Creative Genius Innovation with Mark Naufel

9 Nov 2020

Mark Naufel, director of the Luminosity Lab at Arizona State University, explains how to create value for society through creative genius innovation. Dream big, take risks, and bring genius to life.

Hosted by Jeff Kavanaugh, VP and Head of the Infosys Knowledge Institute.

“I think first and foremost, we really flip the existing research lab model on its head. Instead of the traditional faculty-led model of research, our lab is fully run by students. We pull students from all academic discipline, and all these students leverage their different viewpoints and skills on these projects.”- Mark Naufel

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Show Notes

  • 00:09

    Mark shows an example of work done by the Luminosity Lab at Arizona State University.

  • 03:06

    How did Mark get started and what are some early influences that shaped his path?

  • 04:05

    Mark worked for a big tech firm in Silicon Valley. What motivated the change in direction?

  • 05:11

    What's new and novel about Luminosity as a lab?

  • 07:34

    Mark said there's no playbook for innovation. How do his students transfer their creative genius to innovating real solutions to global problems?

  • 08:50

    How is this applicable for a business leader. How do you set this up in every corporate department?

  • 10:28

    What about companies trying to do this though, in a world of remote work? How is it different than everybody getting around the table or even getting in this conference room that you convert to a lab?

  • 12:00

    How important is the group dynamic, even in a world of remote work to create innovation?

  • 13:01

    Is there an optimum group size for innovation and what has Mark found?

  • 14:50

    In terms of the group dynamic, how important are agile ways of working to Luminosity's innovation?

  • 16:03

    What are the most urgent global problems we face today and in Mark’s experience, how are these defining the problems at the model?

  • 18:01

    Whether it's between countries or between states or between parties, how can you apply lessons of innovation to political progress and actually real progress through political means?

  • 19:14

    What's the process by which the Luminosity Lab tackles problems and gets things done? Who decides which problems to address and what's the framework to deliver them?

  • 21:37

    How does Mark see technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, virtual reality, fitting into these creative solutions for the big problems?

  • 23:32

    Mark gives an advice to executives who want to build a lab or innovation capability at their company or their unit.

  • 25:02

    Mark gives an advice to students who want to be successful and make sure they're making an impact.

  • 26:17

    What has been a major influence on Mark?

  • 28:01

    Mark recommends books and online resources.

  • 29:46

    How to find Mark online?



About Mark Naufel

Mark Naufel

Mark Naufel is a 27 year old Arizona native. He has received his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Master’s Degrees in both Business Analytics and Systems Engineering and is currently pursuing a PhD in Human Systems Engineering at Arizona State University. While an undergraduate, Mark served as Student Body President at ASU and was later appointed by the Governor of Arizona to serve a two-year term on the Arizona Board of Regents as the Student Regent. Previously, Mark drove strategy and data initiatives for companies both locally and in Silicon Valley. Currently, Mark serves as the Director of Strategic Projects at Arizona State University, and within this capacity leads an interdisciplinary lab of highly exceptional students called The Luminosity Lab.

Selected links from the episode

Recommended resource

Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration by Warren G. Bennis, Patricia Ward Biederman