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HOME > SPEAKERS > Roberto Verganti

Professor of Leadership & Innovation


He is Professor of Leadership & Innovation at the Politecnico di Milano School of Management, where he leads the Leadin’Lab, the leadership design and innovation lab.

At the Politecnico di Milano School he founded and became the first director for the doctorate program (with more than 800 students to date) and the Alta Scuola Politecnica. Roberto is a member of the European council of leadership of design, where he also part of the high level consulting group of Carlos Moedas, the European Commissioner of investigation, science and innovation.

Overcrowded: Designing Meaningful Experiences in a World Awash with Ideas

  • Keynote
  • Thu 7 | 09:45h
  • English
  • EN/SP
We live in a world awash with ideas. Thanks to open innovation, design thinking, crowdsourcing, and to digital technologies, organizations nowadays have easy access to an unprecedented amount of novel opportunities.
The consequence? Ideas are becoming a commodity. They are cheap.  To succeed in an overcrowded world we do not need one more idea. We need a meaningful vision. A vision that helps us make sense in a novel way of this overabundance of opportunities; that allows to create the next big thing without getting lost in trying everything; that engages people into action towards a common direction. The speech shows how to take the first crucial step in any experience design journey: the forging of a meaningful vision. It discusses the mindset and the process. 
Leveraging on the experiences of firms such as Apple, Deloitte, MSC Cruises, Gucci, the speech shows how to create and nurture a vision that is shared within an organization, actionable, and that people love.  

More about Roberto:

Roberto Verganti has been a guest professor at the Harvard Business School twice now, and at the Copenhagen Business School as well as California Polytechnic University.

His research centers around how leaders and orgnanizations create significant innovations. He explores how we can nurture radically new visions, and how to ensure that they come to fruition. His studies intersect between leadership, design, and technological management. In his in-depth research, Roberto combines analytical methodologies with experimentation with pioneer companies, in a variety of industries and contexts. 

Roberto is the author of “Overcrowded. Designing Meaningful Products in a World Awash with Ideas,” published in 2017 by MIT Press, and “Innovation driven by design: changing the rules of the company through the radical innovation of the meaning of things” published by Harvard Business Press in 2009. “Based on Innovation Design” has been selected by BusinessWeek as one of the best books on innovation and design of 2009, and by the Academy of Management for the George R. Terry Book Award as one of the top 6 management books published in 2008 and 2009. It has been translated to Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Italian, Arabic, Russian and Portuguese.

Roberto has published more than 150 articles, including “Development of Products in the Time of the Internet” published in Management Science, and “Innovating Through Design, “What Kind of Collboration is Suitable for You,”Designing Innovative Products,” and “The Innovative Power of Criticism” published in the Harvard Business Review. He has appeared on The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Financial Times, Business Week and is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review’s online magazine. 

Roberto, along with his team of researchers/advisers of like-minded ideas, has taken on the role of adviser for executives and elite directors of a wide range of companies in manufacturing and services, such as Ferrari, Ducati, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Gucci, Samsung, STMicroelectronics, Zappos, Microsoft, IBM, Vodafone, Whirlpool, Nestlé, L’Oréal, ABB, Bausch & Lomb, Prysmian, Tetrapak, ARUP, SKY NewsCorp, and Deloitte. He has also helped national and regional governments around the world to shape the politics of design and innovation.

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