Listen and Learn with IRI

Dive into the world of innovation with IRI’s captivating podcasts!

Join us as we explore cutting-edge topics, insightful interviews, and thought-provoking discussions with industry leaders, innovators, and experts. From the latest trends in technology to strategies for driving organizational growth, our podcasts deliver valuable insights and inspiration for innovation enthusiasts everywhere.

Tune in to our engaging episodes and stay ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving landscape of innovation. Subscribe now and embark on a journey of discovery with IRI’s podcasts!

Digitalization and AI Thought Leader Interview with Thomas Thurston, Chief Technologist, Ducera Partners and Greg Hannon, former CTO, W.L. Gore

Listen as Thomas Thurston, chief technologist at Ducera Partners, and Greg Hannon, former chief technology officer at W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc., delve into the development of a tool that brings increased clarity to innovation portfolio decisions. They cover industry applications, the process of creating such a tool, and the transformative role of AI in shaping the future of innovation. Gain valuable perspectives on leveraging data for informed decision-making in your organization.

AI in Science: Thought Leader Interview with Rebecca Willett, Professor of Statistics and Computer Science, University of Chicago


IRI’s Lee Green and Professor Rebecca Willett of University of Chicago explore the immediate impact of AI on scientific processes, from foundational tasks to failure mode identification, and gain perspectives on its future trajectory in scientific applications, alongside insights into student engagement with this transformative technology. 

The Challenge of H2: Implications for Effective Opportunity Development  


This whitepaper offers insights into establishing an effective governance framework for Horizon 2 (H2) opportunities, focusing on transforming innovations into viable prototypes. It emphasizes the importance of fostering a supportive organizational culture that encourages risk-taking, facilitates decision-making, and promotes collaboration across functions. 

Key takeaways 

  • H2 needs a dedicated governance framework.    
  • Attune your team to looking for new opportunities. 
  • Establish an intrapreneurial culture. 
  • Get leadership on board. 

How Milliken eliminated PFAS from its operations with Jeff Strahan, Director of Research Compliance and Sustainability

In the latest installment of IRI’s Sustainability Thought Leader series, we chat with Jeff Strahan, the Director of Research Compliance and Sustainability at Milliken and Company. Strahan provides an intriguing insight into his personal journey in sustainability, the difficulties and opportunities in dealing with PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), and Milliken’s assertive approach to sustainable development.

Telling BASF’s Sustainability Story

Thought Leader Interview with Luiziana Ribeiro, Director of Sustainability, BASF

Setting your organization’s sustainability strategy and goals is one step in the sustainability journey.  The next is to be able to tell a compelling story to bring along staff, shareholders, customers, and other key stakeholders.  Luiziana Ribeiro, director of sustainability, BASF, shares how she is working to tell BASF’s story in ways that will help the organization to progress its goals and strategy in an inclusive, customer focused way.

AI Use Cases at INVISTA

Thought Leader Interview with Chitra Kumar Sai, Data Scientist, INVISTA

Talk of AI is everywhere now, but are companies actually using new tools in a systematic way? If so, how? Chitra Kumar Sai, data scientist at INVISTA, shares examples of how they are using AI tools, including natural language processing, large language models, computer vision, and machine learning for root cause analysis. Learn how their data governance has enabled them to move quickly on these new technologies and how they are rolling tools out in the organization.

Finding the right innovation and R&D structure to meet strategic needs

Learn from experienced innovation leaders how they have organized their R&D and innovation functions to adapt to changing priorities and environments while also capitalizing on internal expertise and resources.

Panelists:  Darin Latimer, Vice President, Strategic Innovation, Danaher Corporation; Srinivas Veeramasuneni, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, USG Corporation; Moderator:  Carlton Gibbs, Senior Manager, Packaging Development, Global R&D, Mars-Wrigley Snacking

Raising Sustainability to New Heights at Boeing

Thought Leader Interview with Sheila Remes, Vice President, Environmental Sustainability, at the Boeing Company

With an organization of over 145,000 people and a product with over a 20 year lifespan, Boeing should not be able to change quickly. However, the drive for sustainability has brought the organization together to work toward industry-wide change. Learn from Sheila Remes, vice president, environmental sustainability, how Boeing has been able to bring together the many efforts on sustainability around the organization to drive toward cohesive goals. Sheila will also speak to how they’ve engaged customers and other stakeholders in their processes and how they approach the daunting task of doing a life cycle analysis on an airplane.

How Milliken removed PFAS from its operations

Sustainability Thought Leader Interview with Jeff Strahan, Director of Research, Compliance, and Sustainability at Milliken & Company

In this podcast, we explore Milliken’s proactive response to the challenges posed by PFAS, from initial realization to strategic shifts in R&D and analytics. We delve into leadership alignment, communication with customers, and SAP-related challenges, concluding with an evaluation of the PFAS supply chain’s reaction and Milliken’s current status post-PFAS removal.

