Wayne Talks

Wayne's Upcoming Public Talks

Photography Ian Hughes

With a career spanning four decades in the design industry, Wayne Hemingway has a fair few stories to tell and lessons to give – and people love to hear them. His talks are insightful, thought-provoking, inspiring, often hilarious and always truthful, warts and all. Read on to discover the seven different divisions of lectures on offer and feedback audiences have given over the years, with a few videos of him in full speech-giving swing at the bottom of the page. For scheduling and booking information, do contact us.

Wayne's Life Story:

"Saw you at Friday's gig in Liverpool, great presentation. I owned a pair of those Red or Dead steel toe capped shoes back in the day, they ruined my feet at Glastonbury so I swapped them for a bottle of Thunderbird Red. Not polishing your head, but keep on doing great stuff and being a stand out Wayne.” - Wayne Malcolm, Managing Director, Bread Media 

"Thanks for the warmly delivered kick up the arse at yesterday's conference.” - Stu Churchill, Initiatives Manager, Cultura Technologies

“Inspirational, funny and engaging is a hard combination to pull off, I think we were all riveted!” - D.A, Project Manager, Midland Heart

“Wayne Hemingway MBE who I loved ever since I heard him say he never wanted to be 40+ and still wearing jeans, (he does do other stuff) was as entertaining and as political as I remember at the Grampian Awards for Business Excellence. HemingwayDesign is truly one of the best executed brands and series of concepts I have seen, simple, direct, clear. The KiosKiosK model is start up and innovation genius. If you get the chance get in a room with the guy and listen, you will without a doubt learn something or at least be energised to go off and think harder.” - Graeme Gordon CEO at IFB

“I wanted to thank you for an absolutely excellent talk at our meeting on Friday evening. We have had universally good feedback with our staff finding you both entertaining and thought provoking which was exactly what we wanted. You have a fascinating story and a great approach to life which comes across so naturally in the way you present, giving great credence to your call for action without lecturing. It was a delight to listen to and the interesting thing for me was that a number of the audience left with the stated intent of doing something different.” - David Hall, Chief Executive Officer, Polypipe

“Wayne, what an excellent life story. Really enjoyed where you came from, how you did it, and where it has taken you. Also understanding the social initiatives you are now passionate about was good to hear. There needs to be more people in the world with your values.” - Mick White, Senior Network Administrator, Polypipe

“I just wanted to say how awesome I thought your speech was for the Enterprise North East Awards. You are the first after dinner speaker I have seen who hasn't made me switch off and head for a drink or check Facebook.'” - Isla Stewart, Business Development Manager

"Thank you for your exhilarating star turn at the Oxford Innovation away day.  You will have sensed that your contribution was more than well received and much enjoyed but I think it went far beyond that! I was personally most moved by, first, the reminder that entrepreneurs travel in non-straight lines towards their accomplishments and, second, you reminded us that purpose, or rather social purpose, in one’s life is a healthy thing but is so particularly for a company that seeks to provide environments for innovators to thrive and for small businesses to survive when they otherwise might not."  - David Crichton-Miller, Chief Executive Officer, Oxford Innovation

"Then there was Wayne Hemingway, who I always thought was a fashion designer but it turns out isn’t at all really. That business became a multi-million pound brand and, through hard work, creative thinking and persistence (and driven by a sense of social justice) Hemingway has gone on to other things. Amongst them are creative and community-centric social housing projects, sparked by outrage at a particularly bland and depressing housing development (which really did look more like a prison complex). I found it inspiring stuff. I think there was a message for the industry in that fulfilment isn’t really about technology, or channels, or media but about people. Understand what individuals want and need and be creative in finding ways to deliver it. Hemingway seems to have a knack for doing that, and I’m pretty sure he still finds time to dance". - Tim Barker, Sustainability Consultant

"Wayne’s story, values and plans completed landed at Catalyst. Authentic, relevant and resonated big time. Went down a storm. Also really appreciated that he stayed behind after." - Eddie Kelly, Catalyst Housing Limited

"Thanks to Wayne for his inspirational talk yesterday at the Product Design in Action day at Imperial College. He really connected with a number of my students and showed them that through hard work, perseverance and the willingness to just try things and take a risk, they too could achieve great things.'" Paul Gladstone, Head of Design Technology, Claremont Fan Court School


Wayne's Career History:

This talk encompasses his erstwhile role as Director of The British Fashion Council, to being on The Trustee Board of the Design Council and the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment. Wayne's eye-opening insights on how creativity can have social and societal impact and also enhance the bottom line are endlessly riveting and provide real talking points for business owners, employees and students alike.

