Meet Duncan2020-01-15T19:55:51+00:00

About Duncan Wardle

Duncan Wardle has ideas that are out of this world. Literally…

The former Vice President of Innovation & Creativity at The Walt Disney Company, Duncan Wardle spent his 25-year career at Disney developing some of their most innovative ideas and strategies. Ideas that would forever change the way the company expands its impact, trains its employees, and solves problems creatively.

What sort of ideas? Instead of asking “How Might We … make more money?” Duncan asked “What If there are no lines in the Disney Parks? No gates at the entrance? No reception desks? No lines for favorite attractions to pay for F&B.”

Fast forward to Disney’s Magic Band, piloted and rolled out across Walt Disney World, eliminating the need to check in at the hotels, waiting to get into a Disney park, lines to ride, etc. Disney’s Magic band has resulted in record revenues and essentially created an open source monitoring of consumer likes and dislikes, informing all future products and services.

“Duncan made a deal to send the one and only Buzz Lightyear up on NASA’s Space Shuttle Discovery”

Duncan Wardle and his team were tasked with leading the creative process for LucasFilms, Pixar, Marvel, Disney Imagineering, Disney Parks and ESPN. Realizing that innovation and creativity were not inherent traits, but

something that could be taught and learned, Duncan founded the Innovation Catalyst Team. This team was used to teach employees across all the Disney properties how to develop their own “thinking toolkit,” which would enable them to strategically and repeatedly create moments of innovation within their business units.

The program was a massive success, and during Duncan’s tenure, the group trained over 5,000 professional and executive Disney cast members. Participants walked away from Duncan’s program with the ability to think more audaciously when solving challenges and create innovative new storylines, products and services throughout the entire Disney universe.

While Duncan Wardle loved the challenge of running the creativity and innovation teams at the world’s most creative company, he understood that his ability to successfully teach others to develop an innovation and ideation toolkit was something that could have a massive impact for people and organizations across the globe. And so, he left to launch his creative consulting company id8, which has

“Participants walked away from Duncan’s program with the ability to think more audaciously when solving challenges”

quickly become one of the top innovation consulting firms in the world, and in the process, has allowed Duncan to share his creative consultant services and innovation workshops to thousands of employees and executives at companies such as Ford, McKinsey, Coca-Cola, NBA, Apple, Johnson & Johnson and Forbes.

With an infectious energy and playful collaboration, Duncan Wardle pushes executives and their teams to overcome preconceived ideas, act more audaciously, and develop their own innovation “light switch”, which is a method to activate their creative brain and access the ideas that turn ordinary companies into industry leaders.

awards

Honorary Doctorate

On July 5, 2019, I was honoured and humbled to receive an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from my Alma Mater, Edinburgh Napier University. The Doctorate was given “In recognition of Duncan’s global and unique approach to design thinking and his dedication to Disney where he spent 30 years leading the innovation and creativity team.” The award was presented at the University’s graduation ceremony. For the full story visit bit.ly/EdNDunc

American Citizen Award

Presented at the White House in 2008 for my services to my fellow immigrants for creating a United States Citizenship ceremony on Main Street USA at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom for 1000 new U.S. citizens and their families on July 4, 2000

Hons. MBA Hons. PHD

Awarded on July 4, 2014 by the Chancellor and Dean of Edinburgh Napier University at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh, Scotland. I was honored to give the commencement speech at my alma mater that day surrounded by family and friends going back many, many years. I even wore my old Rannoch School uniform.

Duke of Edinburgh Award

Presented at Hollywood Palace in the presence of H.M Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in 1981.

bit.ly/EdNDunc

Favourites From The Archives

Christmas Lunch At The Whitehouse

TBT to the time I met President Clinton First Lady Clinton as part of a TV Xmas Special for Disney. The President and the First Lady hosted us to a very special Xmas lunch at the White House.

An evening with Richard Sherman

#TBT to spending an evening with Richard Sherman, who worked for Walt, writing the music and lyrics for Winnie the Pooh, Mary Poppins, the Jungle Book and It’s A Small World. He is one of the most creative people I ever had the opportunity to work with at Disney. Anyone who can come with the word "Super cali fragic listic expealidocious" and can sing it backward, is truly special.

Meeting My Childhood Hero

TBT to one of my best days at Disney… the day I got to work with the Muppets and my favorite childhood hero, Fozzie Bear!

Making Buzz Lightyears Dreams Come True

For the opening of Toy Story 2 we helped Buzz Lightyears dreams come true and he got to take a trip to the international space station and fulfill his dream of going to space!

