Gianluca Gimini


Design Culture’s Priscila Vasconcelos kindly invited me to share my experience in applying Design Thinking to the Innovation process in a Keynote on last Saturday’s #DCEX.

My driver to study and use Design Thinking come from the need, as Head of Innovation and Intelligence of HEINEKEN Portugal, to feed the Innovation Funnel, in order to deliver the Innovation Rate the company was aiming for. Forward into the future, I realised this is a common problem for both big, medium and small companies, hence I developed an end-to-end program for UBERBRANDS — Brand Building (R)evolutionaries called INNOVaction in order to:

“support all types of companies in all types of Industries, both in B2B and B2C markets, in relevant, sustainable and profitable innovation.”

So, Why Design Thinking? Because, according to Tim Brown the aim is to:

“matching people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and viable as a business strategy”

And what has this got to do with my need to feed the Innovation Funnel you may ask?


To be successful in our innovation quest we need to have an human-centred approach to identify his needs, without forgetting the technology that would enable addressing them, and making money on the process.

But how could it be done?

After some thinking and research, I realised that the real vale would be in identifying unarticulated needs that no other product or service was catering for. And to identify those I would need to support the process with actionable insights (Intelligence) on both the Consumer, Technology and Business. As such, I develop a Trend Mapping process that would allow me to visualize the White Spaces / Blue Oceans / Innovation Hotspots which in turn supports both Incremental or Game-Changing Innovation.

And to generate ideas, I designed a gamification process, where those trends are played against a backdrop of business restrictions in order to guarantee reality adherence.

Of course, the process itself is based on the Fuzzy Front End logic and inspired by the Design Thinking “process”:

To unblock creativity I used some creative problem solving techniques along the way, resulting in a Design Thinking process “on steroids”.

Today UBERBRANDS, we use a SaaS platform to run INNOVaction and once again the Design Thinking mindset and UX was not forgotten. Workshops run smoothly and save precious time and money to our customers.

The Keynote is only available here!

Design Thinking, and Product Design and Management, will be Key Topics on PRODUCTIZED Conference next 19th, 20th and 21st of October in Lisbon.

Join us here.

As a friend, colleague, fan, or follower, I have a treat for you! Just use LMADUREIRA20 promo code when registering to get 20% off your ticket price ;). See you there!