Mary Wharmby
I help teams innovate at scale
using design strategy, systems and management

I am a design leader, strategist, doer and educator with over 20 years experience applying design to fields as diverse as banking, education, publishing, e-commerce and games.

From startups to multinationals, I have successfully led design, research and strategy teams in the creation of delightful and efficient products and services as well as leveraged design to drive global organizational change.

As Head of Design Transformation at BBVA in Madrid, Spain, I lead a team dedicated to increasing customer-centricity, improving collaboration and boosting creativity across the entire organization.

Our strategy is to take design beyond the Design Department and infuse it into EVERY Department. Here's a look at the impact we are having.

  • Spring Studio
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Wells Fargo
  • Charles Schwab
  • Schoolloop
  • Kinzaa
  • Replicon
  • Electronic Arts
  • UBS

Process & Methods

Human Centered Design
Understanding & Meeting User Needs
Workshop Facilitation
Co-Creating through Workshops & Education
Design Education
Scaling with Patterns, Systems & Process

Sample Projects

Making Big Data Friendly for Software Security
Making Big Data Friendly for Software Security
Reimagining K-12 LMS as a Communications Platform
Reimagining K-12 Education
Staffing Solutions with a Dating Twist
Offering Staffing Solutions with a Dating Twist
Delivering a Kinder, Gentler Time Tracking System
Creating a Kinder Gentler Time Tracking System
Building a Local Peer-to-Peer Multi-Channel Economy
Building a Peer-to-Peer Multi-Channel Economy
Discovering the Social Foundations of Digital Gaming
Discovering the Social Foundations of Gaming


I'm a hands-on problem solver who is passionate about the potential of design to bring together individuals, businesses, organizations and governments to solve challenges and improve lives around the world.

I have an MFA in New Media from Academy of Art University (my designer/problem solver side) and a MA in International Relations from Columbia University (my systems analyst/researcher side).

I've lived and worked in the US, Europe, Russia and India. When in SF, I like to mentor and teach design.

I'm an active volunteer for Field Innovation Team. We are currently working on a DIY shelter kit to help communities more effectively respond to disaters at a local level.

Have an interesting design challenge?
Get in touch.

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