“Just wanted to say a quick thank you for what was a fantastic presentation you made at the recent IOD Northwest event. Many 'done well's in the business world have an interesting story to tell, but the way in which you conveyed yours was captivating and it was a pleasure to listen.”

“Your passion for the causes you feel strongly about is inspiring, and as somebody with (what I like to think is) a strong moral compass myself it was great to see somebody else with aligned views. House building planning 'crimes' throughout the UK, artificially inflated commercial property pension fund short term thinking bull shit, LFW protest against France etc etc...all pleasantly reassuring to know that other people don't just sit back and take these things for granted.”

“As a young director of a company myself I found it really interesting both from a personal and business perspective and would like to thank you once again for making it a worthwhile day out of the office.” - Kieran Gately

"Just finished listening to Wayne Hemingway MBE talk about buying quality clothing on the Jo Good show BBC Radio London. A breath of fresh air." - Vivienne Aiyela 

"Another great presentation by the truly inspirational Wayne Hemingway MBE. Thanks!" - Gillian Blair

"I wanted to say thank you for being an (unknown to you!) inspiration for my colleagues and I who recently founded our own business. During the first few months there were often times when we feared that we were taking on too much but we would remember your speech and a common refrain in the office would be: “what would Hemingway say?” which became a rally call for us to keep faith in ourselves and always embrace the opportunity to take on new customers no matter where the risks may take us." - Tom Anderson, Chief Executive Officer

"I just wanted to say a massive thank you for your talk last night at Leicester university. I’m not sure if you’ll actually receive this message in person but last night has really made me open my mind. It's shown me how easy it is to become such a narrow-minded designer at university, only ever concentrating on one project to another and never opening my eyes to the world around me and what’s actually happening. I only ever wanted to be a designer who improved people’s life’s, and I thought the only way to do this was to study Interior Design at university. However, you’ve shown me if I want to make a real change, I need to join the real world and get involved in projects I’m passionate about and not sit in front of a computer for 12 hours a day! I would have preferred to say this in person, but a lot of people seemed to want to talk to you afterwards so hopefully you receive this message today." - Student at Leicester University

"Just to say a massive thanks for the lecture last night – our guests were really buzzing afterwards – let’s hope some of your principles rub off on the audience.  I know that a few of our soon to be graduates from the creative arts awards, who were in attendance last night, are soon to be embarking on their own creative businesses – so your advice and enthusiasm will resonate highly with them!" - Julie SmithCorporate Events Manager

"Thanks so much for your contribution today at the AGM. Your presentation was incredibly well received – and I felt like such a suit standing up and doing the review of the year after your lively, moving and informative gig!" - Robin Osterley, Chief Executive, Charity Retail Association

Brand building, Marketing and Leadership:

Wayne explores the contrasts and synergies between building Red or Dead in the 80s, before the internet, and building today's brands using social networking/digital marketing, and today's societal values along with effective and creative leadership techniques. HemingwayDesign have created some of the most impactful brands over the past decade from FTSE 100 companies to large scale developers to place brands for towns such as York, Middlesbrough, Bognor Regis, and Thamesmead.

