Gong Szeto is a highly respected practitioner in the design space – despite his insistence that he is not a designer, at least not in the conventional sense. Comfortable with being a bit of an outlier, he is an incredibly well rounded thinker, designer, and business leader, with a passion for doing excellent work and a genius for bridging the gap between “seeking” and “doing.”
Gong currently serves as a Fellow at the Center for Public Action at Bennington College and is a well-known consultant with his own solo practice (Gong Szeto Design Office). As a member of the Global Business Network, he collaborates with experts from a variety of fields on profoundly challenging business and social futures scenarios. With a strong background in making complexity understandable without losing meaning, Gong is a sought-after expert for clients ranging from financial institutions to intelligence organizations to bio-tech companies… solving interdisciplinary challenges for anyone who has complexity issues.
An independent thinker who sits squarely on a four-legged stool of business, political economy, user experience and technology – Gong balances a hair-splitting eye for detail with a subtly playful point of view. When he is not designing, he reads dense non-fiction books that rarely have pictures in them. His latest boast is that he learned how to read a human genome map to locate variants and SNP markers for genetic disease predispositions, personally tutored by an evolutionary biologist and complex systems scientist.
Gong was a founder of the trend-setting interactive design firm i/o 360 where he grew that business into one of the leading boutique interactive firms in the world before selling the business to publicly traded consultancy Rare Medium in 1999. At Rare Medium he served as Chief Creative Officer, responsible for Corporate Creative Leadership, Direction and Best Practices.
Gong has worked with clients including Monitor Deloitte, Monitor 360, Monitor Institute, Global Business Network, National Security Agency, National Geospatial Agency, the Department of Defense, PEAK6 Investments LP, Burrill & Company Venture Capital Group, Strand Scientific Intelligence, SpiderRock, Sony Corporation of America, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Sirius-XM Radio, USA Networks, The New York Times, ThompsonReuters, Dow Jones & Company, Microsoft, Nikkei, Fujitsu, Shiseido, Viacom, Barnes and Noble, Sotheby's, HP-Compaq, Cablevision, and First Data Corporation.
Gong is a reductionist extraordinaire with a dry wit and a hungry curiosity for a wide array of subject matter. Described as “cerebral, understated, and inspiring,” Gong has lectured world-wide, and is a recipient of numerous awards from The Art Director's Club, American Center of Design, Net Tech, CASIE, and was included in I.D. Magazine's Top Forty Innovators in the U.S. and Europe in 1996. He has work in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt Museum. He holds a U.S. Patent in on-demand interactive advertising in digital television, co-invented with Sony Corporation of America. And Gong was thrilled to be a finalist in the 2009 Buckminster Fuller Challenge for something he noodled in about a week.
More recently Gong was the Director of Design and Product Design at Peak6 Investments LP, a $2B proprietary equity options trading firm, hedge fund, and new financial services business incubator. During his tenure at PEAK6, Gong designed OptionsHouse, a next-generation retail equity options brokerage, garnering top in category in design and usability in Barron's since its launch in 2006. Currently, Gong consults to the top life sciences venture capital and private equity fund in the US.
Gong lives in semi-wild northern New Mexico where he hobnobs with big brains and observes the world from a removed, and thus objective, viewpoint. He loves dogs, organ meat tacos, and raising his amazing and funny 6-year old daughter Willow Lin.
SEC/FINRA Regulatory Compliance and FBI/DHS/DoD Security Note: Gong Szeto is a verifiable United States citizen and his operational environment is fully compliant with RSA SecurID Public/Private Key Encryption for contracting with securities exchanges and proprietary trading operations. GSDO is compliant with the U.S. Department of Defense and Federal Intelligence Agency OpsSec IRONKEY guidelines and protocols for defense contractor/subcontractor authentication and case file encryption. More detailed verification available upon request.
gong [at] gongszeto [dot] com