Olympic Swim Down Main street USA

Welcomed back Olympian Michael Phelps with a custom pool constructed down Main Street USA, Disneyland.

Inauguration Day

Inauguration Day of the Disney Magic and Disney Cruise Lines.

Career Highlights

Duncan’s workshop sparked our creative minds and gave us the 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, VP of Marketing for Orlando Magic

We had the immense pleasure of having Duncan conduct an "Innovation workshop" with our newly formed creative team at Apple. Duncan energized the room within minutes and had the undivided attention of all 25 participants. His ideas and activities around innovation are methods we still use in our creative brainstorming exercises and have resulted in much richer results.

- Suchi Parikh-Crandall, Creative Director of WW Channel Sales for Apple

Thank you so much Duncan.

The feedback from the team has been overwhelmingly positive. I think you really helped us break through and we will make the changes we need.

Thank you for giving us the tools to set us up for change, innovation and success.

- Laura Molen, President of NBCU Advertising and Partnerships

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

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

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 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!

-MARCELO CATALDO, CEO, Tigo Une

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

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 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 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

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

The tools Duncan teaches in his Masterclasses are truly impactful. We have incorporated many of them into our strategic and annual planning exercises as well as ideation and hackathon sessions. As a result our employees are becoming more innovative and transformative - something every organization needs to be sustainable. I highly recommend Duncan’s sessions!

- Alex Kostenko

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

Thank you for everything that you do and who you are.

And thank you for all of us who you have helped create amazing things and gave us the courage to bring our ideas into the world.

- Penney Fox

My head and heart just exploded. Thank you @DuncanJWardle for reminding us all the power of innovation and creativity. Loved your stories, loved your ideas, love love how you’ve ignited something in me. #getamplified

-Lucy Gibson

WOW! @DuncanJWardle is keynoting #TheSummit2020 by @TAGthink. This is BEYOND cool. If you don’t know Duncan, you don’t know innovation and imagination

-Arketi Group

Hi Duncan, thanks so much for the fantastic sessions today. From someone who has been taught to believe I don’t have a creative fiber in my body you have given me the belief that at least some of my ideas are pretty good. I am looking forward to using some of the things you went through back in the office

-Karen De Lore

I loved your intervention and the way you shaked us! As a mother of two boys, I’ve been thinking a lot about how parents and society block children’s creativity. I’m now on a process to reduce that influence as much as possible

-Carolina Bilbao Serrano

You’re amazing! I consider myself so very fortunate to have witnessed your brilliance up close, and only wish I worked for you longer. Keep dreaming and inspiring!

-

-Mark Jaronski

 

Attended Disrupt in Vancouver w/ Duncan and was blown away by the amount of next-day implementable tools he provided. The learn & do format of the day was right at my level meanwhile challenging some of my entrenched thinking. A great workshop presented by class act of a human.

-Ryan Sawatzky

@DuncanJWardle, great to hear you talk so passionately about Thinking Differently in the digital transformation journey. Already have some radical ideas to start my day tomorrow. And btw, you’re easily one of the best speakers I’ve ever heard on stage. Truly inspired!

-

-Jimmy Eapen

 

Thank you for sharing such a wonderful presentation and challenging us to think bigger. AND giving us tools to do it.

-William Hodges

This keynote speaks to my soul...looking at everything we do in the workplace from the objective and exciting perspective of “What if” Thanks @DuncanJWardle #corenetglobal

-Annemarie C. Henton

Duncan’s Musings

Contact Me

Is your organization ready to unleash
the power of your team’s creativity?

(407) 569-7050

  • Is 2020 your year to do a Tedx Talk? I'd like to help!
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  • Is your business ready for the "Experience Economy?"
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"Marketing implies "at." I will communicate at... will create content. I will disrupt my consumer.
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Engaging with the consumer and creating immersive experiences implies "with". And we all know that a one-way communication campaign is the same as a one-way relationship. One way relationships don't work. But by engaging with our consumer and creating immersive experiences for our consumer we create a two-way relationship.
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I'd like to share some stories with you from my 30 years at Disney about how we could essentially reenergize, reinvest and reengineer our relationships with our consumers in this, what I call the "Experience Economy."
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Learn how you can transform your business and embrace the Experience Economy into your 2020 business model by watching my recent Tedx Talk titled, "Creating Relationship Magic" Link in Bio at @DuncanJWardle
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Marketing will be replaced by experiences in less than a decade! Why? Because experiences significantly enhance our level of engagement and create much deeper relationships. Disney is the master of creating experiences where consumers can come touch, feel and play with the brand in an extraordinary way that creates magical relationships.
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