Simone Ahuja Profile Photo

Simone Ahuja

Keynote Speaker

Innovation Expert, Bestselling Author, Business School Advisor

Simone Ahuja provides a practical playbook for sustainable innovation and "intrapreneurship."

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Simone Ahuja'S SPEAKING FEE $25K - $40K

Simone Ahuja Profile Photo

Dr. Simone Ahuja is pioneering the idea of “intrapreneurship” and teaching organizations how to act more like fast and frugal startups, to drive sustainable innovation.

Simone is the founder of Blood Orange, a global innovation and strategy firm headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is co-author of the international bestseller, Jugaad Innovation, called “the most comprehensive book yet on the subject” of frugal innovation by the Economist. Her latest book, Disrupt-It-Yourself (HarperCollins Leadership), shares a clear set of tools and a practical playbook that helps organizations drive sustainable innovation by supporting “intrapreneurship” and acting more like fast and frugal startups.

Simone has served as an advisor to MIT’s Practical Impact Alliance and Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge. She provides keynotes, interactive workshops, and innovation advisory services to organizations including United HealthGroup, 3M, Procter & Gamble, Target Corp, Stanley Black & Decker, and the World Economic Forum. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, is regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review online, and a practitioner of improvisational comedy.

Featured Videos

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Simone Ahuja

Dr. Simone Ahuja Speaking Reel 2021

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Simone Ahuja

Dr. Simone Ahuja on Implementing Frugal Innovation

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Simone Ahuja

Dr. Simone Ahuja on How Scarcity Reframed is Abundance

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Simone Ahuja

Dr. Simone Ahuja at the Fortune 5 Innovation Summit

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Simone Ahuja

Dr. Simone Ahuja on Smart Investment in Higher Ed Outcomes

Simone Ahuja’s Speech Topics

  • Accelerating Sales Transformation: Unleashing Customer-Centric Innovation for an Effortless Yes

    Unlock the transformative power of customer-centric innovation in driving sales excellence. This session is specially crafted for sales teams so you can revolutionize your approach and energize teams to achieve unparalleled growth. Discover vital strategies to consistently elevate sales potential with a simple, yet profound customer-centric framework. With it, you’ll learn how to shift focus from assumptions to genuine understanding of your customer’s needs and communicate those in a language that resonates with them. It doesn’t have to be hard, and it’s a lot more fun when it’s almost effortless for your customers to say ‘yes’ to your offerings.  

    In this session you will learn:

    • Customer Understanding Redefined: Gain a simple framework to consistently address customer needs, so your customer feels understood and can easily say ‘yes’
    • Language Alignment: Learn to speak in your customer’s language, crafting messages that resonate with their needs and desires
    • Actionable Strategies for Sales Teams: Feel confident to apply these customer-centric principles immediately, and guide your customers towards ‘yes’
  • Cracking the Intrapreneur’s Code: How To Think and Act Like a Startup in 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 empowers 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 within their organization
    • Build a culture where everyone feels empowered to innovate – and knows how to do it
    • Drive more innovation every day – without upending their entire organization

    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 
  • Revolution is an Inside Job: How to Think and Act Like an Internal Entrepreneur

    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 (internal entrepreneurs) and map strategies to navigate these in your life. 

    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. 
  • Fast and Frugal Intrapreneurship: Solving Problems Now with the Resources You Already Have

    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
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as a Catalyst for Innovation: A Roadmap for Creating Opportunities to Uncover Bias and Drive Innovation

    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 ideas
    • Want to harness curiosity to drive more inclusion and innovation 

    The audience will leave with:

    • A crystal clear connection between DEI and innovation/business growth
    • A clear strategy for removing barriers to diversity, equity, and inclusion
    • Proven steps to navigate difficult conversations that fuel DEI and innovation

What other organizations say about Simone Ahuja

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed Dr. Ahuja’s insightful presentation on Frugal Innovation. Our diverse audience of 850 showed record engagement during the extended Q&A after the presentation. I’m certain all of our attendees left the session with actionable takeaways that they could implement in their offices immediately.


What other organizations say about Simone Ahuja

Our audience was incredibly engaged during Simone’s virtual keynote. As higher education professionals, they are accustomed to working with less and needing to be creative about resources. Simone’s session on Jugaad Innovation really helped flip the narrative from being under-resourced, to leaning into the strength of frugal innovation. She really got everyone’s creative juices flowing!

Executive Development/Coaching

What other organizations say about Simone Ahuja

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 were 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 world, at the individual level.

Health Care


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