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"Innovation Guru" Doug Hall to visit McNeese

"Innovation Guru" Doug Hall to visit McNeese

Doug Hall Doug Hall, hailed as "America's top new product idea man" by Inc. Magazine, will share his ideas about innovative thinking during a free lecture at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, in Parra Ballroom. Throughout the day, he will also talk to classes and meet with students, faculty and administrators.

Hall has been called the "innovation guru" to America's top corporations, including Disney, Nike and his former employer, Procter & Gamble. His mission is "to cultivate creativity" where ever it can be found-within a big corporation, at a small business or on a university campus.

Hall, who has a chemical engineering degree from the University of Maine, worked at P&G as a master marketing inventor (actual title), where he set corporate records on creating and commercializing ideas. After 10 years, he "retired" from P&G to pursue his version of the American Dream.

He is the author of five books including the national best seller, "Jump Start Your Business Brain," and the founder of Eureka! Ranch, an innovation think tank located near Cincinnati, Ohio. He was also a judge on the ABC reality television series "American Inventor" a couple of years ago.

"No one can generate excitement about innovative thinking like Doug Hall," said Janet Woolman, McNeese executive director of research and governmental relations. "He is an unconventional, out-of-the-box individual who is passionate about what he believes in and who has defined innovation in America."

One of his creative ideas - an Innovation Engineering curriculum that he helped develop at his alma mater - has sparked the creation of an Innovation Center on the McNeese campus, along with courses that will provide McNeese students with the foundation on understanding how to generate innovative ideas in any field, according to Woolman.

"Innovation Engineering is a program for students who are interested in learning a systematic approach to innovation," said Woolman. "Through this curriculum, students from any major can learn the tools and gain the confidence to create, communicate and commercialize their ideas."

While entrepreneurship programs focus on the act of starting a business, Woolman explained that Innovation Engineering is a data-driven, replicable model for developing and commercializing innovations with value in both new and established business.

"Students will be able to use these skills to start their own ventures or to spark corporate entrepreneurship by leading innovation in established organizations," she said.

Currently, 29 students are enrolled in the first innovation engineering course - Innovation Engineering I - Create. This course is providing students with the theories behind the ideas and the tools to generate meaningful ideas.

The McNeese Innovation Center will be housed in the new $13 million SEED Center currently under construction across from the main campus. The Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic Development Center is a partnership with McNeese, the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, the city of Lake Charles and the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance to foster economic growth in a five-parish region.

"The Innovation Center will be located in three rooms on the ground floor of the Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic Development Center," said Woolman.

"This is the ideal environment for our students to think, brainstorm, generate ideas and create solutions for future economic development here in Southwest Louisiana," she said.

Registration is encouraged for this event. To register, go to www.mcneese.edu/innovation.