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Duncan  Wardle

Duncan Wardle

Head of Innovation and Creativity at Disney

Biography

As Head of Innovation and Creativity at Disney, Duncan and his team helped Imagineering, Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar and Disney Parks to innovate, creating magical new storylines and experiences for consumers around the globe. Read More >

As founder of iD8 & innov8, he now brings his extensive Disney experience to audiences around the world using a very unique approach to Design Thinking that not only places the end user at the core of the creative thinking process, but also looks in new and usual places to uncover insights for innovation, helping people capture unlikely connections, leading to fresh thinking and disruptive ideas

Delivering a series of keynotes, workshops and ideation forums, his unique Design Thinking process helps companies embed a culture of innovation into everyone’s DNA.

He is a multiple Ted X speaker and contributor to Fast Company Magazine. He teaches Master Classes at Yale, the University of North Carolina, Duke University and the University of Florida. In 2008 he received the American Citizen of Choice Award at the White House. In 2014 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Edinburgh University in Scotland. He also holds the Duke of Edinburgh Award presented by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

TEDx: The Theory of Creativity

Introduction to Duncan Wardle

How to Grow Without Losing Creativity

Speech Topics

Think Different

In his over 25-year career at the world’s most innovative organization – The Walt Disney Company – keynote speaker Duncan Wardle learned many important things about building a profitable business and winning creative culture. The most important? If you want to be different, you have to think different. Read More >

As one of the most impactful creativity speakers, Duncan leans on his experiences as the Head of Innovation & Creativity at Disney to take audiences on a journey. Throughout Think Different, they’ll be given a unique set of Innovation Tools and Techniques – the same ones Duncan used with teams inside the Disney organization. These include the breakthrough “What If” creative thinking tool, made famous by Walt Disney himself, who used it to pivot his company from simply an animation house to an entertainment and theme park pioneer.

After this immersive crash course from the acclaimed creativity keynote speaker, your organization’s ability to mine for creativity and innovation will be drastically improved. In the end, your audience will leave with an actionable set of steps they can take to immediately start reshaping your company’s culture, creating a space where innovation thrives, and teams are encouraged and rewarded when they think different. Read Less ^

Embedding Innovation Into Everyone’s DNA

Innovation is not something that happens by chance. It’s the result of building an environment in which it can thrive. Read More >

Duncan Wardle knows a thing or two about fostering an environment of innovation. During his time as the Head of Innovation for a company known for redefining pretty much every industry they touch – The Walt Disney Company – Duncan’s decades of success weren’t merely a matter of luck or chance. No, his results were a direct reflection of his ability to create an innovative culture, and ensure that everyone on his teams were put in a position to let their inner creativity run wild.

In his Embedding Innovation Into Everyone’s DNA keynote, Duncan will share the exact steps and strategies used to create such an environment. Your team will learn how to create safe spaces for taking creative risks, ensure everyone on your team is empowered and thinking like an entrepreneur, and transition from the ideation stage into action. He’ll also share a creative problem-solving tool called “What Else,” which will prime your organization to discover innovative ideas each and every time you set out to tackle a challenge.

In the end, your team will walk away from this keynote with a fresh outlook on their day to day tasks, and be ready to approach them with new levels of creative thinking, allowing innovation to flourish. Read Less ^

Customer Experience Magic

The best brands in the world don’t thrive simply because of their great product or service. They thrive because of an unrelenting passion and focus on customer experience. Read More >

Throughout Customer Experience Magic, creativity keynote speaker Duncan Wardle will show your audience what can happen when your organization transitions from a product-centric focus to a customer-centric one, and the steps you’ll need to take to get there. He’ll share a famous real-world example from his time as the Head of Innovation and Creativity at The Walt Disney Company, where they found themselves facing challenges brought on not by their direct competitors, but by retail behemoth Amazon, whose lightning-fast fulfillment and delivery systems drastically changed how long consumers were willing to wait to be served.

As Duncan walks your audience through this example, he’ll share the exact steps they took to turn this problem into a massive opportunity, and how they used it to reshape the way Disney serves its theme park guests, creating a whole new echelon in customer experience. A new level of experience that’s frequently deemed to be “magic” by their guests.

By the end of this interactive presentation, your audience will have developed a whole new understanding of customer experience, and will be able to reframe all the challenges facing your organization, finding those unique opportunities to create some customer experience magic. Read Less ^