Most projects are a collaboration among many team members. (Those are always the projects that are most fun.) Check out my role and some examples below.

Quality Improvement  in Healthcare

Service Design | Educational Design | Facilitation

Design, development and delivery of a six-day Quality Improvement (QI) Innovation Summer School pilot programme 


Bristol Medical School and University of Bristol Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship


Recent reports by the Universities of Bristol and Warwick revealed major costs and inefficiencies of employing management consultants in the National Healthcare Service (NHS). Following these reports, Bristol Medical School wanted find a way to empower future clinical staff with tools and methods to drive significant positive change from the inside. The QI Innovation Summer School emerged as an early pilot considering a talent-management strategy that would give emerging medics a greater range of tools for managing complexity and potentially relieving the NHS of the burden of inefficient external consultancy costs. 

Two teams of future medics were given the challenge of improving hospital handovers. Through brief lectures, hands-on workshops, site tours and independent research in the wards, they saw a project through from start to finish while learning about the design of services in healthcare, organisational development, tools and methods for innovation, and teamwork. As the lead facilitator and project manager, my role span across design, development and delivery.

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from the education team and students. During the wrap-up session, students said learning the new tools and methods had helped them think differently and gain a new perspective on healthcare services and would carry this with them throughout their careers. One students reflected on the practical learning environment and shared, “I can’t believe it’s over already, we are just getting started. It should go the whole summer!” After a successful pilot, we are currently evaluating the next steps for further development. 

Project Links

The Digital Wellbeing Sprint

Design Research | Service Design | Learning Experience Design

A project on understanding how higher education institutions can cocreate value with students to better support transitions to working life.


Laurea, Metropolia and Haaga-Helia Universities of Applied Sciences, Finland


The Sprint is an educational Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) project led by an alliance of Laurea, Metropolia and Haaga-Helia Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) with an aim to engage, motivate and prepare students of today for the jobs of tomorrow. The intensive summer school matches students with real projects from businesses, municipalities or third-sector organizations. The multidisciplinary teams follow the Service Innovation process, working to truly understand their user and challenge before developing a solution. Through it they learn about teamwork, open innovation, co-creation and rapid prototyping: Skills that are in high-demand in our changing world.

I worked with the UAS Alliance to understand the value of the Sprint for participants and identify opportunities for enhancing value and helping students achieve their goals, thus putting students at the centre of the learning experience. Through the research, I explored students’ expectations and perception of value in higher education. Looking beyond the concrete skills students want to learn I worked to understand where they want to go and why they’ve picked the Sprint to help them get there. The idea is by helping students make progress towards their goals, the Sprint—and similar educational opportunities—can support a faster and smoother transition to working life and offer increasing value in this ever-changing world.

Throughout the process I worked closely with the Sprint planning team to integrate new insights from research into the design of the upcoming Sprint and onboard new Sprint facilitators. In addition to the final thesis publication, the work was shared with a larger audience of educators through two collaborative papers published in the Journal of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences and presented at a CDIO engineering education conference in Japan.

Project Links & Publications

Tikkurila Innovation Workshop

Design Thinking | Facilitation | Hybrid Coaching

Research, design and delivery of a two-day design thinking and innovation workshop and development of internal capacity through hybrid coaching


Tikkurila Oyj
Decorative paints & industrial coatings; Tikkurila, Finland


Tikkurila's innovation team was looking for a fresh perspective on customer-centred innovation. This project aimed to gain an understanding of the existing innovation mindset within the team, then establish and train a core team to spark a cultural shift.

I began with an exploration period that included interviews to gain a deeper understanding of the current environment including the opportunities and threats perceived by the core team; learning about the team's existing skills and new capabilities they would like to explore and develop; and identifying critical needs/concerns to be addressed during the workshop and wider change management process.

Throughout the project, I worked closely with the client lead to support knowledge retention within the organization. This close working relationship also provided an opportunity for one-to-one coaching to support the professional development of the team lead while further developing the client's internal capacity.

"Ann is very energizing person and easy to work with. As a consultant she helped our company to get great results from our project together. I also noticed that she does what she preaches, it is a brilliant way of spreading the knowledge of Design Thinking.

Working with Ann has been educational journey for me. She opened my eyes to so many things that help us get furhter with also other work. I can definitely recommend her!"
- Minna Perttu, Researcher & Innovation Specialist (Via LinkedIn recommendation)

Working collaboratively and understanding the existing mindset allowed for a workshop design and broader set of recommendations that could address both the organizational goals and the needs and interests of the core team. The two-day workshop combined short presentations introducing how a particular concept is being applied inside Tikkurila, then introductions to new methods or ways of working followed by hands-on application of methods. The core team and other resources from within the organisation contributed to the presentations, allowing the team to build on existing strengths while gaining new skills and perspective. 

Participants shared that the workshop got them "thinking out of the box" and offered a renewed focus on the customer. It was just the spark the organization needed. Soon after, the project lead was promoted and the core team went on to tackle it's first full project using a customer-centric, design thinking approach.


Tough Mudder Challenge

Design Thinking | Educational Design | Facilitation

Co-design and facilitation of a student challenge sponsored by Tough Mudder. 


Tough Mudder and the University of Bristol Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Higher Education; Bristol, UK


The students were presented with a challenge: Design a new obstacle for Tough Mudder that combines physical endurance and mental stamina. 

Working together with a colleague, we ran three workshops to support students through the design process. It started with 'Explore' where students learned about the organisation, challenge, race participants and extreme sports. On to 'Ideate' where they were brought together to share and explore their research and transform it into actionable insights and ideas. After forming teams and developing their ideas independently, it was on to 'prototype and test' where student teams built 3D models and prepared to present their muddy masterpieces. 

