In Relentless Pursuit of Innovation…

About ILF

Founder: Bettina von Stamm, Innovation Philosopher, Story Teller & Catalyst

Wanting to understand has always been a main driver for Bettina. After completing her MBA in 1992 this passion was channeled into the field of innovation, deepened further when she returned to London Busines School to do her PhD titled: “Understanding the effects of context and complexity in new product development” (1994-1998).

Ever since initially being infected with the innovation bug Bettina has shared her passion for innovation throughout the world in a variety of ways:

  • Speaking at conferences and corporate events
  • Designing and delivering workshops and other events around the topic of innovation
  • Teaching on post graduate courses and executive programms
  • Advising individuals and teams who are responsible for improving their organisation’s innovation performance

Topics she covers include ‘Understanding Innovation’, ‘Innovation & Creativity’, ‘Innovation Leadership & Leadership for Innovation’, Collaborating for Innovation’, ‘Innovation & Sustainability’, ‘Women, Entrepreneurship & Innovation’, and’Thriving in the 21st Century’

Before her MBA and PhD from London Business School Bettina received a degree in architecture and town planning from Kiel University in Germany.

In addition to numerous articles in both practitioner and academic journals she has published three books and 4 research reports on her favourite topic.

To help organisations accelerate their innovation journey she has developed the award-winning Innovation Wave®, a web-enabled tool for facilitated assessment and development of innovation capability, and her Innovation Cards.

IW logo 2010



2010 €30,000 grant by the Pribilla Foundation for the development of a toolkit for ‘Visualising the invisible’; in collaboration with Orange Hills GmbH, Universität der Bundeswehr and Technical University  München

2003 Award of the RSA’s (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts Manufactures & Commerce) £30,000 Onians Fellowship for the development of the web-enabled Innovation Wave®, a facilitated tool for the assessment and development of an organisation’s innovation capability.

1995-98 Grant for doctoral studies by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

1990-92 Student Fellowship of the Anglo-German Foundation

Bettina’s cherishes her affiliations with leading academic institutions and business schools around the world as they allow her both to infect the next generation with the innovation bug and stay at the forefront of innovation knowledge

Academic affiliations – Currently Active

2014- Adjunct Faculty LAICS (Leadership and Innovation in Complex System), Copenhagen Business School & Aarhus University

2010- Visiting Professor, MBI, DEUSTO Business School, Spain

2005- Visiting Professor, Innovation Management, Middlesex University, UK

Academic affiliations – since 2000

2015 Visiting Professor, International Seminars’ Series, KEDGE Business School, Marseille Campus, France

2014 Adjunct Faculty Hult International Business School

2012-13 Visiting Professor, International Seminars, IAE, Aix, France

2012-13 Visiting Professor, MBA, IAE, Aix, France

2012-13 Visiting Professor, Design & Product Management, University of Applied Sciences, Salzburg, Austria

2011-2015 Visiting Professor, D-School, Potsdam, Germany

2011-14 Visiting Professor, MBI, CEDIM, Monterrey, Mexico

2007- 2015 Gastdozent, MBA Innovation & Business Creation, TUM (Technical University

Munich), Germany

2007-08 Chaire Internationale ICN en Management du Design et de l’Innovation, ICN

Business School, Nancy University

2006-07 Visiting Lecturer, Innovation Management, HHL (Handelshochschule

Leipzig), Germany

2005-07 Associate, Centre for Business Research, Manchester Business School, UK

2005-08 Visiting Professor & Advisor, Zollverein School of Management & Design,

Essen, Germany

2004-07 Visiting Fellow, Cranfield University, Cranfield School of Management, UK

2003-07 External Examiner to the Regents Business School’s BA (Hons) in

International Business with Design Management, UK

2002-03 Visiting Lecturer, MBA, London Business School, London, UK

Like to be inspired by innovation-related events, news and other innovation-related activities ? Then you will enjoy our ‘regular irregular’ mailouts!

ILF – Family, Friends & Networks

At the Innovation Leadership Forum we believe in working with people, much more so than organisations. This is why here, on the ‘About’ page, we are delighted to introduce three communities: the ILF Family – those who are part of the ILF Team; the ILF’s Friends – a wonderful host of individuals with whom the ILF feels closely connected, either because we have collaborated in the past, we continue to have frequent exchanges and interactions, or we just love what they do!  A final category are Networks. Networks are the lifeblood of innovation and change.  They are characterised by members sharing one particular interest or passion in common; this creates a common ground that enables us to come together with open hearts and minds, despite what ever other differences there might be between us; those that we love most are the ones that bring us together not only virtually but also physically, enabling us to talk business as well as enjoy some social and relaxed time together.


