Vaughn Tan

Innovation Expert

Speaker Themes

  • Risk vs Uncertainty: what’s the difference and why it matters
  • How to think about innovation in an uncertain world
  • Productive discomfort
  • Setting goals
  • Motivating your people
  • Leadership

Travels from

Marseilles, France


Vaughn Tan is a consultant, author, toolmaker, and professor of strategy. Vaughn has spent over a decade helping businesses, not-for-profits, and government agencies design themselves to profit from uncertainty.

Vaughn advises businesses and not-for-profits as a consultant and board member, working at the intersection of innovation management, product strategy, and organisational design. His expertise is in designing (or redesigning) organisations to be more innovative and resilient to uncertainty in the operating environment.

Vaughn’s first book, The Uncertainty Mindset (2020), which is based on nearly a decade working with some of the best R&D teams in cutting-edge cuisine, examines how uncertainty can be used to drive innovation and adaptability.

Vaughn has made a training tool for productive discomfort called idk which is based on the research in The Uncertainty Mindset.

He is currently working on a new book project about being in a state of not-knowing and what to do about it.

Since 2013, Vaughn has been an assistant professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at University College London’s School of Management. He is currently on leave from UCL to work on a socio-technical solution to a major problem in collective action.

To book Vaughn Tan as a speaker for your event, contact VBQ founding agent Leo von Bülow-Quirk at


Vaughn’s speeches are an invaluable source of insight for organisations looking to innovate in an uncertain and volatile world.

He helps audiences understand:

  • The critical difference between risk and uncertainty
  • How to think about innovation differently
  • Who they should hire
  • How to motivate their workforce
  • How to set effective goals
  • What they can learn from “productive discomfort”
  • How to lead in the 21st century

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