IRDG Design Thinking Conference

IRDG Design Thinking Conference


Design thinking

At the core of design thinking is the user, the consumer, the human, combined with an approach that requires empathy and an open mind. Allergy Standards Ltd (ASL) is a certification company which uses scientific standards to analyse products in a laboratory setting. The two seem miles apart. But at Allergy Standards, design thinking is at the forefront of everything we do.

We start with the human. The asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Mark is, after all, one of the few scientifically proven marks that is solely focused on the impact the product has on the consumer’s environment and the effect this environment has on health. ( ‘Eco’, ‘organic’, ‘natural’ and ‘hypoallergenic’ are not necessarily scientifically proven to be better for the consumer). Our aim is to help the consumer create a healthier home by empowering her/him. To do this we must start with the human, we must empathize and understand. By being human-centric, our challenge expands – we must consider the emotions and the needs of the consumer but also the impact of the product over time, in use and in the constantly fluxing nature of an inhabited building.  

Here at ASL we have developed solutions to a myriad of problems through design thinking. But far more importantly, by being human-centric, through iterative thinking and by opening our minds, we have discovered even more problems and challenges, ones we were previously unaware of. It is the solving of these issues that makes Allergy Standards a successful, innovative global leader in its field. 

It is with this open and receptive mind that we look forward with great anticipation to the IRDG Virtual Design Thinking Conference (itself a product of design thinking). Holly O’Driscoll is an industry expert in the field of Design Thinking and human centered innovation and ASL have been lucky enough to be one of the many organisations that has benefitted from her teaching. She is just one of the many notable contributors at this year’s IRDG conference. 


About Dr. John McKeon

Dr. John McKeon, the CEO of Allergy Standards, is a true believer, passionate advocate and teacher of design thinking. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the IRDG since 2018, a position that he holds with pride.

John is a medical entrepreneur who qualified as a doctor from Trinity College Dublin in 1996, is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and also holds his United States Medical Licensing exams.

In addition to his entrepreneurial and business activities, John also maintains an interest in university research and knowledge exchange practices. He is the Entrepreneur in Residence at the Centre for Practice and Healthcare Innovation in the Faculty of Health Sciences as well as a member of the Knowledge Transfer & Innovation Committee, in Trinity College Dublin.

In 2019 he completed a certificate in ‘The Innovative Health Care Leader: From Design Thinking to Personal Leadership’ in Stanford University Graduate School of Business

As an expert in healthcare entrepreneurship he is always on the lookout for new opportunities and assignments in life sciences, digital health & medical device sectors.

John is a member of the Institute of Directors and a frequent guest speaker on innovation in Dublin University Business School in healthcare entrepreneurship which sees him as a key note speaker on the subject and mentoring a number of early stage ventures.


About IRDG (Industry Research and Development Group)

The IRDG is a non-profit, business-led Innovation Network of member companies and colleges, working to drive excellence in Innovation within Ireland’s industry to create growth, jobs and prosperity. It was established in 1992 to serve the needs of members on all matters relating to research, development and innovation. IRDG membership is relatively evenly divided between Irish-owned and overseas-owned companies, who range in size from start-ups to the largest companies in Ireland.

Today, the IRDG represents all sectors of industry including electronics, software & telecommunications (ICT), financial services, food, software, engineering, healthcare & life sciences, plastics and utilities.

Find out more about the IRDG Design Thinking Conference agenda here


Key Words

Innovation, design thinking, conference, asthma & allergy friendly®, Allergy Standards, IRDG, human-centric, environment, healthier home, scientific, healthcare



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By |2020-09-29T11:28:50+00:0012 June 2020|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on IRDG Design Thinking Conference