Freeman Brings Design Thinking to the Forefront of the Events Industry

November 19, 2015

DALLAS, Texas (Nov. 19, 2015) – Freeman, the leading global provider of brand experiences, announced the appointment of designer, author and visionary Bruce Mau as its Chief Design Officer. In a move to drive innovation in the events industry, Freeman has created this new role at the company and appointed Mr. Mau to its Executive Committee.

Mr. Mau is the co-founder of the Massive Change Network, which promotes the transformative power of design thinking to generate new ideas and help institutions and businesses innovate. He has worked with leading companies, including Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, MoMA and Herman Miller; worked with countries such as Guatemala, Denmark and Saudi Arabia; and alongside star architects Frank Gehry and Rem Koolhaas on design thinking collaborations. Mr. Mau and his team are currently working with Walt Disney Imagineering, and he designed a master plan for Mecca to re-imagine this historic site for the next 1,000 years.

“We are thrilled to deepen our relationship with Bruce Mau as part of our journey to bring design thinking to our company and our community,” said Joe Popolo, Freeman’s CEO. “Bruce is helping Freeman transform itself and innovate the brand experience category. This move will accelerate that process, further connecting Freeman with Bruce and his Massive Change Network in a strategic partnership.”

As the market leader, Freeman feels an obligation to help ignite innovation for the industry at large. The company works with intersectional thinkers and thought leaders, both inside and outside the category, to help fuel, promote and expand the brand experience channel, and has been working with innovators like Mr. Mau and his consultancy, the Massive Change Network, to re-imagine experience marketing and design new outcomes in all facets of its business.

“We know that our channel drives markets, accelerates new ideas, stays in front of trends, and creates the next generation of thinking that will spur growth and create global wealth. As audience behaviors change, there is an opportunity for our entire category to redesign the experiences we create, future-proof the brand experience channel, and attract a new generation of attendees,” said Bob Priest-Heck, Freeman’s president and COO. “We are committed to investing in our channel and to leading change for the industry as a whole.”

It’s proven that companies that use design thinking thrive1. They grow faster and are more profitable than their competitors, allowing them to innovate faster. Design thinking companies are able to deliver powerful ideas and creative, transformative experiences that change perceptions and create a clear competitive advantage. “The world of business is changing at an accelerated pace, and bringing innovation to our clients and to the brand experience channel is more important than ever,” said Carrie Freeman Parsons, Freeman’s vice chair. “Working with Bruce is just one of the ways we are driving new thinking throughout the entire Freeman enterprise, and delivering new, innovative and unique experiences for our customers.”

Bruce Mau’s work is being celebrated at the Philadelphia Museum of Art with an exhibition entitled Work on What You Love: Bruce Mau Rethinking Design. The exhibition, which will be unveiled on Nov. 21, focuses on nine of Mau’s 24 Massive Change design principles and encompasses a wide range of his innovative work, from enterprise design systems, book and branding designs, to strategies for countries and corporations, as well as collaborations with filmmakers, artists and writers. One of the projects featured in the exhibition illuminates Mau’s design principle, Design the Platform for Constant Design, through examples of work resulting from his collaboration with Freeman to bring a design-driven culture to the enterprise.

“My work with Freeman over the last year has been some of the most rewarding in my career,” said Bruce Mau. “Freeman is poised to become one of the world’s leading design brands and sits on top of such a powerful medium. The cycle in the work allows us to reinvent the experience time and time again. By applying a design thinking approach, we can innovate, experiment and accelerate the evolution of live media.”

About Freeman

Recognized by Advertising Age as the world’s largest brand experience company, Freeman uses the power of integrated digital and live brand experiences to move markets, connect people, support growth and generate revenues for the world’s leading organizations. A design-driven company, Freeman generates insights that define program strategies, target audiences and deliver messages that generate meaningful results. Through its expansive network of offices, talent and global partnerships, Freeman has the reach and access that is unmatched in the industry. A family- and employee-owned company, Freeman is known for its 87-year history of stability, strength and customer service achievements. Freeman is a values-driven company with a strong and purpose-built culture that is dedicated to connecting people in meaningful ways. This is accomplished through a process of continuous innovation and improvement. Freeman produces more than 4,300 expositions annually and 11,000 other events worldwide. Freeman has been awarded six consecutive J. D. Power awards for the excellence of its Customer Call Center. For more information, visit

About Bruce Mau

Bruce Mau is a brilliantly creative optimist whose love of thorny problems led him to create a methodology for whole system transformation. He has been a serial entrepreneur since he was nine. Twenty-five years in the business of design gave Bruce the practical, holistic insights for going into the design of business with his Massive Change Network five years ago. In doing so he laid the foundation for the new discipline of enterprise design, successfully applying his design thinking methodology to economic, cultural, governmental, environmental and social change.

For additional information, contact the Massive Change Network at 312.546.9936 or [email protected]. For information about the Philadelphia Museum of Art, call 215-763-8100 or visit

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