The magnificent seven are here! We are delighted to announce that Anna Soressi will join Quest as our newest Sustainability Copywriter & Content Marketer.

Skilled writer eager to drive change

A small-town girl with a hectic agenda, Anna set off to find her happy place in this chaotic world. She lived and worked in Italy, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Spain. As she joins the Quest team, she is coming back to a place where she already left a piece of her heart.

Anna describes herself as an open-minded and outspoken person, two traits that she believes are essential features of her writing skills. During her international experience, she had the chance to explore, both academically and professionally, global sustainability issues, from environmental to social. She got interested in Quest in the first place because she wishes to use her privileged stance to drive positive and impactful change in the world. 

International communicator with a literary flair

Anna majored in Foreign Languages and Literatures, with a minor in Gender and Women’s Studies, and holds a Master’s Degree in Comparative Literature and Publishing.

With her eclectic background, Anna is experienced in content development, copywriting, and SEO across a variety of industries from big corporations to dedicated NGOs. She joins Quest after a crucial experience in Barcelona at an impact agency specializing in sustainable food systems. There, she learned that every job can be, and should be, a sustainable job. She now seeks to put her expertise and skills at the service of social impact and development work to help guide and support impactful change, and we believe that Quest is definitely the right place to do so!

Through her sound knowledge of SEO marketing, Anna will be responsible for writing and optimizing content for all possible communication channels for both Quest and its customers. She’ll also play an integral role in defining communication and advertising strategies across several platforms and digital spaces.

Wanderer bookworm

In her free time, Anna makes use of her literary degree, devouring any written content she can find. When she’s not making her way through yet another page, she loves to travel, especially to visit her many international friends and all the places she once called home.

After writing an abundant amount of impact and sustainability reports for our clients throughout the years, we thought it was finally our turn to become truly transparent and put our company story out there for the world to see.
2021 was a challenging, and formative year for us, but it was also a productive and prosperous year.

By publicly sharing our first Impact Report, we hope to inspire others to do the same because we believe this is the only way to become a driver for positive change.

Some of our top hits from 2021: 

  • We grew from a team of 3 to 6 in a matter of months
  • We volunteered 344 hours to nonprofit clients
  • We launched our popular impact scan tool 
  • We began evaluating the carbon footprint of our products 


Now we could list all of our achievements and challenges but want to let our Impact Report speak for itself. 
Download our 2021 Impact Report 

Our B Corp Lead, Diana, was interviewed by Ksenia Kurileva from Metta about the B Corp movement, how we at Quest Impact Design Studio define impact companies, and so much more!

What happens after a company becomes a B Corp?

Interested in reading the full interview?

Read the full interview on the Metta website.

And then there were six! We’re pleased to announce that Yolan Cristoria will join us as our new Digital Designer & Developer.

A digital creative dying to make an impact

Yolan describes himself as a digital creative with a rich inner world. Connected to emotions and imagination, he finds it easy to empathize and connect with people and the world around him. When he applied at Quest, we were immediately convinced by his extremely strong will to be able to use his skills as a force for good.

Yolan likes to quote Desiderius to describe himself: “There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality, and then there are those who turn one into the other.”

Focus on digital design and development

Yolan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Multimedia & Communication Technology at the Erasmus University College Brussels. He also gained his first work experience as a front-end developer at Edge, a digital agency based in Antwerp.

At Quest, he’ll be responsible for the development of the websites and platforms we build for our customers. He’ll also be deeply involved in our branding and UX projects.

A mindful philosopher

In his spare time, you can find Yolan playing the piano, grabbing a drink with his friends, philosophizing or taking his cute golden retriever for a walk.

Welcome on (y)our impact journey, Yolan!

As our company continues to grow its impact, so does our team. We are happy to announce our newest addition, Helena De Smedt. Yes, our team continues to empower talented women in these roles (sorry, Michael)!

A Holistic UX/UI Designer

Helena is a UX/UI designer with front-end development knowledge. She also is trained as a brand and product designer. She uses all her skill sets to create user-friendly and impactful designs that are future-proof.

