Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner is the CEO and Co-Founder of Innovation Leader. He also has written a weekly column for the Boston Globe since 2000, and before that helped the Globe launch its digital publishing division with Scott Cohen and Frank Hertz, his co-founders at Innovation Leader.

Scott has also been a contributing writer for Wired Magazine, Fast Company, Variety, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, and other publications. He is the author of several books on innovation and technology, including “Inventing the Movies,” which explores the challenge of bringing new ideas to a century-old, change-resistant industry: Hollywood.

Scott has presented leadership strategies to corporate leaders, technologists and entrepreneurs at Harvard Business School, the MIT R&D Conference, South by Southwest, the Consumer Electronics Show, HubSpot Inbound, Tijuana Inovadora, the Connected Health Symposium, and the NAB Futures Summit. Scott has also appeared on NBC's Today Show, NPR's Science Friday, the Discovery Channel, and WBUR's Radio Boston.

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    How Do You Move From Thinking to Doing? IKEA Shares Best Practices for Pilot Tests


    How do you move from thinking to doing? IKEA Co-Creation and Matrix Manager Cindy Soo shares best practices.

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    Useful, Usable, Scalable: The Model $7B SAIC Uses to De-Risk New Ventures


    One tool that tech integrator SAIC relies on as it works to develop a portfolio of new offerings is a Maturity Model. It helps the company “to rapidly discover, with minimal investment, whether something begs to be invested in — or not,” explains VP Heath Starr. Details inside. 

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    Should You Close Your Physical Innovation Lab and Open One in the Metaverse?


    A recent conversation among InnoLead members spent less time on brick-and-mortar innovation labs — and more time discussing the possibilities of bringing people together for meetings and collaboration in virtual reality, and some of the training and support hassles that produces. 

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    How AI and Decentralized Clinical Trials are Changing Biopharma


    “As humans, we have limitations in being able to integrate and synthesize and look at data,” says venture capitalist John Orloff, formerly Global Head of R&D at Alexion Pharmaceuticals. “I think AI and machine learning technology will allow us to make better decisions and choices, and give us new insights into how to approach certain diseases.” More from Orloff inside…

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    Kellogg’s R&D Chief on Plant-Based Proteins and New Ways of Testing Products


     The company’s SVP of Global R&D talks about getting plant-based protein to an affordable price point; how the company is moving from focus groups to in-market testing; and why the $13 billion company hires “food designers” rather than food scientists.

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    Campbell's Soup VP on What’s Changing in Research and Development


    R&D Vice President Judi Mondelllo talks about tasting new products in a hybrid world, the company’s academic relationships, and tuning in to what Milennials and Gen Z consumers want.

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    Video: Kimberly-Clark’s Chief Scientist on Virtual Prototyping and R&D’s Future


    What’s a virtual prototype, and why is Pete Dulcamara so excited about them?

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    Inside MetLife’s Relationships with VCs and the Startup Ecosystem


    Since 2014, the $68 billion insurer MetLife has run more 160 experiments with startups — 70 of which later developed into contractual relationships. Vice President of Innovation Terrence Luciani has created a structured process for collecting requirements from around the company, and then working with venture capital firms, accelerators, and other parties to identify relevant startups. Inside, he talks about how that process works.

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    How Dell’s CTO Assesses New Technologies to Drive Future Growth


    Once a company is approaching $100 billion in revenue, creating substantial growth gets a lot harder. “You need to find some new areas to play in,” says Global CTO John Roese. Here’s how he does that…W

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    How Software-Maker PTC Prototypes the Future of AR and VR


    The $1.8 billion software company PTC makes software used to design physical products, and to connect them to the Internet of Things. In 2017, the Boston company created a new Reality Lab. Its leader, Valentin Heun, says, “We look at problems in the company that cannot be solved wth short-term business perspectives.” Heun talks about the lab’s objectives, metrics, and where it sits within PTC.

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    Fidelity Labs SVP: ‘The Only Success Metrics That Really Matter are Financial Metrics’


    How do you avoid winding up in the “danger zone” as an innovator inside a big company? Mona Vernon, the head of Fidelity Labs at Boston-based Fidelity Investments, says it’s all about making sure your metrics are aligned with your CEO and CFO.

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    How Best Buy’s CTO Assesses New Technologies for Strategic Business Value


    We spoke to Brian Tilzer, Best Buy’s Chief Digital and Technology Officer, a few weeks ahead of Black Friday 2021. The starting point for our discussion was how Tilzer and his team evaluate emerging technologies that could impact Best Buy’s business. “Ninety percent of what we do is about what’s the business outcome, the customer outcome, or the employee outcome we’re trying to accomplish,” he says. More about the retailer’s strategy, and what’s changing in 2022, inside…

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    How Delta Airlines is Charting a Course to Net Zero Emissions


    Delta’s Managing Director of Sustainability Amelia DeLuca sits down with Innovation Leader to discuss electric airplanes, carbon offsets, biofuels, and communicating sustainability objectives to employees and customers.

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    Data Insights: Which Emerging Technologies Matter Most to Large Companies?


    Which emerging technologies are large companies learning about…investing in… and actually rolling out? This short video serves up three different lists of specific technologies, based on a recent IL survey.

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    Data Insights: Allocating Resources Across the Three Horizons


    How are companies allocating resources across the so-called “three horizons” of innovation — incremental, adjacent, and transformational projects? This short video serves up the answer, based on IL data.

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    Disney CEO Bob Chapek Shares His Vision for the ‘Metaverse’


    Disney CEO Bob Chapek is looking beyond theme parks and video streaming services toward building an immersive digital “metaverse” — a kind of virtual reality environment that might enable Disney fans to take part in games and theme park-like experiences without hopping on a plane to Orlando, Anaheim, or Tokyo. 

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    How a $19 Billion Truck Maker Scouts Relevant Startups in Silicon Valley


    Paul Konasewich is a key player at the PACCAR Silicon Valley Innovation Center, which helps the $19 billion truck maker connect to relevant startups. ”You need to get honest about whether [your startup scouting activity is about] cultural enrichment,” he says, “or actually creating new products.” More of Konasewich’s advice inside…

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    4 Pieces of Advice for Corporates and Startups on ‘Baking the Cake’ Together


    ”From the corporate side, a lot of times, a [startup engagement] program gets started, but the people who have to do the physical work of integrating the startup’s technology view the startup as just any other vendor, and they don’t understand that it’s a three-person company,” says Ken Durand, a former emerging tech exec at Ericsson and Dover Corp. who is now running a startup accelerator on behalf of Comcast NBCUniversal. More of Durand’s advice inside…

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    What’s Changing in the Wine Business? Gallo’s Innovation Director Explains


    Michele Sandoval, Director of Innovation at the winemaker E. & J. Gallo, says the past 18 months have been an interesting time for the wine and spirits industry, with consumers spending less time at social gatherings and in restaurants, more time at home, and unable to visit some of Gallo’s vineyards for in-person tastings of its higher-end brands. We pose five questions to Sandoval about her role and how the California company is staying ahead of recent trends in wine and spirits.

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    New Data on Design in Large Companies


    What role should design play in product and service innovation, as well as influencing overall corporate culture and process? In July 2021, we conducted a short survey to gather data and qualitative insights from corporate innovation, new product, strategy, and R&D leaders. Here’s a look at the results.

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