Ryan Warren solves problems through questioning convention

Ryan Warren likes solving problems.

Born and raised in Altoona, Iowa, Warren attended Iowa State University where he received a BS, MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering. During his time at ISU, Warren developed a strong interest in energy-related issues. He began working at the Iowa Energy Center, helped develop two solar energy systems, and conducted research in building energy, renewable energy, and energy efficiency.

After leaving ISU, Warren moved to Chicago, where he began working at Nexant, planning, designing and implementing energy efficiency programs.

After nine years at Nexant, Warren decided that he wanted to pursue his own venture and started QstN, LLC with the goal of helping organizations and people think differently.

Started in May, QstN is a company that seeks to create positive impacts through questioning.

One thing Warren plans to do through QstN is help other organizations develop a culture that accurately reflects the ‘why’ of their business.

“There are a lot of organizations that are really good at what they’re doing, but not always so clear on why they’re doing what they’re doing,” said Warren.  “I want to help them see those things differently.”

Warren says there are several different ways in which he hopes to help companies with their culture. Some of the ways he mentioned are helping companies innovate their hiring process, assisting companies in articulating their purpose and helping organizations develop their core values.

“All companies are made up of people. People are where all the tangible things happen. I think that often times that can be missed,” Warren said. “I think there’s a lot of value in placing focus on ensuring you’re hiring the right people and that your people are happy, inspired to your cause, and have a clear direction in how the organization works from a core values perspective.”

Warren also plans to continue a lot of work similar to what he was doing at Nexant.

“I’m hoping to continue to do a lot of what I’ve been doing over the past nine years at Nexant,” said Warren, “Designing, implementing and supporting energy efficiency programs around the country.”

In addition to helping organizations, Warren also has a strong interest in teaching through QstN. Warren taught a thermodynamics class while at ISU and would like to teach classes again, sharing some of what he’s learned at Nexant over the last nine years.

“I’ve had a handful of discussions with Iowa State about opportunities to teach classes there,” said Warren. “I’d be interested in teaching in some capacity whether it’s with an academic institution like ISU or some evening classes I’d offer on my own.”

If there is one linking factor between all of the positive impacts Warren hopes to make through QstN, it is that of challenging traditional ideas in a constantly changing world.

“With everything I plan on doing through QstN, there is always going to be an element of questioning,” said Warren. “Trying to find a new and better way in a changing environment.”