The Professional Development Institute
Harvard University Global System
Harvard® Planner Group

Alain Paul Martin
Harvard-MIT Trained Leader Chief Architect, Harvard University Global SystemTM
Team Coach with International Expertise and Failures Lessons in Innovation Discovery,
Scaling and Delivery of Sustainable Processes, Products, Services and Platforms
Inventor (Patent Recipient: USA, Canada, Japan) CEO, The Professional Development InstituteTM PDI Inc.

Printable 4-page professional vitae in PDF format

Videos featuring exclusive testimonials about Alain Paul Martin and Harvard University Global SystemTM from several CEOs and senior executives:

  • John Harbour who applied Harvard University Global SystemTM and turned a $100-million company from a lagger to the leading financial institution in Canada. Promoted as president of Desjardins, he applied the method to chart the future of a $78 billion financial institution (among the world's top 10 banks according to Bloomberg). At the SAAQ, within five years, Mr. Harbour reduced death rate on highways by 35% and severe accidents by 43%, turning $489 million deficit into $20 million surplus (testimony in French).

  • “Mr. Martin tirelessly invests his energy to leverage his successes and networks into solutions that have a direct, positive impact on the poor... Mr. Martin's management background and extensive experience in advising global leaders, alongside his motivation to eradicate poverty and its ill effects, qualify him to make a uniquely valuable contribution to addressing inequity on a societal level. With demonstrated skills in entrepreneurship, negotiation, and issue analysis, he is precisely the sort of thoughtful, versatile leader we need to advocate on behalf of the poor and underserved.”

    Professor Paul E. Farmer, MD, PhD
    Chair, Global Health & Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School

    About Alain Paul Martin's book “Harnessing the Power of Intelligence”

    “This is an extraordinarily thoughtful and well written book on a topic of great contemporary importance. Its advice is detailed, practical and completely on target.”

    Professor Warren McFarlan, Harvard Business School

    “Alain Martin integrates strategic planning, competitive analysis, and risk management tools into a powerful framework that provides valuable theoretical and practical approaches to strategy formulation and business risk management. His trenchant advice to 'use competitive intelligence as both a sword and a shield' is particularly relevant in today's competitive marketplace. More importantly, Martin shows how the ethical and responsible use of competitive intelligence can prepare an organization for unprecedented changes in the external environment. This practical book is well worth the busy executives' time.”

    Dr. Peter B. Corr, Senior Vice President, Science and Technology, Pfizer Inc

    “I have used the framework described in this remarkable book successfully for several years, first, to orchestrate the turnaround of North America's fastest growing casualty-insurance company, and subsequently, to craft a vision and strategic direction of a $75 billion financial institution.”

    John Harbour, Former President and CEO, Desjardins Casualty Insurance Group,
    and President & COO, Desjardins Confederation

Faculty Leader & Chair, Innovation & Foresight Panels: Alain Paul MARTIN

Alain Paul Martin, Workshop Leader Alain Paul Martin's meta-innovation mission is twofold: advancing innovation quality to maximize user value and SDG/ESG impact; and democratizing the worldwide access to the best innovation frameworks, instruments and strategic ecosystems. Alain leads the creation and scaling of groundbreaking products and organizations (banking, advanced technology, energy, mining, education, government); and chairs innovation and foresight panels.

He currently teaches courses and workshops on innovation ecosystems (contextual, strategic and deep/extended), idea generation and cross-pollination, structured creativity, leadership and management of change for scientists, engineers, policy makers, team leaders and graduate students, in English, French and via simultaneous translation in other languages.

He taught graduate courses in management of change; and delivered leadership workshops (Bertelsmann, Cap-Gemini, EON, Framingham State University, France Loisirs, GE (Canada, France, U.S.), Harvard and the Ivy-League's Leadership Summit, Japan's METI and Engineering Advancement Association (ENNA), MD Robotics, Morocco's OCP Group and Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Ontario's OPG Nuclear Power, operations-research societies, the Project Management Institute (PMI), Teck Resources, Textron's Bell Helicopter, United Nations' University (Tokyo) and governments (Brazil, Canada, China, EU, Japan, Mexico, U.S.).

Concurrently, he is the CEO of PDI (, a catalyst in principled leadership and innovation, and Chief Architect, Harvard University Global System (for which PDI is Harvard University's licensee), comprising cutting-edge innovation and performance-improvement instruments. He led the discovery, design and scaling of this system, first used by Skanska (Sweden; U.K., Germany, Finland and Saudi Arabia) to manage $1M to multi-billion dollar projects.

Alain is a 2012 Harvard Fellow, Advanced Leadership, a Harvard Business School's entrepreneurship alumnus (OPM 1997-99) and a 6-year president (10-year director) of two Harvard clubs. He is recognized by Harvard University's president for his "Leadership, Vision and Service" and PMI for "outstanding contribution to the state-of-the-art of project management". He is a patent recipient (U.S., Canada and Japan) for the Harvard University Planner and is also an aerospace-award's recipient for a manufacturing innovation at Bombardier (Canadair), now Airbus.

