Theo Keane



Innovation, startup & new ventures, culture & transformation, product development.

Business highlights

Senior Program Manager | Nesta
Design and delivery of innovation programmes to help international development organisations and national governments transform the way they deliver services. including Oxfam, UN Development
Programme, U.S. Agency for International Development, The Rockefeller Foundation.

Corporate Development Manager | Zamyn
Working with big businesses to help them rethink the way they engage with organisations in the cultural sector to reposition their brand. Producer of Cultural Forum 2013 at Tate Modern, in partnership with Barclays and Accenture.

Account Management & Corporate Social Responsibility | BT Global Services
Account Management for Thomson Reuters, and Community Investment Manager for BT’s flagship CSR partnership with Unicef.

Why I love what I do

I love connecting interesting people and ideas. I’m always curious to learn about new innovations and business models that can help large organisations make the most of market opportunities ahead of them. The real reward comes when those insights land, and give people renewed spirit to try things out and adapt the way they do business.

A business result I'm proud of

Creating the Development Impact & You (DIY) toolkit, now one of the world’s leading innovation learning resources. The product has democratised access to innovation learning and is used by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. It has driven more agile approaches to product development in Nesta, helped to unlock innovation capacity in international NGOs, and kick started unlikely partnerships with organisations like The Open University and Caribou Digital to scale up the product. 

A business reinvention I admire

LEGO faced bankruptcy in the early 2000s after a failed move to diversify its product range to compete with increasingly varied competition, branching out into markets such as children’s clothes, video games, film licenses, theme parks. To retool the organisation the business went back to basics by re-harnessing its core - the brick. This revived the company’s purpose and enabled LEGO to build a product ecosystem around a single focus. The company has since gone one step further to open up its innovation process by crowdsourcing new product ideas from fans. And it has returned to the mantle of world's best-selling toy firm having achieved sales growth every year for a decade.