see full program here




in alphabetical order:


Antonio Farach: Honduran visual journalist. Since 2010 leads the Infographic Section at Muscat Media Group, headquarter of the newspapers Times of Oman and Al Shabiba. Antonio was a Civil Engineering student at the Honduras’ National University but ended up quitting after realizing that he was most interested on producing essays with its respective diagrams and illustrations that staying on construction fields. He jumped from the concrete and iron directly into the newsroom as an infographic reporter in 1998 at the newspaper Tiempo, based in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Farach learned journalism and graphic theory by himself, we can say he is a self-taught chartist. His work has been published in Switzerland, Luxembourg, Spain, Poland, US, UAE, SND, SPD, Malofiej and Wan-Ifra recognized his visual storytelling.



Bill Gaspard is the design director at China Daily, China’s main English-language newspaper published in 51 countries/regions worldwide. Bill is a past president of The Society for News Design and its Foundation. He organized two of their annual workshops (San Diego and Las Vegas) and led the effort to develop the Society’s ethics platform. In 2005, he was honored with SND’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Previously he was a deputy managing editor at the Las Vegas Sun, news design director at the Los Angeles Times, senior editor/visuals at the San Diego Union-Tribune and graphics editor / Sunday magazine art director at the Kansas City Star. As a consultant, he has worked on the redesign of more than 25 newspapers. A native of Illinois with his heart still in California, he is grateful for the opportunities and experience he is having in Beijing.



Dani Blizzard – Experienced recruiter within the digital and creative industry for junior to C-level roles. Dani has a history of placing the best digital candidates with leading companies both client and agency side in the UK and now the MENA region. Both now work for Digital Gurus MENA, a recruitment agency specializing in all things digital across the region. They are using their in-depth knowledge and extensive network to help local companies expand their digital presence. As well as offering advice on how to build their digital team and attract the best global talent.



David Westley: is the Portal Manager of GulfNews.com. Previously he was the head of content for Yahoo! in the Middle East, the Deputy of Dow Jones’ Financial New in London, and the Editorial Director of ITP Digital. He has started multiple online businesses, but is still waiting for his first multi-billion dollar success.



Deepak Harichandan is a senior design professional, working actively with Indian media industries for past 15 years.
He has served in this field as National Design Editor, and worked with top three English newspaper of India  at various cities in India.
He began his career as an Illustrator and visualiser and served various positions such as: Sr. Visualiser, Graphic Editor, Art Director, Associate Design editor and Design Editor.


Dwynn Trazo: holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of San Carlos (Cebu, Philippines), graduating Cum Laude in 2001. He started as a Graphic Artist at Creatron Advertising Agency (2001-2002) early in his career, then moved on to become Creative Supervisor at Bigfoot Global Solutions, Inc. maintaining various websites while briefly immersing himself in 3D projects. In 2006, he accepted a position at UAE media giant, Gulf News, as an Infographic Designer. It proved to be his best decision career-wise. Nine years later, Dwynn has received 53 international awards and recognitions as visual journalist for Gulf News. That’s 43 Awards of Excellence, 1 Gold and 3 Silver Awards from SND (Society for News Design), 3 Golds and 1 Silver from WAN-IFRA (Asia Media Awards) and 1 Silver and 1 Bronze from Malofiej (the infographic summit). Additionally, 7 of his editorial cartoons have also been recognized and published by the WPC (World Press Cartoon) for six consecutive years. His eye for detail and structure, commitment, willingness and sense of leadership are what he considers the main traits that got him the accolades. Just last September, his alma mater honored him with the Semper Fidelis Award in recognition of his international achievements. He is also a part-time musician and a lifetime fitness enthusiast.



Fernando Baptista: He holds a degree in Fine Arts from the University of País Vasco, Spain. He worked as an illustrator and freelance designer for several years until he started working at the newspaper “El Correo” in 1993. In 2007 he became part of the graphics team at National Geographic Magazine in Washington D.C. He is an associate professor of University of Navarra, Spain and has taught in many conferences and workshops around Europe, United States and Latin America. In 2012, he was named one of the top 5 Most influential graphic artist of the last 20 years. He has won more than 125 awards from SND editions (Society for News Design), SPD, ÑH, Best American Infographic and Malofiej, including the Peter Sullivan award, best known as “The Pulitzer” for infographics. In 2013 he was nominated for an Emmy in the category of “New Approaches: Arts, Lifestyle, Culture” for his stop-animation work in “Walking with Giants.” His illustrations are found in several museums and books.



Hugo A. Sánchez  ‘el_RoboTo’, is a Design and Visual Communications graduate from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico. He started his experience in news rooms in 2002 as illustrator and infographic artist in Récord, a sports newspaper winner of the World’s Best-Designed Award granted by the SND two consecutive years (2002 and 2003). In Récord, he works as General Editor for several departments as Infographics, illustration and design for magazines. On that period he received several recognitions from the SND and the first Malofiej Award for a Mexican Newspaper in 2004. In 2009 he works for Flow, an International Architectural Visualization studio, creating animations for projects under development in Mexico, US, China and India. On this period he learns advanced methods and techniques for 3D modeling and the crucial importance of the accuracy to represent the reality. After 3 years in 2012, he packed to Dubai UAE and started a new stage in Gulf News, working as 3d modeler and Sr. infographic artist.  On his journey to the Middle East, Hugo has obtained several recognitions like a Gold Medal on The Visual.ly Olympics Contest, 3 Malofiej medals (2 Silver and 1 bronze), several SND excellence awards including a Silver Medal and one award of excellence in Portfolio category, one Asian Media Award Granted by IFRA, two World Press Cartoon recognitions and the cover for the 33th edition of the SND book. His works has been published in Japan and China on Infographics’ compilation books.

see Hugo portfolio here and here



Liz Ramos Prado is graduated from Pontificia Universidad Católica in Perú, and holds a BFA with speciality in Graphic Design. She has been working in the publishing and newspaper industry for more than 12 years now.

