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Daniel Berkal - The Palmerston Group. Toronto, ON, CA

Daniel Berkal Daniel Berkal

Partner; SVP Innovation | The Palmerston Group

Toronto, ON, CANADA

Award winning Ethnographer. Global Speaker. Enveloped in the Cultural Zeitgeist.








Daniel Berkal is SVP Research & Innovation and a partner at The Palmerston Group. He's personally conducted hundreds of energetic interviews of various sizes, ethnographies, mystery shops and ideation sessions among consumers and professionals in North America, Central America, Europe and Asia. He is a globally recognized expert in immersive methodologies.

The recipient of the 2011 QRCA Qually for excellence in Qualitative Research, Daniel has worked on the most innovative brands in business and is best known for completely immersing himself in consumer environments. With projects featured in Fast Company and Forbes, he's been called "Hands down, the most unique, thought-provoking and game-changing qualitative researcher in the business. Period." He led a team that recently earned the 2016 MRIA award for “Best Qualitative Project” for immersive work with Cirque du Soleil.

Daniel holds degrees from McGill University and The University of Texas at Austin.

Industry Expertise (10)

Advertising/Marketing Business Services Internet Consumer Electronics Research Specialty Retailers Market Research Retail Social Media Entertainment

Areas of Expertise (10)

Social Media Ethnography Popular Culture Trends Market Research Qualitative People Technology Trendspotting Change

Accomplishments (2)

MRIA - Best Qualitative Research (professional)


Awarded for "Project 72: The Millennial Experience"

QRCA - Qualitative Excellence Award (professional)


Awarded for "Project See-Store: Getting Behind the Counter"

The premiere award in the business.

Education (2)

McGill University : 2001

University of Texas - Austin: 2003

Affiliations (4)

  • QRCA
  • AMA
  • AAAA
  • AAF

Languages (1)

  • English

Event Appearances (18)

"From the Triforce to Bermuda: Why Triangles are More Powerful Than You Think"

Market Research Intelligence Association Conference  Vancouver, Canada


“The Magic Triangle Mystery Revealed”

AQR/ QRCA Worldwide Conference on Qualitative Research  Valencia, Spain


"The Masterclass: Designing Spectacular Methodologies"

QRCA National  Phoenix, USA


"Project Secret: The Inner Voice"

Worldwide Conference on Qualitative Research  Vienna, Austria


"Breaking Down The Glass"

American Advertising Federation  Baton Rouge, USA


"Project 72: The Millennial Experience"

ESOMAR Global Qualitative  Paris, France


"Project Butterfly: Escaping The Net"

SAMRA Qualitative  Cape Town, South Africa


"Project Butterfly: Escpaing The Net"

MRSNZ  Auckland, New Zealand


"Project See-Store: Getting Behind The Counter"

IIR - Shopper Insight In Action   Chicago, USA


"Cultural Curators"

Social Media Week 2011  Toronto, Canada


"Project Butterfly: Escaping The Net"

AQR/ QRCA Worldwide Conference of Qualitative Research  Rome, Italy


"Project See-Store: Getting Behind The Counter"

Symposium on Qualitative Research   Chicago, USA


"Project Butterfly: Escaping The Net"

NXNE Interactive  Toronto, Canada


"Project Butterfly: Escaping The Net"

MRSNZ  Wellington, New Zealand


"Project Butterfly: Escaping The Net"

Vincor DTC Summit  Niagara-On-The-Lake, Canada


"Sex Sells: Lessons from the Digital Underground"

NXNE 2013  Toronto, Canada


"Destroying The Machine"

Social Media Week  Toronto, Canada


"Project Butterfly: Escaping The Net"

SAMRA Qualitative  Johannesburg, South Africa


Sample Talks (3)

Breaking Down The Glass

This presentation looks at specific examples where adding in an immersive component has worked in concert with an otherwise standard qualitative approach in order to create a significantly deeper understanding of a consumer experience that is far greater that can be attributed to just using a conventional technique. After looking at these examples, along with any other elements that may be brought in from the audience, we will build a best-practices checklist that will be useful for those who are interested in exploring these dimensions in the work that they do.

"Project Butterfly: Escaping The Net"

What effect can learning about how sociable people interact in the real world have on the online space?

We set out on a multi-city project, both online and in the real world, immersing ourselves so that we could truly understand the elements that contribute to interaction and involvement. By building a framework of how 'highly sociable' people work in each sphere, we're able to use this knowledge to help build online brand presence and online social communities that act more naturally.

"Project See-Store: Getting Behind The Counter"

4937 miles. 3 States. 143 Convenience Stores. In Depth. Talking to consumers. Exploring the environment. Getting behind the counter.

This is the quintessential exploration of the C-store environment. A multidimensional piece of ethnographic research in which researchers actually got behind the counter and worked the graveyard shift at America's most dangerous convenience stores. The results will surprise and inspire your audience. Featured in Fast Company & media worldwide.



  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist
  • Workshop Leader
  • Host/MC


1000 to 8000 *Will consider certain engagements for no fee