She has a variety of agency and in-house design experience. She will bring internal client insights to an agency setting. She holds a bachelor’s in ‘cross-media design’ and two post-graduate degrees in ‘Experience Architecture’ and ‘Brand & Packaging Design’ from Arteveldehogeschool and Luca School of Arts.

As she finished her second post-graduate degree, she worked full-time as an Application Specialist for Four Pees, where she supported, trained, and implemented (automation) software for the graphical industry. Yes, she does it all.

Before her in-house experience, she worked at a few small & medium-sized agencies where she learned to manage small and large scale projects from the food & drink industry to health & wellbeing.

In her free time, she pursues a holistic lifestyle, finding ways to balance her wellbeing from mind, body, to spirit. We look forward to her sharing her wisdom.

The Future To Come

As she takes on her role as our UX/UI designer, Helena will be working side-by-side with our Art Director on branding, UX/UI, and illustration projects. She will lead our inclusive and sustainable web design to make sure our clients have the most responsible web design deliverables.

 

Welcome to your impact adventure, Helena! We are just getting started. 

The project topics were so inspiring and educational, like all projects Quest works on, that I left feeling fulfilled knowing my work has a purpose.

Job Searching in a Pandemic

My 2021 internship experience was one that I could have never imagined. With the current events of Covid-19, businesses suffered a lot of consequences, shifting work-life to the home environment was just one of them. Therefore, it became more challenging to find a design agency that not only fit my values but also accepted interns during the pandemic.

As I started my search, many questions began to arise; will I be able to learn new things while working virtually? Are my soft and hard skills going to improve? How will the social contact with my colleagues take place? Will I this, will I that, etc.? Ok… breathe, Joana.

All that doomsday thinking aside, maybe let’s first start looking for an internship…

Aligning Design with Values

The most important question in my search was; does this design studio have its heart in the right place? My first impression of Quest?  Definitely!

I became eager to know more about the work they do and why they do it. Now, 14 weeks and 70 good morning calls later, I can confidently say I had the most interesting, fulfilling, and instructive internship I could have wished for! 

Wanting to make the world a better place and actually working towards that goal, is what Quest does best.

Joana's virtual internship experience

The Ins and Outs of Achieving Purpose

I was immediately given the responsibility to lead one of their purpose-driven projects. My goal? Find solutions that have the most impact on development aid.

I worked to create a nonprofit organization in Uganda, starting with a strategy design workshop. During the workshop, we asked ourselves questions like; ‘How can we help people without creating dependency?’ and ‘How can we create real change for those who need it most?’ At first sight, these appear to be standard questions that every non-profit probably asks itself. We wanted to put a magnifying glass over those thoughts because this is not a one-answer kind of situation.

During this experience, I learned to design customer journeys and service blueprints for nonprofits. I noticed that if you ask these key questions at every step of the journey, even for the unambiguous tasks, you can make a difference.

This process doesn’t make the search for the right solution any easier, but nothing can be taken for granted if you strive for positive change.

Quest’s journey to Carbon Neutrality

The moment I felt the most responsibility, was when working on the carbon neutrality journey for Quest. After having done a benchmark of businesses committing to net-zero targets in line with a 1.5°C future, reading articles and papers about the carbon credit market and carbon offsetting, it became clear that Quest needed to do their journey the right way.

By the right way, I mean the most effective way; identifying real carbon removal solutions instead of relying on offsetting our non-avoidable emissions. With the team supporting my reflective point of view, the quest for the right projects could begin.

Real-life Work Experience

Luckily, my internship wasn’t completely solitary. I also got to work on the development of a circular hub based on the double diamond approach. I found it exciting to have contact with stakeholders in open-ended interviews. I also enjoyed brainstorming potential concepts in ideation workshops and aligning the outcome with those same stakeholders.

Although this last step is an important one in the design process, I didn’t have many opportunities to do this in school.

My Favorite Moments at Quest

Leaving a Lasting Impact

Since I was taking the lead on two large projects, and helping in the circular hub, the hardest task was finding balance and figuring out how to structure my work on my own.

However, the team encouraged me to draw up an action plan to reassure my progress.

Janao encouraged me to trust my gut when I was stubbornly trying to make every workshop perfect.

