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Ryan Pikkel applies a structured design process to envision, develop, and pilot breakthrough business concepts in a variety of fields across multiple geographies. As an Adjunct Faculty member at IIT Institute of Design (ID), he teaches Communication in the Design Process, Design Planning Workshop, and Activating Frameworks, a course he developed that centers on ideation and workshop facilitation tool development. In his class, students experience the design planning and front-end innovation process in the context of real-world business design projects. Ryan first joined ID’s faculty in 2008. He received a master of design (MDes) in design planning from ID in 2005 and a bachelor of fine arts in communications design from Syracuse University in 1998. He also studied at the Sozosha College of Design in Osaka, Japan, where he was the sole US communication designer invited.

Industry Experience

Ryan is an Innovation Leader at Evernorth, the health services arm of Cigna. There, he oversees the inception, development, and implementation of new services and solutions as part of the Disruptive Design Team. He formerly served as an Innovation and Design Strategy Leader at Doblin (now part of Deloitte Digital) (2005–2019). In his role there, he led client and project teams in a structured design process to develop innovation opportunities to drive strategy and portfolio development. He has also envisioned and led internal new product development initiatives. Ryan previously was a design strategy consultant at McDonald’s CORE Innovation Center (2005), applying ethnographic research methods exploring employee experience to develop criteria for job design, training, and crew empowerment. In 2017, his design for “Delivering Easy, Effective, and Emotionally Satisfying Experiences for Veterans” was a Service Design Network Global Award Finalist in Madrid, Spain.

Speaking and Publishing

Ryan co-authored the book Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs, developed the Innovation Tactics Cards, and directed development on the Ten Types of Innovation iPad app at Doblin. His presentations include “Mind the Gap: Thoughts on Crossing the Stubborn Divide Between Design and Business (DMI: Design at Scale, New York, 2011) and “Fear and Benefits of Future Product Auto-Identification Technologies (RFID) in the Home” (MAPACA Conference, Buffalo, NY, 2004).

Select Work

Keeley, Larry, Helen Walters, Ryan Pikkel, and Brian Quinn. 2013. Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.