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FEI USA: Front End of Innovation


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May 16-18, 2023
Omni Boston Hotel at the SeaportBoston

Soon Yu
Best Selling Author at 'Friction' and 'Iconic Advantage'


Soon Yu is an international speaker, award winning and best selling author on branding, innovation and design, and Forbes contributor who has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine and New York Times.

His latest book, Friction, challenges businesses to consider adding MORE friction for their customers and employees in order to create greater engagement, meaning, belonging, rapport, assurance, competence, and exclusivity.

His previous book, Iconic Advantage®, challenges businesses, from Fortune 500 to venture-backed startups, to refocus their innovation priorities on building greater iconicity, and offers deeper insights on establishing timeless distinction and relevance.

He most recently served as the Global VP of Innovation and Corporate Officer at VF Corporation, parent organization to over 30 global apparel companies, including The North Face, Vans, Timberland, and Supreme. While at VF, Soon commercialized a $2 billion innovation pipeline, established 3 global innovation centers, and initiated industry-leading design and innovation best practices.

Prior to this he worked at The Clorox Company and Chiquita Brands, where he won company-wide awards for best advertising, best promotion and best new product, and gained industry recognition from the Webby Award, Favorite Website Award and Dope Award. He has also been a consultant at Bain and Company, and a founder and CEO for numerous venture-backed startups and was recognized as a Northern California finalist for the prestigious Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award.

He is a highly sought after speaker on leadership, branding, innovation, design and entrepreneurship, and has taught at the Parsons School of Design and often guest lectures at Stanford University (where he received his MBA and is active with the GSB Asian Alumni Association).

Agenda Sessions

  • Keynote: Agitate to Stimulate – How Successful Brands Embrace a Dose of Good Friction

  • Workshop: T-Shaped Leadership: Winning Ideas Only Win if They are Shared