Duncan Wardle

Duncan Wardle

Innovation Consultant and Speaker, IDEATE
Former Vice President of Innovation, Walt Disney Company

Having worked for the Walt Disney Company for some 25 years, Duncan Wardle now serves as an independent innovation, design thinking consultant.

Wardle served as vice president of innovation and creativity for the Walt Disney Company, a team of creative ideation and innovation catalysts. Disney's innovation and creativity team works across all the Disney corporate divisions (e.g., Disney Parks, Pixar, Marvel, Lucas Films, ABC, ESPN, Animation & Imagineering) as both "creative ideation consultants" and “cultural change agents.”

The team is known for designing engaging, collaborative ideation forums and a creative problem solving, design thinking process that capture unlikely connections, leading to both fresh thinking and revolutionary ideas.

Wardle also held the posts of vice president, global PR for Disney and vice president, international marketing and sales for Disney Parks around the world. Over the last three decades, Wardle has served in an executive role for the Walt Disney Company in London, Paris, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Mumbai and Shanghai.

In 2008 he was honored with the Outstanding American Citizen Award at the White House and in 2014 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Business Administration and an honorary MBA from his alma mater, Edinburgh Napier University. He also holds the Duke Edinburgh Award, presented by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Session Information

Early Bird Super Session

Embedding Innovation into Everyone’s DNA

Session Location

Everyone wants innovation. Indeed, for many now it’s about survival. You have only to look at Thomas Cook to see the shifts of change. Many C Suites talk culture change, but you can’t talk your way into culture change from the top. Your employees have to want to change the culture.

So, what if there were a tool kit that made innovation easy, creativity tangible and the process fun—one that would allow you to embed innovation into everyone’s DNA? Leaning on his 25 years of experience at Disney, most recently as Vice President of innovation and creativity, Duncan Wardle will share some very simple innovation tools and creative behaviors to help you get out of your now “River of Thinking” (your own experience and expertise) and help you think differently.

Keynote Presentation

Consumer Experiences: Creating Relationship Magic!
Session Location

Marketing will be replaced by experiences in less than a decade! Why? Because marketing implies the word “at,” and we all know one-way relationships don’t work. Experiences can significantly enhance our level of engagement, creating deeper relationships between consumers and brands that can last a lifetime. Disney is the master of creating experiences where consumers can touch, feel and play with the brand in an extraordinary way that creates magical relationships. During this session, Duncan Wardle shares his insights into three approaches to deepen relationships with consumers through experiences in order to not only survive, but actually thrive in the decade ahead, one he believes will be dominated by the “Experience Economy.” The three approaches include the following:

1) Re-engineering relationships that fundamentally challenge the rules of engagement;
2) Re-inventing consumer relationships in new and different ways;
3) Re-expressing relationships with consumers to develop innovative new products and services.