Well, Hello

We are Ready to Help

Marlisa Kopenski

Marlisa Kopenski

Chief Strategist
Master Wrangler
Stefanie Norvaisas

Stefanie Norvaisas

Chief Futurist
Master Sense Maker

It all began when she drew a Cartoon...

…of herself. As a super hero. That is how Marlisa got the attention of Stefanie, then Director of Insights and Strategy for Design Concepts (now Delve, Inc.). Glaringly different from all the MBAs who wanted the job of Director of Business Design, Marlisa landed the job.

For 13 years, Stefanie and Marlisa worked side-by-side with their design colleagues to deliver business and product innovation in medical device, pharma, diagnostics, financial services, consumer product goods among other quirky industries. 

They worked hard, helped their clients succeed and had tons of fun. But as the company grew, their day-to-day was a lot less about solving wicked problems and a lot more about managing the growing team, driving sales and running the company.  

Backslant is a way for us to get back to imaging plausible futures, leading workshops, whiteboarding and Post-it-ing and ultimately, thinking, about hard things that matter to the people in business working to make the world a better place. 


Stratosphere Girl Drawing

So, how can we help?

Ask Us Anything

We are likely to have a good answer

Marlisa, the founder, writes with a lefty-like hook despite being right-handed. This quirky trait is anecdotally associated with being “cross-brained” — a unique integration of brain function, resulting in heightened creativity and analytical problem-solving skills.

If she doesn’t hook her hand, her writing is \\\ backslanted \\\


Well, we loaded our last performance reviews into ChatGPT.

AI says that Marlisa’s super power is that of a masterful conductor, expertly empowering a symphony of diverse talents while maintaining a bias for action. 

Stefanie is like a visionary weaver, skillfully plaiting pioneering ideas into a harmonious tapestry of forward thinking brilliance. 

So, there you go. 



It is true, we have a ton of experience with large companies and are in our element working on large-scale innovation or horizon planning projects. But, now that we run our own boutique agency, we finally have the flexibility to do smaller engagements with entrepreneurs and non-profits. 

Great question! Definitely with. As smart as we might be able to get on a company’s products, customers and business goals, we’ll never be able to access all the institutional knowledge that can make or break a new initiative. We need our clients’ brains as much as they need ours. 

With Backslant, you get hands-on involvement of seasoned professionals who love tackling the most vexing business problems.  There is nothing off-the-shelf — we let our expertise guide the right approach to meet your needs.

Design thinking is a user-centric problem-solving approach that emphasizes empathy, collaboration, and iteration. It involves understanding user needs, generating creative solutions and refining prototypes in an iterative process. 

You’ll hear this from us a lot. We appreciate having the time in the early Get Smart phase a project to incorporate feedback and make informed adjustments, sometimes even reframing the project. While initial progress may seem gradual, the emphasis on learning and adaptability ultimately accelerates the overall effort.


This is true. We often do create process or journey or emotional terrain maps to document a shared understanding of a situation, but also to visually communicate the pain points and workarounds that intentional design can solve.