“As always, you managed to engage and provoke thinking in our BBC leaders and I had many asking me to send you their personal thanks.” Roger Cole, BBC

He's straightforward, focused and willing to be interested in a whole heap of things outside his area of 'expertise' because he is interested in what it is to be alive and to have values.” - Linda Green BBC

“I just wanted to extend a big thank you to you and Wayne for helping to make our big event the best lecture the University of Dundee has ever had.” - Joanna Jones, The London Speaker Bureau

"Thank you for the exceptionally inspirational speech at the Orchard conference. Streets ahead of previous speakers." -  David Nelson

Firstly, our formal thanks for your fantastic presentation on Wednesday night. I would like to reiterate that you single-handedly transformed our event. We have had a lot of positive feedback. - Richard Baines

"Just to say thanks for your brilliant talk yesterday. It was just what we needed to stimulate our thinking to make Harrow better!" - Jane Fernley, Head of Business Development and Transformation, Housing Department, Harrow Council

"Many thanks for taking the time to contribute to our conference yesterday. Your presentation was inspiring and entertaining, and it really made the delegates think about their own approach - particularly around permission to act creatively in public spaces. Your address generated some really interesting discussions over lunch." - Heidi Bellamy, Policy Development & Business Manager, CLOA

wayne northern powerhouse talk

Regeneration, Housing, Urban Design and Architecture:

Over the past two decades, HemingwayDesign have delivered a number of high profile and award-winning affordable new build housing schemes, 'turned around' troubled estates, have a string of impactful seaside regeneration projects under their belts and an extensive worldwide knowledge of creative led regeneration, great urban design and architecture. Wayne was the chairman of the place-making campaigning body Building For Life and sat on the Trustee Board of CABE (Commission for Architecture and Built Environment) for 8 years. His views are forthright, often provocative, and as HemingwayDesign works with some of Britain’s largest house builders and developers, is able to comment on the state of an industry which has a significant impact on the economy and our well-being.

"Thank you very much for being our key note speaker at the Coast and Estuaries Conference on the 6th October.  The enthusiasm with which you presented your original and enlightened approach to the regeneration of Lowestoft gave the whole event a real buzz - and much food for thought for all of us who are working for a better future for Lowestoft. Your presentation and comments were an inspiration, the feedback we have received so far has been extremely positive and many delegates commented on how pleased they were to hear from you and to learn about your ideas. Your involvement gives me the confidence that Lowestoft, already much improved, has a very bright future." - David Ritchie, Chairman of the Suffolk Coast Forum & Cabinet Member for Planning and Coastal Management at Waveney District Council

Wayne Hemingway - hilarious, inspiring go-getter. Brilliant keynote ‪#iodconference” - Clare O'Neill, @claire_oneill24

“On behalf of everyone at Kent Housing Group thank you very much for coming along to our Seminar and giving such an inspirational presentation. The feedback from delegates is that your presentation was the highlight of the day and we are extremely grateful that you were able to spare the time to be there.” - Jill Pells, Partnership Manager, Kent Housing Group

“Just a note to thank you for the fantastic talk that you delivered to Midland Heart conference yesterday, you have obviously had a diverse and interesting journey. I was fascinated by your talk and could have listened for hours, its not often you hear of people developing their entrepreneurial career purely by accident, as yours appears to be.” - Sue Rechter, Quality Manager, Midland Heart

"I would like to say a huge thank you from myself and all of HS2 SLT for your inspiring and provocative talk today. It was really fascinating, and both engaging and hilarious and the comments from the delegates, and ongoing talks which have started since you spoke are transforming the way people are approaching what they are doing and thinking at HS2. The “people’s train” is a phrase we will use and hear for always now. If I had a £ for every time someone mentioned your name the rest of the afternoon, I’d be doing rather well! Which I consider to be a great success!" - Head of High Speed 2

"Had a great afternoon at the MEN property lunch. Wayne Hemingway MBE was simply inspiring for everyone in attendance. He was Fantastic." - Jonathon Nolan 

"Thank you for your talk at our awards yesterday – the reaction from the guests was universally positive, and you certainly prompted discussion and debate." - Ben Roskrow, Housebuilder Media Ltd

"Such inspirational talks today #NPHSummit #GetNorth2018 Wayne Hemingway MBE keeping it real and talking my talk. We've got to be brave, question, collaborate and listen. Make society better..." - Andrea Gibson

