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Business Innovators

We take a look at the people interviewed in new book Innovation who are disrupting the way we do business.

Innovation: How Innovators Think, Act and Change our World helps readers discover what insights they have to share about how to keep businesses competitive in today’s global digital economy. Here are 25 innovators featured in the book who are paving the way in Business. Like most innovators, their impact often spans more than just the business world as they merge expertise in media, technology, design and more to radically change not just the way we do business but the way we socialise (see Meetup founder Scott Heiferman); the way business and governments interact (see Jean Christophe Lonchampt); the way we interact with technology (see former CTO of BT Peter Cochrane); and bridging disciplines is even the innovation imperative for some (see Julian Keith Loren).

1. Author Debra M Amidon (United States) is founder and CEO of ENTOVATION, a global innovation research and consulting network connecting 67 nations. Considered an original architect of the knowledge economy, she has consulted for Fortune 50 companies, universities and societal organizations (eg, the World Bank, the OECD, the UN and the IADB). As a sponsor of the World Summits on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (WSIE), her concept of knowledge innovation is a cornerstone for economic development in a multitude of countries. She is a global expert on collaborative advantage providing an innovation foundation for economic sustainability, stakeholder innovation and world peace.

2. Scott Anthony (United States) is a Managing Partner at Innosight, Chairman of the IDEAS Ventures investment committee and a sought after international consultant on growth and innovation. Writing extensively on the subject of innovation as an author, co-author and columnist, Scott specializes in disruptive innovation, media, telecommunications and consumer packaged goods.

3. A former banker and financial analyst and business development manager, Noor Aftab (Pakistan) is an author, speaker, business adviser and disruptive innovator. Her latest initiative is as the co-founder of the Shaina Aftab Foundation which works to transform the lives of people in need. In recognition of her work, she received the Women Super Achiever Award 2012 from the Asia Pacific HRM Congress.

4. Jean Christophe (Chris) Lonchampt (France/Australia) is a board member at DesignGov, the Australian federal government’s centre for excellence in public sector design, collaborating with the founding team and government’s Secretaries, and he is the founder of Ask Sherpa. Chris sources and coaches highly innovative technology and internet projects as well as advising leaders on strategic business development and innovation culture worldwide. Chris worked and lived with his wife and three children around the world; he is a certified ski instructor and an alumnus of The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Italy’s Bocconi School of Management and PolytechOrleans in France.

5. Matt Barrie (Australia) is a multi-award winning entrepreneur, technologist and lecturer. He is the founder and CEO of the world’s largest outsourcing and crowd-sourcing marketplace,

6. Author and internationally sought-after innovation consultant Linda Bernardi (United States) is a successful entrepreneur, innovator, investor and board member. Founder of StraTerra Partners, and the author or ProVoke: Why the global culture of disruption is our only hope for innovation, Linda is a thought leader with more than two decades of leadership in provocative innovation and strategic business development. Linda works actively with large global enterprises to bring disruption and enable large-scale innovation. She believes that to disrupt we first have to work through the five stages of resistance to disruption, paving the way towards collaborative innovation. In the process she is thrilled to see the membership of the culture of disruption and culture of innovation growing. Her passion is empowering and inspiring the hundreds of thousands of brilliant minds and souls in large companies to unleash their innovative talent, to see the impossible become possible around the globe, and to replace complacency with passion and ingenuity.

7. Vincent Carbone (United States) is co-founder and COO of Brightidea. Over the past decade he has specialized in the implementation of strategic innovation programmes and is working towards the building a global innovation grid.

8. Tamara Carleton, PhD (United States) is the founder and CEO of Innovation Leadership Board LLC, a global leader in the design of tools and processes that enable radical innovation. Currently, Dr Carleton serves as a Forum for Innovation Fellow at the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation and has held previous fellowships at the Foundation for Enterprise Development and the Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium. Dr Carleton teaches organizational innovation and foresight strategy in Stanford University’s School of Engineering executive education programme. Her most recent book is the Playbook for Strategic Foresight and Innovation (2013).

