2022 Best Undergraduate Professors: Steve Diasio, University of South Florida MUMA College of Business

Steve Diasio
University of South Florida MUMA College of Business

“Dr. Diasio represents the best parts of academia, even in this period in which we’re questioning the value and relevancy of a college education. He has a global mindset, an appetite for innovation, and is so incredibly patient. His methodology Management Design Thinking is the missing link for today’s managers and is just getting started as a core curriculum asset in his entrepreneurship major courses. With Steve, USF wouldn’t have an entrepreneurship program, nor one as vibrant, diverse, and successful. I’m grateful to credit him as a mentor and to call him a friend.” – Amelia Bartlett

Steve Diasio, 42, is an Associate Professor in the MUMA College of Business School at the University of South Florida.

Professor Diasio currently teaches Creativity and Innovation, Scaling Innovation, and Management Design Thinking.

He is a leading scholar on Innovation Jams and open models of decision support, appearing in top academic journals including the European Management Journal and Technology Analysis and Strategic Management. His work has been featured in books such as “Media, Technology and Education in a Post-Truth Society: From Fake News, Datafication and Mass Surveillance to the Death of Trust.” His latest book is entitled, “Evaluating Your Creativity: Building Your 21st Century Skills Through Assessment and Evaluation.”

He is known for his expertise in corporate innovation. He is winner of the USF Chancellor’s Award in Excellence for Civic and Community Engagement; the Best Paper Award from the European Academy of Management; the Tampa Bay Business Journal Top 50 Innovators on Fire; and Quality Matters Award.


At current institution since what year? 2014


  • PhD in Management Science, ESADE Business School – Barcelona, Spain
  • MBA, Dominican University
  • BS in Finance and Trading, DePaul University

List of Undergraduate courses you teach:

  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Scaling Innovation
  • Management Design Thinking


I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… Prior to academia, I worked as a corporate innovator and change agent at a Fortune 200 firm. It was there that I witnessed the challenges that organizations were facing in order to innovate and stay relevant in the next era of technology-driven change. It was at that point I wanted to build tools and a body of work that could help managers to innovate and succeed in the future.

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? I am currently researching an alternative history to open innovation, jamband (music genre) as a metaphor to understand open models of innovation, and defining and characterizing the microfoundations of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs).

If I weren’t a business school professor, I’d be… An improv artist.

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? I believe that every student is talented and has the agency to create the future that they desire. My classes are designed in a way where students learn/discover this for themselves. This is transformative and changes the trajectory of what they believe is possible.

One word that describes my first time teaching: Liberating.

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: Have a student mindset.

Professor I most admire and why: My PhD advisor Dr. Nuría Agell, who taught me that you can be a great researcher, teacher, and human.


What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? Helping each student reach their fullest potential by recognizing their agency within themselves to chart their own path.

What is most challenging? Stagnation

In one word, describe your favorite type of student: Curious

In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Unmotivated

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as: Transparent


What are your hobbies? Cooking, paddle boarding, writing, and salsa dancing.

How will you spend your summer? Learning something new and writing.

Favorite place(s) to vacation: Walking the El Camino de Santiago

Favorite book(s): Marching Powder, Confederacy of Dunces, Catcher in the Rye, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? I’m not into TV and I fall asleep during movies.

What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? Jim Morrison and The Doors – Music and lyrics aid in conscience-breaking and reality-bending.


If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… More open and accessible to all students. Become less of a luxury brand.

In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at…Humanizing management.

I’m grateful for… The love of my life, my parents, grandparents, brother and sister, family, and rockstar friends.


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