Tim Brown

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Biography

Tim Brown is the executive chair of IDEO, having served as CEO and president from 2000 to 2019. He frequently speaks about the value of design thinking, creative leadership and innovation to business leaders and designers around the world. He participates in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and his talks Serious Play and Change by Design appear on TED.com.

An industrial designer by training, Brown has earned numerous design awards and has exhibited work at the Axis Gallery in Tokyo, the Design Museum in London, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He takes a special interest in the convergence of technology and the arts, as well as the ways in which design can be used to promote the well-being of people living in emerging economies.

Brown advises senior executives and boards of global Fortune 100 companies. He serves on the board of directors of Steelcase Inc., and is a member of the board of trustees of IDEO.org. In addition, he is a member of the board of advisors for the World Economic Forum Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and writes for Harvard Business Review, The Economist and other prominent publications. His book, “Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation,” was released by Harper Business in September 2009, and revised and updated in 2019.

Brown holds honorary doctorates from The Royal College of Art (London), Keio University (Tokyo), Claremont McKenna Graduate University (Los Angeles) and Art Center College of Art and Design (Los Angeles). He maintains a blog, designthinking.ideo.com/blog, and contributes as one of LinkedIn’s original top 150 Influencers. He is also an instructor for the IDEO U Leading for Creativity course.

Tim Brown is available for paid speaking engagements, including keynote addresses, speeches, panels and conference talks, through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Videos

Books & Research

Change By Design

(Harper Business, March 2009, 2019)

Intro Video

Video ThumbnailHow to solve problems like a designer - youtube Video

A-Z Name

Brown, Tim

Biography

Tim Brown is the executive chair of IDEO, having served as CEO and president from 2000 to 2019. He frequently speaks about the value of design thinking, creative leadership and innovation to business leaders and designers around the world. He participates in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and his talks Serious Play and Change by Design appear on TED.com.

An industrial designer by training, Brown has earned numerous design awards and has exhibited work at the Axis Gallery in Tokyo, the Design Museum in London, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He takes a special interest in the convergence of technology and the arts, as well as the ways in which design can be used to promote the well-being of people living in emerging economies.

Brown advises senior executives and boards of global Fortune 100 companies. He serves on the board of directors of Steelcase Inc., and is a member of the board of trustees of IDEO.org. In addition, he is a member of the board of advisors for the World Economic Forum Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and writes for Harvard Business Review, The Economist and other prominent publications. His book, “Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation,” was released by Harper Business in September 2009, and revised and updated in 2019.

Brown holds honorary doctorates from The Royal College of Art (London), Keio University (Tokyo), Claremont McKenna Graduate University (Los Angeles) and Art Center College of Art and Design (Los Angeles). He maintains a blog, designthinking.ideo.com/blog, and contributes as one of LinkedIn’s original top 150 Influencers. He is also an instructor for the IDEO U Leading for Creativity course.

Tim Brown is available for paid speaking engagements, including keynote addresses, speeches, panels and conference talks, through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Speech Topics

Change by Design: How to Transform Your Organization and Inspire Innovation

It has been a decade since Tim Brown first introduced the concept of “design thinking,” a method of innovation by which human needs form the basis of creative problem solving and decision making. Though change has always been necessary for organizations, the recent acceleration of trends including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have made the need to adapt and rethink strategy more pressing than ever before. In this presentation, Brown draws on his experience and book, “Change by Design,” to teach organizations how to develop a human-centered framework for developing new ideas. In an era where we increasingly rely on AI to make key decisions, it is more important than ever to prioritize human needs and experiences. Brown shows audiences how to strategize around empathy, designing products, services and business models that leverage technology for human benefit, rather than vice versa. In a time of uncertainty about where technology will take us, Brown’s human-centered design thinking will increasingly serve as a strong stable footing for dynamic innovators across industries.

How to be a Creative Leader

Traditionally, leaders were expected to have all the answers. But in an era of rapid change, leaders must increasingly rely on the creative input of others, whether fellow executives or people in the organizational hierarchy. To develop truly innovative solutions, they must challenge their own assumptions about what works best, remaining open to unorthodox and even counterintuitive proposals. In this presentation, Tim Brown draws on his design thinking framework to show 21st century leaders how they can transition from a leader-knows-best approach to creating organizations that ask questions and experiment with new ideas to solve problems and deliver better results. Leaders must, says Brown, play the alternating roles of “the explorer, the gardener and the player-coach,” engaging with team members, cultivating creativity and daring to take risks.

Redesigning Your Organization for the Circular Economy

The economy created by the industrial revolution was essentially “linear” – raw materials were extracted from the earth, products were made from them and what remained was discarded. Unfortunately, too much of this linear approach still exists in a world rapidly being destroyed by waste and excess. To save the planet, we will need to overhaul our entire economy, moving from linear to “circular”: the minimization of waste and maximization of all our existing resources. This requires a new industrial revolution, and Tim Brown argues that design thinking will play a leading role in generating the innovations necessary to make this transition. In this presentation, Brown draws on his “Circular Design Guide” to show how the design thinking principle of putting human problem-solving at the center of innovation can help organizations power the shift to a circular economy. Those who embrace these challenges now will, says Brown, come out on top in a new business model that is worth a trillion dollars, and destined to reshape the way businesses and consumers alike think about our economic system.

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Recommendations

Praise for “Change By Design”

“Brown writes with a winning combination of thoughtfulness, pragmatism and enthusiasm… He avoids the trap of presenting design thinking as a panacea. Mr. Brown charts its failures as well as successes…”

—New York Times

“It’s like getting golf tips from Tiger Wood’s coach. Tim Brown’s firm IDEO has won more medals for innovative design than anyone in the world. If you want to be more innovative at work or in life, study with the coach of champions.”

—Chip Heath, co-author of “Made to Stick”

“In his new book, the CEO of design shop IDEO shows how even hospitals can transform the way they work by tapping frontline staff to engineer change.”

—BusinessWeek

“This should be mandatory reading for marketers and engineers who can’t understand why a product as cool as the Segway wasn’t a breakout hit.”

—Inc.

“Tim Brown has written the definitive book on design thinking. Brown’s wit, experience, and compelling stories create a delightful journey. His masterpiece captures the emotions, mindset, and methods required for designing everything from a product, to an experience, to a strategy in entirely different ways.”

—Robert I. Sutton, author of “The No Asshole Rule”

“With people like Brown codifying design thinking, the tools are out there to solve our problems if a few people are willing to attack them with that sort of tenacity.”

—Core77

“Tim Brown’s vision, intellect, empathy and humility shine through every page of this book. Change by Design is for dreamers and doers, for corporate executives and NGO leaders, for teachers, students and those interested in the art of innovation.”

—Jacqueline Novogratz, founder, Acumen Fund and author, “The Blue Sweater”

“Design thinking… is a way of seeing the world and approaching constraints that is holistic, interdisciplinary, and inspiring.”

—Ivy Ross, executive vice president of marketing, The Gap

“Brown is clear, persuasive, and often funny… Even for those of us without our own sovereign nation or blue-chip corporation, design thinking offers a guide for rethinking and organizing our everyday creative processes.”

—SEED

“Brown makes a potent case for employing this creative collaboration in a variety of settings.”

—Miami Herald

 

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