Since 2008, we have helped business leaders translate emerging shifts in culture and technology into clear future direction and value propositions with transformative power. Our unique expertise in human sciences and business strategy unlocks growth opportunities that create real value and meaning in people’s lives.
Markets are made up of real people.
We explore human worlds to rearticulate industry and category boundaries.
Successful growth strategies start with a deep understanding of what is valuable to people in a given social and cultural context.
Asking the right questions is at the heart of any successful business strategy. Without them, it fails in its singular purpose: to help companies see markets in new ways that reveal opportunities for growth and value creation. Without them, value propositions, revenue streams or key indicators are all near fiction. We ask a lot of questions about businesses, markets, people and technology today and the many shifts that are shaping them for tomorrow because we believe that big, existential business challenges require deeper, smarter strategy.
Projects: We steered a tech giant in a new direction to pursue the post-screen technology era. We helped one of the world’s largest CPG companies identify billion-dollar growth opportunities by examining their business through a socio-cultural lens. We built a new growth direction with associated product and communications platforms for a leading pharmaceutical company based on a deep understanding of how people relate to pain.
We define energizing missions for great brands, to spark enthusiasm and provide meaning.
The successes of our brand projects are driven by one thing that we know: great brands are not static. They grow. They evolve with the times. They improve. And when they are great, they are rich with vision and purpose. The way we see it, the greatest among them are continuously capturing and shaping the zeitgeist, producing and reproducing aspirational ideas, activities or energies in our cultures. Whether evolving what already exists today or launching something new, we draw on semiotics, anthropology and other social sciences to study functional and cultural values, identify social and symbolic meanings and create brands that connect with consumers and re-energize organizations.
Projects: We helped a leading automotive brand redefine its relationship with cultural tastemakers around the world. We redefined the essence of luxury for highly sophisticated Asian consumers and repositioned an iconic European design brand. We helped a home electronics giant position its brand by gaining real insight into what affluent Chinese men really want.
Our foundational research always goes beyond the obvious, uncovering the most powerful phenomena shaping our clients’ business environments.
Our passion for understanding the biggest pictures and the smallest details of what it means to live in the world today has been shaped by our many backgrounds in social science. We are driven by curiosity. We celebrate the intellectual rigor and commercial applications of anthropology, sociology, social psychology, semiotics, political economy and design. And whether we’re working on our own, partnering with other management consultants or advising an advertising, design or innovation agency, we are constantly on the lookout for projects that will challenge our team to produce the most relevant and actionable insights to drive growth.
Projects: We unwrapped the gifting practices related to female beauty products in France, China, and Turkey. We helped a leading U.S. financial institution understand how people’s relationship with time and investing is changing its business. We built a nuanced model of how mobile technology can help ambitious individuals gain an edge in their career and education in African, Indian, and Chinese megacities.
We explore what’s next for businesses by making sense of how the greatest technological and societal shifts of our time will shape the way we live.
At the end of the day, running a great company is all about creating a future. We study that future by talking with experts, assessing weak signals of change and megatrends, developing future scenarios of how those might evolve, and anchoring our conclusions and recommendations in an understanding of how social theory on people today can reveal what soon might be new ways of being in the world tomorrow. But we don’t just study the future. We also provide our clients with a nuanced understanding of their best prospective futures and the possible paths they can take to achieve them.
Projects: We studied and distilled emerging trends in urban mobility to help a luxury carmaker drive into a better future. We helped a leading insurance company secure its future through road-mapping. We identified future possible trajectories of protein for a major European food company.
We don’t see ourselves as social scientists, business strategists, or designers but as a group of inspired thinkers unrestricted by dogma.
Johannes is Gemic’s co-founder and Managing Partner. Working at the intersection of business strategy and cultural analysis, he advises several global corporations on innovation, strategy…
+358 50 355 7001
Johannes is Gemic’s co-founder and Managing Partner. Working at the intersection of business strategy and cultural analysis, he advises several global corporations on innovation, strategy, and human centricity. In addition to leading development projects within the consumer technology, automotive, fashion, and FMCG sectors, Johannes also heads up Gemic’s client relations.
