Ideo's David Kelley wins Edison Award for Innovation

On April 1, Ideo founder David Kelley will be awarded the Edison Achievement Award by the Thomas Edison Papers at Rutgers University for his “pioneering contributions to the design of breakthrough products, services, and experiences for consumers, as well as his development of an innovative culture that has broad impact.”

Past recipients of the award include Ted Turner, Robert Woodruff of Coca-Cola, Martha Stewart, Nolan Archibald of Black & Decker, J. Williard Marriott, Jr. of Mariott International, Frank Perdue, Herb Baum of Campbell Soup Company, and Paul Kahn of At&T, among others.

“David’s leadership in the education of multiple generations of thinkers stands as a testment to his extraordinary vision for our nation’s future,” says Sarah Miller Caldicott, great grandniece of Thomas Edison, and chairperson of the award’s steering committee.

Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellman, president of product development at Genentech, will also receive the prize.  She’s being honored for her groundbreaking work in transforming cancer drug development and cancer treatment options.

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  • Sarah Caldicott

    Edison's world-changing achievements remind us that innovation is deeply rooted in America's DNA. The six industries Edison pioneered all remain with us even now. In fact, the Computer History Museum itself -- the location for this year's Edison Awards - can trace its roots to Edison. His basic research discovery of what became known as "The Edison Effect" later gave birth to the vacuum tube, laying the foundation for the Computer and Electronics industries.

    To compete successfully in today's global economy, we all need to learn how to "think like an innovator." Edison's timeless methods offer us guidance on do this in our 21st century world.