Nicolò Volpato

Founder & CEO

I am the founding partner of Tangible, which I started in February 2004 when I was 21 and still in college.

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As CEO, I help defining the vision and steering the company towards its goals.
We believe in shared leadership and the strategy of the company is in the hands of all the partners.
I also take care of monitoring the values and culture of the team, making sure we stay true to ourselves and don’t forget what we believe in and what we promised we wanted our company to be.

As Design Leader, I lead teams and facilitate their relationship with clients, managing projects, setting the pace, negotiating expectations and framing problems.
I also oversee the creative ideation and visual design processes, working closely with clients and their branding and marketing departments or partner agencies to understand their brand’s core values, distill them into a consistent digital identity and deploy it into a set of visual guidelines.

I graduated with honors in Communication Technologies in 2005 after 3 years spent studying psychology, sociology, linguistics and semiotics, mixed with IT, human-machine interaction and digital imaging, cinema, art and visual language. That gave me a strong understanding of the multi-faceted and layered complexity of language, be it verbal or visual, in a movie or in a user interface.

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In my early years of GNV & Partners, when the company was just me and, since 2006, Marianna, I had the chance to work for Matt Mullenweg (creator of WordPress), Om Malik (Gigaom), the NBA Utah Jazz, AOL, the TEDxAthens, Regione Emilia Romagna, alongside many small to medium businesses in Italy.
In 2008 I met Erin Casali and worked with her on a project that challenged me and taught me a lot. We kept in touch and I eventually invited her to coach our design team in 2014.

We then found a good partnership with Ideato, who introduced us to Agile methologies. We soon understood the power of mixing Design Thinking and the effectiveness of working in iterations. We worked with some of the best italian startups, such as Spreaker, Moneyfarm, Shicon and Blomming, using design to shape ideas and bring minimum viable products to the market.

In 2009 I met Luca and his company Siloos, and we built a stable partnership that eventually ended when we acquired Siloos and Luca joined GNV & Partners as partner and CTO in 2011. In 2011 I also met Ilaria at a conference and we started following each other and catching up at events nad conferences. In early 2013 I contacted her to work with us as a freelance designer and I worked closely with her on the MUSE project for the following 5 months.
During those months we found a perfect match of skills and a common vision for the future, that we honed and strengthened for the following year. Ilaria finally became a partner and Head of Design in 2014.

I presented at several events in Italy from 2011 onwards, and went to over 30 conferences all over Europe. I held lectures at the master courses at Talent Garden in Milan and Rome, as well as at several italian Universities.

In 2013, together with some colleagues and friends, I launched Kerning Conference, the first conference in Italy on typography, and organized it again in 2014. After two editions I called it a wrap and left the conference to a dedicated team.
In 2014 I attended the Design Leadership course at Cooper, in San Francisco.
In early 2015 I brought Jeff Gothelf's Lean UX workshop to Italy for the first time. And for the second time in 2016.

In 2015, together with my partners and colleagues, we start the journey that led us to rebrand GNV & Partners in Tangible.

In 2017 I brought Jake Knapp to Italy with the very first public edition of his Design Sprint workshop, attracting over 100 attendees from 12 different countries. In 2018 I did it again with a second workshop.
In 2018 I co-organized the second italian edition of the Make Meaningful Work workshop, with Dan Szuc and Jo Wong of UX Hong Kong, exploring teams dynamics and finding meaning and purpose in everyday work.

In 2019 it was Josh Clark, who I contributed to invite to Italy for the first time, with a workshop on designing in the age of AI and algorithms, dealing with new design practices as well as raising concerns about the ethical implication of design and technology.

Growing the company and giving our team an environment to grow and succeed is my current utmost focus and motivation in Tangible.

Travel and exploration are a core part of me.

Be it traveling to a remote part of the world, from deserts to oceans, from the arctic circle to the furthest point of land where Argentina faces Antarctica, or traveling inside of myself, hiking in the silent woods or floating on my board in the sea, I always feel a deep desire to be open and embrace the new while disconnecting from the old, the routine and the comfort zone.

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