As founder of IDEO, David Kelley built the company that created many icons of the digital generation—the first mouse for Apple, the first Treo, the thumbs up/thumbs down button on your Tivo’s remote control, to name a few. But what matters even more to him is unlocking the creative potential of people and organizations so they can innovate routinely.
David’s most enduring contributions to the field of design are a human-centered methodology and culture of innovation. More recently, he led the creation of the groundbreaking d.school at Stanford, the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design.
Kelley was working (unhappily) as an electrical engineer when he first heard about Stanford’s cross-disciplinary Joint Program in Design, which merged engineering and art. What he learned there—a human-centered, team-based approach to tackling sticky problems through design—propelled his professional life as a “design thinker.”
In 1978, David co-founded the design firm that ultimately became IDEO. Today, he serves as chair of IDEO and is the Donald W. Whittier Professor at Stanford, where he has taught for more than 25 years. Preparing the design thinkers of tomorrow earned David the Sir Misha Black Medal for his “distinguished contribution to design education.” He has also won the Edison Achievement Award for Innovation, as well as the Chrysler Design Award and National Design Award in Product Design from the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and he is a member of the National Academy of Engineers.
As a leading innovation speaker, Tom addresses scores of business audiences on how to foster a culture of innovation and tap into the creative potential of their organizations. Over the years, he has spoken in more than thirty countries and helped IDEO grow from 15 designers to a staff of more than 600, while leading diverse areas such as business development, marketing, human resources, and operations. Tom is an Executive Fellow at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and holds a similar role at the University of Tokyo.