David Schonthal

Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship / Business Designer

Kellogg School of Management / IDEO

Session Description

The Creative Advantage

Few competitive advantages endure over time. One that clearly lasts, however, is an organization’s creativity—its ability to embrace constraint and changing contexts and use it to fuel innovation, not stifle it.
In this session, Kellogg Professor and IDEO Business Designer David Schonthal will explore how creativity is inherent in all of us—and that intentionally accessing and harnessing it unlocks durable business advantages for managers and organizations alike. In the process, David will share some foundational principles and techniques for business creativity: specifically, asking the right questions, reframing the world around you, identifying ways to make an impact in times of constraint and mustering the confidence to do something about it.

Certain aspects of your organization may not weather all economic cycles—but your company’s creativity will.



David Schonthal is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management where he teaches courses in new venture creation and creativity, and is Executive Director of the school’s internal startup accelerator - the Zell Fellows program. He is also a Director in the Business Design practice at IDEO, an award-winning innovation consultancy.

David serves as a member of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship council, and is one of the Co-Founders of MATTER, a 25,000 square foot innovation center in downtown Chicago focused on catalyzing and supporting healthcare entrepreneurship. He has been featured as a contributor to Forbes and Inc., writing articles on topics of corporate entrepreneurship and innovation and has received several honors for his work, which recently include a Kellogg Faculty Impact Award for excellence in teaching, as well as being named to Crain's Chicago Business magazine's "40 Under 40" list.