Joana, intern @ Quest

So to come back to all my questions and doubts at the beginning of my internship journey, was it right to worry? Yes and no.

Yes, because I feel that I could have made more progress if I was physically present at the office with colleagues looking over my shoulder.

And no, because the project topics were so inspiring and educational, like all projects Quest works on, that I left feeling fulfilled knowing my work has a purpose. I’m beyond grateful that my journey with Quest will ultimately create a better place.

Full Cycle: tackling 3 global problems at once

Full Cycle is located in the mecca for startups: Silicon Valley, in the United States. The company uses food waste as feedstock to create the biodegradable bioplastics of the future. With their fully circular solution, they tackle plastic pollution, food waste and climate change all at once. In short: the perfect customer for Quest.

Their questions:

  • Can you create a new logo and visual style that truly sets us apart in our sector? Check our case study for the result.
  • Our current website delivers the wrong kind of leads. Can you build a website that helps us reach and convert the right ones? Our case study is coming soon, but you can already check the result of our work.
  • Can you design our investor pitch deck?

New Cotton Project: delivering a blueprint for circular fashion

Finnish biotechnology group Infinited Fiber Company have led a successful bid for over €6M of European Union research and innovation funding, to form a consortium to create a circular fashion industry blueprint. The New Cotton Project’s 12 pioneering consortium members include a.o. Adidas, Fashion for Good, and H&M and have HQs in Finland, Sweden, Germany, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, and Turkey. These organizations work together across waste management, recycling, retail and manufacturing to define a new circular fashion system and business model that (they hope) will lead to industry-wide adoption.

You can read the full article about New Cotton Project on Forbes.

The consortium spans 7 countries: Finland, Sweden, Germany, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Turkey

Their questions:

  • Can you create a fitting logo and visual identity for our innovative consortium?
  • Can you create a website that strengthens our image and helps us to inform all stakeholders on the impact and progress of the project?

Read the full case study on our website or check out the website we made for the New Cotton Project.

Omina Technologies: ethical and trustworthy AI

Omina Technologies is an ethical and trustworthy Artificial Intelligence company active in Europe and the United States. Omina believes that

  • artificial intelligence should be available to companies big and small.
  • data should be handled ethically and with respect for privacy.
  • artificial intelligence should be explainable and transparent.

Their question: We need a new name, logo and visual identity for our new AI platform. Take a look at the result.

Herwin: the movement for social circular entrepreneurs

Herwin strengthens social and circular entrepreneurship by lobbying on social employment policies, representing its members towards unions and by supporting them on:

  • competence management
  • training and formation
  • reuse, smart energy and food-saving projects

Their question: can you make our website more user-/member-friendly? (work in progress)

Welcome to our community Full Cycle, New Cotton Project, Omina Technologies, and Herwin. We look forward to helping you maximize your impact.

We’re very glad to announce that Diana De Schutter will join our ranks as our Head of Growth & B Corp Certification.

A globetrotter driven by empathy

A California native, Diana has stayed true to her roots. She has lived and worked across the globe from Los Angeles, to Paris, Boston, Shanghai, Miami, Toronto to now setting roots in Belgium.

Diana is driven by radical empathy. She has volunteered throughout Latin America on issues such as access to education, refugee immersion, and poverty alleviation.

During her Master in International Business, she realized that inclusive and diverse communities were the only way to drive business as a force for good.

International business development, marketing and B Corp expertise

After a career in the education industry, growing a brand presence in Latin America, she transitioned her focus onto small start-ups in the social and environmental space.

She has worked to grow the voices and communities of start-ups in diverse industries such as green building, education, carbon awareness, and impact design. She has partnered with the B Corp community in Canada and is currently a B Leader, helping grow the movement within the Benelux region.

Partnerships for impact

As our Head of Growth, Diana approaches her role with a community-building lens. She combines B Corp, business development & marketing experience to help us foster partnerships for impact. She is a movement maker, and hopes to make ripples of change within the B Corp Movement.

Welcome to the team, Diana!

