Larry Keeley | 2010 Gain Conference

Larry Keeley

Obese kids. School system breakdowns. Political stalemates. Economic collapse. Too few jobs and a whole generation with no clue how to get their careers ignited. Wherever you look we seem to be facing brutal problems. But, hey! Don't we have nice iPhones?

Larry Keeley sketchs the central role designers should play in tackling our toughest problems. He takes us through a swift series of speculations about the issues that matter now, with an emphasis on the types of design firms and practices that will be up to these challenges. It's deep conversation about the frontiers of our field, our firms and the special magic that happens once we stop waiting for enlightened clients to show up, and instead get to a world of post-client design.


Larry Keeley is a strategist who has worked for thirty years 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 member of Monitor Group, where Keeley is a group leader. BusinessWeek named Keeley one of seven “Innovation Gurus” who are changing the field and specifically cited Doblin for having many of the most sophisticated tools for delivering innovation effectiveness. In 2010,  BusinessWeek also selected Keeley as one of the 27 most influential designers in the world (an honor Keeley found to be a head-scratcher since he is not actually a designer).

Keeley teaches graduate innovation strategy classes at the Institute of Design in Chicago, where he is also a board member. He lectures in executive education programs at Kellogg Graduate School of Management and is an adjunct faculty member for their core MBA and masters of manufacturing management programs. He is a senior fellow of the Center for Business Innovation in Boston and is on the board of Chicago Public Radio, where he charted a strategy for what has become an innovation engine for public radio across the United States.