9. Peter Cochrane (United Kingdom) is an adviser and consultant to governments and companies. He has worked across circuit, system, and network design; software, human interfaces and programming; adaptive systems; AI and AL; company transformation and management. Peter was formerly CTO BT and has also been the Collier Chair for the Public Understanding of Science & Technology at Bristol, a visiting Professor to CNET, Southampton, Nottingham Trent, Robert Gordon’s, Kent, Essex and University College London. He has received numerous awards, including the C&G Prince Philip Medal, the IEEE Millennium Medal, an OBE, the Queen’s Award for Innovation and The Martlesham Medal.

10. Philippe De Ridder (Belgium) is the founder of Board of Innovation. He specializes in business development, international business models and the development of innovative, next-generation products and services.

11. Scott Heiferman (United States) is co-founder and CEO of Meetup, which is used by millions of people in over 100 countries, with over 50,000 Meetups happening each week. Meetup’s new platform for mass mobilizing, ‘Meetup Everywhere’, is used by Oprah, The Huffington Post, Mashable, Etsy and others. Previously, Scott co-founded Fotolog, a photo-sharing network where over 30 million people, mostly in South America, have uploaded nearly a billion photos. He also founded i-traffic, a top online ad agency in the 1990s. An active angel investor, Scott has received the Jane Addams Award from the National Conference on Citizenship and was named the 2004 MIT Technology Review ‘Innovator of the Year’.

12. At 24, Tony Hsieh (United States) sold LinkExchange, the company he co-founded, to Microsoft for $265 million. He then joined online shoe and clothing store Zappos, where he eventually became CEO, and which he grew from almost no sales to over $1 billion in gross sales, annually. Zappos was purchased by Amazon in 2009 for $1.2 billion. The bestselling author of Delivering Happiness, which explores his entrepreneurial endeavours – and which debuted at number one on the New York Times Bestseller list – Tony is a committed instigator of innovation and the initiator of Las Vegas’ transformational Downtown Project.

13. Speaker, author and award-winning entrepreneur and influencer Tara Hunt (Canada) is founder and CEO of the innovative online retail site, Buyosphere.

14. Renowned both nationally and internationally, Tom Kerridge began his culinary career at 18. Moving to London he garnered experience in illustrious restaurants such as Odettes, Rhodes in the Square, Stephen Bull and The Capital. Awarded his first Michelin star in 2005 for his work at Adlards in Norwich. Opening the Hand & Flowers in Marlow, with his wife Beth that same year, Tom has innovated the concept of ‘gastro-pub’ to something sublime. Within 12 months Tom received a Michelin star, 3 AA Rosettes and one Egon Ronay Star. In 2012 the Hand and Flowers became the first pub in the world to receive 2 Michelin stars and in October 2013 won the National Restaurant Awards and was named as Britain's Best Restaurant.

15. Zern Liew (Australia) juggles a lively combination of design, analysis and people skills to unravel complexity, enable light bulb moments, find ways through chaos, and turn ideas into truly useful (and beautiful) things. He has worked internationally on diverse projects across business processes, software applications and communications.

16. Julian Keith Loren (United States) is an award-winning innovator who has been building design and innovation teams and taking on large-scale, multi-faceted design challenges for over 20 years. Harnessing the power of gameplay to bridge disciplines and break communication barriers, Julian designs and facilitates Gameferences – unforgettable face-to-face games that drive deep exploration and breakaway design. He is the co-founder of the Innovation Management Institute where he has helped clients such as General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, eBay and the Institute for the Future with key innovation initiatives. Julian has also lectured and run collaborative design games at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley and occasionally writes about technology and innovation topics.

17. Larry MacDonald (United States) is the CEO and founder of Edison Innovations, Inc. He is known as an innovation visionary specializing in identifying and developing solutions for new markets. His current focus in on changing children’s education via and changing the selection and development of new products via Edison Innovation Inc.

