The Innovation Group

The Innovation Group is J. Walter Thompson’s in-house creative think tank for the future. The practice produces groundbreaking thought leadership, consumer insight and sector innovation content.

It offers a range of consultancy services that help clients not only understand what’s happening now and next, but how to action this in the framework of their brand.

The Innovation Group also offers creative innovation labs, ideating and rapid prototyping concepts based on future change with its team of futurists, creative directors, strategists and researchers.

For more information, contact us at

Leadership team

  • Lucie Greene Worldwide Director of Innovation Group, J Walter Thompson Intelligence Headshot

    Lucie Greene

    Worldwide Director

    Lucie Greene is worldwide director of the Innovation Group, J. Walter Thompson’s trend forecasting, consultancy and innovation unit.

    She has spoken at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Las Vegas and SXSW Interactive on trends. She is featured regularly as an expert on futurism and trends, appearing on CNBC and Bloomberg TV, and in publications including CNN, The New York Times, Newsweek, The Sunday Times, and The Guardian. Lucie is also a well-respected journalist and editor, with a decade of experience contributing to The Financial Times, Women’s Wear Daily, Vogue UK, The Telegraph and Elle Deco UK. She is a thought leadership columnist for CampaignLive.

    Lucie joins J. Walter Thompson from leading London-based trends consultancy The Future Laboratory, where she was head of its trend forecasting and thought leadership unit.

    She has worked with the world’s leading brands, including Google, Marks & Spencer, LVMH, Westfield, H&M, Nike, Rolls-Royce, Virgin, Pernod Ricard and Estée Lauder, consulting on innovation practice, consumer insight and futurism.

  • Emma-Chiu-9685-Colour

    Emma Chiu

    Creative Innovation Director

    Emma Chiu heads up the Innovation Group’s creative innovation. She curates and leads all visuals and creative in the group’s content. She leads creative consultancy products and presents across all Innovation Group specialisms. She also leads creative execution of Innovation Lab products, designing and commissioning relevant experts to create concepts for brands based on trends.

  • Nayantara-Headshot-2

    Nayantara Dutta

    Trends Researcher

    Nayantara Dutta is a Trends Researcher at The Innovation Group, where she identifies consumer trends in technology, culture, retail, design and more. She has a background in strategy and has worked on clients including AT&T, Unilever, Kimberly-Clark, EyeBuyDirect and Wild Turkey.

  • Marie-Stafford_JWT-Headshots-Day-2-3504-FINAL-683x1024

    Marie Stafford

    European Director

    Marie joined J. Walter Thompson in 2004 and leads the European division of the Innovation Group, delivering insights, trends and thought leadership to the agency’s clients. In a complex and fast-evolving consumer landscape, Marie and her team uncover the forces, themes and trends driving disruptive change in our lives. Marie regularly presents the team’s findings to clients and prospects as well as speaking at conferences and networking events.

    Prior to joining J. Walter Thompson, she worked for the digital specialist and consultancies PwC and CSC, among others. Armed with a French degree, she started her career at a Francophone research agency called SVP, where she managed a diverse portfolio of clients across Europe—a walk in the park, after a year teaching impossibly cool Parisian teenagers.

  • Elizabeth Cherian_MG_0883

    Elizabeth Cherian

    UK Director

    Elizabeth Cherian steers the content and creative direction of our European trend research.  She also leads strategy for all consultancy services deployed from the London office.

    Elizabeth previously worked for Stylus, where she launched the Fashion & Beauty offer in 2011, having been recruited from Central Saint Martins where she completed her MA. With more than five years prior experience as a fashion designer in the luxury market, she brings invaluable industry experience to her forecasting and consultancy roles.

    Born in the US, Elizabeth speaks Spanish and Italian, having lived and worked in Buenos Aires, Madrid and Florence. She holds a BA in philosophy of religion from Boston University and is a passionate oil painter.

  • Chen May Yee, APAC Director, The Innovation Group

    Chen May Yee

    APAC Director

    Chen May Yee is APAC Director for the Innovation Group, keeping clients abreast of consumer trends in one of the world’s most dynamic regions.

