Therése Swanepoel

REI Co-op

senior Insights Strategist

Born and raised in South Africa, Therése spent most of her early years travelling across Africa, where her parents worked as wildlife photographers. She discovered the power of design to bridge the cultural gap within a post-Apartheid South Africa. After experience and education in branding, architecture research and product design, Therése honed her expertise as a Design Strategist. By combining science, empathy and storytelling, Therese provides a tangible understanding of user experience needs in order to deliver world class design that pushes traditional conventions and enhances culture. 


Therése co-founded the workplace innovation team at Nike, an in-house supporting function for all the Nike corporate locations across the globe and the best-in-class examples of future workplace design. She recently joined REI to expertly uncover unmet needs that directly impact design, product strategies and overall brand decision-making. Technology has changed the game therefore Therése is particularly interested in the push for purpose-driven design and believes this to be the next challenge in moving the needle for positive impact in society as a whole.