Meet Magnetic: the company on a mission to design better futures
- Innovation experts, Fluxx and award-winning digital design studio, magneticNorth finalise their merger, becoming Magnetic.
- The UK’s leading independent innovation and design company unpacks why businesses have an obligation to design with optimism; advocating a more equitable, sustainable and collaborative future.
- Championing diversity and raising industry standards in D&I, the business has scaled rapidly by 25% in the last 12 months with a majority female leadership team.
- With locations in both London and Manchester, the company has been internationally recognised for its outstanding client delivery and award-winning culture.
Just over a year ago, Manchester’s award-winning digital design studio, magneticNorth merged with London’s leading innovation consultancy, Fluxx. The businesses combined their 30+ years of experience to become an independent design and innovation powerhouse, fuelling post-pandemic business growth.
The merger is now complete and the combined businesses have become Magnetic. The new company name symbolises the duality of design and innovation; and is a nod to the necessity of organisations and changemakers coming together to create positive impact. Jenny Burns, Magnetic’s CEO explains what it means to ‘design better futures’:
“Covid has amplified the moral obligation we have to improve the world around us. It’s spurred the long-overdue reinvention of how we live, how we work, how we interact, the use of urban spaces, and the application of technology. The trend towards adoption and accessibility of digital products and services has fast-forwarded by years and the lines between place and online have rapidly blurred, which means design and innovation capabilities will be more critical to business than ever before.
We must ask ourselves if we want our reality to be different – more equitable, just, sustainable, and more collaborative. If this question is met with a resounding yes, then we must collectively design our future with optimism. Designing with optimism is to believe in the potential to create a better future. That is our purpose.” says Burns.
The nature and scale of Magnetic’s projects has radically shifted. In the last 12 months the team has:
- Been a catalyst for action against climate change. At global engineering consultancy WSP, Magnetic sparked a movement of change by supporting 7,000 engineers to think greener.
- Boosted post-pandemic business growth. £88 million is expected to be injected into the economy by 2031 as a result of a design programme for high-growth potential businesses, created and delivered by Magnetic in collaboration with Innovate UK.
- Created award-winning user-focused digital products. Magnetic worked with the team at balance to envision, design and deliver a digital health product to empower hundreds of thousands of people around the world, helping them to make the right decisions about what’s right for their bodies during menopause.
“We help transform organisations, and create products and services that last” says Magnetic Chief Financial Officer, Richard Poole. “Our partners are looking to create sustainable, real-world progress with a team that’s at home in chaos and can thrive at pace. We use brilliant design to help organisations achieve their ambitions, and build capabilities, not dependencies.”
Magnetic is industry agnostic; working shoulder to shoulder with nationals and multinationals, start-ups and disruptors, government and infrastructure alike. Their impressive roster includes Landsec, BBC, Google and Save the Children, to name but a few.
“People are coming out of the post-pandemic economy wanting to address some of the wrongs that were highlighted, looking to deliver a more inclusive model of growth.” says Lou Cordwell OBE, Magnetic Chief Creative Officer. “In Manchester, digital adoption is accelerating our economic growth. There’s a huge spotlight on the North, and we’re passionate about continuing to support innovation-led business growth across the UK and beyond.”
Since April 2021 the organisation has grown by 25%, with over 60% of the leadership team identifying as female. By embracing an ‘outcome over hours’ future of work policy they’re able to attract the UK’s best talent. Magnetic people are empowered to work flexibly — prioritising their individual needs, as well as those of their clients.
“We’ve reimagined how, where and when work gets done by creating a thriving work environment, where we support our people and acknowledge the importance of holistic wellbeing. This means we can service the organisations we work with at our best, and consistently deliver amazing results. I’m very proud of our team.” says Burns.
Last year the company was recognised for its positive culture and industrious work ethic; acknowledged by The Financial Times’ Leading Management Consultants Award 2021 and The Telegraph’s Workplace of the Year Award 2021.
In spring 2021, Fluxx and magneticNorth came together to create Magnetic; the UK’s leading design and innovation powerhouse. With over 30 years’ experience their expert design thinking practitioners combine award-winning digital expertise, to help companies navigate and design better futures.
• Abellio • Addison Lee • adidas •Ageas Retail • Argos • Arla Foods UK • Arup • ASOS • Atkins • Auto Trader • Aviva • Bank of Ireland • Barclays Bank • BBC • balance • BFI • BEIS • British Gas • Bupa • British Library • Cannes Lions •Calor • Cazoo • Centrica • Clear Channel International • Condé Nast
International • Co-Op • Covea Insurance • Dept for Transport • The Economist • EDF Trading • EE • EON • eSure • FCO Services • Financial Times • Food Standards Agency • Fourpure • Giff Gaff • Google • Hull City of Culture • Jaguar Land Rover • Hiscox • HSBC • Innovate UK • Jisc • John Lewis • JUST Group • KPMG • Legal & General • Landsec • Lloyds Banking Group • London Borough of Croydon • LV= • Manchester City Football Club • Macmillan Cancer Support • Mars Wrigley • Microsoft • More Th>n • National Grid • Nationwide • News UK • Parliamentary Digital Service • PATRIZIA • Pepsico • RSA Insurance • Santander • Save the Children • Selfridges • Severn Trent Water • Simply Business • Sky • Southern Water • TalkTalk Professional • Time Inc UK • UK Data Service • United Utilities • University of Manchester • Which? • WSP UK • Yorkshire Building Society • Zuto