Always a believer in the power of revolutionary ideas, Johannes is a fan of mid twentieth-century French post-structuralist thinkers and early twentieth-century Russian avant-garde artists. To keep himself grounded despite traveling the globe for work, he spends most of his holidays cross-country skiing in the Arctic.
Prior to co-founding Gemic, Johannes worked in corporate strategy and online business development at Sanoma, a European media conglomerate. He’s also worked at the innovation consultancy ReD Associates in Copenhagen.
Johannes holds a Master’s degree in business and culture studies from Copenhagen Business School and has also studied at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad. He’s always up for a good conversation, so feel free to drop him a line!
As one of Gemic’s co-founders, Sakari leads innovation projects for technology-driven companies like Microsoft and Kone, with a particular focus on product and service development, brand strategy…
+358 50 361 4650
As one of Gemic’s co-founders, Sakari leads innovation projects for technology-driven companies like Microsoft and Kone, with a particular focus on product and service development, brand strategy, and future studies. In addition, he is in charge of developing the methods and processes Gemic uses to generate deep and actionable human knowledge.
Sakari’s favorite projects are those that push thinking to an ideal place where humanity and technology coincide. He has devoted the majority of his career to making sense of this theme.
Sakari has published numerous books and articles on social theory and product and service development. He’s also spent over ten years teaching businesses and students at Helsinki’s Aalto University how to embed human insights into corporate development processes.
Sakari holds a PhD in social psychology and anthropology from the University of Helsinki and a Pre-Doctoral degree in user-centric design from the Aalto University School of Engineering.
Otto has an extensive background in corporate strategy, marketing and brand strategy, and ethnographic research. During his career, he has helped numerous category-leading companies to rethink…
+358 44 537 0705
Otto has an extensive background in corporate strategy, marketing and brand strategy, and ethnographic research. During his career, he has helped numerous category-leading companies to rethink and reposition their offerings through a deep and meaningful customer understanding.
Dividing his time between Gemic’s Helsinki and New York offices, Otto currently works with a handful of iconic global brands, including Audi, Braun, and Gillette.
Before Gemic, Otto worked at the innovation consultancy ReD Associates in Copenhagen and New York. Prior to consulting, he headed the corporate strategy team at Sanoma, a European media conglomerate, in Amsterdam. He also belongs to the club of failed online news entrepreneurs.
Otto holds a Master’s degree in political economy from the London School of Economics and a first-class Bachelor’s in political science from the University of York (UK).
Leading the US operations of Gemic, Kevin is passionate about bringing Gemic’s unique approach to the US market, and helping US companies to grow, innovate and remain competitive…
+1 212 203 7725
Leading the US operations of Gemic, Kevin is passionate about bringing Gemic’s unique approach to the US market, and helping US companies to grow, innovate and remain competitive in an increasingly challenging global marketplace. Working with some of the biggest companies in the world, Kevin is responsible for client development, strategy and growing Gemic’s team in the US.
Prior to his work with Gemic, Kevin spent almost a decade helping US companies to expand their markets internationally. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Studies from Trinity College Dublin, as well as a Masters in International Business Administration from Copenhagen Business School, and has also studied in France, Belgium and Sweden.
Mikko has 15 years of experience in corporate strategy, M&A, business design, and corporate planning systems. He connects financial modeling and simulation with deep human insight…
+358 50 569 9656
Mikko has 15 years of experience in corporate strategy, M&A, business design, and corporate planning systems. He connects financial modeling and simulation with deep human insight, and gets the biggest thrills from recognizing and empirically testing new business opportunities. Mikko’s work often aims at creating full Go/No-go analyses for new growth opportunities, to satisfy the needs of the most demanding business executives.
