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People Powered Innovation Labs

May 6-7, 2019

A 2-day introduction for leaders of business and social innovation, designers, facilitators, technologists and... anyone who has an innovation challenge or opportunity that would benefit from the collective genius, full support and engagement of the people in the system, those whom it serves and others with vested interests.

Typical business/social innovation challenges addressed by People Powered INNOVATION Labs:

  • Reinvent/implement service, production or R&D processes to be more flexible, speedier and consumer driven
  • Design/implement great employee AND great customer experiences
  • Reduce or eliminate silos and create more effective working relationships between functions, across levels and within your network
  • Re-energize your business and operating models
  • Foster a culture of innovation in your organization, network or ecosystem



People Powered INNOVATION Labs are a unique blend of Design Thinking, Appreciative Inquiry, and Systems Thinking, generating ...

  • Accelerated implementation
  • Solutions built by and for key stakeholders
  • Truly innovative ways of working and organizing
  • Foundation for a culture of innovation

What's different?

  • PPI Labs involve people from across organization, network or ecosystem in the discovery of what works, what energizes them, and what they hope for. 
  • PPI Labs focus on what we want to create and what opportunities, resources and strengths we have to do that.
  • PPI Labs invite us to learn our way into the future through rapid prototyping and field testing.
  • PPI Labs ensure that solutions are systemic – both technology AND social innovations

Learn by doing

Participants in this Lab will apply People Powered INNOVATION to a live case. You will learn about a disciplined approach to innovation and an integrated set of ideas, tools and methods for discovering collective strengths, assets, aspirations and opportunities – and turning those not just into great ideas but into innovations-in-practice.

Who should attend

This workshop is for everyone who has an innovation challenge or opportunity that would benefit from the collective genius of the people in the system, those who serve, those who are served and those who have vested interests. People who would find this workshop directly useful are:

  • Business and Public Sector leaders who want to accelerate organizational transformation and workplace innovation that dramatically improves the customer experience, strengthens the bottom line and significantly increases quality of working life for organizational members.
  • Social change agents and leaders who are committed to finding collaborative solutions for the complex social issues facing our world today.
  • Healthcare leaders who need to accelerate innovation and deliver measurable impact on the simultaneous challenges of reining in costs while ensuring better patient and staff experiences.
  • Educational leaders who are committed to finding breakthrough solutions to the challenge of delivering affordable, high quality education and greater teacher satisfaction.
  • Consultants, Facilitators, Designers, Technologists who wish to learn a powerful synthesis of Whole Systems, Appreciative Inquiry and Design Thinking.

Who we are

With over 100 combined years of experience as managers, consultants, researchers, educators, and change leaders, we have learned some things about change and great workplaces. People don’t resist change, they resist being changed.  Truly participatory innovation and design projects work.  Partially participative doesn’t.  The people doing the work are the best suited to innovate.  They are their own best designers. The choices we make about social architecture matter -i.e.-  choices about who works with whom, the amount  of autonomy people have, the opportunity to learn and grow on the job, the amount of bureaucracy, the use of space ….all these matter… and can be changed. We work with large group processes to engage the whole organization and its ecosystem.  Using a blend of Systems Thinking, Design Thinking and Appreciative Inquiry, we create energizing, and generative innovation and design experiences that are implemented quickly and effectively.  In addition, we leave behind the knowledge and experience for ongoing innovation and design as required for the adaptive enterprise to flourish in today’s complex environments.


February 2019 Webinar

April 2019 Webinar


Learn more about PPI-L:

PPI Labs Facilitators

Douglas Austrom

Douglas Austrom Ph.D. is co-founder of People Powered Innovation Labs. He specializes in customer-driven innovation, strategy, collaborative ecosystem design, and organization culture change. He has over 35 years of international consulting experience with clients such as The Nature Conservancy, Eli Lilly, Rolls-Royce, AT&T, E. Merck Pharmaceuticals, RCI, DowElanco, Sandoz, Elanco, and Anthem.  Doug is also an award-winning faculty member with Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business where he teaches courses on strategy, leadership and change management. He is passionate about helping clients and students successfully navigate the demands of our VUCA world.
He can be reached at or +1-317-439-0906.

Don de Guerre is one of the world’s leading experts on Open Systems Theory and its application to strategic planning, policymaking, and organization design.  After 30 years of practice, he joined Concordia University as an Associate Professor. With colleagues, his research established that the choice of design principle and resulting organizational structure is the key lever that management can control to boost productivity, adaptability, innovation and health.  His work in the social economy sector has established that for projects to be sustainable and scalable a strong and formal community infrastructure is required, ideally as a first step.   Co-founder of People Powered Innovation Labs Dr. de Guerre is today continuing to develop direct participative democratic human systems characterized by full engagement and participation of all stakeholders.
He can be reached at

Don de Guerre

Bernard Mohr

Bernard Mohr is a globally recognized expert on the creation of vibrant, and effective workplaces - through Appreciative Inquiry and Socio-Technical Systems design. He specializes in complex, highly professionalized environments such as healthcare, education and scientific research. For 50 years, throughout the USA, Central America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, Canada and the Middle East he has supported clients as a strategist and a “role up your sleeves resource” --in companies such as BayState Health, British Petroleum, Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Coca Cola, Episcopal Church/USA, Exxon, GlaxoSmithKline, Government of Trinidad and Tobago, LL Bean, Novartis, Tufts Medical Center, University of Maine and the US Internal Revenue Service. He is originator and co-founder of People Powered Innovation Labs, past Dean of Complex Systems Change at NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Science and adjunct faculty in organizational innovation at Concordia University (Montreal). Recent books include "Appreciative Inquiry: Change At the Speed of Imagination" (Jossey Bass), Essentials of Appreciative Inquiry: A Roadmap For Creating Positive Futures (Pegasus Communications),“The Appreciative Inquiry Summit: A Practitioner's Guide for Leading Large-Group Change” (Berrett-Koehler) and “Co-Creating Humane And Innovative Organizations: Evolutions in the Practice of Socio-Technical System Design”  (Global STS-D Press).
He can be reached at +1-207-807-4974 or

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