•  Thinker, professor, strategist, traveler, and rhetorician in training

    A page about Steve Diasio.

  • Writing & research

    open innovation, decision support, collective intelligence, long tail of expertise!!!


    Steve is a Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Muma College of Business at the University of South Florida. Steve has been a researcher at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain, Imperial Business School in London, UK in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group, and has taught at other universities in Europe.


    As a professor, he teaches courses in management and uses design thinking for problem-solving in the areas of innovation, strategy, and entrepreneurship. Steve is the founder of the Finger Puppet Management Framework- an innovative way to teach management in the classroom, where students create TV shows to learn management and innovation. Steve was the ‘expert in residence’ in a teaching collaboration with the Patterson Foundation, Feld Entertainment (Ringling Brothers Circus and Disney on Ice). Steve view’s his work at the intersection of management and design and is an advocate for using design approaches to solve challenging business and societal problems.


    Steve has launched two MBA courses: Management Design Thinking and Innovation and Dali at USF and is the only course on the topic in the state of Florida. This course is offered as a 1-week intensive course and a 6-week online course.


    Prior to pursuing his Ph.D., Steve worked at Aon Corp. as a project manager designing front and back-end underwriting systems, a not-for-profit in Chicago, clerking at the Chicago Board of Trade and at a leading fashion designer in London.


    To read more about Steve and his role at USF, check out the Faculty Spotlight page.


    Poets and Quants: Rising Program Article



    Writing & research


    As a researcher of innovation, Steve's contributions include extending the open innovation paradigm through his investigation with IBM Innovation Jams. Steve argues that inflows and outflows of knowledge within open innovation are relevant beyond product and service innovation and through the application of emerging technology can support managerial decision-making. Research during his Ph.D. studies at ESADE Business School culminated in framing his Open Model of Decision-Support research agenda.


    Download Not All That Jazz Jamband as a Metaphor for Organizing New Models of Innovation Article.


    He has worked as a lead researcher on several European projects including IA5 Research Project sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Industry focusing on open innovation- a precursor to Europe's Open Cities and the development of a cognitive system with the GREC research group on Project SENSUS and chocolatier Oriol Balaguer.



    Steve’s research touches on the use of metaphors to understand models of innovation. He argues the dominant metaphor of a jazz band to understand innovation and creativity is outdated and limiting. Steve suggests new metaphors are needed to understand emerging models of innovation. Steve offers the metaphor of a ‘jamband’ as the new lens to view these new modes of innovation. Drawing from the legendary ‘jambands’ such as The Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers Band, and even Dave Matthews Band, insights into the microfoundations and mechanisms to design these emerging models of innovations can be made. Click Here for news coverage on the topic.


    Steve is a track chair for the Open Innovation track at the European Academy of Management Conference. Click here for the call for papers.


    Steve is the founder of the annual Design School Social Media Rankings (see below).


    Selected Publications: 


    Diasio, S. (2021) A Techno-social Perspective of Innovation Jams- Defining and Characterizing. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management. February. DOI: 10.1080/09537325.2021.1884674


    Balser, W, Diasio, S., and T. Kendal (2021). Societal Reorientation via Programmable Trust: A Case for Piloting New Models of Open Governance in Education in Grech. A, Media, Technology and Education in a Post-Truth Society: From Fake News, Datafication and Mass Surveillance to the Death of Trust. Emerald Publishing Limited.


    Diasio, S. (2019) An Alternative History of Open Innovation- A Complimentary View to Xerox PARC, European Academy of Management Conference, Lisbon, Portugal.


    Diasio, S. (2017) Open Models of Decision Support: Towards a Framework, ISPIM - International Society for Professional Innovation Management, Melbourne, Australia.


    Diasio, S. (2017) Problem-Solvers and Solution-Seeking Firms: Connecting Learning to Innovation Contests, European Academy of Management Conference, Glasgow, Scotland.


    Diasio, S. (2016) A Techno-Social Perspective of Innovation Jams- Defining and Characterizing (under review at journal).


