Recognised across the industry as an
inspiring, global thought-leader.

Book Melis for your event
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Recognised across the industry as an
inspiring, global thought-leader.

Book Melis for your event
Subscribe for event notifications.

Available for speaking engagements. 

I talk on topics relating to the neuroscience of leadership, design, and  human potential.


“Every action by every human creates the world. What you do matters.”


I am particularly interested in what is means to be human in this time of rapid change and shift. Understanding ourselves, what limits us and what enables us is the key to having wild influence. It enables us to create and lead from a place of deep understanding of self, of humanity, of nature and our universe.

Upcoming Talks  

Melbourne Design Week Symposium
RMIT Activator, 102 Victoria St, Carlton—19-March-2020.
Human experiences,
healthy environments.

Cancelled due to COVID

Service Design, User Experiences, Technology Design and Environmenxxtal Design can all dramatically improve the Human Experience in high-stress environments like hospitals, airports and law courts. The question is - from a design, technology and architectural perspective - how can we get them all to work together?

Chief Customer Officer Conference, Melbourne
28-29 April 2020
'Hidden Commitments of customer centricity'. 

Cancelled due to COVID

2020 key themes are the challenge of 'how', demonstrating CX ROI, employee experience, achieving sustainable, long term results, data and insight and capturing customers emotionally in a digital world. Melis will be providing a neuroscience perspective into emotions and how we can meaningful (and ethically) design for them. She will also explore what it takes to be the people designing with other people.

You, Inc Seminar, 

30th May, 2020
Unlocking human potential.

Cancelled due to COVID

This seminar is sponsored and organised by Rotaract Club of Aruba. Last year's You, Inc seminar focused on the science of emotional intelligence, performing under pressure and all change is personal. Rotaract focuses on the development of young adults as leaders in their communities and workplaces. Clubs around the world also take part in international service projects, in a global effort to bring peace and international understanding to the world.

Dr Melis Senova
Dr Melis Senova 

"It’s not until we start challenging some of the fundamental assumptions that set up how we live our lives, that we can actually unlock spaces of opportunity that would otherwise not be available to us."

Recent Speaking Engagements

SDNOW4 Melbourne—November 2019
Ecstasis, flow and design character.

In this talk about how to apply the neuroscience of peak performance in design, Melis to the audience on an exploration into what it takes to be the individual who strives for mastery in human centred design. Her talk went beyond mastering tools and methods of design. With a touch of neuroscience along the way, it delved deep into the essential practices to foster intuition, flow states, and access to our greatest potential.

Chief Customer Officer Conference, Sydney—October 2019
'Hidden Commitment of customer centricity'

The 2019 key themes were frictionless customer centricity, hyper-personalisation, digital CX, data and insights and employee experience. Melis presented her unique perspective on the hidden commitments made when an organisation chooses to become customer centric and what this means for the leaders, and in particular, the CCOs of that organisation.

Global Access Partners Summit—September 2019
Beyond Education: Lifelong learning for Australia's Future 

The 2019 Summit will focus on ways to prepare new generations of Australians for a future characterised by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. During her talk, Melis asked the audience to consider preparing Australians with capabilities beyond STEM to make the very human transition to new ways of work and life. In this talk Melis proposed the creation of the Australian Institute for Human Progress. A GAP taskforce has since been created of which she is the Chair.

AGDA Design Shift
March 2019
Design means business

Under the influence of advancements in technology, heightened social and environmental turbulence, a revolution in media and a seismic recasting of business and commerce, design and the design industry is staring down the barrel of some monumental change. What threats and opportunities do these changes represent - today, tomorrow and over the next 20 years.

RMIT Executive MBA
Aug 2017 and Aug 2018 
Guest Lectures

Melis lectured RMITs design-led Executive MBA students about human-centred design and the role of leadership to facilitate this work within organisations. She then facilitated a discussion with the graduate students to explore real life challenges they face in implementing new ways of thinking and working into their own organisations.

Creative State Summit—Melbourne, June 2018 
Creativity in a Post-Truth World. 

This year’s summit theme will provoke delegates to think about the role creative practitioners, organisations and institutions can play in influencing, reflecting and interpreting our times. Speakers will examine bold new ideas and case studies, emerging trends and technology, and invite delegates to consider how they can build their skills, transform their practice, organisation or sector, and create new connections.

SXSW 2018 Conference—Austin, TX March 2018 
The Shadow Side of Human Centred Design. 

Invited back to speak at SXSW, this year Melis will lead discussion around the repressed part of the design landscape. When it comes to talking about human-centred design, intentions are typically good. We seek positive results by designing meaningfully and deliberately, but sometimes even the most well-intentioned strategies darken, and take turns for the worse.

Humanities 21 Empathy Debate—Melbourne, November 2017 
Is empathy an impediment to success? 

Presented​ ​in​ ​partnership​ ​with​ ​Humanities​ ​21​ ​and​ ​Disruptive​ ​Business Network. In this Oxford-style debate Melis will be joined by Dr Steven Curry, Founder and co-director of Capability Builder, in debating the motion Empathy is not an impediment to success. Challenging Belle Lane and Stephanie Woollard, who are taking up the other side to this debate.

NewCo Melbourne 2017—Melbourne, November 2017
Hidden Commitments 

A platform to learn from founders and top executives who share their knowledge from the inside. Huddle are hosting the event in their new office space with Melis imparting What it takes to make impact: the hidden commitments.

Service Design Days—Barcelona, October 2017 
The realities and shadows of human centred organisations. 

This year’s event showcases How to put design at the heart of your organisation and stay relevant and connected in a fierce business landscape.

SXSW 2017 Conference—Austin, TX March 2017 This Human: The person designing for other people. 

A human-centric approach to focussing on people who are determined to have impact with their work and what it means to be human in this time of rapid change and shift.

Global Access Partners 7th Annual Economic Summit—Sydney, Sept. 2016
A Vision for Australia. 

Head space for creativity and innovation.

Global Access Partners 7th Annual Economic Summit—Sydney, Sept. 2015
The future of jobs. 

A series of Annual Economic Summits hosted by Global Access Partners to incite discussion and “foster outcome-based engagement on key issues of value to Australia.

Australia Post PEAK 2015 Panel Discussion—Melbourne, May 2015. Embracing digital and new ways of thinking. 

Senior leadership and development program discussion around design thinking and digital disruption

DesigntoAlign: Intersection’15 Conference—Berlin, April 2015. Transforming a product-centric firm into a customer and design-led services firm. 

HIC 2014: Digital Healthcare Design Conference—Melbourne, August 2014. Introducing the design mindset to the re-imagining and design of health care. 

Design As Strategy Forum—Sydney, May 2014.
Prosperity: An object of design. 

Signature event of the Good Design Australia Festival.

Customer360 Symposium—Hunter Valley, April 2014.
The grand finale. 

What it really takes to create customer centricity at the very top.

Book a talk for your event.

Melis’ talks are engaging, intimate, thought provoking and perspective shifting. This is due to her unique way of seeing how people live and work, and her innate ability to create a connection with her audience.

Topics range from designing high performance teams to leading through complexity and chaos, to what it takes to lead from the heart.


Every single one of her talks will reflect on what it means to show up as a human being in today’s world, no matter what the context. If you're looking to inspire thinking in your audience, Melis is the person to do it. 


Also available for Online Conferences and Events.

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Main photo on this page courtesy of the wonderful Julia Archibald. 
Other photos courtesy of the fabulously talented Oli Samson.