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Geoff McDonald - Ideas Architect

Disrupted before I even started…

My initial experience of disruption was before I’d even finished my first university degree. I was part of the last year of Deakin University architecture students to study for five full years and not touch a computer. It was like preparing for a career driving cars after serving an apprenticeship riding horses. My career was out of date before I’d even started!

At first I was totally #$%?! off! It hardly seemed fair. And, as one door closed I simply had to open another… It was at this time that I started my sense-making journey. If I didn’t get my head around computers in architecture my future prospects would melt like ice cream in the summer sun.

As a result, instead of going into architectural practice I headed to the US to pursue a Masters degree. I finished up working in London and speaking at the two biggest architectural conferences in the world on the future I saw for architects. Later I wrote a book about this.

I’ve since had a number of different careers. I’ve run my own website design business, a coaching business, written corporate training programs and even designed board games for clients.

The big lesson for me in my career was that the only insurance I had was to study, learn and make sense of what was going on around me. It didn’t mean I could stop the tidal wave of change coming. It simply gave me the chance to see it coming.

And, I didn’t always get it right. One of the reasons I quit architecture was because I hated the idea of sitting at a computer all day. It’s ironic that this is now normal for me and most other people. That’s a great reminder that one person doesn’t know it all.

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More kinds words and testimonials for Geoff…

A Potted History…


  • Master of Architecture degree (US)
  • Bachelor of Architecture degree with Honours (Australia)
  • Practitioner and Master Practitioner in NLP
  • Multiple Team Leader of Team Management and Leadership Program, Landmark Education
  • Diploma of Ontological Coaching from Newfield Institute
  • Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB) and The Mindful Life Program with Mark Molony
  • Plus certificate courses in Small Business, Training and Assessment and a couple of others




  • American Institute of Architects – St Louis
  • Union of International Architects – Montreal
  • American Institute of Architecture Students – Chicago
  • Eco-City: International Design Conference
  • Eco-Design: International Design Conference
  • National Speakers Association of Australia
  • Accelerative Learning Society of Australia
  • Thought Leaders
  • Leader Newspapers
  • Macquarie Bank
  • Business Blueprint
  • Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE
  • Commercial Metals Group (CMC)
  • NEC
  • Leadership Development Centre (LDC)
  • James Hardie
  • More here…

Change Agent

  • Facilitator of Strategic Planning events
  • Coached small business clients to a wide range of successes
  • Manifesto Maker at the 1000 Manifestos

Geoff McDonald - The Centaur

Interesting Bits

  • Exhibitor of his paintings and sculptures – including The Centaur
  • Owner and chief strategist of a website design studio
  • Architectural practice experience in Australia and the UK
  • Stock market trader – this funded living in the US for 18 months
  • Sports Nut – will marvel at almost any sport
  • All-Australian Intervarsity Baseball team
  • Read over 550 books in the past 13 years

Connect with Geoff Online…