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Sarah DaVanzo

Chief Curiosity Officer – Innovation | Insights | Foresight

L'Oréal Group

Sarah DaVanzo has spent her international career, spanning 12 countries and 20 years, at the intersection of:  innovation; marketing and branding; trends and culture; insights and foresight.

The gestalt of Sarah is of a charismatic, creative and curious inventor and problem solver, energizing leader, tireless builder and intrepid experimenter.

Building and leading teams for top F500/brands and marketing services agencies, Sarah is also a serial entrepreneur. She co-founded two ecommerce businesses and built the Female Futures Forum, the Gold of Africa Museum, AngloGold’s Innovation skunkworks, two practices within Burson-Marsteller, as well as the pioneering Omnicom startup, Sparks & Honey (winner of “Agency to Watch” of 2014).

She is a "superforecaster” with a futures prediction accuracy of 73%!  Sarah is an inventor of cultural intelligence, foresight and Innovation methodologies (holding three patents). She is certified by: Institute for the Future; Blue Ocean Strategy Institute; Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship and Innovation.  She has a MsEd from Pace University focused on techniques to grow curiosity and exploration, as well as a Senior Executive Diploma from Harvard Business School. Sarah is a long-time member of the World Futures Society and Manhattan Inventor’s Association.

Today, she is building a new function within L’Oréal Group dedicated to Curiosity, Insight, Foresight & Disruptive Innovation to help its 30+ brands stay ahead of trends, anticipate change, improve relevance and innovate for the future. In this role she leads open, agile Design Thinking methodologies – sprints, accelerators, hackathons, experiments, crowd-sourcing, open labs and consumer co-creation. Some call her L’Oreal’s “Chief Curiosity Officer”.

Concurrently, she is noodling ways to engineer curiosity to improve Innovation output, piloting methods to measure curiosity in people/teams and the business impact of curiosity-cultivating programs. She is also hatching a way to measure brand health and engagement via curiosity.

Sarah is a seasoned speaker and university lecturer. Having opened TEDx L’Oréal speaking on the topic of “Engineering Contagious Curiosity”, she will be speaking at TEDxAsburyPark 2018 on the connection between passion-and-curiosity (visit: www.10xCurious.com).

An “ENTJ” personality type, she has circumnavigated the globe twice, by sea and by air. She has conducted anthropologic research deep in the Malian jungle.  She spent 40 days living in silence as a Benedictine monk… simply because she was curious!  A South African soap-opera character was modelled on her the same year she shook hands with Nelson Mandela. She’s survived 6 elementary schools, cancer, bankruptcy and divorce. Always a culture cartographer, she splits her time between her homes in NYC and the Loire Valley, France.