David Eaves

Expert on Open Innovation; Kennedy School of Government at Harvard

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David Eaves | Expert on Open Innovation; Kennedy School of Government at Harvard
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

A leader in both open and disruptive innovation, David Eaves invigorates audiences with talks on how technology is changing work, collaboration, brands, and policy. What are the challenges and opportunities that will emerge in our connected world? Eaves shows you how to understand these trends, and use disruptive tactics, transparency, big data, and negotiation skills like never before. 

David Eaves is an expert in public policy, strategy, open government, disruptive innovation, open source, negotiation, and collaboration; and a recognized public thinker all wrapped up in one. Eaves speaks to companies and groups confronting disruptive innovation and those engaging in social marketing, mobile, and crowdsourcing activities. As one of North America’s most exciting public policy entrepreneurs, he is retained by governments to advise on these burgeoning fields. Eaves serves as a Research Fellow and adjunct lecturer in the Science, Technology and Public Policy Program (STPP) at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


“If it isn’t available in open and machine readable format, it can’t engage. If a legal framework doesn’t allow it to be repurposed, it doesn’t empower.”

— David Eaves

As a negotiation expert, Eaves advised on critical negotiations, such as the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, and helps create opportunities where there are currently log jams. Eaves served as the first Director of Education at Code for America where he trained all the Fellows on how to foster open innovation inside government. He has also provided training and support to 18F and the Presidential Innovation Fellows program at the White House. He sits on the advisory board of Code for All and the board of the Environics Institute. He was appointed to the Ontario Government’s Open Government Taskforce, sits on the Canadian Government’s Open Government Advisory Panel, and was a member of the City of Vancouver’s Digital Strategy External Advisory Group.


“He was wonderful. Interesting, well informed and thoughtful ... Excellent speaker ... very engaging presentation.”

Local Government Management Association of BC

“David Eaves is a very engaging and interesting speaker. He had clearly prepared well for his audience and he provided many thought-provoking examples of how to use data to improve services and create value, as well as, some of the pitfalls. He definitely got us thinking about what can be created from big data!”

British Columbia Safety Authority

“I wanted to take a moment to say thank you for your efforts in helping to secure David Eaves as our keynote speaker at our annual AGM and conference last week. David came well prepared and gave a remarkably engaging and interesting presentation that literally had people buzzing throughout the remainder of the day. Without exception, everyone I spoke to for feedback pointed to David as the highlight of our program. Personally, I’ve sat through many conference agendas and I found David to be among the most relevant speakers I’ve had the opportunity to listen to. His ability to bring his message home to the road paving and asphalt industry in a very matter of fact and understandable way was especially well handled and certainly appreciated by our stakeholders. I would highly recommend David as a leading edge, thought-provoking speaker appropriate for any forward-thinking association or organization.”

Ontario Hot Mix Producers Association

Speech Topics

Disruption Adapting to a Turbulent Landscape

Technology is quickly becoming one, if not the, greatest driver of change in the business sector. New technologies bring with them huge opportunities, but also new threats to markets, value changes, and business models. David Eaves—an expert in technology and change management—has worked with numerous organizations both inside and out of the technology sector that have either disrupted competitors or have been the targets of disruptive innovation. Looking at your industry in particular, Eaves will walk through some of the drivers of disruption. He’ll not only investigate the technologies that could change your market, but also how technology will change the behaviours, expectations, and norms of your customers. In addition, drawing on over a decade of experience in negotiation and change management, Eaves will explore how organizations try to resist these changes—and what you can do to position you and your organizations more effectively. 

Big Data
Open Government

Open technologies and organizations, which stress transparent information and multi-channel cooperation, have changed the way we live. Wikipedia has revolutionized free and public information and Mozilla has opened the internet browser market to true competition. Policy expert David Eaves asks—if this approach has proven to be so successful, how come government still operates in a world full of red tape and closed channels? In this mind-opening talk, Eaves brings a new perspective to what the government of the future should look like—and why we need to start these changes now.

Corporate Culture
Collaborating in a Networked World

David Eaves is more than just an expert on public policy—he is also a trained and experienced negotiator. In our new information economy, information that was previously restricted is quickly becoming public. Now that information is open, the need to have clear communications within organizations is incredibly important. Eaves uses his in-depth knowledge of negotiations and organizational structure to help tackle your organization’s communications problems head on. Bringing clear, concise strategies and real-life examples to each talk, Eaves talks with unparalleled passion and pinpoint wit.

Four Steps to Better, More Productive Negotiation

David Eaves has worked with organizations from the White House to Deloitte to Greenpeace to the Royal Bank of Canada on negotiation techniques. In this talk—which can be expanded into a workshop—Eaves focuses on four important steps to better negotiation. 1. Increasing awareness of how much negotiation impacts our day-to-day professional and personal lives, and how our current techniques help or hinder us. 2. Useful and usable concepts and approaches for thinking about negotiation and relationship management; including checklists, tools, and guidelines. 3. Skill development through role play and coaching. 4. Ongoing development, offering participants methods for continuing to improve their negotiating skills going forward. Eaves will arm your team with the tools they need to conduct productive, efficient negotiations, starting today.

Big Data
Policing in the Era of Surveillance Society

Effective police forces pride themselves on their accountability and transparency. With the arrival of new technology, the ways in which that transparency can manifest itself are exploding. Body cameras, big data, gunshot locators—the amount of data the police are collecting is exploding. In addition, national organizations are engaged in persistent surveillance in a way that is also changing how the public feels and understands the role of the police. Policy and open government expert David Eaves walks us through some of the lessons that can be learned from the past as well as outlines some of the key questions every police force should be asking itself as they begin to evaluate what accountability and transparency will mean for their force in the 21st century.

Real Estate in a World of Open Innovation

In this talk, open innovation expert David Eaves looks at how the world of real estate is changing to adapt to emerging technologies, social media, and big data. The real estate industry is unique in its institutions and governing principles, and new disruptive tools and technologies are beginning to change the way people do business. How will these shifts and technologies change the relationships between real estate boards, brokers, agents and buyers? What trends will emerge within the industry in the next decade? And how can a massive restructuring of the real estate industry lead to happier home buyers and more stable markets? Eaves gives audiences a top-down view of the real estate industry, outlining the issues it faces today—and what it will look like in the future.