Raul Guillermo Amigo, Future & Experience Designer, 6X Author

Raul Guillermo Amigo is a renowned speaker with worldwide authority in Experience and Future Design. He is the Founder of UMUNTU CX DESIGN in Miami, Fl and an Author of the best-selling books “Beyond Customer Experience”, “Love by Design” and “Essentials of Modern Marketing” with Philip Kotler, Professor of Design Thinking at the University of Lyon in France. He had a brilliant career in the world of Technology and Telecommunications working for Verizon, Motorola and Nokia, becoming vice president of Nextel at the age of 34. At 38, he founded his first Internet company in the US. In 2007, he founded The Omnichannel Agency, a Retail Experience agency throughout Latin America. Integrating it to Omnicom Network. In 2015, he created a Spin Off which he called UMUNTU CX DESIGN, a Miami-based Experience Design agency, which he currently runs.

At UMUNTU, Raul works for companies such as Google, Mastercard, Heineken, Abbot Labs, SAP, Oracle, among many others. Since 2020, he joined as speaker at the e-World Marketing Summit by Philip Kotler, the greatest marketing event in the world. He has participated as Keynote Speaker in over 40 events per year for more than 20 years. A professor by heart, he teaches in France, Spain, Japan, US and Latin America.

Recently, in an exclusive interview with Digital First Magazine, Raul shared his professional trajectory, what distinctly sets Umuntu apart in a competitive market, key takeaways from his best-selling book, ‘LOVE BY DESIGN’, the secret mantra behind his success as a design leader, personal sources of inspiration, future plans, words of wisdom, and much more. The following excerpts are taken from the interview.

Hi Raul. Please give us an overview of your background and career to date.

My journey as an Experience and Future Designer is a long story, I will try to summarize it spanning three distinct phases.

In the first phase of my career, I could lay the foundation for success by attending an engineering school with a focus on design. This unique combination of technical knowledge and artistic flair provided me with a solid framework to approach complex problems with innovative solutions.

The second phase allowed me to dive into the corporate world, where I held key positions in marketing and customer service roles. It was during this time that I honed my skills in understanding consumer behavior and designing experiences that truly resonate with customers. Working for pioneering companies such as AT&T, Verizon, Motorola and Nokia I had the opportunity to learn from the best practices of those golden years.

However, it was in the third phase of my career where I truly made my mark. I managed to establish myself as a leader in UMUNTU CX DESIGN, a prominent design company based in the United States, working alongside some of the most talented designers in the industry for some of the most admired companies in the world as Google, Microsoft, Mastercard or Samsung among many others. Here, I had the opportunity to create disruptive designs that leveraged emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence with Sci Fy narratives and design approaches.

Developing the ability to adapt and thrive amidst technological advancements sets us apart from others in the Design field. Our expertise as a team lies not only in utilizing these disruptive technologies but also in anticipating their impact on user experiences.

Each phase of my journey has contributed to my growth as a designer, finding my purpose of inspiring others by showcasing how passion for innovation can shape careers and redefine industries.

What was the inspiration behind establishing UMUNTU CX DESIGN? What sets it apart from other market competitors?

Umuntu CX Design emerged from a profound desire to revolutionize the landscape of design by deeply integrating human experiences and emotions into its core processes. Inspired by the legendary Don Norman’s concept of Humanity Centered Design, Umuntu set out to not just meet but exceed the existing standards by pioneering a unique approach. This approach involved unraveling the complexities of the human mental model, identifying and summarizing human perceptions across four fundamental dimensions. This methodology became akin to deciphering the Rosetta Stone, allowing Umuntu to translate intricate psychological insights into actionable design inputs.

What distinctly sets Umuntu apart in a competitive market is its unmatched sensitivity to the nuances of human emotions and the effectiveness of these insights in shaping perceptions. This isn’t just about creating aesthetically pleasing designs; it’s about crafting experiences that resonate on a deeply personal level with users, transforming not only the products but also the processes, technologies, and cultures of the companies Umuntu partners with. This dedication to transforming ordinary interactions into extraordinary experiences ensures that there truly is no other studio in the U.S. market with such a dedicated focus on the intersection of emotional sensibility and design effectiveness. Umuntu’s work isn’t just seen; it’s felt, making every project a testament to the transformative power of empathetic and insightful design.

Please share key major takeaways from your latest book, ‘LOVE BY DESIGN’.