"Your presentation at CT was brilliant, so needed and so welcomed! Glancing at the agenda I’d expected some anodyne design agency commentary on ‘branding’. But phew!, what a refreshing confrontation of the reality for towns. I only wish many of our local councillors were present." - Ken Royall

"I listened to an impassioned Wayne as he did his keynote speech yesterday at Carlisle Airport and he blew my mind. I’ve literally been bouncing round my bedroom and hardly slept as my mind has just been buzzing… Wayne said we could email him any questions to this email address and I saw on your website that you’re open to offers about your next potential project.. 

Well it’s a big one.

So how about Blackpool?  If ever there was a town that needed some major revisioning, an injection of culture, creativity and positivity ….well we are it. " - 

Michaela Boardman, Senior Manager ‑ Marketing and Sales (Lakeside), YMCA Lakeside, YMCA Fylde Coast

"Thank you so much on behalf of Historic England for your passionate speech – it was the perfect ending to the conference. I felt educated, inspired and challenged which was all I hoped for and I am sure my colleagues felt the same. I hope we take some of your ideas on board for the High Streets programme to make places vibrant again!"  Uta Langley - Head of Organisation Development, Business Improvement Department, Historic England

'Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your piece at Homes UK. Nice to hear some straight talking for a change! Many thanks.' - Tom, Homes UK attendee

Wayne has a few words about developers and regeneration...

Creatively Led Regeneration, Brave and Generous Design:

The HemingwayDesign team have led on and have extensive knowledge of creatively led regeneration worldwide. Wayne talks about creative led regeneration, bravery and generosity in  design that is happening from the Mitte in Berlin to Brooklyn whilst also taking in their own work in Margate, Gateshead, Boscombe, Blackburn and more.

Coastal Regeneration

Wayne has become an advisor to Government Select Committees as a result of the impactful work HemingwayDesign have been doing in coastal communities across the country, from Redcar, Lowestoft, Hunstanton, Margate, Boscombe, Exmouth, Morecambe and more.

"I live twenty five miles from Lowestoft but as a Councillor at Waveney District Council I have been working for a better future for the town for the past eleven years.  I have read your report on Lowestoft and I think you've got it right.  For example, I knew that there was something wrong with East Point Pavilion - but I didn't know what.  I wish I had  had the imagination to describe it as a faux Victorian Pavilion - telling it as it is, with an expert eye is just what we need.  Your involvement gives me the confidence that Lowestoft, already much improved, has a very bright future" - David Ritchie, Chairman of the Suffolk Coast Forum & Cabinet Member for Planning and Coastal Management at Waveney District Council

"On a sunny day in February Wayne and Gerardine visited,  walked the seafront and met some of the team from the council. From that day forward, the approach was one of creative collaboration. They have fostered an approach that is about allowing local voices and groups to contribute and to build momentum – with the council taking the role of facilitator, not asset owner. This approach has been extremely productive and very refreshing – both for local residents and people within the council. At every meeting and event, we have benefited from a dialogue with a team of people have made a living from working in design, and who  have shared examples of what other communities such as ours have done to turn areas around. The team understand makes a place enjoyable to live in and visit. They have brought experiences developed over a lifetime – but have been rooted in what will work; what we can do now to make a small difference that will grow.

As we come towards the end of the first stage of the project, the scope and potential of this project has grown well beyond our initial expectations. This is in very large part the result of the way that the Hemingway Design team work and their approach to the issues we shared with them. There has been a generosity and spontaneity in their approach and the shift that has taken place here as a result of that has been – in a way – as valuable as the outputs of the project itself.  We look forward to sharing the next steps of this journey with the team at HD" - Kerry Blair, Head of Operations, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District Councils.

