James Gien Varney-Wong  | Chief Imagineer


To imagine the future is the first step to bringing it into reality


 James Gien Varney-Wong is the Chief Imagineer and founder of InGienous Design (ID), a South African social enterprise involved in groundbreaking projects in education, media and sustainable technology. Gien is a citizen of the world, having a Chinese ancestry, born and raised in Canada and now living on the African continent.

InGienous Designs seeks to nurture strategic projects that will unleash the limitless potential and creativity of Africa and the world’s people to build the future we want to see.  Gien brings decades of practical technology, project management and design experience in industrial wireless communications, control system engineering, electronic system design, technical writing and marketing as well as in meditation and human potential.

Gien’s main passions are:

  1. to envision and help create a new social framework in which humanity has collectively remembered the sacredness of life, hence releasing our massive hidden potential for the betterment of both individuals and as a society
  2. to envision and create a new education paradigm which liberates the enormous potential that lies latent within each and every human being.  Such a system will support a new framework of  life-long education.

InGienous Design  is a social enterprise which embodies Gien’s basic philosophy for living life consciously. InGienous serves as a vehicle for exploring a new holistic paradigm for doing business which marries humanism and technology and puts service to humanity above making money. InGienous Design’s approach forges close connections between two traditionally nonoverlapping areas: 1). personal life wisdom & compassion and 2). the application of technology. As technology grows exponentially while average human self-awareness remains stagnant, human society becomes increasingly vulnerable.  Since technology is an amplifier of human actions, it has the potential to increase and accelerate the negative impact of poorly made human decisions, bringing more harm to the world. ID is involved in developing human potential media products to bring awareness

ID provides holistic technology-based solutions by having an awareness that any social problem always occurs within a human context and lay at the center of a mandala of interdependent factors: technological, societal, ecological, economical, cultural and humanistic.  This global awareness helps to find an appropriate solution that fits seamlessly into the context and avoids bringing inadvertent harm in an interdependent area. We also recognize that the definition of technology is broad and can range from a used coke bottle to a complex piece of electronic hardware. We champion outside-the-box thinking to adapt Open Source and low tech, low cost, low carbon footprint solutions to problems whenever possible.

Problem are the shadow side of Opportunities


InGienous Design recognizes the vast opportunities available in Africa and the rest of the world and that the solutions of the many challenging problems we face today provide the opportunity and development path towards a prosperous future. This can only happen, however, if we shift our emotional paradigm of how we experience problems. Instead of experiencing them as purely negative, if we allow creativity to flow into us, we begin to operate on the level of the great genuises of society and see that such problems are really opportunities in disguise. When we begin to see from this new perspective, then these problems motivate us to learn new knowledge that is required on the journey towards a solution

Gien’ brings the following energies to InGienous Designs:

  1. Imagineer & What-Iffer Daring to imagine the impossible and to find practical ways to bring it into reality
  2. Idea Catalyzer Taking the next step to methodically transform ideas into reality
  3. Perserverer Sticking to transformative ideas, no matter what the obstacles
  4. Gatherer Ability to gather together a tribe or resources to embark on a journey
  5. Googler (Self-explanatory)
  6. Connector Networking ideas to create new more embracing ones
  7. Rennaisancer Unleashing creativity across all boundaries
  8. Nondualist A holistic view of life
  9. Recognizer Recognizing the infinite potential in you and in the sacredness of life as the key to peace and a sustainable world
  10. Inspirer I inspire the best out of others, just as they have inspired the best out of me

Gien oversees and brings a unique vision, enthusiasm, integrity and creativity to each idea he works on. Ideas whose time have come grow  into real movements, products or services as the mandala of beings to make it happen organically grows.


(206) 973 3924 (United States)
+27 71 642 5521 (South Africa)
ingienous (Skype)