Who could imagine the title of a book from the library could change the course of your career? Gianfranco could. That’s because he believes in finding insights and crazy notions from unusual places. Today, this is called cross-discipline innovation, and it was the basis for the company Gianfranco started after graduating college. Continuum Innovation is a world-renowned design and innovation company, and Continuum gets its name from that book. A lifelong learner, Gianfranco is still innovating and creating, including establishing the Zaccai Foundation for Augmented Intelligence and working with and learning from neurodiverse people.
Watch Gianfranco Zaccai on the StartNow Show
Gianfranco Zaccai is the co-founder and chief designer of Continuum Innovation, a global design innovation firm. The firm’s work is informed by the needs, desires and aspirations of customers, patients, citizens and those who make the firms’s client organizations work. Zaccai founded Continuum in 1983, where he applies his holistic and highly integrated approach to innovation research, design and development. With strong ties to both Italy and the United States, he combines the two cultures in his approach to projects. He considers this a hands-approach with “a perfect mixture of…functional, emotional, ecological and economical”. Continuum has a long-term strategic partnership with the Herman Miller Company, and Zaccai’s vision led to innovations such as the Reebok Pump and P&G’s Swiffer.
He holds degrees in industrial and product design from Syracuse University, and degrees from Boston Architectural College in architecture and in design leadership in architecture. He currently works with the Foundation for Augmented Intelligence where he is the founder and president. The Foundation seeks to develop, stimulate and leverage technological, educational and organizational innovation, helping individuals with intellectual disabilities improve their quality of life.