Innovation Works

A catalyst for growth and innovation in MEA


Accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship is critical for economic growth and youth employment in the MEA region. Supported by a friendly business environment, resources & networks, the UAE has created a burgeoning startup scene enabling innovation and employment in recent years. Leveraging our team of leading academics researchers, corporate partners and alumni network, Innovation Works probes this rapidly evolving space and offers insights, strategies, and value for individuals, businesses and policy makers looking to unlock innovation, VC investing, external corporate venturing and boost entrepreneurship and scale in the UAE and across the region.





We build knowledge and a community to support innovation and entrepreneurship in the UAE and across the region.





We see Innovation Works as a growth catalyst for innovation and startups in the UAE and across the region.





Through workshops, we pilot new executive programmes tailored to the needs of the region. Through the monthly Tech talks series, we share latest academic research & practitioners’ perspectives on current & emerging technologies & their impact for business, management & society locally & regionally.





We develop case studies, research and surveys and deep dive into the specific UAE and regional challenges faced by startups, scaleups and corporate innovation. We disseminate the key learning to the local, regional and global business community through teaching and outreach activities.





We partner with INSEAD faculty, alumni as well as private, public and not for profit regional stakeholders to build and share knowledge and connect talents and expertise.





In line with our mission, we bring together people, cultures and ideas to develop responsible leaders who transform business and society.



We share INSEAD academic expertise with regional stakeholders. We expand the school’s knowledge on the specific regional problematics to help tailor our upcoming programmes to the specific needs required for building a strong startup ecosytem and innovation in MEA

Designed for leaders, senior executives and managers with interest/responsibilities in innovation and digital transformation. Why attend:

  • Understand the drivers, challenges and opportunities associated with digitalisation.
  • Deepen your corporate innovation capabilities.
  • Leave with an action plan.

Designed for leaders, senior executives and managers with responsibilities to scale startups. Why attend:

  • What are the drivers, challenges, and opportunities associated with scaling?
  • Leave with a clearer path forward.


Through a series of MEA based case studies and research on startups, scaleups, innovation and digital transformation, we contribute to expand academic knowledge on specific problematics faced by the region. We disseminate the key learning to the local, regional and global business community through teaching and outreach.

Unlocking the Closet: Venture Capital and the Global Expansion of a Middle East Luxury Goods Marketplace (INSEAD case study)


Careem – Selling Rides or Selling Tech? Strategic Agility and Scope in a Platform Business (INSEAD case

Digital transformation of Majid Al Futtaim: test-and-learn approach to instil a data-driven culture in
a leading lifestyle conglomerate in the Middle East (INSEAD case study)


Turning bits into dollars. What is the data economy? How are companies embracing the data economy globally? How can the GCC unleash its data economy? (research by INSEAD and Strategy &)

SWVL, Growing a Unicorn in Egypt and beyond (INSEAD case study. Coming soon…)



We build a community of strategic partners to create and deliver content and impact.




Vikas Aggarwal

Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise

David Dubois

Associate Professor of Marketing, The Cornelius Grupp Fellowship in Digital Analytics for Consumer Behaviour

Theodoros Evgeniou

Professor of Decision Sciences and Technology Management

Katia Kachan

Case writer

Felipe Monteiro

Senior Affiliate Professor of Strategy, Academic Director, Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI)

Joerg Niessing

Senior Affiliate Professor of Marketing

Claudia Zeisberger

Senior Affiliate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise, Academic Director, Global Private Equity Initiative



Peter Zemsky

Deputy Dean / Dean of Innovation, Professor of Strategy, The Eli Lilly Chaired Professor of Strategy and Innovation

Roger Bassoul

Executive Director, INSEAD Middle East campus

Pascale Balze

Associate Director, Global Projects, Deputy Dean’s Office

Sandra El Dakkak

Projects and Events Coordinator, Deputy Dean's office

Sebastien Barthélémy

Senior Innovation Fellow

Dezma Dsouza

Research assistant & Coordinator, F&R