  • ChrisTine Von Allwörden
    ChrisTine Von AllwördenPersonal Accelerator (PA)

    ChrisTine is the glue that holds the ILF together. Her spirit, patience and never ending common sense are invaluable in organising and coordinating the ILF’s activities. It is she who ensures that materials, information and participants are all in the right place at the right time – and also that Bettina does not have to be in two places at the same time (though Bettina would quite fancy that at times!).

    • Rod Brown
      Rod BrownCrusader for Service Excellence

      Rod has always had an interest in exploring and creating new ventures. This interest has grown steadily over the years and more recently developed into a full-blown passion: Rod is one of the new bread of mature entrepreneurs, having started not one but two new companies, MCADO and Opun.  Together with the team he has galvanised around him he has no lesser goal than to revolutionise the service industry in the UK (and beyond)!  About time, don’t you think?  Bettina and Rod first met while doing their MBAs at London Business School back in 1990 (…) and, not to forget, he is also a Director of the Innovation Leadership Forum.


    • Alvaro Urech
      Alvaro UrechInnovation Inspiration from the sphere of physics

      What privilege it is to teach – not least because of the most amazing and interesting people it brings across one’s path. Alvaro was another of DEUSTO’s MBI students who has the wonderful ability to crate wonderful insights into innovation by connecting them to concepts from the field of physics.  In his day time job he is Head of Innovation at Ineco, helping them innovate and transform.

      • Anna Trifilova

        Anna is an amazing person, full of imaginative ideas and creativity which she dishes out generously to those around her, inspiring and motivating them.  She and Bettina met at an ISPIM Conference in June 2008 – and that was it! The writing of the book ‘The Future of Innovation’ and consequent Masterclasses on this topic have firmly cemented their friendship. Anna now pursues a varied career that means she can be found the UK, Russia, the UK and Germany – and a collection of other countries!

      • Arndt Pechstein
        Arndt PechsteinInspiration and creator of a sustainable future

        Do you take the time to introduce people to each other?  If not, do!!!  Bettina has been connected with the most amazing people you can imagine.  Arndt is one of these people – Bettina sensed a kindred spirit as we seemed to share many passions while coming from a different starting point and perspective. Part of Arndt’s journey were a PhD in neuroscience, a certificate in biomimicry and being a Design Thinking coach, all of which he puts to work to help organisations move towards sustainability-driven innovation through his own organisation, phi360

      • Charlie Curtis
        Charlie CurtisThe one who mobilises business for social impact

        Charlie is another of those people whom Bettina felt compelled to invite to join the amazing group of Friends of the ILF; there is something about his spark, energy, passion and diverse experience which made it irresistible. Something that may have also played into it is the fact that Charlie is all about  turning social impact ideas into commercial businesses, and is involved in all kinds of amazing projects in the world of sustainability: DryGro and Origen Power, to name but a few.

      • Chris Loughlan
        Chris LoughlanVisionary integrator and sense-maker

        Having met not that long ago, it was after skim-reading Chris’ most recent book, ‘The Innovation Manifesto’, that Bettina could not help but ask Chris whether he might like to jon the ranks of ‘Friends of the ILF’.  What is so special about the book? While it is impressive how Chris weaves together thoughts from past and present,philosophy and psychology, management and literature, what really won Bettina over is the fact that it promotes innovation as a way of being.

      • Crys Vanier
        Crys VanierPromotor of Citizen Entrepreneurship & Changemaking

        Bettina had the great pleasure of teaching Crys at one of her favourite programmes, the MBI at DEUSTO Business School.  Ever since Crys introduced Bettina to her thinking on Citizen Entrepreneurship, the two have stayed in touch and are working on opportunities for deeper collaboration.

        As for Citizen Entrepreneurship,  it’s about re-framing the systems of municipal governance to meaningfully involve citizens in their areas of passion and expertise.  Citizen change-making strives to create a ground level experience with beautiful seams… to support and celebrate the value that individuals and groups of citizens contribute in evolving our neighbourhoods, cities and beyond.