Miro

A must for every remote workshop. Endless whiteboard space with lots of drawing tools, post-its (very important) and even a video chat integration. We use this tool for brainstorm sessions, user journey mapping and business modeling. Because of the possibility to collaborate on the same board, leave comments and talk to each other at the same time, Miro is the ideal tool for both creative and strategic workshops.

We like:

  • Because of the video chat integration, there’s no need for a secondary communication program. As a result, there are way less technical difficulties.
  • Special kudos to the sticky note capture: take a picture of your post-its in the Miro app, wait a second and Bam! You have digital post-its on your whiteboard.

The intuitive navigation and easy workflow make it easy for people to quickly pick up this tool so no time is wasted at the beginning of a workshop.

– Janao Denys, Business & Service Designer – Quest

We don’t like:

  • The wide variety of formatting options can cause participants to spend a lot of time on the look of their board and distract them from the workshop.

Figma

Collaborating on an interface design in real-time? Enter Figma. Thanks to this fast, cloud-based UX design tool, it is easy for us to simultaneously work on the same design. Sharing a design is also very simple and reviewers can easily comment on specific elements in the design.

I can follow what someone else is doing in real time which comes in handy for design discussions. There’s no need for screen sharing.

Kristien Van Wilderode, Art Director & UX Designer – Quest

We like:

  • There is a browser and a desktop app, so if you just want to comment on a design, it’s not necessary to install the program.
  • Collaboration in real time is very stable and fast. Real time is really real time, the program is never lagging.

We don’t like:

  • What we miss the most is a search option. Trying to find that one specific screen in a big project can sometimes be a challenge.

Slack

All hail morning check-ins! A couple of days without social interaction can’t possibly be good for anyone. And imagine forgetting what your colleagues look like. This communication tool is found in most lists of “tools for remote work”, but Slack is just indispensable for us.

By chatting, calling and video chatting we keep in touch on a daily basis and internal mail traffic is almost non-existent. But that is not the biggest benefit. For us, Slack’s strength is the possibility to simultaneously have formal and informal conversations.

There should also be room for casual conversations and fun. We don’t just talk about work, we also share other things as we normally would at the office. And why not have a remote afterwork party every now and then?

Kristien Van Wilderode, Art Director & Ux Director – Quest

We deliberately chose to make room for those informal conversations. Especially during this period in which we don’t see each other, it is important that we can also talk about things other than work. There needs to be room for laughter and to share emotions and events with each other. That’s why we created a #general channel on which anything and everything can be discussed and a #quoteboard to post funny quotes from each other (with as little context as possible of course).

We like:

  • Status updates: with an icon and a short description everyone in the team knows what you are working on.
  • We have a channel for every project on which we can centralize all communication.
  • We can invite customers to certain channels. This makes communication much easier and eliminates most mail traffic. We especially prefer this workflow with our international clients.

We don’t like:

  • Slack can also be a distraction, which is detrimental for productivity. A little self-discipline, please!

These tools help us tremendously to keep the creative process going without being in the same room. But they are also just tools. The creative process is still about people, which is why we think it is so important to call every day.

At Quest, we also know when someone isn’t feeling comfortable in her/his skin. We talk about that very transparantly and we take those feelings into account. Creative processes are shaped by people, not by tools.

Michael Boschmans, Founder – Quest

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday we go into these meetings with a specific objective. This is how we structure our week. Even when we are not working remotely, we use this method which we thankfully borrowed from our colleagues from Base Design:

  • On Monday we discuss the challenges of the week. Everyone writes down 3 goals for the coming week on post-its and puts these on the wall. These can be personal goals such as ‘clean my inbox’ or project-related goals such as delivering a design.
  • On Wednesday we discuss current projects, research, new discoveries, inspiration,… but we especially make room to talk about how everyone is feeling. It is important to us to give everyone the space to share something if they want to.
  • On Friday we look back on the past week. Were all our goals achieved? If not, how come? What did we do well and what could we do better in the future?

This method gives you more insight into the week and the work of your colleagues and creates windows to talk about personal stuff. At Quest we believe this contributes to creating a close-knit team that can work together in an inclusive and effective way.

And that team is at the core of creativity and success. Even in this difficult period of time.