Staying at the bleeding edge of digital innovation – Digitalization Thought Leader Interview with Brian Standen, Global Head of Digital Innovation at BASF

Learn how BASF stays at the forefront of digital innovation. Brian Standen gives highlights of their process, from identifying potential trends to placing bets on which technologies will have the most impact to incubating then rolling those technologies out more widely in the organization. He shares techniques for managing a portfolio of new technologies (Spoiler: Don’t be afraid to be bold.) and ways to get buy in from relevant parts of the organization.

Thought Leader Interview with Dan Abramowicz, CTO, and Alberto Rodriguez, Digital Optimization Team Leader at Crown Holdings, Inc.

Smart glasses enabled Crown Holdings to continue to carry out plant trials even in the face of a pandemic. However, as travel restrictions and social distancing measures have been dropped, so have the use cases for smart glasses. Learn about the areas in which Crown finds value in using smart glasses and how they plan to use them as the technology matures.


Sustainability and Regulations: What innovators need to know

Thought Leader Interview with Brandon Farris, Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy, National Association of Manufacturers

The global regulatory environment has become increasingly difficult for companies to track and understand. Listen to the NAM’s VP of energy and resources policy, Brandon Farris for a download on:

  • PFAS;
  • the power plants rule;
  • the plastics draft strategy; and
  • particulate matter.

Legal implications of AI: What innovators need to know

Thought Leader Interview with Iria Giuffrida, William & Mary Law School

Gain an understanding of the key legal implications that innovators need to know as you integrate AI tools into your organization. Iria Giuffrida, Professor of the Practice of Law and Assistant Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs at William & Mary Law School, dives into key legal issues around AI, including:

  • Copyright;
  • Trade secrets;
  • Patents;
  • Privacy; and
  • Regulations.

In this informative interview, she will also address the ethical issues around AI from both the macro (global) and micro (individual companies) perspective.

Building muscle memory with a year dedicated to sustainability: Thought Leader Interview with Anantha Desikan, ICL

Integrating sustainability into all aspects of an organization is no small task. ICL galvanized their efforts by declaring 2022 to be the year of sustainability: holding activities, educating staff, and thinking about goals, both big and small and long and short term. Learn from Anantha Desikan, Executive Vice President and Chief Research, Development & Innovation Officer, how this helped ICL to integrate sustainability into their strategy and across their very diversified businesses.

Moving beyond water cooler conversations: Digitalization Thought Leader Interview with Pete Weddington, Owens Corning

Water cooler conversations have been virtually impossible (pun intended) for over three years now. But were they even an effective way to get your teams collaborating in the first place? Owens Corning looked at their successful ERP model and wondered how they could parlay that effective collaboration into other parts of the business, including new product development. Collaboration hubs are their answer. They are working to bring everyone and every project into a transparent system to enhance knowledge and collaboration. Pete Weddington, IT Director at Owens Corning, shares their work on this as well as other innovative approaches they are taking to getting the word out about new tools and systems.

Consumer-driven Sustainability: Thought Leader Interview with Jerry Porter, Procter & Gamble

Learn about Procter & Gamble’s focus on ensuring there is no trade off between value, quality, and sustainability. Jerry Porter, Senior Vice President, R&D Global Fabric Care, Flavors & Fragrance Discipline Capability and Fabric & Home Care Sector, at Procter & Gamble shares how innovation can rise to meet this challenge, working across the organization and with a broad range of partners.

A Top Down and Bottom Up Approach to Sustainability: Thought Leader Interview with Jami Haaning and Wojtek Osowiecki, Lam Research

Learn how Lam Research has harnessed their staff’s enthusiasm for sustainability and enabled great strides toward their environment, social, and governance (ESG) goals through the creation of a Sustainability Employee Resource Group (ERG).  Jami Haaning, Director of ESG, and Wojtek Osowiecki, Product Marketing Engineer and founder and chair of Lam Employee Sustainability Community (LESC), discuss Lam’s unique top down and bottom up approach to sustainability and share lessons learned that can be applied to all organizations looking to meet and exceed their sustainability goals.

Digitalization from manufacturing to customer experience: Thought Leader Interview with Sam Immordino and Lou Stocco, USG

Gain insights into two key aspects of the digital transformation journey: manufacturing and the customer experience. Lou Stocco, Director, Manufacturing Advanced Analytics at USG, will share how they are leveraging roadmaps and data and connecting their workforce as they work toward automated action. Sam Immordino, Director, Construction Software and Services, will discuss their digital center of excellence, how they are creating virtual spaces and experiences for their customers, and the ways they are developing institutional knowledge.

Value Creation and Risk Management: Sustainability Thought Leader Interview with Rebecca Ott, J.M. Smucker

Learn how The J.M. Smucker Company calculates the return on investment for their sustainability initiatives, balancing value creation and risk management. Rebecca Ott, Director, Sustainability, shares their approach to sustainability metrics, navigating the regulatory environment, and mitigating risk in the supply chain.

Packaging Sustainability and Technology: Thought Leader Interview with Laura Buen Abad, Sonoco

Laura Buen Abad, Senior Director of Technology and Marketing, Flexible Packaging, Sonoco shares how they are integrating sustainability into their strategy and technology roadmaps, how it drives innovation priorities, and their approach to life cycle analysis.