Speaker Bios

Mason White & Lola Sheppard: Lateral Office

Founded in 2003 by Mason White and Lola Sheppard, Lateral Office is an experimental design practice that operates at the intersection of architecture, landscape, and urbanism. The studio describes its practice process as a commitment to “design as a research vehicle to pose and respond to complex, urgent questions in the built environment,” engaging in the “wider context and climate of a project– social, ecological, or political.” LATERAL OFFICE is committed to an architecture that responds directly to the demands of the 21st century – and the subsequent new typologies made possible by an architecture that brazenly confronts today. Recent work and research focuses on powerful design relationships between public realm, infrastructure, and the environment.

Chris McDonald: OECD

Chris works as a Policy Analyst in the Regional Development Policy Division at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which includes management of the Territorial Review of the Northern Sparsely Populated Areas (NSPA) and thematic projects on Indigenous economic development (see – here), and mining and regional development (see – here). OECD recently completed a review of the northern sparsely populated areas of Norway, Sweden and Finland which included a focus on innovation in the Arctic (see – here) and reviews on regional innovation (here). Chris’s undergraduate qualification is in urban planning and he has a PhD in regional development. He has published on these subjects in peer review journals, and has undertaken teaching and lecturing roles in public policy, regional development and economic geography including as an Adjunct Research Fellow at the School of Geography at Monash University.


Graham Hogg: Lateral North

Lateral North is a research & design collective based in Glasgow, Scotland. As a principal, Hogg works with community groups, creative professionals and institutions at a local, national and international level. Their projects have looked to redefine Scotland and its relationships with Nordic and Arctic neighbors.

Wendy Fok: Future Factory

Wendy W Fok, trained as an architect, is the creative director/founder of WE-DESIGNS (Architecture/Creative Strategy) and Resilient Modular Systems, PBC (Socially Missioned Venture).  She is featured as Autodesk ReMake’s list of 25 Women in Reality Computing (2017), winner of the Autodesk AiR Fellowship (2016), Young CAADRIA Award (2015), Digital Kluge Fellowship awarded by the Library of Congress (2014/15), the Art Director’s Club of New York’s ADC Young Guns 11 Award (2013), AIA (American Institute of Architects) Dallas “Express Yourself” Women in Architecture Award (2013), and selected designer of the Perspective 40 under 40 Award (2011) and the Hong Kong Young Design Talent Award (2009). Fok has a Master of Architecture and Certification of Urban Policy/Planning from Princeton University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture with a Concentration in Economics (Statistics) from Barnard College, Columbia University. Along with her practice, Fok is an Assistant Professor of Integrated Design at Parsons School of Design Strategies (SDS). Fok is also a co-faculty member with Prof Jessica Corr and Prof Ketty Maisonrouge on a course supported by the Luxury Education Foundation partnered with the Columbia Business School (Fall 2016), and completing her Doctor of Design (expected 2016) at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Her doctoral research is an investigative approach between intellectual property issues of ownership / authorship of digital / real property in computational innovation, and ethical / equitable application of technical methods within open innovation, digital fabrication, and commodisation for the built environment.

Benjamin Kumpf: United Nations Development Programme

Innovation Facility Lead

Benjamin leads the Innovation Facility of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in New York. He manages UNDP’s Innovation Fund, a pooled funding vehicle created to support and scale innovations that address challenges across the humanitarian-development nexus. Benjamin advises internal and external clients on social innovation with a focus on behavioral design. Benjamin’s work experience includes assignments in Rwanda, Nepal and India on the diffusion of innovations and in Jordan on the Syria crisis-response. He holds a Master’s degree in Political Science and Psychology from the University of Heidelberg and a post-graduate certification from New York University.

Joe Ravetz: Centre for Urban Resilience & Energy

Joe Ravetz is Co-Director of the Centre for Urban Resilience & Energy  at the University of Manchester.  He has worked on strategic thinking for sustainable cities and regions, with interests in environment policy, urban development, new economics and governance, innovation and futures studies, systems and complexity science. With a background as an builder, architect and planner, he is also a foresight trainer / consultant, with a sideline as a creative graphic facilitator. His main publications include ‘City-Region 2020’: ‘Environment and City’ (co-authored), and the forthcoming ‘Urban 3.0: creative synergy and shared intelligence for the One Planet century’ (Routledge).  Joe serves on the editorial boards of Foresight Journal and Sustainable Mediterranean Construction; coordinator of the Greater Manchester Policy Exchange; Principal at the SAMI strategic management consultancy; acting as advisor to national / city governments currently in Mauritius, Naples (Italy) and Vellore (India); and delivering training, seminars, consultancy, keynotes and reviews in many countries. The over-arching theme is about inter-connection: Joe sees cities / regions not as boxes labeled ‘economics’ or ‘environment’, but rather as whole systems which evolve and interact – so it’s clear to him that we need new kinds of whole system thinking. His research programs in CURE have included spatial development, economic development, resource modeling, environmental policy, energy / climate change, land / landscape studies, policy studies, etc. But the higher agenda is on the inter-connections, which can be explored via complexity science, transition and innovation studies, futures and foresight methods. These and similar methods help to enable creative synergy and urban intelligence – a starting point for a new kind of journey for the 21st century.

Andreas Hoffman: Arctic Culture Lab

Andreas Hoffmann is the artistic director of the Arctic Culture Lab, Finnmark County, Norway.  He is also a curator, advisor, and lecturer.

Eliis Doeven: Photographer

Ellis Doeven is a photographer who studied at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague from 2006 to 2010. She currently lives in both The Hague and Point Hope. Her work is part of the exhibition Muktuk & Gasoline: The People of Point Hope, which opens with the North x North Festival.