Trinity College Dublin provides a unique and vibrant learning experience and is proud to have produced generations of leaders, decision-makers, innovators and entrepreneurs.
We welcome you to the Innovation Academy, an exciting intellectual space where industry leaders and educators interact to develop and nurture creativity and innovation.

What is Executive Breakout?

The Executive Breakout programme has been developed by the Innovation Academy in Trinity College Dublin with a team of international academics and practitioners in the areas of innovation, creativity and leadership. This programme is for individuals who want to lead, effect change and stimulate creativity and innovation in their teams. Underpinned by the key themes of Design Thinking, Disruptive Innovation and High Performance Leadership, Executive Breakout aims to equip you with the tools and techniques to drive innovation and manage change.

Executive Breakout is a new and exciting learning experience focused on delivering impact and making a real difference. Implementation of theory to practice is central to the programme and participants should be committed to applying learning within their current role.

APPLY NOW and be part of Executive Breakout 2017 *PLACES STRICTLY LIMITED*

"Very energising, very empowering and most of all very practical"

Brian Dalton, Managing Director Corporate Development, RTÉ


Executive Breakout is underpinned by three core learning themes; design thinking, high-performance leadership and disruptive innovation. The participant is positioned at the intersection of these themes; the central focus is on the development of professional and personal goals.

Design Thinking

Design thinking is a process taken from product design, which uses brainstorming, multidisciplinary teamwork and hands-on problem solving to bring about fresh insights. Participants learn to implement the design thinking process in order to stimulate a more innovative mindset in their own organisations.

High Performance Leadership

Strong leadership is needed to drive change, take calculated risks and motivate colleagues. Participants will develop enhanced negotiation and influencing skills required to lead world-class teams.

Disruptive Innovation

Managing disruptive innovation is essential for organisations in order to identify opportunities and successfully compete. Participants will explore emerging organisational models and develop potential new approaches by applying theories of disruptive innovation to their own organisation.

"... an opportunity to reassess my direction and leadership. The programme format allowed real engagement with the presenters and other participants"

Pearse Corbett, Senior Project Manager, ESB International


Executive Breakout is designed to accommodate the demands placed on your time by offering dynamic approaches to teaching and learning through practitioner-led workshops and practice-based learning. We adopt an action-oriented approach by integrating theory and practice through:

  • applying contemporary theories of best practice in creativity, innovation and leadership
  • customised mentoring by industry and academic experts to meet your specific needs
  • delivering individual and group projects in a multidisciplinary setting
  • developing diverse professional networks across multiple sectors

  • This programme is formally accredited by Trinity College Dublin (10 ECTS) and is delivered over seven days in four phases within a two month period. Phase 1, 2 and 4 are delivered onsite in the Innovation Academy. Phase 3 allows the participant to work independently on their ‘Personal Innovation Plan’ and ‘Team Innovation Project’ with scheduled mentor meetings.

    PHASE 1 October 2017
    Pre-Programme Preparation
    Personal Innovation Plan & Business Model
    Organisation Business Model
    PHASE 2 October 17th to 20th 2017 (4 days)
    Design Thinking, Disruptive Innovation & Leadership Development
    Creative & Design Thinking
    Business Model Innovation
    High Performance Leadership
    PHASE 3 6 weeks
    Interim Phase: Project Work & Mentoring (One to One and Group)
    Personal Innovation Plan and Team Innovation Project
    PHASE 4 December 5th to 7th 2017 (3 days)
    Communication and Action
    Communication for Effective Leadership: persuasion & influencing Skills
    Personal Innovation Plan & Team Innovation Project Pitches


    Introduction to the theory of design thinking as a strategy for facilitating innovation. Explore how to build and manage high performance teams and leverage their impact within your organisation.

    Innovation Projects

    Implementation is key and the Innovation Project are designed to provide you with the opportunity to work in multidisciplinary teams and deliver actionable solutions to real world organisational challenges.

    Action Plans and Pitches

    The ability to communicate effectively and influence others is finely tuned with the support of expert mentors and coaches. In order to lead with impact and grow as a person you will be expected to push boundaries and develop your personal and professional convictions.