“Love by Design” emerges as a pivotal work in the exploration of brand relationships, capturing the essence of creating deep, enduring connections between brands and their consumers. In this insightful book, the journey through the realms of marketing and customer experience reaches a profound culmination where love for a brand is positioned as the cornerstone of sustainable and profitable relationships.

Here are some key takeaways from “Love by Design”:

Foundation of Love in Branding:

The book delves deep into the psychology of brand relationships, drawing from Dr. Robert Sternberg’s theory of Complete Love, which encompasses intimacy, passion, and commitment. These elements are explored as essential ingredients that must be nurtured between a brand and its customers to foster loyalty and devotion.

Sequential Building of Concepts:

Following a logical progression, I first laid down the groundwork for understanding human perception and value creation in his previous works. “Love by Design” builds on this foundation by emphasizing that beyond appreciating a product or service, customers must genuinely love a brand for a truly lasting relationship.

Strategies for Brand Affection:

The book shares practical strategies that some of the most cherished brands around the globe use to win over their customers. These strategies are not just about meeting needs but about exceeding expectations and creating memorable, emotionally charged experiences that resonate on a personal level with consumers.

Practical Application:

Throughout “Love by Design,” there is a strong emphasis on applying these theories and strategies in real-world scenarios. I tried to  provide examples and case studies of brands that have successfully implemented these ideas, thus offering readers a blueprint to emulate this success in their own business endeavors.

Empathy and Human-Centered Design:

At its core, the book advocates for a human-centered approach in all aspects of business. This approach is about understanding and empathizing with the needs, desires, and emotions of customers, ensuring that they feel valued and understood.

“Love by Design” serves as a guide for businesses aiming to create not just customers, but passionate advocates for their brands. It’s about transforming the commercial exchange into a love affair, where brands and consumers share a mutual bond characterized by respect, admiration, and deep emotional connection.

What are some of the industries that AI will most impact over the next decade?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) stands at the forefront of a transformative wave that is set to revolutionize multiple industries in the next decade. Its integration into various sectors will not only enhance operational efficiencies but also redefine the way we perceive and interact with technology. Here are some industries where AI’s impact will be particularly profound:


In healthcare, AI’s potential is staggering. By aggregating and analyzing the collective knowledge and experience of millions of healthcare professionals, AI can offer unprecedented diagnostic and treatment insights. This will provide next-generation doctors with instant access to a vast repository of medical data and case studies, allowing for faster, more accurate patient care. AI will enhance personalized medicine, making it possible to tailor treatments to individual genetic profiles, and improve predictive care, identifying risks and diseases at an earlier, more treatable stage.

Services Industry:

The services sector, which encompasses everything from customer service to finance, will see AI dramatically enhancing its capabilities. AI can automate routine tasks, provide personalized customer experiences, and improve decision-making by processing large amounts of data at speeds unattainable by humans. This will lead to more efficient operations and better customer satisfaction.

Creative Industries:

In creative fields, AI is transforming how content is produced, distributed, and consumed. From AI-driven music composition to algorithmic painting and automated video editing, AI is not only augmenting the capabilities of human artists but also creating new forms of art. This democratizes creativity, allowing more people to express themselves artistically without years of training.


AI’s role in education will be transformative by providing personalized learning experiences and adaptive learning environments. AI can help identify a student’s strengths and weaknesses, tailoring the curriculum to their needs, thus optimizing their learning efficiency. It can also make education more accessible through automated translations and providing learning support through virtual tutors.

Environmental Management:

In the environmental sector, AI will be crucial in modeling climate change scenarios, optimizing energy consumption, and managing natural resources more efficiently. AI can analyze environmental data in real time, helping to predict natural disasters and mitigate their effects, thus safeguarding ecosystems and human communities alike.

The overarching impact of AI across these sectors points towards an era where collective intelligence not only augments human capabilities but fundamentally reshapes societal structures for the better. The goal is not just technological advancement but leveraging these advancements to improve human life on a global scale.

What should entrepreneurs know about AI?

For entrepreneurs venturing into the ever-evolving world of technology, understanding and leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) is crucial for navigating and succeeding in the modern business landscape. AI is not merely a technology; it’s a pivotal tool that can amplify human capabilities and open new frontiers of innovation and efficiency.

Here’s a practical and transformational vision of how entrepreneurs can utilize AI:

AI as a Partner in Innovation:

Entrepreneurs should view AI as a collaborative partner that augments their creativity. AI can assist in generating novel ideas, optimizing processes, and providing insights that might not be obvious through conventional analysis. This partnership can help entrepreneurs explore new avenues for their products and services, pushing boundaries beyond traditional limits.