Alain graduated in Commerce (Quantitative Methods) from Concordia University (Montréal) and studied advanced technology in Lille (France) with internships at Peugeot, ARD National TV Network (Berlin), the University of Ottawa (Particle Physics) and Carleton University (Hydrodynamics Lab). He acquired skills in system thinking and change management (MIT Sloan School, Gestalt Institute of Cleveland), and mediation and advanced negotiation for lawyers, at Harvard Law School from which he is certified to teach negotiation in corporations. Lifetime learning is part of his mission (see C.V. page 4 on Education and Continuous Learning)

Volume II Deep Dive into VALUE INCUBATION & Stakeholders' Interests & Ecosystems by Alain-Paul-Martin 
	Foresight His current research centers on contributing to innovation science (concepts, principles, frameworks and tools) to maximize both user value and SDG/ESG impact. He focuses on harnessing the opportunities of the strategic, contextual and deep ecosystems and improving value-incubation, idea-generation and cross-pollination practices, upstream in the innovation funnel to imagine, design and deliver economically viable, ecologically sustainable and socially beneficial user-centered innovations (products, services, policies and organizations). Alain builds on the current knowledge of cognitive neuroscience to raise innovation foresight and capability; reduce cognitive-fixation bias; practice mindfulness and understand stakeholders' dynamics. These developments are making inroads into creativity practices (idea generation, cross-pollination and structured design) and sustainable value delivery. They are seamless but ubiquitous, across the entire tech and non-tech spectra of groundbreaking economic and social innovations, from life sciences, robotics and infrastructure to safety, education, social justice and policy development.

Democratizing leadership, by empowering high-school educated users with cutting-edge innovation and decision-making tools, is a worldwide priority. Alain's contribution is to make Harvard® innovation and project-management tools (incl. Harvard® Innovation Funnel, ecosystems and roadmaps), accessible to this constituency. Moreover, inspired by the groundbreaking inventions of Louis Braille (Braille Code), Joseph D. Becker (Unicode) and music notations, he developped a simplified coding structure for international project teams to share project plans and progress reports, across language boundaries. The approach was applied successfully in multi-billion dollar projects.

Alain's upcoming book "Deep Dive into Value Incubation and the Stakeholders' Interests and Ecosystems" is the second in five-volume eBook series titled "The Art & Science of Innovation". It builds on the intelligence and novelty lessons learned from opportunity and failure seeds, frequently unseen or overlooked, during the issue-incubation cycle, including the underlying stakeholders' dynamics and broader implications in business, government and geopolitics. The book features practical instruments and a framework to probe each party's interests (expectations, unsatisfied needs and fears); detect early signs of opportunities and threats before appearing on the scientists' and executives' radars; build the critical mass for change, in order to harness the full strategic value of an innovation. When these tasks are aptly accomplished, the value of idea generation, structured creativity and design do improve by a quantum leap. No important project or policy can be planned without a deep dive into stakeholders' dynamics and value incubation. Alain authored articles on strategic policies. His book: " Harnessing the Power of Intelligence, Counterintelligence & Surprise Events", was recommended by leading scholars, corporate executives and the intelligence community, as illustrated at

In the energy & mining sector, Alain coached, for 12 years, two directors of Applied Research & Technology and their teams at Teck Resources, Canada's largest diversified resource firm.

In finance and banking, the president of Desjardins (the "world's 2nd strongest bank", according to Bloomberg at the time), Mr. John Harbour praised Alain's role as the main strategic advisor in crafting "the vision and strategic direction of a $75 billion financial institution." Earlier, he also coached the general-insurance executive team to turn Desjardins into the industry's flagship through strategic innovations, leapfrogging Zurich and ING; and becoming "North-America's fastest-growing general insurer, quadrupling sales and raising profit tenfold, in five years" ( video in French:

Alain advised the Sr. VP, Audit & Human Resources on governance and strategy at Canada's National Bank whose CEO recommended his strategic-intelligence book.

In the public service, Alain advised two prime ministers, for 4 years, on strategic policies; and was a non-partisan Executive Member of the Prime Minister's Committee on Government Reform. He also advised the UNESCO's director general, and authored "Overhauling the UNESCO and Strengthening Its Essence". He directed infrastructural-engineering projects in Africa (engineering a 660km highway funded by the World Bank, and 2800km microwave link financed by CIDA);

He teamed up, for the third time, with Mr. John Harbour upon his appointment by Québec's Premier to head the SAAQ, a government agency that was struggling under the weight of a rampant $489 million debt, fast-rising deaths and severe injuries, due to highway accidents. Alain coached the SAAQ team whose decisions, saved thousands of lives, in less than 5 years; reducing the death toll by 35% and severe bodily-injury accidents by 43%, despite a 15% increase in highway traffic; while: (1) building resilience to overcome future shocks, and (2) turning the nearly half a billion deficit into $20 million surplus. Mr. Harbour described Alain's 12-year ad-hoc contribution in strategic thinking, governance, collaborative innovation and exemplary leadership, both at Desjardins and at the SAAQ, in a video in French at:

