Bestselling Author, Innovation Expert, Former-Dentist, Improvisational Comedian

Dr. Simone Ahuja

Fee Range

< $25,000

At a glance:

Simone Ahuja is a top innovation keynote speaker, best-selling author, and founder of Blood Orange, an innovation and strategy firm. She is a columnist for Harvard Business Review and serves as an advisor to MIT’s Practical Impact Alliance and Noora Health, a FastCompany “Most Innovative Company”.

Dr. Simone Ahuja is the founder of Blood Orange, an innovation and strategy advisory firm.  Headquartered in Minneapolis with global teams, Blood Orange has developed a fast and frugal innovation methodology that helps companies move develop innovative ideas and move them through to execution.

She is a columnist for Harvard Business Review and serves as an advisor to MIT’s Practical Impact Alliance and Noora Health, a FastCompany “Most Innovative Company”.  Simone provides innovation and intrapreneurship consulting services, interactive labs and keynotes to organizations including 3M, Procter & Gamble, Target Corp, Medtronic, Stanley Black and Decker, and the World Economic Forum.

Simone is the co-author of the international bestseller Jugaad Innovation – Think Frugal, Be Flexible, Generate Breakthrough Growth, and author of  Disrupt-It-Yourself – Hacking the Corporation to Make it Fast, Fluid and Frugal, selected by Forbes as a 2019 must-read leadership book.

  • Cracking the Intrapreneur’s Code: How To Think and Act Like a Startup Inside Large Organizations

    Innovation isn’t just for R&D and the organizational elite. Some of the most impactful
    innovations come from passion and purpose-driven intrapreneurs - entrepreneurs in your organization without a formal mandate to innovate. Cracking the Intrapreneur’s Code helps you get clear on how to support this powerful form of internal innovation, and inspires your intrapreneurs to take action through memorable stories, a clear process, and a whole lot of fun. Based on research from her book Disrupt It Yourself, Simone presents a proven approach to guide your intrapreneurs from ideas to innovation impact.

    This program is perfect for leaders and teams who want to:
    •Address disruption by out-innovating from the inside of their organization
    •Build a culture where everyone feels empowered to innovate 
    •Drive more and better innovation every day - without upending their entire

    The audience will leave with:
    •A clear framework for everyone to activate innovation 
    •A simple and proven action plan to accelerate ideas into bottom-line impact
    •The creative confidence they need to get into intrapreneurial action
  • Jugaad (Frugal) Innovation: How to Do More with Less (and Love It!)

    Thinking like an entrepreneur isn’t just for startups. Solving even the biggest problems starts with you and the resources you already have.  What you need is the right mindset and a simple toolkit to get you there. 

    Based on her research in emerging markets and her bestselling book, Jugaad Innovation, Simone shares inspiring stories of frugal innovators who solve problems large and small with the right mindset and a set of guiding principles. This high-value, low-resource approach to problem-solving occurs at the intersection of business, design, and social innovation.   

    This program is perfect for leaders and teams who:
    •Want to create more business value with fewer resources consistently 
    •Want to democratize innovation, so it’s the domain of all employees
    •Feel challenged and stressed by having to grow the business with less time and
    fewer resources.

    The audience will learn to:
    •Use your creativity to reframe problems as opportunities
    •Gain support for new ideas to move faster and have a greater impact
    •Leverage existing resources so they can start problem-solving now
  • (R)evolution is an Inside Job: Leading Everyday Innovation

    Do you have ideas about changes needed in your organization but don’t have a clear pathway to bring them to life? Is problem-solving in your blood, but maybe not in your job description? Each of us can be a leader and changemaker - but what happens when we question the status quo within our division or industry?

    In this interactive, practical, and fast-paced keynote, explore what you need to light your intrapreneurial fire. Examine the top challenges of successful intrapreneurs and map strategies to navigate these in your life. 

    Dr. Ahuja offers personal insights about the power of placing small, low-risk bets to make meaningful change - with real-world case studies and some innovation therapy. She highlights why we must value the diversity of thought and skill, how we can leverage our existing resources to solve pressing problems, and illuminates barriers facing intrapreneurs. You’ll leave with a sense of empowerment, practical tips, and a valuable tool to share with your team and keep your intrapreneurial fire burning.

