Keynote Speaker

Tom Waller, Lululemon athletica, Canada

Tom Waller

Dr. Tom Waller is the Senior Vice President, Advanced Innovation and Chief Science Officer at lululemon athletica inc., an athletic apparel company. Dr. Waller founded Whitespace, lululemon’s R&D and ideation group in 2012 where he built a team of multidisciplinary scientists and technical creatives to develop what lululemon defines as the “Science of Feel”. Dr. Waller previously served as Head of Aqualab at Speedo International Ltd where he led new product and fabric development for all Olympic elite swimming projects. Before that, he was the Head of R&D for Progressive Sports Technologies. Dr. Waller completed his BEng (Hons) in Product Design and Manufacturing Engineering and PHD in Sports Technology at Loughborough University. Originally from the UK, Dr. Waller now lives in Vancouver where his love for family, fitness and the great outdoors has him spend his free time competing in Ironman triathlons and constantly experimenting with the cutting edge of health, wellbeing and whole human performance.

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Talk: Challenging apparel industry conventions through the science of feel

Traditional paradigms related to the creation and marketing of sporting goods including footwear, apparel and accessories, generally place product performance attributes as the primary differentiator between competitive brands. Claims of faster, further, lighter and dryer dominate headlines and product descriptions in an attempt to attract consumers, whilst failing to acknowledge that true performance is a complex phenomena where raw talent, conditioning, sensory feedback and perceived or psychological limits combine.

By conducting primary research into decoding the most desirable characteristics of human experience as the first step of creating and delivering uniquely memorable product sensations, the Whitespace R&D and innovation team at lululemon brings a novel approach to enabling human performance and setting new product performance attributes that challenge industry convention.

This multi-disciplinary framework has become known as the Science of Feel and is now a primary lens of innovation for the development of new products, services and experiences. This keynote provides insight to the methods and tools being applied by lululemon teams with specific examples of athletic and commercial success each contributing to high growth and a leading market position.

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