Enhancing Decision-Making:

AI’s ability to analyze vast quantities of data quickly and accurately can be a game-changer for making informed decisions. Entrepreneurs can use AI tools to monitor market trends, consumer behavior, and competitive landscapes, allowing them to make strategic decisions that are data-driven and precise.

Automating Routine Tasks:

AI can take over repetitive and time-consuming tasks, freeing entrepreneurs to focus on core activities that add significant value to their businesses. Whether it’s managing emails, scheduling appointments, or processing data, AI can handle these tasks efficiently, improving productivity and operational efficiency.

Personalization at Scale:

AI enables businesses to offer personalized experiences to a large customer base. For entrepreneurs, this means being able to tailor products, services, and communications to individual customer preferences, which can significantly enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Risk Assessment and Management:

With AI, entrepreneurs can better predict potential risks and devise effective mitigation strategies. AI models can forecast market changes, identify potential fraud, and ensure compliance with regulations, thus protecting the company from various operational and strategic risks.

Learning and Adapting:

One of the most powerful aspects of AI is its ability to learn and adapt over time. Entrepreneurs can use AI systems that evolve based on new data and experiences, continually improving their functionality and value to the business.

Expanding Human Potential:

Ultimately, AI should be seen as a tool that extends the intellectual and creative capacity of humans. By handling complex calculations and data analysis, AI allows entrepreneurs and their teams to focus on creative problem-solving, strategic planning, and innovating.

By integrating AI into their business strategies, entrepreneurs can not only enhance their current operations but also drive future growth and innovation. This represents a shift towards a future where human creativity and AI-driven efficiency coalesce to explore uncharted territories in business and beyond. The role of AI in this context is not to replace human ingenuity but to augment it, taking the best of human capabilities to new heights.

Apart from AI, what technology are you most excited about right now?

Apart from Artificial Intelligence, there are several groundbreaking technologies that are shaping the future in exciting ways. Each of these technologies carries the potential to revolutionize different sectors by creating new opportunities and redefining existing paradigms.

Spatial Technology:

My excitement about spatial technology is well-founded as it represents a major leap in how we interact with digital environments. Spatial technology, which encompasses augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR), allows for the creation of immersive narratives that can transform industries such as entertainment, education, and real estate. These technologies enable users to experience a blending of physical and digital worlds, creating deeply engaging and interactive experiences that were previously only imaginable.

Quantum Technology:

Quantum technology, particularly quantum computing, is indeed a game-changer for data processing. By leveraging the principles of quantum mechanics, quantum computers can process complex calculations at speeds unachievable by classical computers. This has profound implications for cryptography, materials science, and complex system modeling. The potential to solve problems that are currently intractable for classical computers makes quantum technology a field to watch closely.


Another disruptive technology worth mentioning is biotechnology, especially in the realms of genetic editing and synthetic biology. Techniques like CRISPR and other gene-editing tools have opened up possibilities for curing genetic diseases, enhancing crop yields, and even tackling global challenges like climate change and sustainable production of food and materials. The ability to edit and synthesize biological systems offers unprecedented control over the building blocks of life.

Blockchain Technology:

While blockchain technology is often associated primarily with cryptocurrencies, its potential extends much further. Blockchain offers a decentralized and secure platform for transactions of all types, providing transparency and reducing fraud in processes such as supply chain management, secure voting systems, and digital identity verification. The trust and security offered by blockchain technology make it a pivotal technology for the future of secure digital transactions.

5G and Beyond:

The ongoing rollout of 5G technology is set to dramatically enhance connectivity and enable a new wave of technological innovation. 5G technology provides vastly improved speeds and reliability over 4G, facilitating the broader adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, and smart city technologies. This technology is crucial for supporting the other technologies mentioned, providing the necessary infrastructure for massive amounts of data to be processed and shared in real-time.

Each of these technologies brings with it a promise of pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, creating new opportunities for innovation and improving our ability to solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Together, they represent a portfolio of capabilities that will shape the future of technology and society.

What, personally, has allowed you the success you have had in the role of a design leader in technology?

Reflecting on the elements that have carved my path as a design leader in technology, it becomes clear that certain personal attributes and philosophies have been fundamental in shaping my journey and achievements.

