Our Work
Our e5 HCD
Our Story
Matchboxology changes behaviours and systems to improve lives
We deeply believe in the power of collective problem-solving to efficiently unlock impact
Learn how we do this
A brief history

Matchboxology was born at a dinner in 2005 between a diverse set of friends who became deeply bonded by a simple epiphany; consumers and citizens are exactly the same people.  We wondered if we could pioneer new ways to harness our over 50 years of global development, marketing, and advertising experience across 5 continents to rethink how to wrestle with the African continent’s toughest social and development problems.

Behind development’s strategic imperatives, logical frameworks, system process tools, and key deliverables we saw a world of human beings driven by personal truths and triggers, attitudes and beliefs, aspirations, and social norms.  Matchboxology was born to put the human realities firmly at the center of all our problem-solving.

In the beginning, we worked intuitively, probing for deeper insights by building trust through conversations and bringing those closest to life’s challenges and opportunities to the solutioning table.  With Levi’s® as our first client and HIV prevention as our first thorny challenge, we discovered the power of tapping the creativity and voices in communities. We learned through trial and error how to collectively design and implement revolutionary new approaches with ordinary people, local leaders, and experts as equal partners in the process.  Early in 2010, we discovered our Matchboxology way of working aligned beautifully into the global design thinking movement and so we proudly become Africa’s first Human Centred Design consultancy entirely by serendipity.

One of our workshop exercises perfectly captures the magic that Matchboxology brings to each assignment.  We ask every participant to remove their right shoe and challenge the person next to them to put it on.  Shock and horror lead to shrieks of laughter as feet too big for high heels and those too small for Converse brings out the child in all of us. And then the penny drops.  Empathy is a very human, very shared experience. The Zulu’s have a beautiful phrase for this principle:  Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu.  A person is a person because of other people.  When we are able to walk in one another’s shoes, we become very powerful problem solvers indeed.    

What makes us Matchboxology
Our Team
Cal Bruns
Co Founder, CEO / Chief
Creative Incubationist
Jason Coetzee
Director of Social Impact
Paris Pitsillides
Co-Founder, Director of Strategy and Serendipity
Cristin Marona
Director of Positive Change, Social & Behavioural Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Thulani Grenville Grey
Master of Curiosity
Catherine Wandie
Master of Curiosity
Bamba Youssouf
Master of Curiosity, Senior Facilitator Abidjan, Cote I'voire
Hazel Ngcobo
Insights Associate
Silver Shabalala
Master of Curiosity
Kelvin Kaari
Insights Associate
Yvette Kruger
Master of Curiosity and Content
Bukelwa Nkungwana
Languages Associate
Nigel Branken
Master of Curiosity and Project Management
Sindi Washington
Master of Curiosity and Facilitator
Our Network
Cheryl Vilikazi
Master of Curiosity, Eshowe KZN South Africa
Culture Foundry
Community Insights Around Africa
entrepreneurship and personal growth
Kevin Obware
Master of Curiosity & Facilitation, Kisumu Kenya
Mark Isserow
Data Detective
Michelle Folsom
Master of Curiosity, Washington DC
Quicksand, India
REACH HCD network Partner
REACH HCD Partner, London, Amsterdam
Care Lab
REACH HCD Network Partner Singapore, Barcelona