Ian Sands - Director of Envisioning, Microsoft

"Ian Sands, Director of Envisioning, Microsoft

Ian Sands is the Director of Envisioning for Microsoft Office Labs, an R&D organization in Redmond, Washington. In this role, Ian is responsible for driving Microsoft’s 10 year productivity vision and strategy, working with thought-leaders across industries and throughout Microsoft to explore the intersection of customer challenges and emerging technologies.

A key component of the team’s strategy is to envision scenarios for how leading edge technologies might be used in real world settings over the next 5-10 years. In collaboration with the business and technical leaders of Microsoft’s Business Division, the team produces forward-looking prototypes, videos and physical installations that help internal teams to align for future investment and external audiences to glimpse areas of exploration.

In driving the Envisioning effort, Ian builds upon his prior experience as the founding Director of the Industry Innovations Group, a thought-leadership organization that he formed in 2003 with the goal of helping customers and partners understand the potential behind Microsoft’s R&D.

A fourteen year Microsoft veteran, Ian began his career in the Research organization, exploring interactive TV concepts with a creative think-tank called the Blender. Following that, he spent several years holding key roles in the launch of several Microsoft Internet businesses – including Slate, MSNBC, and MSN. Following which, Ian spent four years in the Microsoft Consulting Services division holding a leadership role with the Advanced Technology group. During this time, he founded a team and built a business that was focused on providing user interaction expertise for strategic customer engagements world-wide.

Ian works as a strategic advisor to Fortune 100 companies and thought-leadership institutions world-wide, participating on advisory boards, forums and future think-tank initiatives. His education includes the University of California, Davis and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, where he graduated with honors and holds a bachelor of science in Industrial Design."

Director of Envisioning, Microsoft

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