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 Microsoftâ€™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.
In driving this effort, Ian builds upon his 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 Microsoftâ€™s R&D. A key component of the teamâ€™s strategy is to envision scenarios for how leading edge technologies might be used in real world settings â€“ such as finance, retail, manufacturing and health care â€“ over the next 5-10 years. In addition, the team creates a conduit to feed customer insights and potential partnerships back into the company, helping to drive future innovation and long-term technology roadmaps.
A twelve 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 â€“ including Slate, MSNBC, MSN and Shop.Microsoft.com. 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.