The Power of Human-Centred Innovation

Mary Wallace


This lecture looks at why and how we innovate, and who is 'allowed' to 'do innovation'. Innovation is not about technology, It’s about people and about how we think about innovation to address worthy problems. Where innovation comes in is giving you the tools to be able to do this, at speed, at scale, in a sustainable way, and being able to not just gather data and respond, but to think differently about the human challenges we face and use this insight to create, purposefully, a new business organisation to enable you to design, develop and deliver for the new consumer who is asking us questions and demanding different things.


Photo of Mary Wallace

Mary is the IBM iX Global Retail, Place & Consumer Behaviour specialist, helping all kinds of businesses to grow by asking awkward questions such as:

• What is your brand’s purpose?
• Who does your business serve?
• How do you do that?
• Why are you distinct from your competition?
• How do you get a customer to say ‘yes’, and then do it again?

Mary’s work centres on the converging future of retail strategy and technology, emerging consumer behaviour and societal changes. She not only understands the retail business end to end value chain, but also the disruptive trends affecting all parts of that whole business and consumer ecosystem.

Mary has worked for many years with a variety of retailers and brands – including Nike, Waitrose, John Lewis, Matalan, Kingfisher, Nivea, Mondelez and Marks & Spencer – to help reinvent their brand proposition for a modern consumer.

Following her work on the ‘UK High Street Revitalisation Strategy’, Mary is now developing a podcast to talk about how the changing retail landscape is affecting citizens, traders, towns and communities. She also runs the 'Retail Mashup' events for the retail tech & startup community and is a board member of several start-ups.


Instant Checkout & Connected Store Launch – live BBC News interview

‘Understanding The Consumer Mission – Placemaking in the Digital Age’

‘When The Gloss Wears Off – Customer Service Trumps Experience:

‘Future Retail – Keeping It Simple’

Requested 2 times

Lecture languages



Digital ReinventionOtherStart Ups

Duration options

1 hour2 hours

Travel/delivery options

In-countryOutside of country: Open for discussionRemote via video conference


United Kingdom

Lecture booking request

Thank you for your interest in hosting an IBM speaker. Please fill out the following form with as much detail as possible. An IBM representative will reach out to discuss your booking request. All guest lectures are subject to availability and agreements under this collaboration are not legally binding.