    She has worked as a journalist in Malaysia, Singapore and the United States over the last twenty years. She started out as a correspondent for Agence France-Presse and the Wall Street Journal in Asia, and later worked in the US at the Minneapolis Star Tribune with a team covering healthcare, medical devices, real estate, food and consumer issues.

    Since moving back to Asia, she has edited international news for Singapore’s Straits Times and written stories on trends and culture for the international editions of the New York Times and Forbes. She is based in Kuala Lumpur.

  • Mennah-Ibrahim1

    Mennah Ibrahim

    MEA Director

    Mennah joined J. Walter Thompson in 2010 as MEA Director of Brand Intelligence across the agency’s Middle East and North Africa network, and now is the MEA Director of the Innovation Group. Mennah has written over 100 reports focusing on consumer intelligence and category knowledge in her region.

    Most recently Mennah has launched J. Walter Thompson MEA’s 10 Trends for 2015—a key forecast that shows how businesses are being influenced in the unique MEA marketplace and identifies opportunities for brand development and growth.

    Prior to joining J. Walter Thompson, Mennah founded and operated an exclusive qualitative hub across MEA. Before that Mennah was Account Director and Global Coordinator for personal care products at Leo Burnett in Cairo, working on major launches for P&G.



J. Walter Thompson’s in-house research unit that develops and exploits new quantitative and qualitative research techniques to understand cultures, brands and consumer motivation around the world. SONAR™ is led by Mark Truss, Worldwide Director of 
Brand Intelligence.

Leadership team


    Mark Truss

    Worldwide Director of Brand Intelligence

    “You can’t just surround a problem with data and expect that it will surrender, you need real insights.” Mark Truss oversees research and insights at J. Walter Thompson, where he has pioneered a new type of research process that allows for faster data collection and insight synthesis, with far less time and cost than in traditional structures.

    This innovation allows J. Walter Thompson to respond very quickly with real insights to changing environments and situations that invariably affect our brands. Mark is also an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University and an Advisory Board member at Berkeley College.

    His work has been covered in Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, Ad Age and Adweek and he has appeared on PBS’s Charlie Rose. Before J. Walter Thompson, Mark was senior vice president at market research companies The NPD Group and Ipsos. In his spare time, Mark plays lead guitar and sings for his band, The Outliers—a band of market researchers.

  • Heather Field Director of Brand Intelligence, JWT Intelligence, SONAR Headshot

    Heather Field

    Director of Brand Intelligence

    Heather Field is Director of Brand Intelligence at J. Walter Thompson.  Heather has 17 years of experience helping brands uncover hidden truths about consumers, cultures and brands that drive engaging communications across a variety of media channels and has partnered with global brands such as Ford, Air Canada, Puma, J&J, Unicharm, Walmart, Nestle, and Vonage to help them uncover insights and inform strategy.

    Before joining J. Walter Thompson in 2007, Heather held positions at market research companies The NPD Group and Ipsos gaining in depth experience with concept optimization, forecasting, developing syndicated databases and custom research practices.

    Heather is also a member of the Advertising Research Foundation’s “Foundation of Quality” committee.  She has a strong interest in preserving and driving high quality research standards at J. Walter Thompson as well as in the research industry at large.

  • Randi Fishbein SONAR Headshot

    Randi Fishbein

    Intelligence Analyst

    Randi Fishbein is an Intelligence Analyst in J. Walter Thompson’s Intelligence unit.  She has many years of business intelligence professional experience utilizing numerous data and information sources.   Randi is the key access point between questions and answers for J. Walter Thompson and our clients.  Utilizing secondary sources of information to support all business units within the network, she plays a vital role at J. Walter Thompson in analyzing questions and determining the best sources to address the ask, for client strategy teams or J. Walter Thompson corporate leadership..  Randi has been a member of the Intelligence team since 2005.

    Randi previously spent many years running the NY Information Research Center for AT&T.  She holds a MS from the Palmer School of Library & Information Science at Long Island University and a BA in English from SUNY at Stony Brook.

    Randi enjoys films, theater and art museums.