As a consultant, Mikko has been leading projects across a variety of industries, including media, healthcare, construction, insurance, energy, technology, aviation, logistics, and music. Mikko has taught a strategy course at the Aalto University School of Business, and is a strategy coach at the Aalto University Executive Education.
Before joining Gemic, Mikko was a Partner at Palmu, one of Europe’s leading service design agencies. Prior to consulting, he headed the strategic planning team at OP, Finland’s biggest financial group, and he has also worked at Nokia’s global M&A team.
Mikko holds a Master’s degree in Finance from the Aalto University School of Business, and a Master’s degree in Theology from Helsinki University.
Martyn brings together business strategy, innovation, branding, and design. With a focus on developing meaningful brands, products, and services, Martyn has helped scores of companies…
Martyn brings together business strategy, innovation, branding, and design. With a focus on developing meaningful brands, products, and services, Martyn has helped scores of companies in the technology and FMCG sectors soar, leading global insight and strategy for clients including Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Nestle, Bacardi Martini, and Activision Blizzard.
Growing up in the midst of South Africa’s transition to democracy, he became fascinated by how human understanding can be instrumental in transcending power narratives and deep social divides. And he never ceases to be amazed by the unifying effect of beer, braai, and boerewors.
After starting his career at the Brand Union in Johannesburg, he held senior roles at Designboard Brussels and 1HQ London before joining Gemic in Helsinki.
Martyn holds a Master’s degree in strategic product design from TU Delft, Netherlands, and a post-graduate degree in business administration from WITS, South Africa.
Eelis runs all aspects of Gemic’s operations, ensuring the rest of the team can concentrate on what they do best. Before assuming his current role, Eelis was an ethnographer and consultant, focusing…
Eelis runs all aspects of Gemic’s operations, ensuring the rest of the team can concentrate on what they do best. Before assuming his current role, Eelis was an ethnographer and consultant, focusing on brand strategy and concept development.
Born in Finland to Vietnamese parents, Eelis learned first-hand the value and meaning in deeply rooted cultural customs. From a very early age, he has been curious about people, asking why they do what they do, and how their environments influence their thoughts and behaviors.
At Gemic, Eelis has used that innate curiosity to get results for a number of global brands. He has worked on creating new business for Procter & Gamble, and built deep consumer insights and value propositions for clients ranging from confectionery producers to hardware stores.
Eelis holds a Master’s degree in political science from the University of Helsinki.
Through semiotics, Charles goes beyond what consumers can articulate in an in-home interview or focus group to uncover the hidden cultural influences that shape our relationships with brands…
Through semiotics, Charles goes beyond what consumers can articulate in an in-home interview or focus group to uncover the hidden cultural influences that shape our relationships with brands. He uses these deep insights to create unique and compelling solutions for brands.
Working for such clients as P&G, Fiskars, Fazer and Arla, Charles has used semiotics to address briefs as varied as decoding the meaning of gardening in the UK to creating a new snack brand via uncovering the emergent meanings of food and travel. Before Gemic, Charles headed up the semiotics offer at 1HQ London.
Charles is currently writing a book that delves into the very epicenter of contemporary life through exploring our relationship with our phones.
Charles ventures beyond the semiotician’s armchair during his travels to immerse himself directly in the lives of others. He explores his interest in visual anthropology via ethnographic film and photography in exotic locales.
Benjamin is an ethnographer and innovation consultant with profound experience in the consumer electronics, pharmaceutical, FMCG, and cultural sector…
Benjamin is an ethnographer and innovation consultant with profound experience in the consumer electronics, pharmaceutical, FMCG, and cultural sector. He truly enjoys immersing himself in the worlds of consumers, patients, health care professionals, or audiences to gain insights into their real lives, desires, and challenges. Based on such insights Benjamin has helped a range of institutions rethink their offerings or even identities – from market-leading manufacturers of smart phones, toys, or cosmetics to modern art museums.
Benjamin is a passionate pianist, drummer, singer, and composer. Living in his home city, Berlin, he tries to both absorb and contribute to its vibrant cultural scene as much as possible.
