Duncan Wardle

Keynote Speaker

A world-renown keynote speaker, Duncan Wardle will do more than simply motivate and engage your audience, he will leave them empowered with an immediately actionable set of steps to improve their creativity and innovation capabilities, earning your business a massive competitive advantage in the process.


Using insights and key innovation case studies from his time as the Head of Innovation & Creativity at Disney, keynote speaker Duncan will provide your audience with his unique Design Thinking process, empowering them to leverage their creative mind and think different.


Sharing from his time spent embedding a culture of innovation at Disney, Duncan Wardle now empowers teams from all companies to embrace their inner entrepreneur, teaching tangible tools and techniques that give everyone access to their own creative ideas, and thus developing your company’s culture so that it’s primed and ready for innovation.


Learn how to transform your business from product-centric to customer-centric, and experience the amazing results and rewards that come when customers believe the work you do is truly magic.


In his over 25-year career at the world’s most innovative organization – The Walt Disney Company – keynote speaker Duncan Wardle learned many important things about building a profitable business and winning creative culture. The most important? If you want to be different, you have to think different.

As one of the most impactful creativity speakers, Duncan leans on his experiences as the Head of Innovation & Creativity at Disney to take audiences on a journey. Throughout Think Different, they’ll be given a unique set of Innovation Tools and Techniques – the same ones Duncan used with teams inside the Disney organization. These include the breakthrough “What If” creative thinking tool, made famous by Walt Disney himself, who used it to pivot his company from simply an animation house to an entertainment and theme park pioneer.

After this immersive crash course from the acclaimed creativity keynote speaker, your organization’s ability to mine for creativity and innovation will be drastically improved. In the end, your audience will leave with an actionable set of steps they can take to immediately start reshaping your company’s culture, creating a space where innovation thrives, and teams are encouraged and rewarded when they think different.

Embedding Innovation Into Everyone’s DNA

Innovation is not something that happens by chance. It’s the result of building an environment in which it can thrive.

Duncan Wardle knows a thing or two about fostering an environment of innovation. During his time as the Head of Innovation for a company known for redefining pretty much every industry they touch – The Walt Disney Company – Duncan’s decades of success weren’t merely a matter of luck or chance. No, his results were a direct reflection of his ability to create an innovative culture, and ensure that everyone on his teams were put in a position to let their inner creativity run wild.

In his Embedding Innovation Into Everyone’s DNA keynote, Duncan will share the exact steps and strategies used to create such an environment. Your team will learn how to create safe spaces for taking creative risks, ensure everyone on your team is empowered and thinking like an entrepreneur, and transition from the ideation stage into action. He’ll also share a creative problem-solving tool called “What Else,” which will prime your organization to discover innovative ideas each and every time you set out to tackle a challenge.

In the end, your team will walk away from this keynote with a fresh outlook on their day to day tasks, and be ready to approach them with new levels of creative thinking, allowing innovation to flourish.

Customer Experience Magic

The best brands in the world don’t thrive simply because of their great product or service. They thrive because of an unrelenting passion and focus on customer experience.

Throughout Customer Experience Magic, creativity keynote speaker Duncan Wardle will show your audience what can happen when your organization transitions from a product-centric focus to a customer-centric one, and the steps you’ll need to take to get there. He’ll share a famous real-world example from his time as the Head of Innovation and Creativity at The Walt Disney Company, where they found themselves facing challenges brought on not by their direct competitors, but by retail behemoth Amazon, whose lightning-fast fulfillment and delivery systems drastically changed how long consumers were willing to wait to be served.

As Duncan walks your audience through this example, he’ll share the exact steps they took to turn this problem into a massive opportunity, and how they used it to reshape the way Disney serves its theme park guests, creating a whole new echelon in customer experience. A new level of experience that’s frequently deemed to be “magic” by their guests.

By the end of this interactive presentation, your audience will have developed a whole new understanding of customer experience, and will be able to reframe all the challenges facing your organization, finding those unique opportunities to create some customer experience magic.