    This session is perfect for leaders and teams who want to:
    •Build a consistent pipeline for innovation and innovation talent
    •Build a culture where everyone feels empowered to innovate
    •Create a more inclusive culture that catalyzes innovation 

    The audience will learn to:
    •Identify and develop ideas that will have the highest impact on your organization.
    •Leverage a process that allows them to test ideas in low risk, high impact ways
    •Get comfortable with so-called “failures” and re-frame them as learning.
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as a Catalyst for Innovation:  Three Keys to Greater Inclusion for Better Performance and Growth

    Innovation is the most powerful way for organizations to stay relevant and grow in our rapidly
    evolving world. By increasing the diversity of their teams and creating space for diverse voices
    to be heard, business leaders can dramatically increase their innovation output.  In this energizing and optimistic keynote, Dr. Ahuja shares engaging stories demonstrating why diverse teams create more “out of the box” ideas and drive nearly 20% higher revenue.  She provides a fun and often surprising experience that uncovers your own biases in real-time and shares practical tools for building the psychological safety fundamental to successful innovation and business growth. 

    This program is great for the leaders and teams who:
    •Want to reduce bias and build a more inclusive and curious culture
    •Want to build a healthy culture of psychological safety to support diverse voices and
    •Want to harness curiosity to drive more inclusion and innovation 

    The audience will leave with:
    •A crystal-clear connection between DEI and greater innovation
    •A clear strategy for removing barriers to diversity, equity, and inclusion
    •Proven steps to navigate difficult conversations that fuel DEI and innovation
Our group felt motivated and empowered after Simone’s presentation on navigating crisis through innovation. Along with powerful storytelling, Simone helped us reframe how we think about today and our future - and gave us clear action steps so we knew exactly where to go next.

— Tiki Ayiku: Professional Development at NAPSA

Simone’s session was a standout and reached everyone in our global group.  She delivered an interactive, fun and relevant keynote with practical takeaways to drive more creativity and problem solving in any environment. Our group loved it!

— Minhae Choi, HR Officer, International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank Group)

Simone is a new brand of expert.  She was well-researched, but also fun, and interactive.  She gave us actions we could apply immediately - - and she had our entire group on their feet dancing by the end of the session!

— Dr. Ann Hackett, Central Exchange Leader, Chief Learning and Engagement Office, Bloch School of Business

Simone brought a fresh perspective on innovation and challenged us to get comfortable with our discomfort.  She shared ways we can proactively include everyone as we bring diverse talent together to grow our success.  She was easy to work with and took care of us after the event, so we could build on that energy.

— Mike Anderson, Research & Development, Raytheon Technologies

As the owner of the UnitedHealth Group’s emerging leader program, Simone was the obvious choice to support our virtual session. Our audience of 1,600  leaders was highly engaged based on comments we received both during and after the session. Simone clearly connected with our global audience through her passion, her impactful storytelling, and her deep, actionable knowledge on what it takes to innovate in the real word, at the individual level.

— Walter Baumann, Learning & Development, UnitedHealth Group

Simone created a high level of inspiring conversion among our team members and leaders. She made the link between DEI and innovation crystal clear and provided concrete and practical strategies that everyone could deploy immediately.

— Tina Garrett-Ragland: Enterprise Leader, DEI & L & D, Pacific Life Insurance Company

Dr. Ahuja was a pleasure to partner with for the kickoff keynote. She is incredibly down to earth and easy to work with, and was deeply invested in tailoring the messaging to what our organization would find most valuable. Her talk was engaging, fun, and informative. Dr. Ahuja was the perfect choice to jumpstart our event series!

— Olivia Petti, Program Manager, Salesforce

Simone’s was the MOST engaging and interactive virtual session I’ve been on in the last year and a half - and we’ve done a lot!

— Erika White: Director of Corporate Innovation, gener8or

Simone brought just the energy we needed to kick off our enterprise-wide innovation event. She’s knowledgeable, engaging and fun!

— Adrian Griggs: EVP and COO, PacificLife Insurance Company

We have utilized Simone’s ideas to help us define our approach to intrapreneurship and innovation, and catalyze the transformation within our company.

— Jim Loree: President & CEO, Stanley Black & Decker

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