Accenture's design studio Fjord opens office at The Dock innovation hub

24 February 2017

Fjord, Accenture's design studio, has joined Accenture's Dublin The Dock Innovation hub. The studio's new office will be run by Design Director and Studio lead Lorna Ross, the former Director of Design at the Mayo Clinic.

Fjord, Accenture Interactive’s design and innovation unit, is opening a new design studio based in Dublin. The new studio is located at The Dock, a recently opened Accenture multi-disciplinary research and incubation hub which employs around 200 people. The new location for Fjord allows it to work with the firm’s clients on the design side of wider projects being developed at the hub.

The new office will be led by Lorna Ross, formerly the Director of Design at the Mayo Clinic where she worked for eight years in its Centre for Innovation. Earlier in her career she worked as a Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Media Lab, and an Associate Professor of Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Accenture | Fjord opens The Dock office

Ross brings more than 25 years of experience to her new role as the Design Director and Studio lead of the new location. In her new role, which she takes up in her homeland, she is tasked with driving growth and innovation internally with clients for the new hub.

Alastair Blair, Country Managing Director, Accenture Ireland says that the firm is “thrilled” to appoint “such an accomplished Dublin native" to lead the firm's newest Fjord studio. She adds, "Lorna is a first-class leader and pioneer who has worked with some of the world’s leading minds in experience design and innovation. We are excited about the possibilities that will evolve with Fjord by bringing human-centric design to help our clients rotate to the new.”

Joydeep Bhattacharya, head of Accenture Interactive for UK & Ireland and Managing Director at Fjord, adds, “Dublin is a hub for global players as well as a burgeoning start-up scene here in Silicon Docks – it is at the forefront of design and many of the latest digital trends, making it a natural choice for our first Fjord studio in Ireland."

Commenting on Ross' appointment, he says, "We look forward to seeing Lorna and her team thrive in this innovative and inspiring environment as they create the next wave of digital experience.”


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Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

05 April 2019

A Newcastle-based consultancy has announced it will open its first office in Iraq. The news comes despite warnings that the area remains “high risk” for businesses.

16 years after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the nation remains a shadow of its former self. The continued chaos wrought by the Iraq War – which eventually played a role in the rise to prominence of Daesh, further destabilising the region – means that even now, the nation’s capital is deemed to have the lowest quality of living in the world. According to a recent survey from Mercer, Baghdad ranked last overall – immediately below Bangui of the Central African Republic and Damascus in Syria – despite the other two being determined as the worst cities on the planet for personal safety.

However, as with the wider Middle East, the oil-rich state presents a lucrative destination to businesses willing to take the risk. To that end, a Newcastle recruitment consultancy has announced the opening of its first presence in Iraq’s capital city. Samuel Knight has taken the decision to open its Baghdad locale in order to grow its business in the Middle East.

Newcastle consulting firm opens Baghdad office

While businesses remain wary of the region, Samuel Knight specialises in recruiting talent in the energy and rail sectors, and in a release it said the new office would continue to focus on these areas. It will also allow the firm to make sure it abides by local compliance laws. The new location will be headed up by Haider Kadhim, Samuel Knight’s Iraq country manager, who will work as the first point of contact for clients and candidates. Representatives from the Department of Trade Industry are expected to attend a launch event for the office, which will be held this month.

Commenting on the new office,  a spokesperson for Samuel Knight said, “We probably don’t see it as a risk, but more of an opportunity, as we operate in the Middle East extensively already. We have contacts in place in the country location and with the consultants we have. We felt it was a great opportunity to expand into a country we are already doing work in. It means we have an on-the-ground team to help our clients. From our perspective, it is that we are looking to expand into new territories, but we are also supporting countries that are starting to redevelop after years of warfare.”

Steve Rawlingson, CEO at Samuel Knight, said, “Our aggressive five-year growth plan is manifesting at  an impressive rate, taking the company to exciting new territories. The team is working diligently to surpass expectations set out in the plan, and to ensure Samuel Knight is cemented as the leading global energy and rail recruitment specialist. Our Baghdad office will give us a distinctive edge over our competition and allow for more exciting business opportunities. Once the office becomes more established and client acquisition develops, we will certainly be adding more consultants and manpower in the city.”