In true Disney fashion, Duncan’s teaching methods are educational and entertaining. He has successfully introduced new ways of thinking into our company, paving the way to invigorating and enhancing our culture of continued innovation and creativity.”

-George Scammell, Director of Interior Design, Princess Cruises

Duncan has amazed all of us and our audience during his visit to Colombia. Addressing to an audience of over 1,000 people he was able to land innovation and creativity in very simple and practical steps, and in a very fun way also! It is obvious that his over 20 years of experience with outstanding results in his back has given us also proven results of his proposed methodology. As a speaker, he comes across very simple, clear but with an incredible passion that is so contagious, you don’t realize how time goes by in his presentation!


Duncan Wardle's interactive presentation breathed a new life of excitement into our Driven Brands Marketing teams. Immediately following his innovation seminar, we all created desktop screensavers with little tidbits or quotes from his lessons ensuring we would be reminded every day to "find the yes" or "get out of our river of thought"... and to "share early and often". We started having breakfast meetings where we idea shared. Ultimately Duncan's teachings continue to remind us that innovation is such a vital part of jobs and we can also have a lot of fun doing it.

-Hannah Ross, Sr. Marketing Manager, Carstar

Duncan’s workshop sparked our creative minds and gave us tools that will pay dividends for years to come. My team was thoroughly captivated, fully engaged, energized and inspired. Look no further than Duncan for one of the best investments you will ever make in your business.

-Lisa Cotter, Vice President of Marketing, Orlando Magic

Duncan’s power comes from his engaging exercises, energetic delivery and the memorability of his tools. When a 100 year old brand starts replacing stagnant approaches with expansive language like “how might we?” or “Yes, And,” - you know the culture is beginning to shift.

-Lori Geoffrey, Director of Digital Experience Pacific Gas and Electric

While Duncan spoke to a large and packed room, people were inspired and hung on his every word. Many claimed it was one of the best presentations they'd ever experienced. If you're looking for an amazing speaker who can motivate others to innovate, then look no further than Duncan Wardle."

-Michael Stelzner, Founder Social Media Examiner and Social Media Marketing World

If your company is looking for ways to continuously improve, engage your employees to think differently and have fun along the way, you’ll find inspiration in Duncan’s Innovation Emporium., Not only have our teams returned from Duncan’s workshops with a newfound excitement and a belief that they have what it takes to be innovative, they’ve also generated tangible ideas that are moving into the implementation phase.

-Laurie Giammona, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer - Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Duncan has a unique way of connecting with an audience and challenging them to approach creativity in a radically different approach. Considering that many of the people in the audience are creative people by nature and job description, that is fairly remarkable. Duncan’s insights and sense of humor keep the audience engaged from start to finish.

-Paul Noland, President & CEO International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions

In one word I would explain Duncan’s creativity training as transformative. One day with Duncan created more than a year of conversation and fresh approaches to brainstorming throughout our agency.

-Tom Coyne, CEO of Coyne PR

We've had the pleasure of having Duncan speak at three different events in 2017. Each time, he was the audience favorite, hands down. His presentations are work sessions designed to be fun, interactive, and fast-paced. Duncan is true wealth of creative knowledge and inspiration, and he helped our members stretch their out-of-the-box thinking.

-Mike McMahon, President & Executive Director, Path to Purchase Institute

Duncan was an inspiring part of TEDx. His knowledge and experience are matched by his enthusiasm for delighting the audience with his wit and charm. I look forward to working with Duncan again- learning & exploring, in-depth, through his design workshops!

-Cassaundra Melgar-C’de Baca, Executive Producer, TEDxLadyBirdLake

Duncan’s Musings

Man on the Moon

It was nearly 4am Monday morning when my mother woke us. Minutes earlier, I had been tucked in tight and fast asleep in our cosy English home. Now, along with my two sisters, I was being marched in my sleeping [...]

