Phil Budden


Phil Budden

Support Staff

Get in Touch



Academic Area

Phil Budden is a Senior Lecturer at MIT's Management School, in Sloan's TIES (Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Strategic-management) Group, where he focuses on 'innovation-driven entrepreneurship' (IDE) and innovation ecosystems.

Phil co-teaches in the successful 'Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program' (REAP), an ExecEd program for regional teams from around the globe interested in accelerating 'innovation-driven entrepreneurship'; in the related 15.364 class, known as the 'Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Lab' (REAL), aimed at MBAs and Sloan Fellows; and on similar topics in a variety of degree and ExecEd settings.  

Phil's approach combines academic, historical and real-world perspectives on how different stakeholders - including Entrepreneurs, Universities and 'Risk Capital' providers, alongside Corporate enterprises and Government policymakers - can all contribute to building successful innovation ecosystems.  Phil is currently on leave from the British Government, and joins MIT having worked recently in Boston's private sector for the Royal Bank of Scotland's US subsidiary, Citizens Bank, where he focused on financing transatlantic (especially British-American) trade and investment.  His background as a diplomat makes him well-suited to the 'global innovation' of REAP/REAL, the interplay among the REAP teams, and the negotiations within the 'innovation ecosystems' (especially between Corporate and Government stakeholders).


In the fall of 2012, while a Visiting Scholar at MIT, Phil had undertaken a project on innovation and entrepreneurship for the British Prime Minister's office at No 10 (and UK Trade and Investment) to inform the UK's Entrepreneurs Campaign.  From 2007 until 2012, he had served as the British Consul General to New England, in which role he had been responsible for transatlantic business issues, including trade and investment, corporate/government affairs, as well as science and innovation, leading him to an abiding interest in entrepreneurship.  In that time, he also moved the British Consulate to One Broadway (aka e70)  to be closer to MIT, Sloan and Kendall Square.

Prior to MIT, Phil had joined the British Foreign Office in 1993, and spent his first decade as a diplomat focused on Britain's membership of the European Union (EU), involving its key economic, financial and technology policies.  After 9/11, his second decade as a British diplomat was spent in the US: first at the British Embassy in Washington (2002-2007), focused on transatlantic economic and business issues, including technology security, international science and innovation links, and trade policy; and later based in Boston (2007-2012) as Her Britannic Majesty's Consul General to New England.

In sum, Phil has held these posts with the British government:  British Cabinet Office, London (5/6/2001 - 6/30/2002); British Embassy, Washington DC (7/1/2002 - 8/5/2007); 1st Secretary (UK-US Technology, Science & Innovation) Washington DC; Adviser to the PM at No10 (European/institutional strategy) London, UK.

Phil holds a BA and MA in History from Lincoln College, the University of Oxford; an MA in History and Government from Cornell University; and a PhD (DPhil) in History and International Political Economy from the University of Oxford.




"Kessel Run: An Innovation Opportunity for the U.S. Air Force."

Budden, Phil, Fiona Murray, Isaac Rahamim, Dylan Brown, and Nick Setterberg, MIT Sloan Working Paper 6513-21. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, May 2021.

"Cybersecurity, Innovation, and Regional Ecosystems: A Comparative Study."

Stebbins, Katie, Roni Zehavi, Godfrey Gaston, Phil Budden, Fiona Murray, and Lars Frølund, MIT Sloan Working Paper 6514-21. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, April 2021.

"Differentiating Small Enterprises in the Innovation Economy: Start-ups, new SMEs & other Growth Ventures."

Budden, Phil, Fiona Murray, and Ogbogu Ukuku, MIT Sloan Working Paper 6515-21. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, January 2021.

"Leading Innovation: Identifying Challenges & Opportunities using MIT's Three Lenses."

Budden, Phil, and Fiona Murray, MIT Sloan Working Paper 6214-20. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, March 2020.

"An MIT Approach to Innovation: Eco/systems, Capacities & Stakeholders."

Budden, Phil, and Fiona Murray, MIT Sloan Working Paper 6215-19. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, October 2019.

Load More

Recent Insights

Ideas Made to Matter

3 corporate innovation mistakes and how to avoid them

MIT Sloan’s Phil Budden offers tips to avoid confusing technology with innovation, trying for 10X when 10% will do, and ineffective external engagement.

Read Article
Ideas Made to Matter

Lessons for growth from MIT Sloan Management Review

MIT experts on product-led growth, increasing AI buy-in, and more.

Read Article
Load More

Executive Education

Executive Education Course

Innovator's DNA

Innovation is a big buzzword that means different things to different people. Where do innovative and revolutionary business ideas come from? According to research by Hal Gregersen, co-author of The Innovator's DNA and executive director of the MIT Leadership Center, mastering five key skills forms the foundation for finding ideas that create value. This innovation program helps executives learn to achieve breakthrough insights through self-assessment, catalytic questioning, deep observation, diverse networking, and rapid experimentation.

  • Mar 27-28, 2023
  • Jul 19-20, 2023
View Course
Executive Education Course

Accelerating Corporate Innovation

Based on MIT's research into the science of innovation ecosystems, this course equips executives with the high-level frameworks and tools necessary to understand corporate innovation and entrepreneurship in the ecosystems around them, shift to a more effective ecosystem-based open innovation approach, and design programs to engage effectively with external stakeholders.

  • Apr 5-6, 2023
View Course
Load More