      • Deepak Goel
        Deepak GoelDiscoverer of the soul of brands and companies

        Deepak has been introduced to Bettina through a mutual friend (whom you can also find here! Want to make a guess?).  If a trusted friend recommends a connection Bettina knows she is on to a good thing!  Deepak, based in India, is a warm and generous spirit, whose work on ‘Humanising Brands’ will hopefully help spread the spirit of warmth and generosity in the business world around the globe!  In order to do the spreading Deepak has set up his own company, Drizzlin.

      • Denise de Luca
        Denise de LucaThe One who ensures that things do happen

        The meeting of Denise and Bettina proves that we really decide what we think about someone in a few seconds! Bettina had the privilege of hearing Denise speak at a NESTA event back 2012 in on her favourite topic: biomimicry. Taken immediately with the content, and the passion and knowledge behind the delivery Bettina approached Denise – and despite having exchange only a few words on that occasion, and Denise returning to the US shortly afterwards, they have stayed in touch since. Most recently Denise has started to explore the gift of biomimicry in the context of leadership.

      • Dennis Stauffer
        Dennis StaufferDiscoverer of the essence of an innovator's mindset

        Bettina is not quite sure when her path crossed with Dennis’, it is probably as long as 15 years ago! With the greatest of interest has Bettina been following Dennis’ development of an assessment too for an ‘Innovator’s Mindset‘ – if you are interested in Innovation you should too! Not only does Dennis’ instrument help identify those with a propensity to innovate, it can be used as a development tool and the predictive capability does as far as correlating with entrepreneurial success.

      • Dorothea Ernst
        Dorothea ErnstPathfinder, Sensemaker, Transformation Architect

        Dorothea and Bettina met in 2008 on a Discontinuous Innovation Lab and since then their paths have increasingly merged and intertwined. Both share a deep passion for embedding sustainability as innovation driver, and for placing individuals at the heart of the transformation we so urgently need.  Indeed, it was Dorothea who added a fourth ‘P’ for ‘Person’ to the 3 ‘P’ of Planet, People, Profit. She has been on a truly remarkable ‘twin path’ of personal growth and corporate transformation at Philips – and you can read all about it in her wonderful, inspiring and insightful book “Personal and organisational transformation towards sustainability

        • Emily Riley Miller
          Emily Riley MillerInnovation Leadership Forum Ambassador 2011

          Emily and Bettina go back to their days at London Business School – though it was much later when they truly connected, realising their shared passion for design and innovation. As Ambassador Emily has helped raise awareness for the ILF, and is still occasional visitor to the Networking Group meetings. For the past few years she has build up an amazing business, helping people get most out of LinkedIn.

        • Eva Kirchberger
          Eva KirchbergerStudent In Residence 2012-2014

          Eva, whom Bettina met during an event at Central St Martin where Eva was studying, was the one who inspired the creation of the role of Student in Residence! She was a fresh breath in the Networking Group meetings and a reminder of the changes in mindset that the younger generations bring to the table … She is now part of the European DESMA project as part of which she works on her PhD at Imperial College.

        • France Selvides
          France SelvidesInnovation Leadership Forum Ambassador And Distributor Of The Innovation Wave(R) For France 2011-

          It was France’s interest in and passion for innovation that has brought her to the Innovation Leadership Forum Family. Since 2010 Bettina and France have been scheming how best to infiltrate France with the Innovation Leadership Forum and the Innovation Wave®. After a varied career in diverse corporations France now pursues her passion for innovation through her own organisation Kaliris.

        • Jennifer Ann Gordon
          Jennifer Ann GordonWord Artist and People’s Ambassador

          Jennifer is a true artist…with words, with a paintbrush, and with life. She and Bettina met in Taos back in 2007 at a a women’s leadership retreat. Jennifer is one of those people whose questions or comments might irritate you… not because they are irrelevant or rude, but because they hit a spot – one  that you would have preferred not to look at – and her sincere interest and compassion  make it difficult both to ignore it or get angry!  This ability is probably also why she gets involved in the entrepreneurial scene a lot.  Oh yes, and not to forget her blog, Business To A Different Beat, and her book, A Woman’s Mind Half Naked (Revised Edition). 

