Dave Blakely is continually energized through his work with leading-edge technology. Dave believes that enabling technology, coupled with reason, open exchange of ideas, humility, and tolerance, can help us address global challenges and build a better world for ourselves and our children.
At the Stanford d.school, Dave works with scientists, engineers, business students and designers to explore the intersection of emerging technologies and human needs. He enjoys engaging with small interdisciplinary teams of students on projects that were not imaginable five or ten years ago. Magic happens when d.school teams foresee the implications of unexpected technical and scientific advances and visualize entirely new opportunities. Dave lives for these moments.
Dave’s parents, two unassuming high school humanities teachers in West Los Angeles, supported his interest in science, allowing tanks of salamanders and fish in the house and ham radio antennas on the roof. When his well-meaning parents brought him to a huge aerospace firm in El Segundo so that a family friend could show Dave how grown-up engineers worked, cubicle fright nearly ended Dave’s career plans on the spot. Luckily, he persevered with his study of Engineering Physics (undergrad) and Mechanical Engineering (MS) at Cal. After the obligatory stint working and traveling through Asia to find himself, Dave spent four years at a spinoff of HP, then landed at IDEO over two decades ago.
As a Senior Director based at IDEO Palo Alto, Dave specializes in identifying opportunities at the nexus of underserved customer needs and emerging technologies, and acting on these opportunities to deliver breakthrough products and services to the market. He manages various strategic business relationships and advises executives of technology-focused companies. Much of his advisory work involves helping IDEO clients — from Silicon Valley executives to NASA officials — build cultures of innovation and develop products and services to maintain market leadership.
Dave also conducts innovation workshops, speaks to academic and business groups, and serves on several boards. He is committing to help educational institutions at all levels to keep pace with the needs of a rapidly changing global economy and with exponentially advancing technology.
In his free time, he tries to keep up with his two teenage sons and somehow manages to hold up under their daily ridicule. His wife, a classic Myers-Briggs extrovert, keeps family evenings and weekends lively with a weekly drumbeat of dinner parties for anywhere from 6 to 100 guests.