Dr. Philip Veal [D.prof] FRSA

Author, Speaker, Owner of Silbo Ltd, Design Thinker, Human Centred & Empathetic Designer, Innovation Champion, CSR 2.0 Advocate. Music Obsessive, Authentic Brand Architect, LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® facilitator, Amateur Marine Conservationist, Fellow of the RSA, Aikido Deshi

About Me

I started off my professional life in the creative industries; working as a studio manager, web designer and creative lead. I now operate primarily in the Design Thinking space with an emphasis on the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology.

In 2012 I started a Professional Doctorate at the University of Sunderland and graduated in 2016. My thesis was titled: “The realization of a value-led organization: the “Digital NGO” as a case study”.

My research was initially driven by the desire to combine my extensive experience of the creative industries with the humanitarian and development sector, an area that I had become interested in since joining the board of an international NGO in 2008.

My thesis fuses industry-specific concepts such as Human Centred Design, Agile methods and Data Journalism with academic theory and personal motivations, leading to the formulation of an ethically-driven approach that I have chosen to call “Empathetic Design”, the formulation of this method and the process that created it, is ultimately what forms my contribution to knowledge.

If you would like to know more about Empathetic Design as a concept or how LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® can be used in your organisation then please get in touch.

Design Thinking
Empathetic Design
CSR 2.0


Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

2023 - ONGOING

Fellow of the RSA, a global network of changemakers enabling people, places and the planet to flourish in harmony

Innovation Associate

2012 - Ongoing

Delivery partner for Yohlar Innovation qualification


2020 - Ongoing

Fully qualified and highly experienced LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® facilitator

Chairperson for Middlesborough College Digital Advisory Board

2018 - Ongoing

Helping to clarify the college offering to industry and vice versa

Contributing author

May 2017 - ONGOING

Contributing author for Harper Collins Publishing.

Academic Tutor / University of Sunderland

2014 - ONGOING

Delivery of numerous modules and supervision at Masters and Undergraduate levels

Professional Doctorate Study

2012 - 2015

Professional Doctorate study programme at the University of Sunderland. Graduated 2016

Owner / Director Silbo Ltd

2004 - ONGOING

Innovation Agency operating primarily in the Human Centred Design / Design Thinking space. Clients include: British Airways, Virgin Holidays, Jet Republic, and the Digital City Project, The United Nations [UNOCI] amongst others

Board Member / Trustee

2006 - ONGOING

No Strings International makes films with masters of the original Muppet Show for children in emergencies around the world. Step One: Children watch one of our puppet films, imaginatively told around a series of life-saving messages or concepts linked to wellbeing. Step Two: Together, they invent their own stories, taking the film’s key messages and connecting with them on a profound level through puppetry and play: increasingly, we’re adapting activities for families and whole communities, too.

Mentor and Consultant

2006 - ONGOING

Mentor for new and emerging digital and creative startup companies for a number of organizations including The Digital City and Durham University. Advising on: Creative Direction, Business modelling, Branding and Production.

Creative Lead / British Airways

2000 - 2004

In-house creative lead responsible for the production of multi-media websites and supporting material. Projects included: The reintroduction and retirement of Concorde and product placement for the James Bond film "Die another Day" amongst others.


1998 - 2000

Multi-media producer working for a number of organizations, clients included: The Sunday Times, Genie ISP, 3 Com amongst others.

Account Manager

1999 - 2000

Account manager for the Internet startup Oneview.net responsible for clients in the north of England.

Graphic Designer / Studio manager

1990 - 1998

Responsible for the production for the production of graphic material and advertising collateral.


2016 - 2015

Professional Doctorate: University of Sunderland

My research thesis " The Realization of a Value Driven Organization" uses a combination of academic and industry specific methods to combine ethical and commercial drivers using the creative sector as a case study.



  • Digital City Business has worked with Phil Veal and Silbo ltd for over 5 years, during which time they have delivered an excellent level of service and shown commitment way beyond what was asked. Phil’s strengths lie in his ability to see the bigger picture whilst maintaining a high level of creativity and focus

    Digital City Business / CEO
  • Phil was recommended to us as someone who could help us to manage the process of kicking-off a new stream of work with several new service providers and act as a collaborator to ensure smooth service provision. On a personal level, Phil is easy to work with and very insightful. His years of industry experience (with some big brand names) has clearly positioned him as being someone who can deep dive into a company with minimal intrusion and get to the core of the business quickly in order to help exploit best assets.

    Realsafe technologies / CEO at Realsafe
  • I worked with Phil Veal and Silbo Ltd on a design-focused project and the service was excellent. Phil has the ability to listen and interpret from a number of perspectives and then propose solutions that are both highly creative and also commercially viable. He is incredibly experienced and I have seen him add value to multiple projects over the years. I have no reservations at all about recommending him and his company.

    SGP Consulting / Founder at SGP
  • Phil has always been an inspiration to myself as a member of staff at DCB and also to the other businesses he has mentored throughout his time with here. I am often asked by many of the digital companies about accessing further mentoring with Phil as his ideas and suggestions are greatly welcomed by them.

    Digital City Business / Animateur


Phone: +44 (0) 7887 720 661

Email: info@philipveal.com

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Phone: +44 (0) 7887 720 661