Thyago Ohana

For roughly 15 years, I inspire people and organizations to innovate.
In working with SMEs, IDEs, governments and large corporations, I've learned that most organizations are really good at innovating. It is transitioning from the old to the new where they really struggle.
I bring my passion for people, technology and the future to tackle this transition and lead innovation from idea to impact.
At heart, I love to create safe spaces for people to be authentic and use their full potential for personal and common growth.

My 7 Rules in Life are: [1] Think like an optimist. [2] Practice intentional self-care. [3] Develop meaningful connections. [4] Enable the full potential in others. [5] Never stop learning. [6] Treat the janitor and the CEO with the same smile. [7] Learn to let go.

What I Do

I'm determined to transform businesses

I help organizations redefine their role in their industry‘s ecosystem by connecting today's core business with adjacent and transformational opportunities and business models of the future.

I speak corporate and start-up

I accelerate corporate innovation by connecting people, building trust and managing mechanisms for ecosystem engagement such as hackathons, incubators and accelerators.

I lead change one smile at a time

I transform businesses by inspiring, empowering and engaging people. I strongly believe high-tech goes hand-in-hand with high-touch, the human side of digital transformation.

I speak business and informatics

I am a translator between business and technology thanks to my dual academic education and experience in marketing and informatics. See my full resume.

Resume

15 Years of Experience

Full-time Experience

2022-Present
UCB Biopharma

Digital Strategy and Capabilities Lead (Immunology/EU)

  • Lead in digital customer experience strategy and capabilities transformation for the immunology unit in the EU, focused on establishing a fully integrated omnichannel go-to-market model for pre-launch, launch, and late lifecycle assets.
  • Lead and develop a team of digital channel and solution owners, working transversally across the dermatology and rheumatology franchises to enable operational excellence supported by digital capabilities and innovation.
  • Shape processes, ways of working, mindset, skillset, and toolset related to customer engagement and experience within the immunology EU organization.
  • Co-lead the evolution of the company's digital health corporate incubator as a capability for local health ecosystem engagement and innovation.
  • Act as an interface with the global Digital Care Transformation unit to bring innovation closer to the markets and strengthen collaboration along the digital development process.
  • For current updates, please refer to my LinkedIn profile.

ALSO PROUD OF:

  • Co-designed and launched the agile squad model across EU digital go-to-market operations.

2020-2022
UCB Biopharma

Global Digital Healthcare Transformation Strategist

  • Lead in the integrated strategy for adjacent and transformational digital health initiatives in immunology and neurology, translating corporate strategy into a comprehensible innovation roadmap with multi-level narratives, explicit value levers and clear priorities.
  • Lead in the creation and operationalization of the 'Digital Care Transformation' corporate incubator as a mechanism for open innovation and ecosystem engagement in the digital health space.
  • Co-lead the execution of an internal communications strategy with focus on community building and change management around innovative patient value creation.
  • Co-create and evolve the narrative around digital business transformation, disseminating its strategic intent, culture and mindset and preparing the organization for the future.
  • Co-lead the integration of digital health innovation breakpoints in the corporate launch roadmaps and brand plans.
  • Act as interface with global business units and brand teams for input and guidance on digital strategy to maximize the value of current assets and to transform value offering beyond the core business.
  • Manage external engagement with emerging tech leaders, academic institutions and networks in healthcare aimed at identifying possible collaborations and partnerships.
  • Act as spokesperson on digital health corporate venturing at external events, conferences and congresses.

ALSO PROUD OF:

  • Facilitate the 'Inclusive and Growth Mindset' learning journey for multiple corporate teams
  • Co-developed with the patient experience working group UCB's digital maturity assessment framework for the affiliates as well as the global social media standards and directives.
  • Partnered with the clinical development and patient experience teams to host the global '3for1 Expo' showcasing how three teams use data and technology with purpose at different points of the value chain and patient journey.