    Diasio, S. (2016) Learning from Open Innovation Contests: Exploring Problem-Solvers and Solution-Seeking Firms, ISPIM - International Society for Professional Innovation Management, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


    Diasio, S. (2016) Not All That Jazz! Jamband as a Metaphor for Organizing New Models of Innovation, European Management Journal. Volume 34, Issue 2, Pages 125–134 (Impact Factor 1.43)


    Diasio, S. (2016) A Techno-Social Perspective of Innovation Jams- Defining and Characterizing (Awarded Best Paper in Innovation SIG), European Academy of Management Conference, Paris, France.


    Diasio, S. (2015) Evolution and Definitions of Innovation Jams, DRUID15 Conference, Rome, Italy.


    Diasio, S. (2015) Not All That Jazz! Jamband as a Metaphor for Organizing New Models of Innovation, European Academy of Management Conference, Warsaw, Poland.


    Diasio, S., Bakici, T. (2010) A Process View of Open Innovation, DRUID-DIME Academy Winter 2010 Conference, Aalborg (DK).

    Diasio, S., (2010) An Intermediary’s Perspective on Co-creation: Mechanisms for Knowledge Management, AMCIS 2010 Proceedings. Paper 332. Lima, Peru.


    Diasio, S., Agell, N., (2009) The evolution of expertise in decision support technologies: A challenge for organizations, CSCWD, pp. 692–697, 13th International Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work in Design, Santiago, Chile.

    Workshops and Presenters:

    3RD AEM and TIM PhD Programs Joint Paper Development Workshop
    “Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Internationalization: A Multidisciplinary Perspective”

    25-26 May 2020, Virtual Workshop



    Teaching Evaluations

    Principles of Management Fall 4.6 out of 5.0

    "The Finger Puppet Management (Framework/ Project) was a very effective experienced based learning tool."


    Strategic Management Capstone 4.7 out of 5.0

    "Professor Diasio has been one of the best professors I have had the pleasure of working with. He is very passionate about what he teaches, as well as inspirational. His teaching method is different in ways of some other professors, but this difference is the contributing factor on what sets him apart from others. He allows us to work on our group presentations on our own time and is there for any feedback that will help us perform and present better next time around. I also appreciated some of his 'energy' exercises to help loosen us up and maintain focus. I definitely recommend and promote his teaching expertise."


    Entrepreneurship  5.0 out of 5.0

    "I think this was a great course that taught me: effective business strategies and research, self-discipline-
    the meaning of commitment to an entrepreneurial venture various methods of raising money being
    acutely aware of reality and trends; being a keen observer of patterns and how that might translate into
    noticing and predicting trends in business and society how to effectively present business ideas."


    Principles of Management- 5.0 out of 5.0

    "How could I ever compare this class to my future ones? And I realized it’d be very hard to. How many classes throw the “energy” around the room? How many classes pass the “red bra”? Not too many as I have experienced already."

    Student reflection on course.


    Principles of Management- 4.7 out of 5.0

    "I have never had a Professor like Dr. Diasio. Dr. Diasio made learning fun... especially when it came to learning about management. I actually thought out of the box with him and we had so much fun in this class. I love how we were put into real-life situations, like how we would be in the real world."


    "His way of changing the conventional way of doing things really made me think about what I was doing and helped me learn the material."


    Project Management  4.5 out of 5.0

    “Teacher [Steve] was always there to give great feedback and help with students. It made our work that much better.”


    Organization and Management  4.6 out of 5.0

    “I think Steve is a great teacher and he makes the evolution of modern teaching great learning experience. Steve has great ideas, I can’t wait for him to come up with more.”


  • Teaching philosophy.

    How my students learn

    Teaching Philosophy Framework


    Steve's teaching philosophy is highly correlated to active learning. To learn more on how this happens in practice read the Business Students Present Strategic Initiatives to Valpak article and see the video demo below.


    Student Project with the Dali Museum: Project Dalí: Surrealism and Strategy

  • Innovation In The Classroom

    The Role of Improv!

    Course Trailer

  • More things.

    Project Yachts for Millennials @USF St. Petersburg


    Project Yachts for Millennial's is a collaboration between The Moorings -a luxury yacht chartering company and the Strategic Management Capstone course at the USF.


    The students are charged with developing strategies for The Moorings to grow its market share with the millennial generation, with the goal of making The Moorings the premier luxury yacht charter provider for this demographic. The students will use the strategic management process and design thinking tools to create a platform that communicates The Moorings mission, values, and products to the millennial generation.