Curiosity and Lifelong Learning: At the core of my ethos is an insatiable curiosity—an eagerness to continually explore, understand, and question. This trait was profoundly influenced by my experiences working with the legendary Dr. Philip Kotler, who, even in his nineties, exhibited the zeal of a perpetually curious child. From him, I learned that age does not define our capacity to learn; rather, our willingness to remain open and receptive does. This philosophy of lifelong learning has enabled me to stay ahead in the rapidly evolving field of design and technology, constantly integrating new knowledge and insights into my work.

Embracing Change: Recognizing that change is the only constant, I have embraced it with open arms. This acceptance has not just been about adapting to change but leveraging it as a catalyst for growth and innovation. In the world of technology, where new developments are always around the corner, being adaptable and flexible has allowed me to lead projects and teams through transitions smoothly and with vision.

Fueling Desire: I believe deeply that design educates and cultivates our desires—it taps into our core emotional and aesthetic sensibilities. By moving from merely addressing needs to inspiring desires, I’ve been able to create designs that resonate more profoundly with users. This approach transforms functional objects and interfaces into experiences that people love and yearn for, enhancing their engagement and satisfaction.

Driven by Legacy and Purpose: Lastly, the desire to leave the world better than I found it acts as a powerful motivator. This legacy-driven approach ensures that the work I do is not just for immediate impact but for creating lasting change. Whether it’s through sustainable practices, empowering others through design education, or creating products that improve quality of life, the focus on legacy offers a guiding light and a deeper meaning to every endeavor.

Together, these elements—curiosity, adaptability, the power of desire, and a commitment to legacy—form the cornerstone of my philosophy as a design leader. They inspire not only my professional actions but also my personal growth, driving me to create designs that are not only innovative and beautiful but also deeply meaningful and impactful.

Where or whom do you seek motivation and inspiration from? How?

Where do I find my wellspring of motivation and inspiration? Truly, it bubbles up from the stories and lives of those around me. Echoing Mr. Rogers’ wise words, “Frankly, there is no one you can’t learn to love once you’ve heard their story,” I find a universe of inspiration in the narratives of everyday people. Each individual carries a story that can spark creativity, drive, and transformation.

Take for example my immigrant parents, who sculpted a future from the hard clay of adversity. Their resilience and dedication are not just lessons in survival but in thriving against the odds with grace and tenacity. Or consider my children, who weave their present with threads of sometimes quaint, old-fashioned values, proving that even the most traditional threads can be part of a vibrant tapestry.

Then there are those in my daily encounters—individuals whose lives are quiet anthems of sacrifice, dreams, and care. These aren’t just stories; they are lighthouses guiding me through the foggy complexities of life and work.

In the realms of technology and design, I’m equally invigorated by the luminaries—Steve Jobs with his intuitive grasp of what people would need before they knew it themselves; Jeff Bezos, who turned the kernel of an online bookstore into a behemoth that redefined retail; Jack Ma, who digitized China’s appetite for entrepreneurship; Elon Musk, a modern-day Prometheus, stealing fire for us in renewable energy and space travel; Don Norman and Don Peppers, who reshaped our understanding of user experience and customer relationships; Philip Kotler and Seth Godin, the sages of marketing whose insights have lit up numerous paths.

And oh, how could I forget (with a wink and a nudge)—the legendary desire to “think different” (sorry, Apple, couldn’t resist borrowing that!). It’s this eclectic mix of global giants, family tales, and everyday heroes that stirs the pot of my creativity. Their stories are not just a source of inspiration but a powerful reminder that we all have the potential to build, create, and dream—regardless of the stage we’re on.

If you could have a one-hour meeting with someone famous who is alive, who would it be and why?

If granted the rare opportunity to sit down for an hour with someone famous, my choices would span both the living and the historical, each providing a unique perspective that resonates with my aspirations and curiosities.

Sophia Coppola: Among the living, Sophia Coppola stands out as a fascinating figure whose artistic vision and sensitivity capture the nuances of human emotion and the complexity of life’s quieter moments. Her film “Lost in Translation” is a testament to her ability to convey profound human experiences through subtle storytelling and meticulous attention to detail. Her distinctive feminine perspective enriches the narrative landscape, making her films not just stories but explorations of inner life. A conversation with her would be immensely enriching, offering insights into how she sees and translates the world into cinematic experiences that speak to the depths of human feelings. In a time when the world urgently needs compassion and understanding, her perspectives on storytelling, creativity, and the human condition would be invaluable.

