Meet the team

Shaping Connections brings together academics and stakeholders with a variety of expertise in areas such as consumer behaviour, social marketing, consumer culture theory, and design innovation management.


Assoc Prof Bernardo Figueiredo
Chief Investigator
RMIT profile

Bernardo is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing in the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing at RMIT University. His current research projects focus on value creation, collaborative networks, technology, and ageing.


Dr Torgeir Aleti
Chief Investigator


RMIT profile

Torgeir is a Lecturer in Marketing in the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing at RMIT University. Torgeir’s research investigates social and relational aspects of consumption choices and behaviour.

Meet our seniors

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Diane is a Professor of Marketing in the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing at RMIT University. Diane’s expertise is in ethnographic and qualitative research in the areas of consumer behaviour, new market development and sustainability. Her award-winning scholarship is published in numerous journals in marketing and communication.  

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Mike is a Professor in Marketing in the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing at RMIT University. His research encompasses social marketing areas of food literacy, consumer food choice, obesity and behaviour change, and healthy middle-aging.


Larissa Hjorth is Distinguished Professor and Director of RMIT’s Enabling Capability Platform, Design & Creative Practice. Hjorth is a digital ethnographer, creative practitioner and media researcher. She co-founded the Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC) at RMIT with Heather Horst in 2011. Hjorth represents RMIT on the Melbourne Ageing Research Collaboration (MARC) steering board and has conducted digital ethnography of older adults in museum engagement with the Australian Centre for Moving Image (ACMI).


Mr Glen Wall

Industry Collaborator/Partner

Vice President, U3A Network Victoria

President / Chairman, Whittlesea U3A

Glen Wall (U3A Network Vic Inc) developed the program ‘Building Community Engagement”. It focused on the improvement in digital literacy of seniors to better connect to the broader community to improve their wellbeing.

A leader of the City of Whittlesea "Strengthening Seniors Inclusion and Participation in Local Communities" initiative. Glen has established a network of volunteer community connectors which support socially isolated and lonely seniors to participate in activities. 

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Anne Grigg

Industry Collaborator/Partner

Vice President, U3A Network Victoria

Course Development, U3A Kingston

Anne Grigg worked as the Members Services Manager at U3A Network Victoria before her second retirement. In her U3A roles and as a leader in Primary Schools, she has a strong interest in developing community relationships for the benefit of all. 


Dr Mark Buschgens

Project Manager


Mark is a lecturer in marketing at Waikato Management School & PhD graduate of RMIT University’s School of Economics, Finance and Marketing. Over the last 12 years, he has held academic and industry roles in the field of creative design and marketing in various institutions in Australia, California and the Middle East.


Jacob Sheahan

Research Assistant


Jacob Sheahan is a PhD Candidate, Research Assistant for the Shaping Connections research program, and Sessional Lecturer in the School of Design at RMIT University. A trained Industrial Designer with a design anthropology and interaction design skillset, his research practice focuses on the future of ageing, emerging technologies, and design for health and wellbeing.


Shinyi Chin is currently a PhD candidate at RMIT University’s School of Media and Communication. She has research expertise and teaches in the areas of marketing communication, advertising, branding, and narratology.

Core partner

U3A Network Victoria was established in 1988. It operates under a volunteer Committee of Management, elected from interested members of U3As. The U3A movement is a unique and exciting organisation which provides, through its U3As, life-changing opportunities. Retired and semi-retired people come together and learn together, not for qualifications but for its own reward: the sheer joy of discovery!

Members are enthusiastic in countering the negative stereotyping of ageing at a time of physical and intellectual decline. They respond positively to a mode of learning uniquely adapted to the needs and circumstances of older people.


If you are interested in collaborating with us, and/or would like to learn more about how to
be part of this project, we would like to hear from you! Contact us here.