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

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    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.

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    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.


    Shepherd Laughlin

    Director of Trend Forecasting

    Shepherd Laughlin leads content and research for the group, and works with brands to activate trends and futurism within their framework.

    Shepherd previously worked for The Future Laboratory, where he was US correspondent, based in New York. Before joining The Future Laboratory he was a China correspondent, based in Beijing, contributing to titles including Monocle, China Economic Review and CNNGo. He holds an MSc in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics and a BA from Brown University. He enjoys learning new languages, and speaks Mandarin and French.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.



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

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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