October 3 - 6, 2021 | Atlanta, GA USA

Sign up for updates

2021 TAPPICon LIVE! Keynote

Monday, October 4, 2021


Karen Dillon

Karen Dillon

Former editor of Harvard Business Review and
a New York Times best-selling author

Keynote Presentation:

"The Prosperity Paradox: How to Create
Prosperity Through Innovation"


Karen Dillon analyzes and reveals how a global crisis like the pandemic can actually provide fertile sources of innovation. Some of history's most successful innovations have started in extraordinarily difficult times. The key is knowing what you're looking for.  And, when innovation takes root - especially in challenging circumstances - prosperity will follow.

Dillon shares how businesses can tap into new markets, increase profits and make the world a better place all at the same time. Through meticulous research, Dillon along with Clayton Christensen and Efosa Ojomo have found the key to alleviating poverty is not to push resources but to enable businesses and entrepreneurs to pull them in. Using case studies as diverse as the Ford Model T and Tolaram instant noodles, the three authors argue that “market-creating innovations” create the conditions necessary to uplift entire populations. In this process, businesses and investors who successfully develop such innovations prosper enormously by generating an entire base of consumers where none previously existed.

Attendees will learn what type of product or service constitutes a market-creating innovation, and how businesses and development organizations can help create the conditions under which true growth and prosperity will flourish.


About Karen

In a time of uncertainty and disruption, there is a palpable demand for new, innovative ideas and solutions to problems. Whether the issue is global poverty or low job satisfaction for high achievers, Karen Dillon can help you find the answers. The former editor of Harvard Business Review (HBR), Dillon has long chronicled the successes and failures of businesses and their leaders. Since leaving her senior editorial position, Dillon has worked with some of the greatest minds in academia ­– including Clayton Christensen, Michael Porter, Vijay Govindarajan and Daniel Isenberg – to help them crystallize and communicate the newest groundbreaking ideas. An acclaimed writer and speaker, Dillon helps organizations come to terms with the problems they face and offers proven methods of how to reinvent themselves in a changing world.

An exceptional writer and the sole author of “The Harvard Business Review Guide to Office Politics” (HBR Press, December 2014), Dillon is an expert on navigating the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century corporation. She advises leading executives on such issues as winning influence without compromising integrity; contending with unscrupulous colleagues; managing tensions when resources are scarce; and getting one’s share of coveted assignments. The idea that one must be a ruthless “corporate climber,” says Dillon, is wrong. By leveraging Dillon’s lessons and perspectives, executives can think differently about the challenges they face and harness opportunities for greater advancement and strategic leadership.

Currently a contributing editor to HBR focused on the topics of leadership, human resources, innovation and entrepreneurship, Dillon is especially skilled at personalizing the themes of her books to make them actionable and relevant to each audience. Also a skilled moderator, Dillon connects people and ideas in in provocative and powerful ways. She was named one of the Top 40 Influencers of 2016 by Product Management Year in Review.

Dillon is co-author of several bestselling titles, including “How Will You Measure Your Life?” (2012), with Christensen and James Allworth. The book, born out of a series of powerful lectures and seminars by Christensen, began with an article conceived by Dillon for HBR. In 2016, she and Christensen collaborated with Taddy Hall and David Duncan to co-author “Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice” (HarperBusiness, October 2016), a groundbreaking book with the potential to reframe entire industries. It is based on a simple yet profound idea put forward by Christensen in “The Innovator’s Solution” (2003): customers don’t buy products and services; they hire them to do a job. And understanding which jobs your customers need done is key to innovation success. Dillon is also co-author of “The Prosperity Paradox: How Innovation Can Lift Nations Out of Poverty” (HarperBusiness, January 2019) with Christensen and Efosa Ojomo. The book, which was awarded an Axiom Business Book Awards “Gold Medal” in the category of Business Ethics for 2019, applies the theories of disruptive innovation and “jobs to be done” to international economics and development. Arguing that only innovation can drive nations to prosperity, Dillon and her co-authors aim to shift the debate and perspective for businesses, policymakers and nonprofits on how best to address the crisis of global poverty.

Previously the deputy editor of Inc. magazine, Dillon also served as editor and publisher of the critically acclaimed American Lawyer magazine and the London-based Legal Business. She is currently a global ambassador for the Legal 500, providing in-depth analysis of the global legal market. A graduate of Cornell University and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Dillon was named by Ashoka as one of the world’s most influential and inspiring women in 2011.