Alain also led assignments where sensitive multi-party negotiations were of paramount importance, including:

  • The creation, with Dr. Brian Morrissey, of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to restore the public trust in the inspection system and position the country among the safest trusted exporters;

  • Researching, at his expense, the U.K.'s lessons from mad cow (BSE) and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob diseases (vCJD). Consequently, he and Dr. Morrissey led an intensive workshop to prepare public-health executives and scientists nine months before BSE was diagnosed in the country;

  • A proposal accepted by Canada's Prime Minister to defuse the growing tensions between Canada and its Asian trade partners, particularly Japan, following the discovery of mad-cow disease in Alberta;

  • Coaching Arctic circumpolar leaders of Canada's First Nations and Russia's Sakha Republic to apply principled negotiation and proactive governance in resolving intra and inter-government issues;

  • Advising the Northwest Territories' (NWT) government on large-scale environmental risks, from complex mine reclamations to potential oil and gas disasters in NWT and the Arctic;

In public broadcasting, building on his experience at Germany's ARD TV network in Berlin, and research of counterparts in democratic countries, Alain led the creation and launching of CBC Radio Canada's news-equity system to excel in impartial delivery and timeliness of news public-affairs programs, across six time zones; especially during elections, when accuracy and timely reporting are sine qua non conditions for transparency and effectiveness. The operations-research based system enhanced quality assurance and protected the broadcaster's against frivolous suits and strengthened the independence, that is critical to CBC's mission.

In primary and secondary education, building on a pilot experiment with leaders and educators of Massachusetts' school boards and schools, Alain lead workshops focused on system-thinking applications in the education of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (acronym STEM) enhanced by a decision-literacy module ("STEM+D") with inter-disciplinary applications; centering on increasing the science capital (Pierre Bourdieu), reducing complexity and learning to build trust and consensus.

Thus, teachers can now gradually prepare K-12 learners to: (a) Validate goals, facts, perceptions and biases; make assumptions explicit; and opt for rational decisions by seeking evidence and logic, as close as possible to the source(s) of expertise; (b) Learn to develop empathy for all stakeholders; hold the high moral ground; seek sustainable and just solutions; address the ever-changing risks and resistance to change inherent in complex issues; (c) Learn, before seeking approvals, to plan with rigor, candor, humility and constructive arguments that resonate with − and inspire the trust of − decision-makers and other constituencies with vested interests in the issue(s), including those with the power to veto controversial decisions; (d) Acquire project-planning, organizational and execution skills with a pragmatic and proven framework and instruments superior to traditional techniques, such as the Critical Path Method.

Misinformation and disinformation (MDI) erode trust and transparency. They are among the most pressing local and global issues. They can affect everyone, and in particular particular the people who may suffer from fear, normalization of deviance, empathic-listening deficit, codependency or asymmetries of decision-making know-how. Degree-granting powers can reinforce positive values and behavior; but face an uphill battle with students who stubbornly cling to MDI production or consumption. Decision-literacy skills (the +D above) are work in progress to address the universal need for empathy, the high moral ground, rigor, candor, humility and constructive dialogue. They are among the fundamental ingredients to build trust and character, very early in life. Acquiring such skills is lofty and overdue. High-school pupills who are proficient in decision-literacy skills are more prepared to deal with MDI issues. These skills also accelerate learning by opening the young minds to the immense applications of decision-support tools and the synergy embedded in STEM disciplines to meet each learner's specific needs.

Active in civil society, Alain focuses on cutting-edge education, innovation and public health for the poor and the voiceless to advance social justice by combating inequity and exclusion. Inspired by Drs. Paul Farmer and Jim Kim, he led the creation of Partners in Health Canada to harness Canadian generosity for the health of the poorest of poor. He led the funding for CHEO children's hospital, food banks, earthquakes and Tõhoku Tsunami victims. To support the American Red Cross for Sandy-Superstorm victims, he teamed-up with the French Embassy, Washington (DC) area's alumni clubs (Wharton, Chicago, HBS and Harvard) and the French-American Chamber of Commerce.

Alain is a member of Harvard University's Advanced Leadership (ALI) Coalition, a former president of two Harvard University clubs and a founding sponsor of Roger Fisher House, a conflict-resolution catalyst (now part of Mercy Corps). I held memberships with Harvard Faculty Club, the Sierra Club, the Agile Alliance, HBS Club of New York and the Société mathématique de France (SMF).

® "Harvard" and "Harvard University" are registered trademarks of The President and Fellows of Harvard College.
"Harvard University Global System" was developed independently of Harvard University and is under trademark license.
"Professional Development Institute" is, since 1974, a trademark of The Professional Development Institute PDI Inc.

Top of this page Top of this page

Toll-free: USA & Canada: 1-800-HARVARD (1-800-427-8273). +1-819-772-7777
Monday through Thursday: 9 AM to 4:00 PM, EDT. Voicemail: 24 hours 7 days
European Distribution Centre for Harvard Planners: WH Smith, 248, rue de Rivoli, Paris,75001
Contact : Sylvie Goffinet  +33 1 53 45 84 40. Métro Concorde.