2019-2020
Boehringer Ingelheim

Regional Digital Transformation Manager

  • Led the multichannel content and customer journey planning for the regional rare diseases and oncology portfolios.
  • Acted as go-to-market ambassador, assisting marketing, medical and market access teams in translating business needs into concrete digital initiatives. For instance: (1) Transforming a F2F workshop series into a digital medical education program for HCPs, widening reach by 200% while cutting costs by 95% within one year; and (2) Pursuing partnerships with health-tech start-ups through ecosystem engagement such as incubators, accelerators, hackathons and prize competitions.
  • Led the region's sudden shift from face-to-face to digital channels and virtual engagement in response to the 2020 pandemic
  • Executed the roll-out and adoption programs for the new Digital Assets Management (DAM) platform, ensuring proper change management and consistency with existing Veeva CRM and Veeva Vault systems.
  • Regionalized the execution of disease-awareness social media campaigns, easing the workload in the affiliate business units and increasing efficiencies in targeting, consistency and engagement.
  • Deployed a reverse mentoring program and digital growth initiatives aimed at fostering digital up-skilling across TAs and organizational levels.
  • Co-founded the agile working group to promote innovation and growth with agile ways of working and rapid experimentation.
  • Act as a digital workplace champion to support the roll-out and adoption of tools and platforms (e.g. MS Teams, Mural...) to increase collaboration across the organization.

ALSO PROUD OF:

  • Co-founded the regional rainbow network employee resource group (ERG) under the diversity and inclusion umbrella.
  • Semifinalist at the Global Innovation Challenge held by the Corporate Digital Portfolio Team, having had the project funded and received an 'exceptional personal commitment certificate' from the BoD.
  • Co-created an internal podcast aimed at digital know-how exchange and best practices sharing.

2018-2019
Boehringer Ingelheim

Regional Digital Content Manager

  • Led customer experience planning and execution for the regional rare diseases and oncology portfolios.
  • Developed digital content strategies, managed content editorial plans and catalogues and supervised the creation, curation and reporting on digital assets relevant to medico-marketing campaigns.
  • Acted as regional lead on the global content collaboration program, mapping and supporting the regional-to-market localization process and maximizing the use and performance of global assets.
  • Worked with digital production houses to develop content, ensuring these meet corporate/industry standards, rules and approvals, and are aligned with the integrated customer plans and consistent with brand plans.
  • Maximized the use and impact of digital touch-points at face-to-face internal and external events, conferences and congresses.
  • Evolved the region's digital maturity by promoting digital up-skilling of regional and local brand teams.
  • Led innovation and transformation by identifying trends and opportunities around and beyond the pill in rare diseases and oncology.

2017-2018
E-2 Communications GmbH

Regional Online Marketing Manager

  • Led the Latin American desk and business unit for digital sports gaming, positioning the company as the world’s first agency to offer a native media portfolio for the industry in LATAM that included digital, performance, social Media, affiliate and App-exclusive components.
  • Managed digital partner acquisition on the publishers‘ and advertisers’ sides providing technical and functional assessments of their portfolios, to exceed KPIs for both sides. For instance: provided UX design localization consulting for publishers, aimed at increasing their media value, while in turn, increasing conversions for the advertisers.
  • Managed key accounts for European firms in the pre-market-entry phase, carrying out market research and providing strategic and tactical guidance on their digital media planning and buying activities.
  • Acted as media manager working cross-functionally with design, ad-serving, PPC, SEO, SEA and SEM teams and supervising the execution and reporting of campaigns.

ALSO PROUD OF:

  • Deployed the data analysis and visualization platform Tableau for performance dashboards, influencing the speed of data-driven decision-making and collaboration with external stakeholders.

2010-2017
Embassy of India

Marketing Officer

  • Served as Trade Commissioner for India in Austria, focused on bilateral trade and FDI promotion activities. During my time in office, India-Austria trade increased by 45% to 1.6 billion Euros and FDI rose by 76%, with India receiving 193 million in investments from Austria.
  • Drove the promotion of innovation and Technology Exchange through ecosystem engagement (B2B, B2G and academic partnerships) between India and Austria. For example, I matched some Austrian leading-edge water cleaning technologies with the unmet needs of the Indian market.
  • Developed and executed digital nation branding multi-channel strategies, including the roll-out of two web portals, two online magazines, an e-mail marketing automation system and social media channels.
  • Hosted and co-hosted high-profile B2B commercial meetings and trade events as well as organized technology explorations for delegations of up to 100 people.
  • Co-created and delivered intercultural awareness and business communication programs for executives doing business with and in India.

