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Roberto Verganti

Professor - Department of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology, Director - The Garden Center for Design and Leadership

Roberto Verganti is Professor of Leadership and Innovation at the Stockholm School of Economics – House of Innovation, where he is Director of The Garden – Center for Design and Leadership. He also in the Faculty of the Harvard Business School, where he teaches Integrated Design, and is a co-founder of Leadin’Lab, the laboratory on the LEAdership, Design and Innovation at the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano. Roberto serves on the Advisory Board of the European Innovation Council, at the European Commission.

Roberto’s research focuses on how to create innovations loved by people, both their users and their creators. He explores how leaders and organizations generate radically new visions, and make those visions come real.  His studies lie at the intersection between leadership, design and technology strategy. In his research Roberto combines methodologies of in-depth analysis of cases with experimentations with pioneering firms, in a variety of industries and contexts.

Roberto is the author of “Overcrowded. Designing Meaningful Products in a World Awash with Ideas”, published by MIT Press in 2017, where he provides processes and methods to create breakthrough transformations. He is also the author of “Design-Driven Innovation: Changing the Rules of Competition by Radically Innovating what Things Mean”, published by Harvard Business Press in 2009, which has been selected by BusinessWeek as one of the Best Design an Innovation Books, and by the Academy of Management for the George R. Terry Book Award as one of the best 6 management books published in 2008 and 2009. It has been translated in 8 languages. His research on management of design and design clusters has been awarded the Compasso d'Oro (the most prestigious design award in Italy).

Roberto has issued more than 150 articles, including “Developing Products on Internet Time” published on Management Science, and “Innovating Through Design”, “Which Kind of Collaboration is Right for You”, “Designing Breakthrough Products”, and “The Innovative Power of Criticism” all published on the Harvard Business Review. He is in the Hall of Fame of the Journal of Product Innovation Management and has been featured on The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Financial Times, Forbes, BusinessWeek. Roberto is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review online magazine.

Roberto, together with his team of likeminded researchers-consultants, has served as advisor to executives and senior managers at a wide variety of manufacturing and service firms including Ferrari, Ducati, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Gucci, Samsung, STMicroelectronics, Zappos, Microsoft, IBM, Johnson&Johnson, Nestlè, Philips, 3M, Tetrapak, ARUP, NTT, Deloitte. He has also helped national and regional governments around the world to conceive design and innovation policies.

Selected Publications

Roberto Verganti, Overcrowded. Designing Meaningful Products in a World Awash with Ideas, MIT Press, Design Thinking Series, 2017.

Roberto Verganti, Design-Driven Innovation: Changing the Rules of Competition by Radically Innovating what Things Mean, Harvard Business Press, 2009. Selected by the Academy of Management for the George R. Terry Book Award as one of the 6 “most outstanding contributions to the global advancement of management knowledge during 2008 and 2009”.

Roberto Verganti, Luca Vendraminelli, and Marco Iansiti, “Innovation and Design in the Age of Artificial Intelligence”, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Vol 37, n.3, May 2020: 212-227 (DOI: 10.1111/jpim.12523)

Donald A. Norman, and Roberto Verganti, “Incremental and Radical Innovation: Design Research vs. Technology and Meaning Change”, Design Issues, Vol. 30, Issue 1 (Winter 2014): pp. 78-96.

Roberto Verganti, “Design, Meanings, and Radical Innovation: a meta-model and a research agenda”, Journal of Product Innovation Management, vol. 25, n. 5, 436-456, 2008.

Alan MacCormack, Roberto Verganti, and Marco Iansiti, "Developing Products on "Internet Time": The Anatomy of a Flexible Development Process", Management Science, Vol.47, No.1, January 2001, pp. 133-150.

Julie Callaert, Paolo Landoni, Bart Van Looy, Roberto Verganti “Scientific yield from collaboration with industry: The relevance of researchers’ strategic approaches”, Research Policy, 44 (4), 990-998, 2015.

Roberto Verganti, “The Innovative Power of Criticism – Judgment, not ideation, is the key to breakthroughs”, Harvard Business Review, Volume 95, Number 1, pp. 88-95, January-February 2016

Roberto Verganti, “Designing Breakthrough Products”, Harvard Business Review, Volume 89, Number 10, October, 2011, 114-120.

Gary P. Pisano and Roberto Verganti, “Which Kind of Collaboration is Right for You? The new leaders in innovation will be those who figure out the best way to leverage a network of outsiders”, Harvard Business Review, Volume 86, Number 12, 78-86, December 2008.

R. Verganti, “Innovating Through Design”, Harvard Business Review, Volume 84, Number 12, 114-122, December, 2006.

Highlighted Research and News