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Stuart Knapman

Insight, innovation and inspiration specialist, Man Overboard Ltd


I’m an independent insight, innovation and inspiration specialist with lots of experience. I’ve had senior client-side roles, I’ve run a couple of successful agency businesses and I’ve won some industry awards along the way.



I create or join small collectives of senior specialists to solve clients’ problems using research, design thinking, workshopping and customer immersion. Projects often include brand strategy, creative development, innovation and understanding audiences.

I am a partner in Future Studio - a happy family of experienced insight, strategy and innovation specialists that provides an alternative to the conventional agency.


I work with agency or client teams and to develop their knowledge, skills and approaches. This includes an ongoing collaboration with Verve.


Agencies hire me to run projects or workshops anywhere in the world, to use my experience to solve problems, to moderate tricky groups, or to lead analysis and delivery.

I often get involved in innovation, concept development, creative development and target audience understanding, or projects focusing on media and technology.



I'm an experienced researcher and strategist, working in the industry for over 25 years.

I spent my client-side life at the BBC, becoming Head of Future Media Insight and then Head of Pan-BBC Research. I then became a founding partner at Essential Research, then UK Managing Director at The Sound.

But after 15 years of running agencies, I decided to do things differently: I wanted to do more of what I’m really good at, in a way that’s more focused and more cost-effective for agencies and clients alike. And I wanted my brain to be fresher and happier - because really that’s what I’m selling.

I tend to lead insight, strategy and innovation projects for two distinct types of client: on the one hand, established businesses who are adapting to a changing world; on the other hand, the new wave of disruptors in their categories.

I’ve picked up several MRS awards including Best Conference Paper, New Consumer Insights, Best B2B Research and Best New Agency.