Before Gemic, Benjamin worked at the innovation consultancy ReD Associates in Copenhagen, New York, and London.
Benjamin holds a degree in Communication & Cultural Management from Zeppelin University.
Jere is an ethnographer and consultant with a particular focus on consumer products and service development. He has built deep and meaningful consumer and market insights and…
Jere is an ethnographer and consultant with a particular focus on consumer products and service development. He has built deep and meaningful consumer and market insights and value propositions in industries ranging from gardening to telecom and banking to café.
Prior to joining Gemic, Jere worked in fields as diverse as construction, nursing, and diplomacy, gaining hands-on experience along the way.
Wherever he may be in the world, Jere starts many of his days with a morning run, taking in the vibe of the local people and environment.
Jere holds a Master’s degree in international relations from the London School of Economics.
Alex works at the intersection of Applied Social Theory and Economics to help global companies leverage complex cultural shifts. He draws from experience in 40+ countries and combines…
Alex works at the intersection of Applied Social Theory and Economics to help global companies leverage complex cultural shifts. He draws from experience in 40+ countries and combines quantitative with ethnographic methodologies to design game-changing initiatives. As a business strategist, he has experience crafting innovation and strategy agendas for Fortune 100 clients in the Automotive, Human-Machine Interaction, Energy, and FMCG sectors.
Growing up in Mexico City, Alex experienced firsthand the forces acting on a country in transition and became fascinated by the developing world. Prior to joining Gemic, he worked as an independent consultant for the innovation consultancy ReD Associates and as a Columbia Fifth Year Global Fellow doing multi-site research in conflict areas in Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Brazil, and Mexico.
Alex holds an Honors Bachelors degree in Economics and Anthropology from Columbia University and has also completed studies in Anthropology, Politics, and Economics at the Università degli Studi di Bologna. To stay sharp, he takes regular breaks from the world of humans to dive with and photograph sharks.
Anni is an ethnographer and consultant. She has extensive experience in qualitative methods as well as quantitative surveys. Her professional experience and academic background combine scholarly insight…
Anni is an ethnographer and consultant. She has extensive experience in qualitative methods as well as quantitative surveys. Her professional experience and academic background combine scholarly insight into effective product and service development.
For Anni, social science is both a way of life and a means of seeing things from multiple perspectives. Out of her various skills, ethnographic fieldwork is the closest to her heart, and she is excited to uncover how social, cultural, and institutional practices and routines shape our everyday consumption and behavior.
Before joining Gemic, Anni worked as a university lecturer in the School of Health Sciences at Tampere University and as a researcher at Youth Research Network. She has also analyzed surveys at the Finnish National Board of Education and at the National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health. She has extensive experience teaching qualitative methods, sociology, youth studies, and health sciences at various universities.
Anni holds a PhD in sociology from the University of Helsinki, for which she conducted ethnographic research among conscripts to open up new social and cultural perspectives on health.
Jaakko is a strategy consultant and business designer, with particular interest in the intersections of customer insight and strategic decisions. He has served clients in a range of industries, including…
Jaakko is a strategy consultant and business designer, with particular interest in the intersections of customer insight and strategic decisions. He has served clients in a range of industries, including high tech, IT, financial services, retail and health care.
Jaakko’s approach combines engineer’s analytical rigor with a designer’s emphatic and curious mindset. He gets kicks from the opposite extremes of discussing oral health with consumers as well as evaluating growth options of a consumer electronics giant via financial modelling. Jaakko also follows politics and economics and is eager to learn more about how individuals think and make decisions.
Prior Gemic, Jaakko has worked as a strategy consultant at Accenture and as a service business designer at Palmu. As a business analyst he studied the market dynamics of generic pharmaceuticals at Orion Pharma.