This project is part of the Centre for Innovation's goal to prepare students to adapt to the ever-changing world by working closely with industry partners, social ventures and start-ups to develop and iterate its curriculum. The partnership with Tough Mudder offered the opportunity for students to be inspired and to gain real-world experience working on a live project brief.

Project Links

Global Service Jam 2016

Service Design | Facilitation | Event Planning

As part of a four-person organizer team, together we recruited event sponsors and attendees, promoted the event, mentored teams and facilitated workshops spanning over three days.


Ibiza, Spain


The Global Service Jam is a 48-hour global event exploring how a little service design and design thinking can have a big impact on the world in which we live. The Ibiza Jam was truly a bi-lingual event with participants and mentors from Hungary, Germany, Argentina and Spain. This mix provided a unique opportunity for facilitation as our team worked together to help teams navigate the design process, teamwork and the series of successes and challenges they encountered along the way.

Before the event, 85% of attendees had never worked directly with design thinking and nearly half of those had not even heard of it. To introduce the topic we combined a little theory through presentations and discussions with a lot of "service design doing" including fieldwork, ideation and prototyping.

Project Links


Service Story Development


Visual storytelling, workshop facilitation, script development


Aurora Health Care Foundation
Health care and Non-profit; Wisconsin, USA


Each year the Aurora Health Care Foundation selects a focus for fundraising. In 2015 the benefactor was the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program. SANE is a team of nurses within the health care system who are on-call night and day, 365 days a year to support victims of sexual assault.

The foundation was skipping the big-name speakers at the annual fundraising dinner in favor of hearing from the nurses on the front line. Working together with SANE nurses and a victim advocate in a half-day workshop, we co-created a storyline of a personified survivor named Marie. The storyline was formed into a presentation that could be woven together with the experience of the nurse. The goal was to tactfully educate donors about the needs of the organization and build empathy for the victims of sexual assault and the nurses who care for them.

As a result, the fundraising event was able to double its monetary donation goal.

Social Movement: The Campaign to End Isolation


Topic research, focus group facilitation, messaging, campaign development, budgeting, media buys, community presentation development and project management


Women's Fund of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation
Non-profit fund for women and girls; Wisconsin, USA


For this public awareness campaign I began by conducting extensive research into existing studies on social isolation and loneliness. My team and I worked together to analyze trends from previous focus groups that had provided the inspiration for the initiative; bring together new groups to help validate research findings; and build campaign messaging inspired by the voice of those who have experienced isolation. 

The campaign got noticed using a guerrilla marketing-style approach: Clear plastic "isolation booths" with live actors inside. While working with the Women's Fund to find placements for the booth and creating a social media calendar, we also worked with media to secure free coverage and paid advertising. 

By the end of the campaign, the Women’s Fund gained 1,682 hours of community exposure through booth placement and community presentations alone; exposure for the issue as a result of public relations, social and paid media was significantly higher. The issue was covered by local and regional television and newspapers and 682 individuals made personal pledges to reach out to someone experiencing isolation. 

Project Links

Social Movement: The JAM to End Isolation


Workshop development and facilitation; event design and planning; video animation (left)


Women's Fund of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation
Non-profit fund for women and girls; Wisconsin, USA


The Women's Fund completed an extensive public awareness campaign aimed at ending isolation and loneliness in the community. The next phase was to bring together agency leaders, community members and those impacted by isolation. The goal: Make greater social change by developing projects or programs that would be sustainable in the community long after the awareness campaign ended.

When I introduced the jam concept, the Women's Fund team knew it was just the approach they were looking for. I set to work with the team developing invitation lists and an introduction video. During collaboration sessions we mapped out an environment and activities to maximize idea generation and create an inspirational experience. 

By the end of the one-day jam, the teams had developed eight programs that would help end isolation. Some groups were so committed they began taking their ideas to the next level that day. Three programs with the greatest potential were invited to work with the Women’s Fund to further develop their ideas.

Seniors Connect was one of the ideas selected by the Women's Fund for further development. The program brings seniors a high school students together. Seniors learn to use texting, Skype(r), Facebook(R) and other platforms to help them connect with loved ones while students learn there is more to communication than can be found on screen. Check out the Senior Connects video below. 

Project Links

In the News


Strategic Brand Development


Employee satisfaction and leadership perception research, internal communication strategy, strategic plan development, facilitation assistance


Market research, project management, creative direction, brand guideline development and development of an interactive sales presentation


Media coordination, speech writing, creative direction for photography and videography


IVI, Inc.
Industrial fabrication of ventilation systems, USA


IVI, Inc. is a manufacturer specializing in turn-key air control, dust collection and ventilation systems. When they came to Blue Door Consulting they were experiencing some growing pains. A good problem to have. Myself and another consultant worked with the company on business strategy, rebranding and managing public relations opportunities. Seven months after implementing the new recommendations, IVI broke ground on a new production facility and increased its workforce by 25% in order to meet production demands. Shop floor hours increased 30% and human resources continued an active quest to recruit additional skilled laborers. 

The Status of Women In Northeast Wisconsin


Visual storytelling, video development and animation


Women's Funds of the Fox Valley
Group of non-profit funds supporting women and girls; Wisconsin, USA

Video in Print


Creative direction, project management, supplier management


Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation
Economic Development Agency; Wisconsin, USA

Net Promoter Score Survey


Net Promoter Score® Survey distribution, analysis and reporting


Cooperative Educational Service Agency 6 (CESA 6)
Education; Wisconsin, USA

Website Project Management and Usability


Website planning, project management, cross-browser testing and user training


Wisconsin RtI Center
Education; Wisconsin, USA