ALSO PROUD OF:

  • Coordinated the Indian Presidential visit to Austria in 2011, resulting in the signing of two Memoranda of Understanding in the fields of Science, Innovation and Technology.
  • Rolled out President Modi’s acclaimed “Make in India” campaign in Austria.

2009-2010
e-Merch GmbH

Online Marketing Assistant

  • Previously an intern, I acted as key player in the setup and launch of Salesforce CRM within the marketing automation/IT ecosystem of the company. The success of this project guaranteed my promotion and fix-term contract.
  • Responsible for the deployment of the new e-mail marketing platform and all processes associated with the automation.
  • Co-developed the company's first integrated online marketing and brand plans for its expansion outside the DACH region.
  • Established cross-unit content management and collaboration processes.
  • Supervised online campaigns implementation and reporting schedules.

Part-time Experience

2008-Current
Various Companies

Digital Strategy Consultant

PROJECT-BASED / HONORARY

  • Strategist with strong focus in innovation-driven entrepreneurship in healthcare and social challenges.
  • Ecosystem engagement expert experienced in designing, mentoring for and participating in hackathons, incubators, accelerators, etc. wearing both the startup as well as corporate hats.
  • Digital Marketing consultant focused on digital customer acquisition strategies and tactics including but not exclusive to social media, search- and content marketing, PPC, email marketing and automation as well as user experience design.
  • Social media specialist, web developer, copywriter and graphic artist.

Education

2023
MIT Sloan Executive Education

Algorithmic Business Thinking

Focus: (1) The human-centered capabilities essential to digital transformation—and how to leverage machines to augment those capabilities and (2) Applying key principles of computer science to a broad range of complex business problems.

See Digital Certificate

2021-2022
Yale School of Public Health

Health Informatics Certificate Program

Focus: (1) Health Informatics on Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), (2) Building a Precision Medicine Infrastructure, (3) Clinical Database and Ontology and (4) Clinical Natural language processing (NLP) and Data Mining

See Digital Certificate

2022
Harvard Medical School

Immunology Pro - Novel Therapies

I earned a Certificate of Achievement in the HMX Immunology Pro course on Novel Therapies for Chronic Inflammation, Autoimmunity, and Allergy, an online program from Harvard Medical School

See Digital Certificate

2022
Harvard Medical School

Immunology Fundamentals

I earned a Certificate of Achievement in the HMX Immunology Fundamentals course, a 10-week online program from Harvard Medical School

See Digital Certificate

2021
MIT Sloan Executive Education

Corporate Innovation: Strategies for Leveraging Ecosystems

Focus: Ecosystem Strategies for Corporate Innovation (Hackathons, Incubators, Accelerators...)

See Digital Certificate

2021
MIT Sloan Executive Education

Platform Strategy

Focus: multi-sided platform (MSP) design, participation and operation.

See Digital Certificate

2021
HarvardX

Innovating in Healthcare

Focus: Financial Accounting and Business Planning for Innovation in Healthcare

See Digital Certificate

2020-2021
Cambridge Judge Business School

Digital Disruption: Digital Transformation Strategies

An executive education program providing research-based insights on disruptive innovations and what it takes to build and manage successful business models in this complex era.

See Digital Certificate

2019-2020
Quantic School of Business and Technology

Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA)

Specializations: Advanced Corporate Strategy, Startup Entrepreneurship and Strategic Thinking

See EMBA Diploma

2017-2019
University of Vienna

Media Informatics (Postgraduate Education)

Completed the "Digital Media Production" module (18 ECTS) towards a Master's Degree in Media Informatics as Postgraduate Education / Specialization.
Relevant Courses included Digital Media Production, Script Writing and Special Techniques for Digital Film.

2012-2015
FH Technikum Wien

Business Informatics

Bachelor of Science in Engineering, B.Sc.
Specialization: Mobile Computing
Thesis Research: Social Media Marketing

2006-2010
Lauder Business School

International Marketing and Management

Magister in Economics and Business Administration, Mag.(FH)
Thesis Research Focus: Customer Behavior
Note: The Magister degree is the Austrian equivalent of the international Master’s degree. For more about the Austrian Framework of Higher Education, please refer to the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education.

