World Design Organization, CA



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David Kusuma is President of the World Design Organization (WDO) for the 2022-2023 term. He has led design and product innovation for major multinational companies as Senior Vice President at Oregon Tool Inc., Global Vice President of R&D and Product Development at Tupperware Brands Corporation, and Global Manager of Design & Vehicle Engineering at General Electric. His work at Tupperware created game-changing product solutions, leading to the development of 150 to 200 new products every year and launched in over 100 countries around the world. He was also responsible for developing the PONDS plant growing system in collaboration with NASA, designed by Tupperware to simplify growing vegetables in microgravity, and now being used onboard the International Space Station (ISS). David Kusuma also worked at Bayer Material Science. He is recognized as a Fellow of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), and a Fellow of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE).

​Presentation ​​

A New Emphasis on Research & Innovation to Drive Game-Changing Product Solutions

Today’s highly competitive market has made it necessary for global companies to reinvent themselves to focus on premium and value-added products. To increase their capability for competitiveness and avoid being stuck in the past, this focus requires a new emphasis on design research & innovation, using a combined design and technology vision to drive a continuous process of discovery, coupled by a willingness to take larger risks for potentially higher long-term rewards.

However, this effort cannot be successful without a full understanding of the company’s history and culture and building upon the foundation of long-established core competencies. This talk will describe a methodology developed at Tupperware to maximize creativity and invention by defining future products based on design values, emerging technologies, innovative materials, and market trends. The process employs an “open innovation” model to build partnerships with external scientists, universities, and technology institutions to push the potential of product solutions to a higher level so that new functional benefits can be achieved, which are non-obvious, and which do not currently exist.

Designers have more availability and access to new resources, information, and technologies than ever before. But each new opportunity poses both challenges as well as benefits. What are the key considerations for new products which will bring the greatest benefit for the consumer, but still provide long lasting use, and protect both public health and the environment? This strategic approach will show how collaboration is the new competitive advantage. Highlighted will be product case studies to show how to maximize human benefit while still achieving alignment with the UN Sustainability Goals.