Experiential Futures, Virtual & Augmented Reality Design 

Using mixed media tools, help to envision possible futures and build deeper empathy with your stakeholders. See some of my VR Projects here.

Custom Presentations 

Inspire your staff, stakeholders, or clients with latest research and custom presentations designed for your needs.  See my presentations here.


Want to know more about me and my work?

Take a look at some of the things my clients and colleagues have said about my work here. Also take a look at some examples of my work

You can also connect with me on Twitter, I post tweets about best practices in the foresight and innovation field, new technologies, and ideas for social innovation in healthcare and sustainability.   

I look forward to getting to know you more! I hope we can be in touch.

Warmly,
Ksenia Benifand


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