Personal

Spanish and Brazilian

Dual Citizenship

Brussels, Belgium

Current Residence

Partnered. No kids.

Family Status

Languages

Portuguese - Native

99%

English - C2

98%

Spanish - C1

90%

German - B2/C1

85%

French - B2

80%

Hebrew - A2

30%

Strengths

  • Innovation Strategy
  • Digital Marketing
  • Communications
  • Change Leadership
  • Digital Transformation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Public Speaking
  • User Experience Design
  • Content Management
  • Web Technologies

Skills

  • Positive Thinker
  • Inspiring Leader
  • Community Builder
  • Active Listener
  • Team Player
  • Self-Motivated
  • Agile Doer
  • Outcome-oriented
  • Storyteller
  • Creative Thinker
  • Open-Minded
  • Graphic Designer
  • Social Skills
  • Organizational Skills
  • Creative Skills

A day in my life

Pie Chart showing the amount of time I spent daily with core activities

Volunteer Experience

  • Fundraiser and Program Manager, Kili Hope Children's Center, Pasua, Tanzania (since 2019)
  • Fundraising Campaign Marketer, European Center for Jewish Students (since 2016)
  • Global Ambassador, Duolingo (2018-2020)
  • Social Welfare Event Organizer, Free Hugs Vienna (2013-2019)
  • Fundraiser and Volunteer, Associação Castelos do Sal, Cape Verde (2018)
  • Web Specialist Volunteer, Espaço Cultural Conexão Gato Preto, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2013-2014)
  • Program Coordinator, Jewish Heritage Center, Vienna, Austria (2006-2007)

Other Relevant Education

For details and credentials on courses, licenses and certifications, visit my LinkedIn profile. Here's a list summary:

Scuba Diving Education

Somewhere between a hobby/passion and the desire to grow my skillset at a professional level, I have completed the following scuba diving trainings:

  • PADI Rescue Diver
  • PADI Emergency First Response
  • PADI Advanced Open Water Diver
  • PADI Enriched Air Diver Specialization
  • PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialization
  • PADI Dry Suit Diver Specialization
  • PADI Drift Diver Specialization

Interests

When I

My top-3 interests and other hobbies

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Social entrepreneurship

Thyago Ohana diving in the Red Sea

Scuba diving

Thyago Ohana meditating by Mt. Fuji

Meditation

Chihuahuas

Chihuahuas

Gadgets

Gadgets

Cooking

Cooking

Music

Music

Gaming

Gaming

Magic

Magic

My never-ending learning journey: traveling

Social Work

Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship

Social Impact Travel

As a travel enthusiast, my exposure to contrasting realities around the world made me develop a strong sense of accountability for bringing about positive impact to less fortunate communities - especially in developing countries.

This is why in the last half a decade, I started to combine tourism with opportunities to interact and support some local communities, families and especially children.

After having run privately-funded efforts in Kenya, Ethiopia and Seychelles, I felt motivated to take one step further and run funding campaigns among family, friends and colleagues to support such initiatives.

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Fundraising Campaigns

Kilimanjaro, Tanzania - since 2019

In 2019, prior to a planned private trip to Tanzania, I identified a target need in the region and started a campaign aimed at raising funds to maintain the Kili Hope Children's center for orphans and vulnerable children for a whole year (2020). The campaign collected donations under this GoFundMe page and it surpassed its initial target.

The center's operations have been fully funded by this project from 2020 to 2023. In the meantime, the center attained non-governmental organization (NGO) status in Tanzania, which allowed it to gain support from other public and private sources. As of January 2024, residual funds in the project's account will continue to be provided monthly to the center to cover exclusively the salary of the school teacher and the monthly costs of purchasing grains.

Key achievements of the projects:

  • Increased the number of children cared for at the center from 50 to 95 (2019 vs 2020)
  • Reduced the school dropout to zero  (vs ~80% prior to project start)
  • Supported 188 children transition to the primary school system
  • Created 4 full-time jobs for locals
  • Covered the operating costs of the children's center for four consecutive years (2020-2023)
  • Delivered more than 5 tons of grains as food supply
  • Provided basic health insurance coverage to all enrolled children
  • Renovated the children's center infrastructure including façade and interior
  • Improved teaching methods by acquiring a whiteboard, handicrafts materials and a television
  • Installed trash cans in the center
  • Integrated dental hygiene in the center's daily routine
  • Introduced fruits to the center's regular meal plans
  • Upon forming the NGO, provided guidance on community engagement and networking to generate new sources of funds.

