Design Indaba News

#DesignIndaba2020: Robert Wong to explore humanity's possible futures

Design Indaba alumnus Robert Wong, co-founder and CD of Google Creative Lab, has been announced as one of the speakers at this year's Design Indaba, having previously participated in the conference back in 2011.
Robert Wong, co-founder and CD of Google Creative Lab
Robert Wong, co-founder and CD of Google Creative Lab

Wong is certainly well travelled, having been born in China, grown up in the Netherlands, studied in Canada and now living America. While studying to become an accountant in Toronto, Robert woke up one day, flew to New York and became a graphic designer instead.

At Google Creative Lab, Wong leads a small team of amazing talent within Google to help communicate to the world the magic of Google products and the spirit of the people who make them.

Prior to Google, Wong was ECD of Arnold Worldwide, the agency most famous for a decade of epic Volkswagen advertising in the 1990s. Prior to that, he was vice president of creative at Starbucks.

He has worked on some of the world's most loved brands – Google, Starbucks, Apple, Harley-Davidson, Jack Daniel's, ESPN, MTV, NPR and other acronyms… But he’s perhaps become best known as design chief of Starbucks and has since been honored as a Master of Design by Fast Company and one of the 50 Most Influential Designers in America. His work has been featured at exhibitions such as the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

It goes without saying that he has no plans of going back to accounting.

#DesignIndaba2020: Robert Wong to explore humanity's possible futures

Wong doesn’t believe in leading with technology. He believes in prioritising humanity over technology and that tech should be about positive interactions, humanity, surprise and creativity. For Google’s Creative Lab, the focus is on whether the things they make are helpful and have a shot at exponential societal impact.

Connecting people with technology, telling inspiring stories and sometimes inventing products people didn’t know they needed is all in a day’s work for Wong, who likes nothing more than exploring the outer limits of what design and creativity can achieve.

He’s sure to hold the audience captive at Design Indaba once again, when he presents for the event’s silver jubilee edition.

Follow Wong on Instagram and Twitter. Ticket sales for the Design Indaba 2020 are officially open. Tickets can be bought on Webtickets, and for the latest updates and news, you can follow our Design Indaba special section.

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About Jessica Tennant

Jess is Senior Editor: Marketing & Media at She is also a contributing writer. moc.ytinummoczib@swengnitekram

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