  • Joyce Melito Headshot, JWT Intelligence, SONAR

    Joyce Melito

    Intelligence Analyst

    Joyce Melito is an Intelligence Analyst in J. Walter Thompson’s Intelligence unit.  She is a seasoned business intelligence professional with years of deep experience across numerous data and information sources.  Joyce plays a critical role at J. Walter Thompson providing timely, accurate and seemingly impossible to find news, data, and information to staff across nearly all departments within the agency, focusing on strategy, business development, legal, and senior corporate leadership.   Joyce joined J. Walter Thompson from Saatchi & Saatchi New York, where she was the Director of Library Services.

    Joyce has a BA in English from Fairfield University, and a MS from the Palmer School of Library & Information Science at Long Island University.

    An Anglophile, she is a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America and The English-Speaking Union, and even belongs to a British mystery book group.

  • Headshot

    Craig Passkoff

    Senior Research Manager



Focuses on the innovative application of data and technology to inform and inspire new marketing solutions. It offers a suite of bespoke analytics tools.

Leadership team

  • Will Sandwick Headshot Head of Analytics JWT Intelligence

    Will Sandwick

    Head of Data and Analytics

    Will Sandwick is the Head of Analytics at J Walter Thompson NY where he leads a discipline responsible for creating a vision and application for all data the agency collects on behalf of its clients.  He joined the team in May 2017 and has been spending the majority of his time advancing measurement and optimization for J&J, Rolex, and Northwell Health.  Will brings over 8 years of marketing analytics experience to the agency having previously served at R/GA, Droga5, The Barbarian Group, and Blippar.  His past work includes creating systems to measure ROI, processes that allow speed to optimization, and developing tools that fuel creative insights for clients including Nike, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Jockey, Chobani, Etihad Airways, and L’Oreal.

    Will’s passion lies in using data to enable rapid testing of creative hypotheses.  He is an avid speaker and has given talks at the Miami Ad School, New Inc., The Samsung Accelerator, and CCNY Branding and Integrated Communications. Additionally, his work has been cited/quoted in periodicals such as Adweek, Advertising Age, Creativity Online, Forbes, CNBC, ClickZ, and MediaPost.  

  • Joanne Beltran-Lam

    Associate Analytics Director

    Joanne Beltran-Lam is an Associate Analytics Director at J. Walter Thompson.  She has ten years of experience in the digital analytics field, after discovering a love of leveraging results-based insights to constantly improve any marketing effort.  In her current role, Joanne works with clients and agency partners to bring an objective and holistic perspective to success measurement.  (Translation: she is obsessively tracking, measuring, and optimizing at every touchpoint).  She has assisted in building a solid foundation of data, information, and knowledge to make better decisions and grow businesses for numerous clients including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Diamond Trading Company.


  • Roxanne Oliver

    Analytics Director

    Roxanne Oliver is the Director of Analytics at J. Walter Thompson New York, working alongside a cross-functional data-driven team dedicated to empowering clients make the best decisions possible, backed by research, insights, and learnings. In prior roles, Roxanne has lead Fortune 100 Clients across Global & NAM teams, across a variety of digital and social media focused efforts, focused on immediate and long term business goals.  With the natural ambition of identifying the reasoning of why anything occurs, she naturally found her fit in the advertising space, constantly trying to prove out hypothesis and new ways of measurement. If you can’t find Roxanne trying to solve a puzzle, you might find her working in her community garden or trying to hype up the newest podcast she’s obsessed with.

  • Jack Borto


    Jack Borto is an analyst at J. Walter Thompson New York. He was formerly an Actuarial Analyst, assisting a range of clients with their reserve estimates, forecasts, and dashboard development. He has joined the Advertising industry out of a desire to use his analytical background in a new way, while still providing actionable insights that drive businesses decisions. Outside the office Jack looks forward to a relaxing round of golf on one of the few golf courses in the NYC area.


About the J. Walter Thompson Company

J. Walter Thompson Company was founded in 1864 and has been making pioneering solutions that build enduring brands and business for more than 150 years. Today under the leadership of Global CEO Tamara Ingram, the company has evolved to include several global networks including J. Walter Thompson Worldwide and Mirum.

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