British born Chipchase says failing his university entrance exams was one of the best things that ever happened to him, for it gave him the chance to travel the world. (And he did go on to a BA in economics and a master's in user interface design.) Today Chipchase is a true internationalist: He's worked for Finnish phonemaker Nokia in Japan, studied shared phone use in Uganda, and is about to look at the impact of mobile money services in Afghanistan. This month he'll join Frog in its Shanghai office, where he'll extend its reach in Asia. "I'm keen to never stop pushing the boundaries of how we should be doing this research," he says. --B.K.
NEXT: Designer runner-up: Indrani Medhi
Last updated July 09 2010: 1:19 PM ET