Navi's Speaker Reel

Hear Today’s Voice of Innovation & Leadership

Navi Radjou is a dynamic, inspirational speaker who likes to harness the power of untold stories of innovation and leadership from around the world. His TED talk has been viewed nearly 2 million times.

Navi has a rare and clear-eyed view of global markets. His ideas are truly fresh, and his delivery is filled with stories and humor.

— Christine Kinser, IBM Global Business Services

He delivers real value to his audience by showing them how to drive breakthrough innovation and growth within their company and organizations using a novel approach that is faster, cheaper and better.

Below are five foundational keynotes and talks Navi delivers, in English and French, on a regular basis to multinational companies, governments, startups and at key forums like TED, World Economic Forum and SXSW.

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Topic 1: Thriving in the Frugal Economy Post COVID-19

In 2020, the world will enter into a prolonged recession that could last till 2021. All nations and industries will need to contend with a triple-challenge: reboot the economy, reduce social inequality, and preserve and regenerate the environment.

The 200-year-old capitalistic economic paradigm based on profit maximization and “more with more” (using more resources to create more products) is coming to an end. Instead, digital technologies, new regulations, anti-globalization movements, and millions of value—and values—conscious Gen Y and Z consumers and employees are giving rise to the frugal economy.

A frugal economy generates greater value for all stakeholders in a highly efficient, socially inclusive, and eco-sustainable manner—using fewer resources and without polluting. This new multi-trillion-dollar economy is fueled by 3 mega-trends—circular and regenerative business principles, distributed manufacturing and hyper-local value chains, B2C and B2B sharing—and digital technologies such as blockchain, AI, 3D printing, IoT and digital twins.

Award-winning innovation expert and TED Speaker Navi Radjou will show how to proactively reinvent your organization—and your entire ecosystem—to thrive in the frugal economy. Specifically, he would give you the new perspectives, principles, and techniques you need to adopt frugal innovation, the art of “doing more—and better—with less”—so you become more agile and can profit from doing business in a socially and environmentally responsible way.

Learn from Navi how to future-proof your business in 2020 and beyond.

As the world enters a prolonged recession, all companies must learn to “do more—and better—with less”. By applying the six proven principles of frugal innovation, firms can become more agile and cleverly reuse/repurpose their existing resources to generate more value.

Topic 2: Frugal Innovation: Doing Better with Less in the Post-COVID-19 World

The business world is radically changing. Tighter budgets and dwindling natural resources, new technologies, and empowered customers are all driving disruptive trends like the sharing and circular economy and the Maker movement. In this context, how can firms get high-quality products to market faster, better, cheaper? The answer: frugal innovationthe art of doing more, and better, with less.

Once the preserve of firms in emerging markets (China, India, Africa), Western firms such as GE, Levi Strauss, Novartis, Renault-Nissan, Siemens, Tarkett, and Unilever are adopting frugal innovation to appeal to cost-conscious and eco-aware customers at home.

These pioneers are launching $5,000 cars, developing medical drugs in a micro-factory the size of a container, and creating products that can be reused and recycled again and again. With a trillion-dollar global market for frugal products and services, and with potentially huge cost savings to be gained, frugal innovation is revolutionizing business and reshaping R&D, marketing, HR, and leadership practices.

Drawing upon his award-winning book Frugal Innovation published by The Economist, leading innovation expert Navi Radjou will show you can apply frugal principles and techniques to boost agility, innovate efficiently, and create 10x and even 100x more value using 10x/100x fewer resources. In particular you will learn:

  • How leading firms like GE, Siemens, Novartis, Renault-Nissan, Tarkett, and Unilever are practicing frugal innovation—and the best practices we can learn from these pioneers
  • How can firms adopt next-gen frugal business models such as B2B Sharing, Maker movement (Distributed Manufacturing), and Circular Economy (recycling/upcycling)
  • How to co-create frugal products with digitally-empowered “prosumers” and partners
  • How to achieve mass customization and learn to “scale out” (vs. scale up), using 3D printing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), micro-factories, low-cost open-source electronics (like the $30 Raspberry Pi), and Makerspaces (fablabs)
  • How India, Africa China are using frugal innovation to leapfrog the West in education, finance, energy, and healthcare—and what Western firms can learn from their success
  • How to change the corporate culture, HR policies, and leadership model to innovate faster, better, cheaper.
  • How to design waste-free “circular” products and adopt leading sustainable practices that increase your “environmental handprint” and not just reduce your carbon footprint.

