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Framing the Vision for Engagement


  • Heather McGowan

    1. Innovation strategy consultant with notable expertise in transformational change. Currently, she is advising a Massachusetts college president in reframing a small private college's core value proposition to achieve university status by 2020. At Philadelphia University, she was charged with creating the strategy, architecting the curriculum, developing the faculty, and crafting the advisory network for the innovative Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce (DEC), which won the 2012 Core 77 international competition for innovation in design education and secured a $20M gift to name the college as part of a broader $55M capital campaign. McGowan has advised senior management in companies in strategy, business modeling, and financing, and has brought more than 25 products to market. She holds a BFA in industrial design from Rhode Island School of Design and an MBA in entrepreneurship from Babson College. McGowan is the co-editor of the book Disrupt Together: How Teams Consistently Innovate (Pearson/FT Press, December 2013), a contributing author to The Global Innovation Science Handbook (January 2014) and The Handbook for Anthropology and Business (Left Coast Press, 2014), and an early contributor to the Business Model Generation (Wiley, 2010).
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Philadelphia University wanted to create a new undergraduate college that would link programs in engineering, design, and business, offering younger students the kinds of collaborative experiences that are usually the province of graduate students. It was a huge initiative, and it required some careful strategic design.

Designing an innovation… or a college.