Event Production:

Described by many as the most ambitious and coolest festival start-up ever, there is the story of The Vintage Festival: identifying an opportunity in the market, then designing and delivering a summer festival for 50,000 people from scratch. The assembled team of designers, collaborators, bands, artists and designers, volunteers, plus the viral and street-led campaign, is an amazing and visually stunning chain of events, full of disasters and triumphs. Now HemingwayDesign is an internationally recognised events brand with some interesting placemaking events working with councils and developers (including the Classic Car Boot Sale and the multi award-winning  Festival of Thrift, the National Festival of Making and the amazing start up success of First Light festival in Lowestoft), and a leading name in the competitive festival market, Hemingway Events is the events arm to HemingwayDesign and has a string of successes to its name, including the official The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant Festival in June 2012 for 70,000 in Battersea Park and the Transatlantic 175 event that attracted 250,000 to Liverpool’s Waterfront in 2015 and the truly uplifting Urban Village Fete (and its little sister SAMPLE).

“This modern tale of creating a multi faceted brand focusing on heritage but using modern technology and forward thinking marketing techniques is exciting.”

“I had the pleasure of listening to Wayne Hemingway on Wednesday. He was performing a Masterclass in Events and Festivals – a two-hour presentation to an interested audience – but I wish that I could have somehow bottled his enthusiasm and words and sent them off to every career advisor, teacher and politician in the land.”

"The cultural team at Greenwich Peninsula have collaborated with Hemingway Design for 3 years now, commissioning a new free design -led festival; The Urban Village Fete which first launched in May 2015 and was developed specifically for this neighborhood and its fledgling audiences.

We are thrilled with the rigor, quality and consistency that the team applies to all projects- delivering quality events from conceptualisation to delivery, well thought through curation that engages an unrivaled roster of performers, artists, designers and food producers. 

Hemingway Design have also consulted on brand development complimented by  the development of extensive visually appealing marketing campaigns that have reached audiences of 60 K + Wayne Hemingway is an outspoken brand ambassador for the Urban Village Fete and has been featured in multiple publications and attend significant press engagements on behalf of the project.

In 2017 we have expanded the scope of the Urban Village fete to include a new fashion- led pop up SAMPLE and are now committed to partnering with this dynamic studio for 3 Greenwich Peninsula festivals this year.

Hemingway Design are one of our most valued cultural collaborators and have driven footfall of approximately 36,000 new visitors to the area." - Kaia Charles, Cultural Projects Manager, Now Gallery and Greenwich Peninsula 

Social and Cultural Responsibility of Companies, Corporations and Individuals:

We have come to learn how large corporations increasingly care and share our belief about 'improving things that matter in life'. We have worked with McDonald'sCoca ColaCafe Direct and others on responsible products, and there are many avenues to explore here. We have helped build modern purpose driven values for St. Modwen, and working with Culture Liverpool we are delivering a business festival that is aimed to be the international “go to“ business event. It aims to be the ONLY global business festival that is relevant, forward-thinking, inspiring and proactive because it believes that purpose and societal benefit are the future of profitability and inclusive growth.

Conference Hosting and Awards Ceremonies:

Wayne also hosts conferences and award ceremonies. He scrubs up well and looks quite good in a black tie – trust us.

Student Talks:

If Wayne has a link to an area, or HemingwayDesign is working in a place then talks for universities and colleges are a possibility.

"Thank you for your generosity of spirit and also for a warm, witty and inspiring lecture. Have you thought about going into politics - I'd certainly vote for you! " - De Montfort University Student

"I just wanted to say a massive thank you for your talk last night at Leicester university. Last night has really made me open my mind. It's shown me how easy it is to become such a narrow-minded designer at university, only ever concentrating on one project to another and never opening my eyes to the world around me and what’s actually happening. I only ever wanted to be a designer who improved people’s life’s, and I thought the only way to do this was to study Interior Design at university. However, you’ve shown me if I want to make a real change, I need to join the real world and get involved in projects I’m passionate about and not sit in front of a computer for 12 hours a day!" - Leicester University Student

"I was at your lecture at Dundee University this afternoon and I wanted to let you know how impactful your story was for me. I am on exchange from New York and have had struggles in my University career, but your story was inspiring and gave me hope for my future as a designer." - Dundee University Student

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