        • Jo McCormick
          Jo McCormickInfusing the workplace with wellbeing and resilience

          Jo, then Head of Business Improvement at Penguin Books, first crossed Bettina’s path in 2013 during a series of workshops Bettina was running for the British Quality Foundation. You know how it is, with some people you just connect and stay in touch. I love her holistic approach to wellbeing which builds on her own experience in managing stress and finding balance in a busy world. Even more exciting that she has taken this experience as foundation for her own company, The Healthy Head Company through which she helps others find their purpose and balance.

        • Madeleine van der Steege
          Madeleine van der SteegeCo-conspirator in moving the needle of awareness and happiness

          Madeleine and Bettina were connected through the amazing women’s network, UnitedSucces, when Madeleine was working on her project ‘We Soar’, a piece of global research into women entrepreneurship,  and immediately recognised each other as fellow-travellers on their journey to understand, learn and grow – and inspire others to join on this journey. Madeleine an award-winning entrepreneur herself founded Synquity. Madeleine fused ‘Synergy and Equity’ which to her refers to the splendour and beauty of being in sync with yourself and others at work or home.

        • Mario Gagliardi
          Mario GagliardiBrilliant designer, thinker, visionary

          Mario and Bettina go way back, to the turn of the millennium when Bettina was teaching at the University of Westminster’s MBA Design Management. Initially intrigued by Mario’s brilliant course work and dissertation, she has since realised that he is generally brilliant: as designer, as thinker, as visionary, and as a friend. (… a lot of brilliance … well, truth will out!). You can check out his thinking and doing on his website.

          • Meltem Etcheberry
            Meltem EtcheberryVisionary and created or inspired workplaces

            Bettina is fascinated by Meltem’s approach to the built (retail) environment which is holistic, poetic, exciting, and aims at all five senses! It is Meltem’s approach that gives Bettina hope that in the threesome of online, soulless shopping mall and high street boutiques it is the middle one that will drop out! Bettina had the pleasure of meeting Meltem back in 2007 when Meltem was working for L’Occitane en Provence as International Concept Manager, and Bettina was Chaire Internationale ICN in « Management du Design et de l’Innovation, ICN Business School, Nancy University.”  Meltem was also contributor to The Future of Innovation where she shared her thoughts on why diversity is key

          • Natalie Turner
            Natalie TurnerCreator of the 6”I”s

            While Natalie and Bettina’s path have kept crossing for well over a decade now, it was the 6 ‘I’s®, the amazing Model that Natalie has developed, that caused their paths to become truly intertwined: Bettina is delighted to be the first  Certified Practitioner for the tool, which offers a systemic approach, combining consideration for process, skills, and mindsets (culture).  Curious?  Have a look at the website or buy the book – and watch Natalie in action ;-).

          • PENELOPE TOBIN

            Penelope and Bettina connected, some time ago, and neither of them can remember how exactly it happened…  After finally meeting in person it was clear: Penelope would be just such a wonderful addition to the ILF Friends. How could she not when it says on her website: “I’m dedicated to making it easy for you to identify the barriers and break through them so you can make the most of who you are.” This little video shares a bit of the essence of her thinking.

          • Petra Künkel
            Petra KünkelEnabler of collaboration for a sustainable future

            A connection that started with Bettina’s indignation of being asked to promote an event of an organisation she had never heard about …  The indignation transformed to admiration quickly once Bettina took a look at the website of the Collective Leadership institute (CLI): their work is just inspiring and reflects Petra’s passion for enabling collaboration, stakeholder engagement, leadership and sustainability, something that was recently recognised by an invitation to become a full member of the Club of Rome. In order to share her passion and make it actionable for others Petra has developed the Collective Leadership Compass about which you can find out in this short video, and  her books.

          • Rui Patricio
            Rui PatricioBringing serious fun to bear on innovation

            It is fairly recently that Rui and Bettina met, at ISPIM 2014 to be exact.  Like with so many other of the ILF’s amazing friends, there is an itch to collaborate!  One opportunity has already been realised: sharing thoughts on the innovation opportunity that lies in innovation assessments!  Both agree that more fun and games are needed (and not only when it comes to the assessment of innovation, innovation as a whole benefits from becoming more fun, from being gamified!  And that’s just what Rui and his company, Digital Flow, set out to do.  Wonderful!

