Grow & Connect

Have you ever noticed how valuable it is to hear the perspective of someone who is not your colleague, friend or partner? To talk with someone you do not know but who has relevant experience and ideas to share?

“Sometimes a fresh perspective is all you need to see your challenges in a new light.”

What is the story behind Grow & Connect? 

In previous leadership roles I often encountered unknown territory where there were loads of things to figure out. Being the only research leader inside the company made me seek inspiration from outside. 

Talking to other research leaders helped tremendously, but making these connections was not always easy. Asking for someone’s help, time and attention is not easy. Even if we all have something to gain from asking and giving advice. Right?

This is why I started hosting conversations with user researchers from around the world. We meet in small groups and discuss the aspects of our work that we find challenging. Participants make new connections and work on their personal development together. This initiative is called ‘Grow & Connect’. 

What happens during Grow & Connect sessions? 

Talk about your challenges, rather than achievements 

Of course it makes us vulnerable to discuss what is not working well. But when we talk about the obstacles to our success, something magical happens in our brains: our empathy increases and stronger connections are made. This helps us to connect in new ways as well as learn more about ourselves and others. 

Sparring in a safe place 

The term ‘sparring’ comes from boxing. It is a form of training with the purpose of making both you and your partner better. In this context it is a discussion in pairs where you ask questions to clarify the problem space, share your experience and try to find a way forward together.

Peer-to-peer coaching in action

You meet other user researchers from around the world. People with similar experiences but from different workplaces and cultures. Through sparring sessions you get to discuss your challenges and exchange thoughts on what others in your field are experiencing. 

How do participants describe these sessions?

Attending a Grow & Connect session was the highlight of my week! 


Kathleen is passionate about connecting researchers for real talk – candid and confidential conversations about what’s working well with research and the challenges we face. 


I enjoyed the atmosphere, it felt like a natural safe space for exchanging, empathising and embracing the struggles we face in our daily practice as UX Researcher. The sense of community was great.


How do I sign up? 

Subscribe to the Grow & Connect newsletter to be notified of future sessions and other news.