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Former president and CEO of SRI International and prominent technologist and innovation pioneer Curtis Carlson has recently joined the faculty at Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business. Under his leadership, SRI’s innovations and spinoff companies created tens of billions of dollars in new marketplace value, including Siri Inc. which was acquired by Apple in 2010. He perfected an innovation method that he now shares with companies and governments around the world as the founder and CEO of Practice of Innovation, LLC.

“I am extremely pleased to be part of the Northeastern value-creation and innovation program,” Carlson says. “Northeastern is a leader in experiential learning, which is the necessary basis for learning how to be a value creator.  They understand that to have a long, productive career in our global innovation economy, value-creation skills are essential. We need to redefine education and professional development to add these essential skills, and that is what Northeastern is doing. I look forward to working with Dean Echambadi and the entire Northeastern team to help advance this critically important work.”  

Before joining SRI, Carlson led various research teams at Sarnoff Corporation, including one that developed the U.S. standard for HDTV and another that designed a system to assess broadcast image quality. Both were awarded Technology and Engineering Emmy awards.  He is known for “Carlson’s Law”, coined by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman to describe Carlson’s balance between autocracy and democracy in an organization, and he is the author of Innovation: The Five Disciplines for Creating What Customers Want.

“Northeastern and D’Amore-McKim are known for teaching and embracing innovation as a unique discipline, and Curt’s value creation expertise will be an extraordinary addition to our thought leadership,” says D’Amore-McKim Dunton Family Dean Raj Echambadi. “We are preparing our students and corporate partners to navigate challenges with digital convergence and turn them into opportunities, and Curt will be a tremendous asset in this work.”

Carlson soon plans to be actively involved with D’Amore-McKim’s corporate learning initiatives, along with one of his Practice of Innovation, LLC partners, Leonard Polizzotto, who is also a D’Amore-McKim Executive in Residence. Together they plan to share their Innovation-for-Impact (i4i) value creation methodology with the school’s corporate partners and clients.

“Innovation is not the result of luck or a lone genius. Rather it is a disciplined process that can be learned, shared, and improved,” Carlson says. “I look forward to sharing this knowledge and collaborating with the D’Amore-McKim community.”