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.
In 2022, Steve was honored as a Top 50 Business Professor in the World by the prestigious Poests&Quants Business School Rankings.
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 an R&D project manager designing front and back-end AI systems, a not-for-profit in Chicago, risk management 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.
USF Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program has been recognized nationally as an Up and Coming Program on the Rise: Poets and Quants: Rising Program Article
Writing & research
As a researcher of innovation, Steve is the leading scholar on Innovation Jams and his 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.
Steve is known for the Jamband Theory of Innovation. This theory explains how radical innovation and breakthrough innovation in an open paradigm of innovation can be partly explained through the jamband music metaphor.
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 and how AI can be used to speed up innovation in the high tech chocolate space.
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.
Diasio, S. (2022) Learning as a Design Factor for Innovation Contests: A Bidirectional Model. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management.
Diasio, S. (2023) with Frechette, Trocchia, Luckett, and Natali. Immersive Technology as a Social Marketing Tool: Exploring the Impact of 360-Video & Virtual Reality on Intent to Help and Attitudes Toward the Homeless. Social Marketing Quarterly.
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. (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.
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.
Project Yachts for Millennials @USF St. Petersburg
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:
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.
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.
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.
Class parody TV show final episode #7. Demonstrates what the students went through to learn management concepts. (guess who the professor is?)
"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!!
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)
Service Design Tools and Booklet
Based on the Service Design + Toursim Conference
FingerPuppet ManagementTV: Booklet
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.
“An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.”