    Key Theoretical Concepts

    Introduction to the key concepts of design thinking, high-performance leadership and disruptive innovation is completed through highly immersive and interactive workshops. The aim is to go beyond applying theory to practice and understand how you can drive a culture of innovation within your own organisation.

    Outcomes: What Will You Learn?

    Innovation Projects

    ‘Live’ Innovation Projects are a central element of the learning process and drive the programme's theoretically-informed and practice-based approach. Over the two month period participants work on two project components supported by selected industry and academic coaches. The project is generally centered around a market opportunity, a technological challenge, process innovation or simply identifying ways to cultivate innovation within organisations. The first project is the ‘Individual Innovation Project’ which is defined by the participant who provides a real challenge or opportunity facing their organisation. The second is a pre-defined ‘Group Innovation Project’ sourced from an external host organisation where participants work in multidisciplinary teams to deliver actionable solutions and recommendations.

    Exploit Opportunities

    Lead Change

    Diversify Your Network

    The Team

    Ruth Kearney

    Business Development Manager

    Louise Andrews

    Programme Manager

    Dr. Dan Rogers

    Programme Manager

    Catherine O'Brien

    Student Liaison Manager

    Anne Sexton

    Programme Manager

    Key Contributors

    Prof. Kevin Kelly

    Assistant Professor at School of Engineering, Trinity College Dublin

    Prof. Paul Coughlan

    Professor of Operations Management, Trinity Business School

    Dr Conor Hanley

    President and CEO, FIRE1

    Niamh Scannell

    Research Director, Intel Labs Europe

    Dr. Paul Pallath

    Chief Data Scientist & Director Advanced Analytics , SAP

    Gavin Shorten

    Business and Strategy Development Manager, IBM Ireland Lab

    Prof. Peter Kelly

    Professor of Practice, High Growth Entrepreneurship, Aalto University

    Jim Stikeleather

    Futurist, Innovator, Strategist, University of South Florida, Entrepreneur, Author

    Dr. Linda Greve

    Communications Expert

    Prof. Lizbeth Goodman

    Professor of Inclusive Design for Education

    Prof. Mary-Rose Greville

    Professor of Leadership and Organisational Behaviour

    Richard Watson

    Investment Manager, Venture Capital, DBIC

    Lorna Ross

    Director of Design at the Mayo Clinic's Centre for Innovation

    Dr. Helen Shenton

    Librarian College Archivist, Trinity College Dublin

    Gary Leyden

    Director, NDRC Launchpad

    Muirne Laffan

    Chief Digital Officer, RTE

    Steve Rawling

    Author,Journalist and regular trainer with BBC and RTE

    Johnathan Bannister

    Founder and Director of Strategy

    Colm Lyon

    Founder and CEO of

    Invigorating Ireland's Largest Corporations


    It was a phenomenal experience for me and I learned a lot that has helped me hugely in my new role. I’ve been using what I’ve learned on a very regular basis

    Georgina O'Leary, Director of Innovation, Research and Development at Allstate

    ... an opportunity to reassess my direction and leadership. The programme format allowed real engagement with the presenters and other participants

    Pearse Corbett, Senior Project Manager, ESB International

    Very energising, very empowering and most of all very practical

    Brian Dalton, Managing Director Corporate Development, RTÉ

    a top notch 5 star rated learning experience

    Subeer Saksena, Head of Digital Marketing, Novartis

    "a top notch 5 star rated learning experience"

    Subeer Saksena, Head of Digital Marketing, Novartis

    Dates and Fee

    Phase 1 October 2017 Pre-Programme Preparation
    Phase 2 October 17th to 20th 2017 (4 days)
    Phase 3 6 weeks (Interim Phase)
    Phase 4 December 5th to 7th 2017 (3 days)

    Programme Fee €4500

    APPLY NOW and be part of Executive Breakout 2017 *PLACES STRICTLY LIMITED*

    Executive Breakout

    3 Foster Place, College Green

    +353 (0)1 896 4366/4367

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    Contact Us

    Programme Manager

    Louise Andrews
    3 Foster Place, College Green, Dublin 2
    +353 (0)1 896 4367

    Business Development Manager

    Ruth Kearney
    3 Foster Place, College Green, Dublin 2
    +353 (0)1 896 4366

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