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What do music and design have in common? A lot, says Dan Hesketh

2/22/2018 2:53 PM

Dan Hesketh was keynote speaker at the 10th Arctic Design Week seminar on Thursday in Rovaniemi. Whatever your business, you must understand your purpose and your audience to tell compelling stories, he said.


Although Dan Hesketh spoke at this year’s Arctic Design Week for the first time, his speech was expected to create quite a stir.

Why? Because of his impressively eclectic collection of creative and professional achievements.

Hesketh, who currently works as a brand strategist at the Norwegian technology-based company Huddly, worked in Sales and Marketing at Fortune 500 companies, co-founded a successful startup company, and raised several funding rounds as a Chief Executive, among other things. He had also travelled around the world as a professional musician and songwriter for more than six years.

Hesketh’s role as keynote speaker at this year’s “Thinking Outside The Box” Mishmash seminar was sealed last year when he gave a talk on design thinking  at a workshop and met Arctic Factory Design Director Julius Oförsagd, one of the leaders of Arctic Design Week.

Hesketh was deemed the right person to speak on “Thoughts into Action: If you can think-out-of-the-box, how can you do-out-of-the-box?”  

Holding his guitar and playing a couple of songs in between entertaining stories, Hesketh told  the audience how he became a musician, how great pop songs are made, what type of emotions are involved in them, and how the things he has learnt in the music world apply to business and design.

One of his main points was that whatever the business, it’s essential to think about the purpose and audience.

Also, he encouraged the audience of the seminar to fail and learn from every mistake. "I have extensive personal experience with dramatic failure", he said with a smile on his face.

When it comes to Arctic Design Week, the world’s northernmost design event, Hesketh finds it an interesting idea to bring designers and entrepreneurs together on a single platform, even though they might be technically different.

However, both groups share the common creative sense and “a big appetite for risk and determination,” said Hesketh. They might support each other and promote the design-oriented business as well as Arctic design globally.

Hesketh himself balances between his passion for music and his expertise in technology and design.

“It’s an odd combination but I see a lot of overlaps”, he said.


City of Rovaniemi-Daily Finland Report