Strategy & Research

Design projects that predominantly utilized research or strategy in their product or project.

2014 Judging Location

Chicago, USA

Winner Broadcast

June 16 @ 2:00 pm ET


See the Strategy & Research C7712DA Winners

Larry Keeley
Jury Captain
Doblin Inc. // President and Co-Founder

Larry is a strategist who has worked over three decades to develop more effective innovation methods. He is president and co-founder of Doblin Inc., an innovation strategy firm known for pioneering comprehensive innovation systems that materially improve innovation success rates. Doblin is now a unit of Deloitte Consulting LLP, where Larry serves as a Director.

Since 1979 he has worked with many global companies on innovation effectiveness, among them Apple, Coca-Cola, Ford, Mars, Sony and Zurich Financial Services. He lectures frequently and publishes regularly on strategic aspects of innovation. Larry’s book that codifies much of the research and tradecraft that drives effective innovation, The Ten Types of Innovation and the Discipline of Building Breakthroughs, is available for pre-order on amazon now: KEELEY BOOK.

Bloomberg Businessweek named him one of seven Innovation Gurus that are changing the field, and specifically cited Doblin for having many of the most sophisticated tools for delivering innovation effectiveness. In 2010, they also selected Larry as one of the 27 most influential designers in the world.

He was also a long-time board member for Chicago Public Radio, where he helped to foster “This American Life” and other path-breaking new radio programs and media innovations.


Jeff Semenchuk
Hyatt // Chief Innovation Officer

Jeff was appointed Hyatt’s chief innovation officer in August 2011. In this role, Jeff leads the company’s enterprise-wide, cross-functional efforts to establish a process of innovation that yields new experiences, offerings and ways of operating that are expected to generate significant value for guests and owners.

With more than 25 years of experience as a corporate innovator, Jeff has played key strategic roles for companies in industries ranging from financial services to pharmaceuticals, most recently serving as a founder and managing director of Citigroup’s global Growth Ventures & Innovation unit. At Citi, he helped launch spin-out companies in more than eight countries, including China, India and Mexico. He was head of global innovation at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, has founded four start-ups and worked as a corporate consultant, including serving as a senior advisor with the Monitor Group.

Jeff earned his M.A. in Communications at Northern Illinois University and a B.A. in Communication Studies from Wheaton College. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Sonia, and their two children, André and Katia.


Tomoko Ichikawa
IIT Institute of Design // Sr. Lecturer of Design

Tomoko is a Senior Lecturer of Design at IIT Institute of Design. With 20 years experience in communication simplification and information design, Tomoko’s focus has been on creating visuals that clearly reflect the content structure to effectively communicate.

Her work experience in design field (Siegel Gale) and strategy consultancy (Doblin) have included serving such clients as Fidelity Investments, U.S. Trust, Dean Witter, Chubb Insurance, MacDonald’s, Zurich Insurance and SAS. Additionally, she has been involved in academia since 1993.

Tomoko has been translating and converting signs all of her life, between three languages (Japanese, English and Spanish) and among multiple modes of representation (verbal/textual to visual). After receiving her B.A. in interpersonal and intercultural communication at International Christian University in Tokyo, she pursued her interest in the visual world that led her to IIT Institute of Design where she received her M.S. degree. Her interest has focused on the syntax and semantic aspects of the visual language, using appropriate sign systems to match information structure to visual structure. In particular, diagrams and, more recently, the emerging field of computer-generated data visualizations are her area of exploration.

IIT Institute of Design

Todd McCullough
Adjunct Professor at Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University and Principal at McCullough Partners, LLC

Todd helps organizations achieve their growth goals through strategy and innovation. He has worked with over 100 of the Fortune 500 firms (and some smaller ones) helping them design strategies; align innovation with corporate strategy; design and implement breakthrough innovations; and build innovation capabilities and culture.

An entrepreneur early on, Todd was later the long-time managing director of one of the world’s most respected innovation strategy firms (Doblin), and then a partner at a strategy consulting firm (Monitor Group). He now serves only a few select clients at a time, teaming with handpicked colleagues from his network of individuals and firms. Todd teaches at the Institute of Design at IIT that started the marriage of business and design for innovation, which now permeates advanced thinking about innovation.

Todd’s background includes: Big 8 accounting; IT consulting; marketing channel consulting; change management consulting; coaching entrepreneurs and senior executives; being an entrepreneur; a CPA designation; a BBA from Harding University; and an MBA from Vanderbilt. Todd is still a basketball player (using the term somewhat loosely), and enjoys spending time with his wife Jana and their still school-aged children, Julianne and Andrew.

McCullough Partners

Kim Erwin
IIT Institute of Design // Assistant Professor

Kim is an assistant professor at IIT Institute of Design, with research interests in making complex information easier to understand and use. In online environments, she applies principles of cognition, visual representation and communication theory to the analysis of large qualitative data sets. Thinking With Our Eyes is an initiative to build analytic tools that leverage the brain’s natural aptitude for processing visual information at much faster rates than processing text-based information.

In offline environments, she explores communication methods for use in innovation processes. Her recently released book on these methods, Communicating the New: Methods to shape and accelerate innovation, is published by Wiley & Sons. This area of research focuses on the role of communication methods in helping teams explore, build and diffuse critical knowledge inside an organization.

Kim has an MDes from IIT Institute of Design, where she focused on applying user-centered methods to the development of new media, and a BA in philosophy from Loyola University – Chicago. After graduate school, she spent 15 years in user research and strategy consulting for companies like Purina, WalMart, Allstate Financial, Church & Dwight, Motorola and Alamo.

IIT Institute of Design