18. Founder and Head of Creative Culture at Ideafarms, Sunil Malhotra (India) is a thought leader in innovative outsourcing, design strategy, and ‘experiential aesthetics’ in the digital domain. He believes that disruptive thinking is the key business differentiator in the globalized world and works towards a paradigm of human enrichment shaped by the capabilities enshrined in borderless collaboration. He has drawn on Eastern philosophies – simplicity, inclusion and local relevance to create a unique brand of innovation for socio-cultural transformation.

19. Bill O’Connor (United States) is the founder of the Innovation Genome Project, an initiative at Autodesk that is researching the top 1,000 innovations in world history with a view to extrapolating patterns and insights that can be applied today. He works in Autodesk’s Corporate Strategy team and is the primary speechwriter for the company’s CEO and CTO.

20. Dr David Pensak is a world-renowned innovator and entrepreneur. His career includes 30 years at Dupont, from which he retired in 2004 as their chief computer scientist. The inventor of the world’s first business firewall, the Raptor System, which was bought by AXENT Technologies (now Symantec). David’s innovative entrepreneurship and leadership continues with the Pensak Innovation Institute, his authorship of Innovation for Underdogs, and his work for the Centre for Interdisciplinary Innovation. He is currently on the faculty of the George Washington University School of Law, the University of Delaware Business School and is Professor of Anaesthesiology at Drexel University College of Medicine. For the third year in a row one of David's companies has appeared on the Kauffman Foundation's list of the 50 most Innovative Startups in the World. In 2013 the citation was given to the Hemostable. Ubiquishield garnered the placement in 2012 and in 2011 Vaporiety was duly honoured. It is understood that David is the oldest person ever to receive the award.

21. Founder, President, Director General and Master Distiller at EWG, Spirits and Wines, (home of the CIROC Vodka and the G’vine Gin and Cognac brands), Jean-Sébastien Robicquet (France) is committed to the production of ultra-premium products. Possessing generations of oenological knowledge and a deep deference for the traditions of his industry, Jean-Sébastien was awarded the title Commander of Bordeaux in acknowledgment of his ‘defence and glorification of the Bordeaux wines’. His exceptional knowledge, combined with his passion for innovation, exemplifies the spirit of EWG which, with Jean-Sébastien at the helm, looks to position itself as one of the world’s most innovative wine and spirits organizations.

22. Kunal Shah (India) is founder and CEO of (brand under Accelyst Solutions Pvt Ltd), a unique and innovative business model that has revolutionized the online recharge industry. The business model is based on giving 100 per cent value back to the customers who recharge their mobile phone/DTH/DataCard by providing equal-value coupons from some of the best brands, such as McDonald’s, Cafe Coffee Day, Dominos, Big Cinemas, etc for free. His keen customer insight-driven business model is one of its kind across the world, which makes recharging a truly rewarding experience.

23. A thought leader in digital innovation, Peter Williams (Australia) started working with internet technologies in 1993 and, in 1996, founded an e-business consulting group within Deloitte Australia. Since then Peter has been CEO of the Eclipse Group and founded Deloitte Digital, which pioneered the delivery of professional services online. Chairman of Deloitte’s Innovation Council since 2004, he is a sought-after speaker and commentator, locally and internationally. Peter leads the newly formed Australian Centre for the Edge Chapter, chaired by John Hagel III and John Seely Brown, which identifies and explores emerging opportunities. Named as one of Australia’s top Digital Influencers, Peter is also Adjunct Professor at RMIT and a Circus Oz board member.


Kim Chandler McDonald is the co-founder and EVP of KimmiC, a company specializing in lateral thinking and international innovation implementation. A former writer/editor for national and international newspapers and magazines and host/producer of an award winning radio/TV program, Kim is a sought-after speaker, columnist and advisory board member. She currently sits on Griffith University's Enterprise Advisory Board, the Advisory Board of Frost and Sullivan's - Global Innovation and Leadership Community and is an Academy Fellow of the International Entrepreneurship Academy. Find her on Linkedin or Twitter.