Jeevak Badve, FIDSA

Jeevak Badve, FIDSA
Sundberg-Ferar Product Innovation Studio

IDSA Academy of Fellows, 2019
Chair, IDSA International Conference 2017, Atlanta, Aug. 16-19
IDSA Central District Vice President: 2013–2016 
IDSA Central District Vice President: 2011–2012

Jeevak Badve, FIDSA brings energy, passion and curiosity to his role as VP of Strategic Growth at Sundberg-Ferar: a full-service product innovation studio supporting the product and vehicle industries from its metro Detroit location since 1934. 

Badve helps companies to understand the fundamental role of Industrial Design Thinking: leveraging usefulness, usability, ergonomics and aesthetics as unique and compelling differentiators in your products to aid the sustainable growth of business, planning for the entire range of use-case scenarios, and designing for ideal user experiences. With his unique blend of education and experience in design, engineering and business, Badve is a rallying voice for the alignment and optimal inclusion of end users’ unmet needs, unspoken wants and unarticulated desires in the core value proposition offered by the product & service portfolio in order to generate sought-after shareholder value.

He has 23 years of work experience, including seven years in India (Tata Motors ERC, Tata-Johnson, Voltas M&H) and 16 years in the U.S., starting with GM Design Center and now at Sundberg-Ferar.

Badve graduated with an Executive MBA from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business. He also holds a master’s degree in industrial design from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Bombay), and a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Pune University, India.

He is a board member on the Michigan Design Council (MDC), the Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3) and Aether Group. 

Badve’s areas of special interest and speaking themes include: human-centric design, the intersection of design and business, the fundamentals of industrial design thinking and the future of autonomous mobility. 

He lives in Rochester Hills, a northern suburb of Detroit, MI, with his wife and two notoriously curious and mischievous kids. He loves bird photography, kickboxing and obstacle course running.

Statement of Candidacy for At-Large Director, Conferences

Why am I running?

I need to lose some weight! Well, apart from that, I sincerely and firmly believe that this big wide world (and not just our design community) needs more awareness of the wonder that Industrial Design can bring into our daily lives. IDSA is that unique vehicle to deliver this much needed experience via a multitude of channels, including the flagship offerings of IDC, the Deep Dive conferences and other geo-contextual events. IDSA is an in-person meetup association at its core, and this is one of our chosen distinguishing elements in the plethora of design-centric associations. We need to further fortify and enlarge this offering. 

I think I can add to that specific expertise. I have been instrumental in bringing up conferences for not only our beloved IDSA community for the last six years (the 2017 IDC in Atlanta, “Design IS Business,” and five previous District Design Conferences), but also for other associations in the business and engineering domains. Conference building is essentially an art. It involves searching for and choosing the right ingredients, and then properly arranging the assets to orchestrate the overarching rhythm—not just to be educational, but also inspirational, motivational and fun. 

It is very rewarding for me to see these meetings of like-minded people, and how they get together for a couple of days to share each other’s perspectives, insights and ideas in a very open and casual atmosphere that we curate. At every event that I come back from, I know I have learned a lot—not only from the speakers on stage but also from the connections and discussions around the coffee breaks and the evening studio crawls. 

I want to make sure the newer, in-person IDSA gatherings are all meticulously crafted to bring out the best that city can offer, from the way we experience thought leaders and their compelling delivery to the selection of the emergent themes that are challenging our profession or liberating us from our everyday assumptions and biases. 

Changing people’s behavior and the acceptance of the tenets of Industrial Design Thinking is not a sprint. It’s a marathon through mountains and numerous obstacles. Join me for that trail run.