Tara O'Neil PhD
Chief Innovation Officer
D E S I G N E R F U T U R I S T C R E A T O R
As a SMARTlab PhD graduate and an Innovation Strategist, Designer, and Futurist by trade, Tara combines her skills as a researcher and a practitioner to help lead radical thinking at SMARTlab Niagara Tara O'Neil's work in innovation is located at the intersection of design, strategy and foresight. Many examples of Tara's work include the delivery of creative and critical thinking that goes below the surface. In her Ph.D. thesis, Tara took users to the future using Virtual Reality Time Portals so that they could overcome their existing cognitive bias and find their inner but buried creative talent. The same process is used in various projects at SMARTlab Niagara, where Tara is the Chief Innovation Officer. From finding innovative solutions to climate change to understanding and gaining empathy regarding the history of Canada, Tara's XR futures are bringing people opportunities to make the invisible, visible.
Before reigniting her pursuit of higher education, Tara was the Chief Creative Officer at a retail design and strategy studio in Toronto. Multidisciplinary teams created the user experience in retail globally. Teams were comprised of designers, strategists, storytellers and artists. Together these powerful teams considered and delivered customer experiences across Omnichannel formats to financial institutions, grocery, home improvement and fashion.