Topic 3: Jugaad: Unleashing the Creativity of Your Employees, Customers, and Partners

During the 20th century, the Western model of innovation was like an orchestra: top-down, rigid, and run by upper-level executives. But to succeed in the complex, volatile, resource-scarce business environment of the 21st century, Western firms need an alternative approach, one that is like a jazz band: bottom-up, improvisational, and collaborative.

Award-winning innovation expert Navi Radjou will show how ingenious entrepreneurs and firms in fast-growing emerging markets (India, China, Africa) are using jugaad—a Hindi word for frugal and flexible innovation—to sense and respond swiftly to big market opportunities and outsmart competition. Jugaad is your innate “MacGyver spirit”—the gutsy art of overcoming harsh constraints by improvising an effective solution using limited resources.

Drawing on his global bestseller Jugaad Innovation (over 100,000 copies sold), Navi will show how you can apply the proven business principles of jugaad to unleash and harness the grassroots ingenuity of your employees and partners, encourage productive risk-taking, gain in agility and resilience, and innovate faster, better, and cheaper. In particular, you will learn how to:

  • Transform adversity into opportunity
  • Develop simple but effective solutions on a shoestring
  • Engage a diverse set of partners to co-create breakthrough solutions
  • Solve complex problems by using both your mind (logic) andheart (intuition)

Topic 4: Beyond Inclusion: ‘Integralizing’ Differences to Thrive in the Complex Post-COVID-19 World

In the post-COVID-19 complex and fast-paced world, organizations need to be adaptable, resilient, and creative to sense and respond to unexpected threats and opportunities.

To boost their agility and innovation capacity, businesses must learn to leverage the growing diversity in their workforce and in their larger ecosystem.

Rather than try to ‘integrate’ differences in their organization – by uniting everyone based on the ‘lowest common denominator’ – Radjou will explain how businesses can learn to ‘integralize’ diversity – by unleashing each individual’s fullest potential and uplifting everyone toward a ‘highest shared aspirator purpose’.

Using several real-life examples of pioneering organizations and leaders (whom he calls the ‘integralizers’) and drawing on his own multicultural (Indian, French, American) background and 25 years of global work experience, Radjou will show how you – as business leaders – can go beyond inclusion and fully leverage diversity to build and sustain an agile and innovative organization.

Topic 5: Beyond AI: Leading Wisely In The Post-Digital Society

Our modern society is obsessed with intelligence. We highly value “smart” phones, “smart” cars, “smart” cities. Likewise, smart people impress us with their intellectual power and uncanny ability to achieve their goals. With the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI), people believe we need to “augment” our human intelligence to compete with AI.

But smartness alone is not always sufficient to keep leaders out of trouble and sustain their success over time. Leadership expert Navi Radjou proposes a different and counterintuitive approach to leadership that goes beyond optimizing “smartness” and is inspired by Eastern wisdom traditions.

Wise leadership, Radjou argues, means cultivating greater self-awareness, broadening one’s perspective, integrating logic, emotions, and intuition in decision-making, and acting with ethical clarity, flexibility, and authenticity.

Wise leadership is the foundation for lasting success in the emerging post-digital society, in which values-driven Generation Z employees and customers—who just overtook Millennials to represent 32% of the world’s population in 2019—seek meaning in life and want to work for, and buy from, purpose-driven companies.

Drawing on many inspiring real-life stories of wise leaders and his acclaimed book From Smart To Wise, Radjou will identify six core capabilities that managers at all levels can cultivate and use to operate consciously as a wise leader every day.

