Visiting professor, London South Bank University; journalist; occasional broadcaster for Radio 4. St Paul’s School scholar; helped install Britain’s first computer-controlled car park, 1968; graduated in physics. Editor, Design, 1979-82; co-founder, Blueprint magazine. Multi-client study, e-commerce, for the designers Fitch, 1988; proposed Web TV, Henley Centre for Forecasting, 1993. Chief, worldwide market intelligence, Philips Consumer Electronics, the Netherlands, 1995-7. Director, product designers Seymour Powell, 1997-2001. Independent since 2001.
Writing: Applied Ergonomics, Computing, Cultural Trends, The Economist, The Institute of Mechanical Engineers Journal, Long Range Planning, New Civil Engineer, The Times, The Independent and The Guardian.
What I do
(1) Facilitating and speaking at events for your own clients
Here I work with you to prepare, firstly, the right title, programme and targets for events that can establish your intellectual authority with current and potential clients, media and staff. To do this, I naturally spend good time reading up on and listening to you, as well as probing your objectives. Then I either chair the event, speak at it, or both. Facilitation is, if anything, more exacting than speaking – you have to stay alert and listening every second of the proceedings. My speeches can be anything from 20 minutes to an hour long. They are
• broad but deep.
• funny but serious.
• very visual but very numerate.
• highly topical but with forecasts and historical depth.
They cover the technology, economics, politics and sociology of innovation in energy, IT, retailing and cities. They are polemical, controversial, and – above all – they make people think. They are never ‘death by Powerpoint’. Also, they show courtesy and good sense by relating my remarks to what other speakers have said on the day (a dying art).
(2) Writing articles and major reports for you
Here again I first research your organisation and its business context. Then I write to your specifications, but, as far as possible, in my own critical, independent style. As with my speeches, my articles are highly topical and angular, with unexpected connections made, and a strong sense of the ‘what’s coming up soon’. They can also come with scholarly references on what to read next. This adds tone, and makes them more powerful as an argument and more useful in practice.
To assist the diversification of the air travel bookings giant into the rail bookings business, James wrote a paper for its clients, looking at worldwide developments in conventional and high-speed rail, the integration of train trips with air journeys, and the merits of outsourcing and shared services. James followed up with a multi-slide presentation at an international conference held by Amadeus clients in Cannes
To help launch a new, A3 printer, James prepared a paper for 30 top customers of Brother equipment on ‘The UK if everything was nearly half as much bigger’. With 40 sources, the paper, available on this website, covers what a quantum leap would mean if it took place in technology, longevity, jobs among Small and Medium Enterprises, and UK plc generally. James’ subsequent presentation to customers was greeted with acclaim by those present
UKT&I is the body responsible for promoting Britain as a site for inward investment – as well as for promoting British business abroad. Over nearly a year, James collaborated with the organisation, as well as the Government’s chief economist, to write one of the very few forecasts of Britain’s prospects in terms of both inbound and outbound investment.
(3) Consulting on your overall editorial approach and brand-building
Here I look at your website, ads and other marketing materials, and suggest or personally develop new ways of enlivening them – both in words and in design.
Email me on James@Woudhuysen.com
Past and current clients
Akzo, Barratt, British Gas, BDR Thermea, Electrolux, Deutsche Telekom, Fujitsu, Galeries Lafayette, Gateshead City Council, Gaucho restaurants, Geothermal Engineering Ltd, Hallmark UK, Heineken, Hewitt Associates, Jersey Telecom, Konecranes, Lego, Microsoft, Mitsubishi, Novartis, Orange, RAC, Reckitt Benckiser, Roca bathrooms, Rolls Royce, Sage, SAP, Siemens, Standard Life, Unilever, UPS, city of Yangzhou (China), Yokogawa.
Articles grouped by Tag
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Innovators I like
Robert Furchgott – discovered that nitric oxide transmits signals within the human body
Barry Marshall – showed that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori is the cause of most peptic ulcers, reversing decades of medical doctrine holding that ulcers were caused by stress, spicy foods, and too much acid
N Joseph Woodland – co-inventor of the barcode
Jocelyn Bell Burnell – she discovered the first radio pulsars
John Tyndall – the man who worked out why the sky was blue
Rosalind Franklin co-discovered the structure of DNA, with Crick and Watson
Rosalyn Sussman Yallow – development of radioimmunoassay (RIA), a method of quantifying minute amounts of biological substances in the body
Jonas Salk – discovery and development of the first successful polio vaccine
John Waterlow – discovered that lack of body potassium causes altitude sickness. First experiment: on himself
Werner Forssmann – the first man to insert a catheter into a human heart: his own
Bruce Bayer – scientist with Kodak whose invention of a colour filter array enabled digital imaging sensors to capture colour
Yuri Gagarin – first man in space. My piece of fandom: http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/10421
Sir Godfrey Hounsfield – inventor, with Robert Ledley, of the CAT scanner
Martin Cooper – inventor of the mobile phone
Thomas Tuohy – Windscale manager who doused the flames of the 1957 fire
Eugene Polley – TV remote controls
George Devol – 'father of robotics’ who helped to revolutionise carmaking