          • Salvatore Moccia
            Salvatore MocciaCreator of Opportunities & Possibilities

            Salvatore reached out to Bettina a few years ago when looking for a partner in crime for writing a book on design management.  While that has not (yet) materialised, Bettina fell in love with the beauty of Salvatore’s thinking and writing when reading his article on leadership lessons from Don Quijote and is delighted that they have become friends.  Salvatore is a true leaders of the 21st century who leads by inspiring and enabling others.

          • Sue Priest
            Sue PriestEnthusing next generations about science 

            While Bettina first encountered Sue back in 2002 when teaching ‘Managing Innovation Design & Creativity’ as elective on the MBA programme at London Busienss School, it was a good 10 years later that they reconnected. Bettina just loves Sue’s passion for sustainability and innovation, in particular for passing it on to the next generations which is why her latest venture, ScienceClubz, set up in 2015, is all about fostering a love of science and innovation in our next generation. If you are interested in getting first insights into quantum physics, Sue’s book, “Chagford Twins – The Quizling Question” is absolutely brilliant. 

          • Susanne Lamdahl Justesen
            Susanne Lamdahl JustesenCreator of Innoversity

            Having met a one of the first innovation conferences in Europe back in 2004 (!!), Susanne and I found that we shared a passion not only for innovation, but also for networking, sharing and, not to forget, diversity. Indeed, innovating with diversity was at the heart of Susanne’s PhD, and helping companies realising the potential that lies therein is what Susanne does through her research, and her company Innoversity CPH.

          • Trudy Lloyd
            Trudy LloydInnovation Leadership Forum Ambassador 2011

            Networking meetings have a lot to answer for …. It was one of those – and the shared passion for innovation – that brought Trudy, founder and director of Anatellô, and Bettina together. Trudy’s expertise is around designing and delivering innovation learning programmes whereby she is particularly interested in the aspects of risk management and strategic innovation. She has recently put together a brochure that offers an overview of her offering, what Bettina likes in particular is that the programme addresses different levels of ‘innovation knowledge maturity.’  Have a look!

          • Ulrike Reinhard
            Ulrike ReinhardWizzard of the 'WE' and conduit for unheard voices

            Ulrike is an independent, dependable spirit with connections across and around the globe, a big heart, and endless courage to pursue the things she believes in. Ulrike and Bettina met 2012 at the d.confestival in Potsdam, Bettina chairing a session on new and exciting developments in the world of elementary schools, and Ulrike presenting her amazing we_school, a project she ran in India.  Bettina particularly loves her for her following statement: “I strongly believe that growth cannot be defined by pure economic number crunching – growth has to be defined by its social and environmental impact.”


            GInI – Global Innovation Institute

            I am truly delighted to have joined GInI’s Advisory Board in December 2019. GInI aims to advance individual careers and transform organizational achievements by advancing the profession of innovation leadership. It does this through its globally recognized standards, tools, publications, resources, professional development courses, certifications, applied research, and networking opportunities.

            ISPIM – International Society for Professional Innovation Management

            There is actually a third network I am very pleased to be part of: ISPIM, the International Society for Professional Innovation Management. The reason why I love them is that they were way ahead in aiming to bring together the ABC of innovation: academics, business people and consultants.  Their annual conferences are wonderful to connect, learn, and have a marvellous time.  Iain, you are doing a great job :-).


            Katerva is a most amazing network of individuals – spotters, experts, researchers, promotors, investors and innovators – dedicated to “identifying, evaluating and accelerating sustainable disruptive innovation”, using the Katerva Awards, described by Reuters as the ‘Nobel Prize of Sustainability’ are the vehicle to achieve their ambition.  Bettina had to travel to Australia and join a network in the Netherlands for her and Terry Waghorn’s (Katerva’s founder) paths to cross. First joining the cause as expert, since Autumn 2015 Bettina volunteers as Director of Awards Program


            UnitedSucces, set up by globally minded Dutch woman Corinne Heijn in 2008, has the purpose to connect and support women entrepreneurs around the globe.  As UnitedSucces Director, Yvonne Finch, pointed out to me recently, once you are part of this group of wonderful women you never have to feel alone again.

            We’re delighted to hear from you

            Telephone: +44 (0) 1553 631516
            Email: [email protected]

              Your Name (required)

              Your Email (required)


              Your Message

              We'd love to hear from you

              Do you have any questions or thoughts in the context of innovation then please get in touch!

              Start typing and press Enter to search