Dr. Claudia Nicolai is the academic director of the HPI School of Design Thinking in Potsdam/Germany. She studied Business Administration, Economics, and Social Sciences and got her Ph.D. in Strategic Management at the University of Potsdam. She joined as a Senior Researcher the Chair of Strategic Marketing of the University of Witten/Herdecke where she taught and researched strategic foresight, consumer trends, strategic innovation, and business design. Since then consumer-centered innovation processes and strategic change became her main focus as a consultant and as Visiting Professor for Strategic Communication at the University of Arts Berlin and at the Elisava - School of Design and Engineering in Barcelona/Spain.
Since 2010 Claudia designs the educational programs and research activities at the HPI D-School. She is in charge of the academic program in Design Thinking (including the development and design of curricula, teaching content for students and the coaching-program). She is also responsible for co-operations with project partners and academic institutions. She has co-developed the d-school in Malaysia (genovasi) and the HPI d-school at the University of Cape Town, as well as the biothinking program at the Charité. Together with her team, she is researching design & innovation management, new working environments & leadership, as well as team dynamics.