Tim Brown

IDEO/Nicolas Zurcher

Tim Brown

IDEO is probably the organization most closely associated with "design thinking," a practice that spreads the tentacles and processes of design beyond the realm of products and objects into unexpected industries and contexts. As CEO and president of the company, Brown, 47, has also become the movement's unofficial spokesperson, talking up the power of design to transform business—and the world—at events such as the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Working with clients such as Microsoft (MSFT), PepsiCo (PEP), and Procter & Gamble (PG), Brown works at a high level within large multinational corporations to promote the strategic power of design.