    The project bridges industry and learning in the classroom by providing students with an opportunity to solve problems The Moorings are facing today, giving students real world experience before they graduate. Through this collaboration, students will research and present findings about the yacht charter industry as it relates to millennial's, apply strategic planning tools to develop new growth opportunities within this market, and gain valuable experience that add to the student’s portfolio for employment.


    The project is in connection with Dr. Steve Diasio’s Strategic Management course, supported by The Moorings team- led by Maria Badia, Shannon Brennan, and Ian Pedersen. The students will present their ideas to The Moorings over the semester and the winning teams will present to The Moorings’ executives at their Clearwater, Florida headquarters at the end of the semester.


    See project work:

    Example 1:

    Example 2:


    Destination Dubai: Mentoring Students in Business Plan Development & Pitch

    Since 2011, Steve has mentored 10 students in the development and acceptance to the Education without Boarders Conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In March of 2013, two of Steve's entrepreneurship students were selected as ambassadors to the conference and part of the best submission process for their business plans.


    Steve's designer students joined more than 1000 fellow youth from 130 different countries at the conference, hosted by the Higher Colleges of Technology of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. As a conference primarily focused on STEM- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education, Ringling College's attendance represented a first for the school and for the design community to have students compete for funding. This reflects the changing role the Arts can play in education to solve challenging societal problems around the world.


    Student business plans created:


    1. A New Educational Model for Students of Developing Countries- focused on revising the curriculum of Ghanaian schools to suit the needs of those students.

    2. The Gamified, Open Source Learning Platform- focused on turning the education system into a game-like environment. 


    In the news

  • Where design thinking meets management

    Learn more at: fingerpuppetmanagment.strikingly.com 


    Finger Puppet Management Framework

  • Speaking, Consulting, training & expert witness.

    Available for Business Strategy & Innovation Management Expert Witness & Consulting and Training

    Academic and industry exprerience in financial markets, risk, innovation, and strategy in the USA and Europe. 

  • The Blog

    Thoughts, musings, and ruminations.

  • Steve in Social Media

    Check out my latest updates!

  • Design thinking & management.

    Student work examples: Design approaches to learning management.

    Project Yachts for Millennials

    Working with The Moorings to developing a competitive advantage by targeting the millennial generation. 

    FingerPuppet ManagementTV:
    Management Course

    Class parody TV show final episode #7. Demonstrates what the students went through to learn management concepts. (guess who the professor is?) 

    Project Crowdfunding: 

    "Cinema From Beyond"

    Students had to come up with an original idea and follow the entrepreneurial journey. Project Crowdfunding allowed students to learn the skills to be an entrepreneur and to implement a passion project. Go Donate!!

    FingerPuppet ManagementTV:
    Management Course

    Survivor: Management Edition- A mashup of iconic characters with management theories and problems to solve to survive

    Client Based Project: Project Management Course

    Designing an app for a more engaging visitors experience

    Client Based Project: Partners for Sustainability on Campus

    Designing strategy from the top-down and bottom-up for change (3 phase strategy for sustainability)

    Client Based Project: Project Management Course

    Designing an app for a more engaging visitors experience. View the presentation here

    Service Design Tools and Booklet

    Based on the Service Design + Toursim Conference 

    FingerPuppet ManagementTV: Booklet

    Students develop a 7 episode TV show that demonstrates management concepts. See how detectives help managers understand more effective ways of managing. Check out the TV Show.

    Project Sustainable Tourism

    Students work with a tour operator- Explora Caribe in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico to help build a strategic sustainability plan. This was a convergence of strategy, sustainability and design principles. See video here

    A Show About A Show

    Students created the first reality TV Show about them creating a TV show. Students used a iphone, selfie stick and a skateboard. This is the trailer to the TV Show.

    The Wizarding World of Management

    Using #HarryPotter students demonstrate management concepts. Hogwarts and its teachers help train Harry and his friends to face problems in making the Yule ball a success. 

  • Where to find him.









  • Press Kit / Photos.


    All images behind the link are free to use – but the photographer must be mentioned.


    Click on the image

    Press Kit Photos 

    Click on the image

    Innovation Overnight

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