He will also examine how the post-digital society—anchored by the Gen Z—will radically reshape the core identity and values of businesses and reinvent the roles and responsibilities of leaders. Navi’s tools and framework will help you gain clarity about your role as a leader, enabling you to:

  • Act in ways that are both authentic and appropriate
  • Manage teams effectively and harness collective intelligence
  • Make tough decisions without losing sleep
  • How to balance fortitude and flexibility
  • Gain ethical clarity and a sense of purpose
  • Foster a productive, sustainable work environment

With the rise of AI, you can use these 6 wise capabilities to lead more effectively. As Navi points out: “You can’t out-smart AI, but you can out-wise AI !”

Topic 6: Intrapreneurship: How Large Organizations Can Accelerate Growth Through Innovation

The pressure to innovate is greater than ever before due to rapid changes in the global business environment. Yet large organizations struggle to innovate at rapid pace due to their traditional structure, strategies, culture, and leadership style.

Renowned innovation expert Navi Radjou—who has consulted, over the past 20 years, with many Fortune 500 companies—will reveal effective ways to breed entrepreneurial attitudes within large firms.

Using many real-life case studies Navi will show how your organization can master “intrapreneurship”—the art of reinventing your business model and “future proofing” your company, while running business as usual.

Navi will share proven frameworks and best practices you can use to innovate faster and better—by balancing scale and agility, encouraging productive risk-taking, leveraging the creativity of all your employees, cultivating external partnerships, and fostering wise leadership.

Additional Videos

TED Talk on Jugaad and Frugal Innovation
Learn to Unlearn: Navi Radjou at TEDxIsereRiver
TEDx Cannes Talk on Wise Leadership
How frugal innovation can reinvent healthcare for the better


Upcoming Speaking Events

Asia Healthcare Leadership Summit, Singapore, September 21-12, 2018

TEDxCannes, Cannes, France, September 15, 2018

Past Speaking Events

French Touch de l’Education et de l’Employabilité, Paris, France, July 5, 2018

FAMx: Reverse Innovation in Healthcare, Paris, France, June 1, 2018

Congres du Centre des Jeunes Dirigeants (CJD), Nancy, France, May 19, 2018

Global Bioeconomy Summit, Berlin, Germany, April 19, 2018

National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, March 8, 2018

ADIR Annual Conference, La Reunion, September 6, 2017

Zermatt Summit, Switzerland, September 8-10, 2017

EM Lyon Business School, Lyon, France, September 13, 2017

APM National Conference, Bordeaux, France, September 14, 2017

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, September 19, 2017

International Monetary Fund (IMF), Washington, D.C., September 20, 2017

Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs, New York, October 11, 2017

United Nations, New York, October 12, 201

VivaTech, Paris, France, June 16-17, 2017

Founders Forum, London, UK, June 15, 2017

InnoFrugal, Helsinki, Finland, April 24-25, 2017

L’Entreprise du Futur, Lyon, France, January 19, 2017

Open Government Partnership Global Summit, Paris, France, December 2016

Unigrains — ReThink Eat!, Paris, France, October 20, 2016

International Summit of Cooperatives, Montreal, Canada, October 12, 2016

Wise Innovation — A Journey Toward Smart Society, Singapore, October 7, 2016

World Conference on Fabric and Homecare, Singapore, October 6, 2016

UPS Leadership Speaker Series, Atlanta, GA, August 30, 2016

Responsible Business Forum, Oxford Saïd Business School, UK, May 13, 2016

Michelin Group, Clermont Ferrand, France, March 29, 2016

Uludag Economy Summit, Turkey, March 25, 2016

IBM Research Lab, Austin, TX, March 15, 2016

SXSW — Panel on Frugal Innovation and Makers, Austin, TX, March 14, 2016

Airbus Corporate Event, Paris, France, January 13, 2016

WAVE — How Collective Ingenuity is Changing the World, Mumbai, India, January 8, 2016

Navi is curator of WAVE, an interactive exhibition produced by BNP Paribas. Hosted in major global cities (Milan, in this photo), WAVE features hands-on workshops where visitors can unleash their creativity.
Image © BNP Paribas

“The entrepreneurs who create Jugaad solutions are like alchemists. They can magically transform adversity into opportunity, and turn something of less value into high value.”

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