Living in Dubai since 2007, Liz currently works as Information Graphics Editor, responsible of creating concepts and executing bilingual design and infographic products. Her work has been awarded by Malofiej Infographics Awards from Spain, Society for News Design (SND) in United States and World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, WAN-IFRA.

Along with the busy daily job, Liz has been very active as an artist. Her passion for visual arts has led her to be involved in numerous art exhibitions in the UAE, displaying drawings, paintings, installations and digital art.



Lois Knowles: Experienced recruitment consultant who has worked the London creative market for nearly 3 years. Having worked with some of the best integrated agencies in the world, placing creatives and designers at all levels, Lois has seen her market change into a more digitally focused industry. Coming from a family of creative people, Lois understands the passion and pride that goes into a creative’s  work and how a truly ambitious creative is always striving to be truly original.


Mohammed Haddad is a senior interactive producer with Al Jazeera. He heads the interactive department there where he works on telling visual stories with data.
Prior to joining Al Jazeera he was involved in crowdsourcing research and application in Africa.



Osama Aljawish: Senior Designer at Al Shabiba and Times of Oman newspaper in Muscat. He received BA degree from Damascus University in 2003 and he is currently a member of Fine Artists Association of Syria. He worked in an advertising agency in Oman for six years before he joined the publication industry as Senior Designer for Al Shabiba, the sister publication of Times of Oman. He was greatly fortunate to be part of the team that launched the redesign of Al Shabiba and had the honor to work with Dr. Mario Garcia and Adonis Durado. His work received several awards from the SND (Society for News Design) Creative Competition, including gold and a JSR (judge’s special recognition).

see osama portfolio here and here



 Ramy Alawssy is a creative entrepreneur and founder of ING – the leading creative platform in Dubai.

Upon returning to the Middle East in 2011 after studying Graphic Design in Malaysia, he struggled to find Creative events based in Dubai. The option to meet other Creatives, expand his network and get inspired simply wasn’t prevalent. Ramy learnt that the best way to get what you want is to make it happen yourself, and hence ING was born. Hosting Talks, Workshops, and Portfolio Reviews, ING has grown from a few close friends to a few thousand supporters over the span of just a couple of years.

Inspired by his positive experience at the Kuala Lumpur Design Week, Ramy set out to establish the ING Creative Conference in 2015, the first of it’s kind in dubai and the region. The ING conference will see leading international creative professionals hosting talks and workshops in a bid to encourage young creatives.

Ramy believes that positive change is the result of remarkable people and teams that focus on making things happen. He’s committed to bringing people together to allow them to inspire each other, network, and generate innovative ideas.



Dr. Salman Alhajri is an Omani artist, graphic designer, entrepreneur,and researcher in field of Art And Design. He work as assistant professor of Art and Design, at The department of Art Education, at Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman. In 2013 he graduated with a PhD from School of The Arts of Loughborough University in the UK. In 2005 Dr. Alhajri graduated from the University of Technology, Sydney with a master’s degree in Design. Dr. Alhajri carries out research in the domain of creativity in art education, graphic design education and Arabic Calligraphy.
His recent art practice is contemporary Arabic calligraphy, abstracts, phone art, portrait, and experiments. His design artworks  represent Omani culture, people, modern Oman, and heritage. Salman seeks “to develop the discipline of Graphic design in Arab world generally, and in GCC states in specific. Salman has participated in many international exhibitions, workshops, and artistic activities. As researcher, also presented papers in international conferences, Chicago, London, Glasgow, Copy, Japan, Dubrovnik, Rome, Brunai, and many more. In his art/design Salman seeks to communicate with others in a variety of different mediums and techniques. The most important elements in his art are, innovation, color harmony, simplicity, and attractive compositions. Salman do a research on a domain of art and graphic design, creativity, and design pedagogical studies. Dr. Alhajri, engage in several training courses in Oman, and outside, (American University in Kuwait, for example).



Sara Raffaghello: Senior Art Director at Motivate, Sara works across the UAE’s oldest magazine What’s On, as well as its cheeky little sister Hype a weekly music lifestyle and sub culture magazine. She also heads up the art team for the newly launched luxury mens magazine Emirates Man. Her 15 year career has seen her work across daily newspapers, weeklies and glossy monthlies but all started out with a lucky break as News Desk Assistant at the Independent, London. A seasoned print designer, in 2012 Sara led a team to launch and develop the UAE’s first interactive digital magazine apps. Since then she has been developing fresh, forward thinking and dynamic covers for the magazines in her group.



Stephen Komives: is an executive director of the Society for News Design, a role he assumed in 2009 after spending 20 years as an editor and visual director at several newspapers, most recently at the Orlando Sentinel. He is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. As leader of SND, he serves as an ambassador for visual journalism around the globe, and has created initiatives to push SND’s digital programs and its international mission.



Steven Castelluccia: Art Director at Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East, Steven’s career in publishing stretches back over 10 years. In that time he has designed for a host of established media houses including News International in the UK. Specialisms in the past decade have included international current affairs and sports coverage. Since arriving in the Middle East almost three years ago, Steven’s current role sees him break new ground for this region with thought provoking and edgy covers for Bloomberg. With an educational background in multimedia design and technology from Edinburgh’s Napier University, Steven is passionate about all media, including print, animation, digital and film. 

see full program here





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