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Changemakers: Creating a Better Tomorrow

Photo of Rick Monro
Hosted By
Rick M. and Yasmine R.
Changemakers: Creating a Better Tomorrow


There are ‘wicked problems’ all around us in all countries, among all communities, and at all levels of organisations.

We need change to address the challenges of our day, such as climate change and social justice. Institutions and businesses need change to stay relevant and competitive.

Change is needed, but it should do more good than harm.

Top-down change needs to shift to an approach that is based on a deeper understanding of people and problems, one which anticipates and adapts to potential downsides, and encourages cooperation and partnership.

We need… Changemakers.

This meet-up is a special collaboration between UX Belfast, Ulster University Computing Society and Women Who Code Belfast.

We will speak with Maria Giudice, accomplished design & business leader, and co-author of “Changemakers”, a book that offers a pragmatic, people-centered approach to change.

We’ll also hear from four local change makers who have been quietly introducing change in their respective fields…

Our Guests

Maria Giudice, Co-author of Changemakers.

For three decades, creative teams and business leaders have sought the provocative vision and mentorship of Maria Giudice. After founding the pioneering experience design firm Hot Studio and leading global teams at Facebook and Autodesk, Maria’s mission today is to build the next generation of creative leaders. Through one-on-one coaching, group coaching, and team-building workshops, Maria unlocks the potential hidden in executives and the people they lead. A popular speaker at design and business conferences, Maria is the author of four design books, including “Rise of the DEO: Leadership by Design”, and “Changemakers: How Leaders Can Design Change in an Insanely Complex World.”

Maria will be with us via video call from California.

Yuan Zhang, Intern Software Engineer at Liberty IT.

Yuan oversees the Ulster University Computing Society as Chair and leads the Google Developer Student Club at Ulster University, efforts that show his dedication to fostering a supportive environment for tech enthusiasts. His roles as Partnership Lead at NI Developer Conference and BCS NI Committee member further illustrate his commitment to the local tech community. In addition, he has recently begun to delve into cloud technologies as an AWS Cloud Club Captain.

Emma Mulholland, Innovation Lab Product Lead at Whitespace.

Emma has over 17 years product and innovation experience across startups and large enterprises in eComm, insurance, retail and consultancy. She was a coach on the Catalyst Co-Founders programme. She shares a passion for inclusive innovation through the setup and co-ordination of local meetups and conferences such as ProductTank Belfast, Lean Coffee Belfast, NIDC, and Product Camp Belfast; is a trainer for Mind the Product, and coaches people in Product Leadership.

Laura Lavery, Community and Engagement Lead at PA Consulting.

Laura has many years of experience in employee engagement, DEI, organisational culture and community impact. She is a fierce advocate for more inclusive work environments and fair access to opportunities. She runs events throughout the year and has been nominated for multiple awards for her community efforts.

Paul McCormack, MA User Experience and Service Design at Ulster University.

From Creative Director to Course Director, Paul McCormack started life as a graphic designer in the late ‘80’s until 2006 when he fell in love with teaching. Now, his passion is well and truly focused on developing the next generation of designers, leading the MA User Experience and Service Design course at Ulster University.


Times will be confirmed closer to the event

  • TBA: Arrival, Pizza & Networking
  • TBA: Q&A with Changemakers author, Maria Guidice
  • TBA: Panel Discussion with Yuan, Emma, Laura, and Paul


Maria has selected Girls Garage as our chosen charity this time round. Through classes in carpentry, welding, architecture, and activist art, Girls Garage supports and equips a community of fearless youth who are building the world they want to see. You can learn more and consider donating here: Girls Garage.

If attending, please refer to our code of conduct.

COVID-19 safety measures
Event will be indoors
The allocation has been limited to comply with the building's current event regulations.
The event host is instituting the above safety measures for this event. Meetup is not responsible for ensuring, and will not independently verify, that these precautions are followed.
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