Ernest Hemingway: For the historical figure, Ernest Hemingway, a titan of American literature, would be my choice. Hemingway’s ability to weave complex human emotions into succinct, impactful prose changed the fabric of writing. His personal struggles, mirrored in his characters, defined a generation grappling with the aftermath of war and the existential crises of modern life. Understanding Hemingway’s tortured soul—haunted by his thoughts, desires, and relentless pursuit of meaning—would provide profound insights into the resilience and vulnerability of the human spirit. Discussing his motivations and the societal pressures that shaped his narratives would offer a deeper appreciation of how personal turmoil and the broader cultural milieu influence creative expression.

Engaging with these two extraordinary minds, one from the realm of film and the other from literature, would not only be a dream come true but also a deeply enlightening experience, bridging different artistic expressions and epochs. Each conversation would undoubtedly enhance my understanding of the arts and humanity, inspiring my own journey in design and storytelling.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

In the next five years, I envision a journey that continues to be as dynamic and inspired as the path I’ve traveled so far. True to my core, I’ll be chasing new dreams—those that perhaps haven’t even taken shape yet but are waiting just beyond the horizon of my current aspirations. The nature of dreams is that they evolve, and as they do, so do I, constantly adapting and pursuing new ambitions that stir my passion and drive.

The essence of my days will be found in the serendipity of life’s simple, unplanned moments—from a casual chat with a stranger to the deep discussions that spring from unexpected encounters. These are the interactions that often spark the brightest ideas, fueling my creativity and desire to innovate.

Building new things is in my DNA, whether they’re tangible products, companies, or merely ideas. This process inevitably comes with its share of failures—those hard yet invaluable lessons that pave the road to success. I embrace each failure as a necessary step toward greater achievements, knowing that each setback is just a setup for a comeback.

And, of course, the constant, the unwavering goal in all my endeavors, will be to make a positive impact on people’s lives. Whether it’s through design, technology, or simply by being there for someone, improving the human experience is the ultimate benchmark of success for me. This isn’t just a professional objective but a personal commitment to leave the world a little better than I found it.

So, in five years, you’ll find me where you’d expect: somewhere between dreaming boldly and acting purposefully, forever in pursuit of that next great adventure.

What piece of advice would you give to aspiring AI entrepreneurs?

For aspiring AI entrepreneurs, the path is as exhilarating as it is challenging, and the advice you seek can be the beacon that guides you through both the triumphs and trials. Drawing inspiration from the legendary Steve Jobs, here’s how you can carve your path in the burgeoning field of AI:

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish: Never lose your eagerness to explore uncharted territories in AI. The landscape is rapidly evolving, and your ability to stay ahead depends on your hunger for knowledge and innovation. Embrace the perpetual student mindset, always learning, always questioning. This drive will lead you to discover new opportunities and solutions where others see none.

Balance Passion with Pragmatism: Passion is your fuel but let wisdom steer. It’s vital to be deeply committed to your ideas, yet equally important to remain critical and objective about them. This balance will allow you to pivot and adapt without losing your core objectives. Don’t let passion cloud your judgment to the extent that a failure to adapt leads to downfall. Remember, your ultimate goal is to find a solution that works, not to cling to a first idea that doesn’t.

Embrace Failure as a Stepping Stone: Fear of failure is a formidable barrier. Overcome it. In the world of entrepreneurship, and particularly in AI, failure is not just a possibility but a necessity. Each failure teaches you something invaluable that success cannot. It builds resilience, fosters creativity, and teaches you the practical nuances of applying theoretical knowledge. Don’t view failure as a setback, but as an integral part of your journey towards success.

Innovate Responsibly: As you venture into AI, recognize the profound impact your innovations can have on society. With great power comes great responsibility. Develop AI solutions that are ethical and beneficial, not just to your business but to society at large. Consider the long-term implications of your work and strive to contribute positively to the field of AI.

Network and Collaborate: AI is not a field you can conquer alone. The complexity and breadth of the field require collaboration across different expertise and disciplines. Build a network of mentors, peers, and experts who can offer diverse perspectives and guidance. Collaboration can accelerate your progress and help you avoid common pitfalls.

By following this advice, you not only navigate the challenges of being an AI entrepreneur but also contribute to the advancement and ethical development of AI technologies. Remember, each step you take is a part of a larger journey—embrace the journey with passion, resilience, and a steadfast commitment to learning and growth.

Content Disclaimer

Related Articles