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Kate O'Keeffe

Senior Director, Cisco Hyperinnovation Living Labs
Services & Strategy - USA

Kate O’Keeffe is the Senior Director of CHILL, Cisco Hyperinnovation Living Labs. The mission of CHILL - which is anything but - is to drive disruptive innovation with and for Cisco customers, bringing together diverse corporations and interests with the goal of generating ideas that will lead to breakthrough services, businesses and products.

Spearheading this process are 48-hour pop-up labs that drive joint investment opportunities for Cisco and its customers. Over an intense two-day period, new-to-world solutions are designed, prototyped, tested, and validated in real time. CHILL is the culmination of Kate’s vision that today’s hyperinnovation era requires: both specific muscles and the capability to involve customers and startups in new and exciting ways. Since CHILL’s inception, a full 70% of projects have progressed to further stages, including to CHILL-X, a process where startups are created from scratch.

Previously Kate was the global leader of the Services Innovation Excellence Center at Cisco, where she was responsible for driving sustainable innovation capability for Cisco Services. The practice is based on an Innovation Maturity Model, devised to provide a clear pathway for businesses to build sustainable, measureable innovation capability. Prior to Cisco, Kate led innovation for an Australian-based corporation in the utilities sector.

As a native of Melbourne, Kate proved her entrepreneurial chops as a fashion designer by founding, building, and exiting a successful shoe business, Cinderella Bella.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and is the recipient of numerous industry awards and recognitions, including the HBR/McKinsey M-Prize: Innovating Innovation Challenge. Kate was also named one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business” and included in the Anita Borg Institute’s annual Women of Vision awards.

She is co-author of Managing Multiparty Innovation, which was published in the Harvard Business Review in November, 2016.

Kate O'Keeffe's Articles