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Disrupt and Transform

CEDIA Expo keynote speaker Luke Williams to focus on making impactful changes to your business.

Luke Williams

With the speed of change seeming to accelerate by the very minute, CEDIA has chosen innovator, inventor, disruptor, and bestselling author Luke Williams as the keynote speaker for 2019.

Williams brings a powerhouse resume with him to the CEDIA Keynote stage: Williams is Professor of Innovation and Design at the NYU Stern School of Business, founder of the W.R. Berkley Innovation Labs, and a Fellow at Frog Design. He is the inventor of 30-plus U.S. patents and has designed more than 100 products in industries ranging from transportation to finance and healthcare to consumer electronics. He’s lectured in 21 countries and addressed the United Nations General Assembly and the World Innovation Forum.

He is the author of the international bestseller Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business.

Williams’s keynote will focus on how disruptive thinking can spark transformation in business.

“Companies need to be consistently making bold moves, even at the very peak of their success,” says Williams. “It is an essential skill for anyone in business, from a small start-up to a global corporation, with the desire to transform organizational processes and behaviors, and ask, ‘Why hadn’t we ever thought about our business and industry this way before?’”

As Williams crafts the address, he notes that a big part of training one’s brain for this task requires a business owner in the CEDIA universe to achieve a kind of heightened sensitivity. Without giving us too many spoilers, Williams says, “One’s success in this field used to be about making reasonable predictions on what you think is going to happen in the home technology market. Now we’re into needing to make it more of getting into the habit of making provocations that almost seem unreasonable, and then using those to accelerate a change in their thinking, accelerate their learning, so they can start to think about their future in a different way.

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“I’m a strong believer in the best way to learn this type of thinking is for people to start doing it in their everyday lives.

“I actually work to get people out of the comfort zone, thinking just about their own industry, and just starting to notice stuff in their everyday lives, like the next time they’re in a hotel or catching a plane or in a meeting or whatever it is — what do you note about those experiences? What would make that experience better for the end user, whatever it might be? They start to build a habit of mind around thinking disruptively.”

But by the same token, Williams understands that one can’t abandon the day-to-day operations of their business to focus on the next big thing. “It’s a balance between delivering today and keeping your business running; keeping your best customers happy, all that. But the capabilities they’re going to need in the next decade might be incomplete — sometimes those new ones will be in direct conflict with capabilities that are currently making them successful.”

When Williams outlines the tools you’ll need to identify and implement these strategies, he’s quick to point out that “it’s not about destroying what you’re currently doing. You’re going to need a portfolio of unconventional ideas and unconventional strategy options to balance all the incremental options that any home technology professional faces right now.

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“I call it the difference between maintaining continuity — expecting things to continue exactly the way they have been in the past — and the way they are now. Knowing that it’s your job, it’s your role, to make sure you’re also introducing deliberate discontinuity into your business.”

And what does Williams mean by “deliberate discontinuity?” “It means you’re coming up with ideas, with scheduled changes, with capabilities that would not naturally develop as part of the current movement, the current industry trends.”


When & Where

The CEDIA Expo Opening Keynote with Luke Williams and the recognition of CEDIA’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
Wednesday, September 11
5:30-6:30 PM

Find more info at