The project also supported the community to mitigate the impact of the 2020 pandemic with:

  • 1 ton of food and 500 soap bars to the community
  • Installation of multiple hand hygiene stations (water bucket + soap) around the village
  • Increasing awareness on proper hand hygiene provided to locals by the center's staff
  • Re-commissioning of old sewing machines for local face masks productions.

All funds collected and spent in the campaign have been documented and invoices are available for auditing.

  • Cause Children
  • Started in August 2019
  • Initial Target € 6,000
  • Total Raised € 40,587
  • Nr. of Donors 419
  • Invested in Food Supplies, Shelter, Healthcare and Education
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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 2023

In 2023, I held a charity campaign to support the reopening of the "Gato Preto" children's center.

The "Espaço Cultural Conexão Gato Preto" was born in 2013 under the leadership of the teacher and samba singer Simone Lyns, who mobilized friends around the world (incl. myself!) to officially open the NGO, a space dedicated to art and education for residents of Gato Preto, an area of extreme social vulnerability in Baixada Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis in Brazil forced the NGO to shut down its activities and close its doors in 2020.

Thanks to new effort in 2023 to mobilize people around the world (incl. myself again!), the center is underwent revitalization, and reopened its doors. The money I fundraised through this GoFundMe campaign page went towards:

  • a few structural repairs to the center following some severe water damages due to intensive rains.
  • a reopening ceremony featuring a historical children theater play about “Maria Leopoldina”, the Austrian princess who became the first empress of Brazil
  • the reopening of the center’s children library
  • a kick-off of a program to teach illiterate adults to read and write, pulling the adults along with their kids closer to the community center.

All funds collected and spent in the campaign have been documented and invoices are available for auditing.

  • Cause Children and community welfare
  • Started in January 2023
  • Duration 2 months
  • Initial Target € 1,000
  • Total Raised € 1,190
  • Nr. of Donors 15
  • Invested in Center renovation and reopening
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Sal Island, Cape Verde - 2018

In 2018, I held my first fundraising for charity campaign. 100% of the funds were invested in the welfare of a group of 68 children in the community of Santa Maria in the Island of Cape Verde.

I spent a week in Cape Verde, where I personally met the children who depend on the support of the group of volunteers "Castelos do Sal", and thanks to the donations collected, we managed to deliver 5 weeks of food supply for the children, a unique piece of clothing for each one of them as well as 50 children's books to build their library.

The campaign was held online. Details of the campaign including all updates and final report can be found in the GoFundMe campaign page. All funds collected and spent in the campaign have been documented and invoices are available for auditing.

  • Cause Children
  • Started in January 2018
  • Duration 3 months
  • Initial Target € 1,000
  • Total Raised € 2,750
  • Nr. of Donors 53
  • Invested in Food Supplies, Clothing and Books
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Free Hugs

My Passion for Smiles

How I became a free hugger

It all started on an ordinary day while I was walking down the streets of Paris. A couple was stading my way holding up a sign saying ‘FREE HUGS’. I walked towards them. Both hugged me and in silence, we all smiled. As I left them behind after getting my ‘free hug’, I felt it! The smile that accompanied me for the rest of that day inspired me to start researching about the Free Hugs Campaign.

Back at home, I invited some friends to join me for my first free hugs spree in the Austrian capital, and this is how the group Free Hugs Vienna was born in the summer of 2013. Since then, hundreds of other supporters have joined me in bringing smiles to the faces of thousands of people whose path we have crossed with open arms.

The Free Hugs Vienna group remained active until early 2020. Given my move from Vienna to Brussels, I remain hopeful the group will find a new lead in post-pandemic times.

Next you will find a selection of articles and interviews from my journey as a Free Hugger.

"Free Hugs and I" in the Media

Free Hugs Vienna on Facebook

Contact

Get in Touch

Got something to say? Leave me a message!