15 July, 2019|

Contact Me

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the power of your team’s creativity?

(407) 569-7050

  • With the Lion King hitting theatres this weekend I’m reminded of the biggest stunts we did at @Disney.

On April 22, 1997 in the middle of New York’s Central Park we launched Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Along with 1500 young performers through live human animation, we created a lion, dinosaur, and dragon who orchestrated movement together as separate animals and then came together to showcase the new logo for Animal Kingdom.

Here’s one of my favourite images of the lion captured from a helicopter above Central Park.

#Disney #AnimalKingdom #PR #TheLionKing #LionKing #TBT #CentralPark #NewYork
  • #TBT to my adventures with @Nasa

In celebration of #Apollos50th I'm sharing some of my personal favourite photos of the time I met my childhood heroes, Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Jim Lovell. I had the honour of working on audacious projects including sending Buzz Lightyear into space!

Click the link in my bio at @DuncanJWardle to hear about the time that my mother woke me up at 4am, "Sit down, shut up, and pay attention,” my mother lovingly directed, “something important is about to happen.” and that life-changing day, how it inspired innovation and a no limit mindset within my life and how it forever changed mankind.

#Apollo50th #ManOnTheMoon #50Years #Nasa #MoonLanding #Houston #LifeChanging #OneSmallStep #OnGiantLeap #Mankind #Moon #Moonlanding #History
  • "As Disney’s former head of innovation and creativity, what did a typical day look like and how do you translate that to the work you do now?" Thank you @smpsheadquarters for the feature article and asking so many wonderful questions! Click the link in bio at @DuncanJWardle #smpsbb19

This article was first published in the April 2019 issue of Marketer, a journal published by SMPS. For more information, visit www.smps.org. #Washington #BuildBusiness #InnovationSpeaker #InnovationKeynote #CreativitySpeaker #CreativityKeynote #Ideation #TimeToDisrupt #MarketDisruption #ThinkDifferent #DesignThinking
  • In keeping with the space theme, I wanted to share first hand the story about the time I send Buzz Lightyear into space!

Read all the details from how we came up with the idea, to how to pitch it, to a photo of Buzz from the launch: https://duncanwardle.com/buzz-lightyear/

As for the true inspiration for big dreams and no limits: Link in bio.

With @Nasa

#Apollo50th #ManOnTheMoon #IfYouCanDreamIt #BuzzLightYear #Pixar #MoonLanding #Moon #ToInfinityAndBeyond
  • "It was nearly 4am Monday morning when my mother woke us... “Sit down, shut up, and pay attention,” my mother lovingly directed, “something important is about to happen.” That was almost 50 years ago today. And this week we're celebrating Man's first landing on the moon. NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Here's a look back on that life-changing day, how it inspired innovation and a no limit mindset within my life and how it forever changed mankind: Link in bio at @DuncanJWardle

#Apollo50th #ManOnTheMoon #50Years #Nasa #MoonLanding #Houston #LifeChanging #OneSmallStep #OnGiantLeap #Mankind #Moon #Moonlanding #History
  • Last week I stood on stage at Usher Hall in Edinburgh and received an
Honorary Doctorate for my work around the globe helping people be more innovative and creative as well as my career in innovation with @Disney. 
It's not very often that I find myself speechless however this was a truly
special full circle moment were looking out on the graduates it brought me back to when I sat in those seats, wide-eyed and big dreams!
30+ years later I'm on the other side of the podium being honoured for doing the work I loved. For following my passion... and for dreaming big. 
Thank you to my fellow graduates for sharing the stage and for sharing this day with me. Thank you to my Alma Mater @edinburghnapier 
this distinguished honour, and thank you to my family for always supporting me every step of the way. It was truly special to have you there in the audience to celebrate. 
If you're interested in seeing the presentation or my following speech I invite you to click the link below and tune into the 5:00 mark. Link in bio @duncanjwardle
#EdinburghNapier #Doctorate #Honoured #humbled