Tamara (Tom-Ruh)


Tamara is a passionate and empathetic facilitator, trainer, researcher, speaker and author. She brings nearly 20 years of experience blending design thinking, creative problem solving, collaboration, and research to help organizations build innovation capabilities and apply them to complex business challenges. Tamara works with a range of organizations from local businesses to global Fortune 100 companies including Honeywell and 3M. She also delivers programs for the Thunderbird School of Global Management and Arizona State University. She has been described metaphorically as a glass of prosecco, a whirling dervish, and a sharpie. Tamara’s book, F-ing Innovation: Why innovation is hard and what to do about it is available on Amazon.

Our Why


"If you want to innovate, you're going to have to collaborate." Idea Farm founder Tamara Christensen is a passionate expert in facilitating collaboration. Our key collaborators from the world help Idea Farm deliver unforgettable experiences make problem solving fun.

Transformational Empathy:

Our human capacity to empathize with ourselves and each other is a core strength of being human. As we allow ourselves to change and grow through human connection we build relationships and capacity to serve in a meaningful way.

Courageous Creativity:

It takes courage and vulnerability to face fear- which is often the feeling of excitement for the unknown. Creative problem solving is a skill that anyone can learn and develop, especially when we are encouraged to brave our diversity and cooperate.

Playful Productivity:

Work shouldn't hurt. Instead, hard work can elicit feelings of joy and produce a state of "flow". We approach even the most gnarly problems with enthusiasm and an unapologetic passion for process.

Key Collaborators

Katrin Elster

Head of StrategicPlay®

Hamburg, Germany

Katrin is a specialist for strategic co-creation with a strong emphasis on play. While one might be surprised that Germans are up for this, she successfully owns and runs StrategicPlay® since 2006, Read More… mainly by facilitating and training LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® and CoCreACT®.Passionate about spreading creativity, especially in education, she co-founded CREA Germany e.V. with the mission to make creativity a school subject. Since she is a big supporter of learning communities, she is also co-founder and organizer of the yearly un-conferences “Play4Agile” and “Play4innovation”. Show Less

Emily Callaghan

Owner, DESIGN+

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Emily is a passionate leader who lives at the intersection of design, strategy and culture. Her experience spans brand and product development, strategy, customer experience and culture and capability building. Read More…She is a confessed lover of team and collaboration — both in building her own organizations and empowering others as they grow and evolve. Most recently a Designer in Residence at Stanford’s Institute of Design (affectionately known as the “”), she worked with an incredible team to drive the future of human-centered design.She previously held senior design and innovation leadership roles in large, multi-national organizations (3M, Johnson Controls) coaching internal startups and building new-to-the-organization capabilities both in design thinking and design functions from scratch. Show Less

Kim Larkin

Facilitator and Strategist

Phoenix, Arizona

Kim is a ninja combination of strategic thinker, facilitator and connector who loves tackling tough problems. Read More… She has directed multiple businesses, built nonprofits from the ground up, and managed numerous national and international creative projects. She is a resourceful instigator who thrives on creating connections and bringing creativity to complex problems. Kim earned a masters degree in Arts Management from Carnegie Mellon University, a B.A. in Art History from the University of Utah and is a certified Project Management Professional. In her free time, you’ll find Kim in the mountains, volunteering in the community, or enjoying a glass of bourbon. Show Less

Jens Hoffman

Questioner, Thinker & Transformer

Hamburg, Germany

Being a father and serial entrepreneur, Jens finds a lot of opportunities to practice the art of constant failure, learning, and improving. Read More…He has a lot of fun experimenting with new approaches to business and life. His life is a quest to find powerful questions and surprising answers. Jens is a highly integrative thinker, combining is analytical skills and love for data with his abilities to envision and create. He co-creates with clients and their customers new products and services and is a specialist in designing and facilitating large-scale cultural change. He is a certified LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® facilitator, certified Creative Problem Solving Facilitator, certified Management Coach and LEAN KANBAN practitioner. Show Less

Sarah Spencer

Graphic Recorder

Phoenix, Arizona

Sarah Spencer has worked as a professional visual communicator and graphic recorder for over 20 years. Her expertise in graphic recording is centered on skills in listening, synthesizing and drawing the spoken word. Read More… Sarah captures the bright ideas being shared that are crucial for moving forward in business. In addition to being informative, the hand-drawn recordings are beautiful works of art that hang in the offices of those who have experienced them. A 2009 E.U. Marie Curie Fellow, she investigated creative culture across Europe and the U.S. and prior research focused on the Personalities (MBTI) of Design Thinking and brainstorming performance. She earned an M.S. of Industrial Design from Arizona State University and a B.S. of Journalism from the University of Kansas and is a dedicated thought leader in the areas of design, business, people and culture. Show Less

Doug Reid

Thinking Partner

Phoenix, Arizona

Doug is highly skilled in the art and science of deliberate creativity and innovation–of eliciting and integrating new possibilities for improving performance for individuals, teams and organizations. Read More…As a facilitator, trainer, and coach, he helps you think in new ways to get to amazing outcomes! His ability to establish rapport with individuals and groups very quickly rests on his strong interpersonal skills and personality. Doug exhibits a keen ability to listen and clarify and make sure that meaningful communication is occurring. Doug has worked around the world with a wide variety of organizations. He holds a M.S. in Creativity, Innovation and Change Leadership from Buffalo State College where he is also an adjunct faculty member. Show Less

Dr. Marigo Raftopoulos

Strategic Business Advisor, Speaker

Melbourne, Australia

Dr Marigo Raftopoulos is a strategic business adviser specializing in innovation using games, gamification and experience design. Read More…She is the founder partner of Strategic Innovation Lab, and is also an adviser to several corporations, technology incubators and technology start-ups. She is also an adviser on the European Commission’s Advanced Digital Gaming and Gamification Program. Marigo works with a wide range of global clients on accelerating innovation using the tools of engagement that are fundamental to game design and gamification. Marigo holds a PhD in enterprise gamification and has widely published her research on gamification frameworks and methodologies. Her research identified design, taxonomy and capability elements of gamification that have contributed to exemplary project developments and have enhanced critical understanding of the effective design and best-practice implementations of enterprise gamification. Show Less

Alexandre Eisenchteter

Co-founder of Stormz

Paris, France

Alexandre has facilitated hundreds of collaborative workshops on every continent. He’s recognized as an expert in designing collective intelligence sessions, both for very large groups and/or remote teams. Read More…He frequently speaks in conferences and seminars all over Europe and North America and gives classes on “Facilitation in the Digital Age”. Some of his methodologies include: Flower Process, Creative Problem Solving, Design Thinking, Agile (Scrum) and 6 Sigma (Black Belt). Show Less