Yasushi Kusume

Innovating by disruption

Wednesday, October 19th

10:00 - 10:45

Key Learnings

  • Why is it so difficult to introduce successful disruptive innovations
  • How to enable innovation through design led approach
  • Details

    How does your company approach breakthrough innovation? And what is its track record in bringing new propositions successfully to the market?

    During my career, I have been involved in a number of innovation projects. Luckily, thanks to everyone I’ve worked with, I have never found the creation of innovative ideas and concepts to be too difficult. The real challenge – the eternal challenge – has been incubating those ideas and concepts to ensure that they deliver success.

    As I’m sure you already know, there are many books about innovation, all filled with success or failure case studies – and I’m sure you’ve read at least some of them, no doubt hoping to crack the code that will let you in on the secrets of success. Did you learn anything from them? Did you crack that code? If you didn’t, do you know why?


    Wednesday, October 19th

    10:00 - 10:45


    Yasushi Kusume

    New business and innovation - IKEA

    Brand and Innovation Designer, Autor, Speaker, Lecturer

    ‘I believe a brand is what people ‘feel’ it is, and that it is the enduring role of Design to ensure we make the right emotional connection between a brand and its audience. By creating an emotional connection, I strongly believe Design can build relationships based on trust and love’.

    Yasushi Kusume has over 25 years’ experience in the design profession. He has lead brand and innovation design for household names like of IKEA, Electrolux and Philips.

    At IKEA, he leads company new business and innovation activity by creating company vision of the future and incubation of new business opportunities.

    Prior to IKEA, Yasushi was Vice President of Brand Design Identity & Experience, and of Competence Development, for Electrolux Group Design at AB Electrolux. There he was responsible for the on-going orchestration and creation of a design identity for the Electrolux brands. This entails not only creating a full brand experience for the company’s products, services and touch points but also driving the development of all design competencies relevant to the continuing competitive power of Electrolux Group Design.

    Before he joined Electrolux, Yasushi Kusume was Vice President of Brand Design and Creative Direction for Philips Design at Royal Philips Electronics. Among his responsibilities were the direction and leadership of Philips’s brand design and creative direction management. He also directed various brand-related, mission critical projects for Philips worldwide, such as Next Simplicity, Simplicity Event, and Company Design Identity.

    He is co-author of the article Empowering Creativity in the book Sustainability Challenges and Solutions at the base of the Pyramid (Greenleaf Publishing, 2008) and the book Brand Romance (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)

    In 1985, he became a Bachelor of Fine Art, Craft & Product Design Major at Musashino Art University, Tokyo, Japan. He then added to this in 1989 by becoming a Bachelor of Science with Honours in product design, at the Art Center College of Design Pasadena, California, USA.

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