Dr. Steve Diasio’s passion for open innovation has taken him around the world and back. The Innovation and Management professor has traveled to over 45 countries and received his Ph.D. from the renowned ESADE Business School in Spain. Here, he worked alongside leading innovation scholars and saw firsthand the power of open innovation before bringing his talents stateside to the Kate Tiedemann College of Business.

“The idea of storytelling was so important to how I was trained,” said Dr. Diasio, who applies the leading practices he learned abroad to his courses at USF St. Petersburg.

“I’m not just lecturing from a slide, I’m telling bigger stories and creating meaning from these benign concepts. We’re pushing the boundaries, experimenting, prototyping. [Students can understand it this way] and can apply it to problems that we face. That gives them creative confidence and they build an innovative mindset. It gives them the confidence not to ask for permission for what’s right or what’s wrong but the freedom to explore their skills and make connections that wouldn’t have been made in a very traditional structure.”

Dr. Diasio is also a researcher of open innovation and has worked with IBM and their Innovation Jam Platform. In 2016, he published an article, “Not All that Jazz!” in the European Management Journal, that uses jambands like the Grateful Dead as a metaphor for organizing new models of innovation. In 2017, he presented “A Long Strange Trip: How Music Influenced Open and Collaborative Innovation” at the 13 Minutes Innovation Conference in France.

Dr. Diasio views his work at the intersection of management and design, and advocates for experiential-based learning in his courses, such as Innovation in Dali and Management Design Thinking. He also developed the Finger Puppet Management Framework, which students use to create video content that they post to the course’s YouTube channel. Students have created reality TV shows, animated shorts, live-action films and have even hand-made their own puppets to role play, demonstrate management concepts and educate the world about management. Over 40,000 people around the world have learned from these videos.

“We have really talented students here at USFSP,” said Dr. Diasio. “The world needs to know how talented they are. That’s been one of my goals through these projects and learning frameworks. I’ve taught at some of the top business schools in the world, [but students here] will go above and beyond and create things that far exceed the expectations.”


Ph.D. in Management Science from ESADE Business School
Master of Business Administration from Dominican University
Bachelor of Science in Finance from DePaul University

“We’re pushing the boundaries, experimenting, prototyping.”

-Dr. Steve Diasio

Something people would be surprised to learn about Dr. Steve Diasio:

I walked El Camino de Santiago, the way of Saint James. Historically, it’s a pilgrimage. The whole thing takes 35 days, and you walk from France to the end of the world at that time. I was able to walk 12 days, covering more than 300 miles. I wasn’t able to complete it [yet] my biggest accomplishment is something I didn’t finish. I went up and down the Pyrenees mountain range. It challenges your comfort level in many things, [but] it helps to surrender to the way and the path that so many other pilgrims before you have taken.