Meet Duncan2019-07-29T22:56:15+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.


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

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.

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

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

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

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’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 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

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

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 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 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!


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

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’s Musings

Contact Me

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  • While there are many lessons you can learn in India the one that is the most profound and that the rest of the world can learn from is this, living in harmony is possible.
India has 1.4 billion people and walking through neighborhoods filled with Hindus and Sikhs, Christians and Muslim one thing was evident, we can all celebrate each other and ourselves at the same time. The ability to live harmonically is something that the rest of the world can learn from. Diversity is India's superpower. Mahatma Gandhi said it best, "No culture can live, if it attempts to be exclusive"
As I prepare to leave India and say farewell to the people of India of whom I utterly adore. From my gracious hosts, to the many new friends I made along my travels, here are some of the faces I will miss as my journey continues on.
With Love to India. Thank You.
#india #harmony #culture
  • What if you could turn a 2-lane road into a 4-lane road?
Would that be breaking the rules? Or being innovative and finding new ways to get things done?
Travelling in Kolkata is an experience all to itself, where the commuters have transformed the 2 lane roads into four lanes. What appears at first glance to be chaos, upon further investigation unveils that it is truly a refined dance, like a well-oiled machine working collaboratively to get everyone moving in sync and supporting each other in getting where they need to go.
From Tuk-tuks to taxis, goats to elephants, big trucks to tiny scooters, it’s amazing to watch it all unfold before your eyes.
When was the last time you looked at an “old” problem with fresh eyes?
Who knows what innovation you may unveil.
#CreativityIsEverywhere #Kolkata #Innovate #Create #BreakTheRules #ThinkDifferent #DesignThinking #Creativity #Innovation
  • Creativity is flowing out of the local markets and everywhere you turn you see a new level of ingenuity that only can be found in India. 🧡

I love strolling through markets, this week visiting the fish 🐠 and flower 🌼 markets in Kolkata. I admire the local vendors and hearing the stories behind their artistry and work. The level of humility, kindness, and worth ethic is commendable. (Reason number 1001 why I love 🇮)

Whether you’re lucky enough to spend time in one of India’s markets or opt to visit a market closer to home, I recommend you allow time in your schedule to slowly stroll through the aisles, interact with the vendors, and soak in their imagination and cleverness as told through their creations. As Albert Einstein said, “Creativity is contagious, pass it on.”
#Kolkata #India #Markets #FishMarket #FlowerMarket #CreativityIsEverywhere #Creativity
  • The sign simply read, “Mother Teresa is in”.
And with that I was welcomed into The Mother House Of the Missionaries Of Charity in Kolkata, to visit Mother Teresa's tomb, preserved room & a small exhibit on display at this quiet convent.
Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation that had over 4500 nuns. She led a congregation that managed homes for people dying of HIV/ Aids, leprosy, and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, dispensaries, mobile clinics, children’s and family counselling programs, as well as orphanage and schools.
She is laid to rest in this convent, that is very much active and every day nuns continue to execute her vision of hope and peace. The humility, humility, dedication, and desire to serve others is evident in their work. It’s inspiring beyond words.
“Peace begins with a smile,” Mother Teresa
#MotherTeresa #kolkata #Honour #Humility #Purpose
  • Delighted to give back during my visit to Kolkata. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Gandhi
Thank you to the students of @adamasuniversity for joining me for a workshop. Your passion and energy were contagious, and it made for a wonderful afternoon.
#Grateful #Passion #Purpose
  • In this journey, I have met so many incredible people, and my last couple of days in India have been truly amazing. The kindness, the warm welcome, the sense of community, and the inspiration. I have always said I have a love affair with India, and it’s the people who make it such a wonderful place.
Thank you #InfoComConnect for inviting me to #InfoCom2019 and tackling hard topics such as VUCA, entrepreneurship, and letting me share my belief that India will be the word’s biggest superpower by 2050.
Thank you for hosting me #ShanthaMaheswari and to @Rakeilperuma for inviting me to your incredible event. It was an honour to speak in a country I love surrounded by people I adore.
#Infocom2019 #ABP #Innovation #VUCA #Kolkata #InnovationSpeaker #CreativitySpeaker #India #