Certified Innovation Mentor Program TM


Bigger Thinking for a Better World



Innovation is essential for organizations to achieve differentiation and growth. In fact, a recent Center for Creative Leadership survey of 500 senior leaders found that innovation is a key driver for success for 94 percent of their organizations and 77% of their organizations tried to do something about it. However, only 14 percent said they were confident about their organization's ability to drive innovation effectively.

Companies are searching for ways to develop innovation capacity in their organizations and to develop individuals who can lead successful innovation efforts.  As a result, there are numerous tools and approaches that have become available in the last few years that have overwhelmed the marketplace.

Yet there is a gap. Unlike established competencies such as finance or project management, innovation know-how is fragmented and no single recognized standard of competency currently exists. This makes acquiring knowledge and expertise difficult. 

The response? The Certified Innovation Mentor program™ (CIMp) breaks through the fragmented and inundated market and fills the void.  CIMp is the flagship program of iVia offered once a year at the University of Notre Dame. Designed and lead by innovation practitioners, CIMp takes a comprehensive approach to innovation by focusing not just on a single strategy of innovation, but instead offers a broad body of knowledge built from in-depth experience and understanding of multiple methodologies.

Certified Innovation Mentors are leaders who guide teams through the innovation process and challenge the usual ways of thinking.  They have acquired deep expertise in the innovation methodology, tools and mindset necessary to drive their organization to greater levels of innovation.More than 20 experts and 50 years of experience are behind the comprehensive, rigorous and experiential CIM program.  These faculty, guest luminaries, and partnering companies represent the best and brightest in the innovation world.  You will be exposed to the latest thinking in innovation, broaden your perspective and expand your innovation networks. These thought leaders in the field of innovation are driving CIMp to becoming the recognized standard of competency for innovation.

 Innovation Experts speaking in CIMp include:

Dr. Nancy Tennant – Nancy is VP emeritus, Unleashing Innovation at Whirlpool Corporation and is an internationally recognized speaker and author on innovation and building innovation capabilities. Her book "Unleashing Innovation: How Whirlpool Transformed an Industry" was recently named one of the five "must read" books at Harvard Business School.

Peter Zapf - Peter is Design Planning Lead at FogPilot LLC, a Chicago-based innovantion consultancy. He has more than 20 years' experience writing and providing brand strategy at several nationally renowned agencies.

Peter Skarzynski – Peter is the  Managing Partner and co-founder of ITC Business Group. Peter also is the former CEO, Chairman and founding Director of Strategos.

Mike Docherty - Mike is CEO of Venture2 and author of the book "Collective Disruptuion".

Moises Norena - Moises is Director of Strategic Innovation at Allstate Insurance. He is also the winner of 2013's Harvard Business Review/MIX "Innovating Innovation" challenge. He previously served as the Global Director of Innovation at Whirlpool Corporation.


Gary Hamel - Gary is Director of the Management Innovation eXchange and one of the worlds' most sought after management speakers on the topics of strategy, leadership, innovation and change.



Bill Wiggenhorn - Bill is a principle of MainCaptiva, LLC. He is responsible for custom-designed executive development strategy, systems, and programs, as well as talent management strategies and systems. He also served as a senior learning and development executive at Xerox and as Chief Learning Officer at Motorola and Cigna.

Phil Newbold - Phil is CEO of Beacon Health System. His spirit of innovation and excellence has ensured that the organization is one of the leading health care systems in the United States. He is also a frequent speaker on many emerging health care trends and is a nationally recognized speaker on innovation and health care reform.

David Beal – David is Innovation Leader/Design & Practice at Hallmark Cards.

Ric Edinberg - Ric, is Director at insitumUS, an innovation consulting firm focused on emerging markets and recognized by Fast Company as one of the 10 most innovative firms in Latin America.


The CIMp is an experiential-learning, comprehensive, unbiased, values-based, and outcome driven education of leading innovation practices from practitioners to practitioners.

This program is designed for innovation practitioners, front-line innovators, innovation leaders, and innovation sponsors.  These individuals can be responsible for any or all of the following:

  • leading teams through innovation methodologies and tools
  • preparing, facilitating, and delivering innovation workshops
  • teaching innovation methodologies and tools
  • mentoring others in innovation
  • sponsoring innovation within their organization

Participants need to have a foundational innovation competency.  

Please click here for a small brochure on CIMp: certified_innovation_mentor_brochure_2017.pdf

Upon the successful completion of this program, the participant will receive a document certifying that the participant completed the program. The document will not qualify as an academic credential, and the recipient will not earn any academic credits at the University of Notre Dame in connection with the program. Participants in the program are not students at the University of Notre Dame, and completion of the program does not qualify any participant for status as an alumnus of the University of Notre Dame.