Jaakko holds a master’s degree (with distinction) in Industrial Engineering from Aalto University majoring in Strategic Management with a sidestep into Computational and Cognitive Biosciences. Jaakko also spent an Erasmus semester at the TU Hamburg studying business, biomedicine (& bratwurst).
Liubava is an ethnographer and cultural anthropologist. Her research focuses on the culture of consumption, and she has extensive experience in science and technology studies and ethnographic methods…
Liubava is an ethnographer and cultural anthropologist. Her research focuses on the culture of consumption, and she has extensive experience in science and technology studies and ethnographic methods.
For Liubava, cultural anthropology is not just a profession, it’s a calling. As she hails from Russia, the roots of her interest in Russian consumption culture run deep. Her interest in issues related to old age and usability was sparked during her studies in St. Petersburg.
Prior to joining Gemic, Liubava worked as a freelance ethnographer for a number of business anthropology research projects. She has also worked as a consultant for various non-governmental organizations and as a researcher for the Center of Science and Technology Studies at the European University at St. Petersburg. Liubava has also taught the sociology of culture at St. Petersburg State University.
Liubava holds three Master’s degrees with distinction, one in the philosophy of culture, one in comparative sociology, and one in cultural anthropology.
Navdeep is an ethnographer and consultant who has helped global companies innovate in industries such as energy, FMCG, and logistics. With her expertise in social science and history…
Navdeep is an ethnographer and consultant who has helped global companies innovate in industries such as energy, FMCG, and logistics. With her expertise in social science and history, Navdeep helps corporations make better bets on the human behaviours that underpin performance in the marketplace.
Navdeep has a passion for qualitative research methods that help her uncover patterns in our social fabric and facilitate the adoption of new ideas. Having grown up in numerous Indian cities, Navdeep has language skills and cultural expertise that complement Gemic’s global team of consultants. As someone who detests “not knowing,” her acute attention to detail makes her a master at trivia.
Before joining Gemic, Navdeep worked as a researcher in both public and private sectors, from policy think tanks to industrial consultancies. After completing her Bachelor’s in History, she earned her MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics.
Sam is a business consultant with particular interest in helping firms tackle growth and innovation challenges by bridging human-centric thinking and business analysis. Sam likes to call herself a global…
Sam is a business consultant with particular interest in helping firms tackle growth and innovation challenges by bridging human-centric thinking and business analysis.
Sam likes to call herself a global citizen. Having grown up in Shanghai and studied in both the US and UK, she is constantly drawn into understanding different cultural, economic and political systems. More importantly, she is hoping to translate her unique perspectives into business insights to help clients win the future.
Before joining Gemic and setting her mind on strategy consulting, Sam has accumulated experiences with Mythic Films, a production company, in Los Angeles, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Beijing, and McKinsey & Company in Shanghai. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Emory University, as well as a Master’s in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics. A city dweller at heart, she also enjoys getting out of her comfort zone. Last summer, she accomplished her first hiking challenge at Mount Kilimanjaro.
At Gemic, Kelly assists Eelis in running Gemic’s operations and supports others with all practical matters. She makes sure that the office is organized and running smoothly so that the team can operate…
At Gemic, Kelly assists Eelis in running Gemic’s operations and supports others with all practical matters. She makes sure that the office is organized and running smoothly so that the team can operate at peak performance.
Born and raised in Finland with Estonian roots, Kelly’s bicultural background has encouraged her interest in learning about different cultures and languages. Already a fluent speaker of three languages, she is in the process of mastering three more.
Prior to working at Gemic, Kelly graduated from the English School of Helsinki, a bilingual and multicultural environment where she became interested in physics and math. She also honed her skills in debate, eventually reaching the Finnish National Debate Competition. Kelly looks forward to attending university in the near future and exploring her various academic interests.
We are always interested in hearing from exceptionally creative, intellectually curious, brave and humble people with demonstrated interest in business and a love for big challenges. We are open to candidates from all backgrounds, with major bonus points going to those with social sciences backgrounds and diverse global experiences. Feel free to send us a cover letter and your CV.