Meet European Summit Innovator: Gianluca Basciu

Welcome to our European Summit Innovator series, where we introduce you to some of P&G’s leading scientists, engineers and designers. Keep scrolling to take a peek at how they each help improve everyday items that benefit our consumers.

Gianluca Basciu, Digital Communications Senior Manager, Europe Headquarters

Gianluca Basciu, Digital Communications Senior Manager, Europe Headquarters

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

— Albert Einstein

“This quote by Albert Einstein totally reflects my view on life. I believe imagination is indeed the highest freedom one can have, and freedom is what matters most and what people should seek: freedom to speak, to be themselves, to learn, to experiment, to make mistakes...

And that is exactly what I experience at P&G; we get challenging but clear responsibilities; we are supported by senior people on the team, and at the same time have a certain level of independence. All this eventually leads to personal development and brings great job satisfaction.

It was actually written in the stars that one day I would work for P&G. I was at University and our marketing professor showed us several TV advertisements, one of them being the ‘Thank You, Mom’ P&G campaign for the London 2012 Olympics. I can’t recall any of the other TV copies shown, but I still vividly remember the emotions and the impact the P&G TV copy had on me, making me realize I wanted to work for a company like that.

Although I have to admit that as a child, I dreamed of becoming an astronaut. Then a neuroscientist. Ultimately a TV anchor. And now, as P&G’s Europe Innovation reporter, I am a kind of TV anchor.

I create and host the ‘Secret Science’ video series, which tells the story of the innovation and ingenuity behind P&G’s most popular products. At the same time, I have the challenging goal of bringing P&G Europe's digital communication to the next level. Thinking about the right content, the best channels and amplification strategy, driven by constantly changing technological improvements like AI and Metaverse, is what really makes me tick.

I can also get very excited about my personal favorite P&G products: the Gillette 601 and Oral-B iO10, which made my grooming and oral brushing routines much more pleasant. When the iO10 smiles at me and wishes me Good Morning, I start the day more motivated.

In my free time I am fond of arts in their widest sense: writing, singing, and recently dancing to Latin music — a true new passion I discovered recently. I also like outdoor sports, biking in summer and skiing in winter — although this has been quite a challenge for me to learn it at 30 years old. But with the Alps just around the corner, I could not resist the call of the mountains.”


Meet the European Summit Innovator: Ilaria Ambrogio

A woman with long dark hair wears a white lab coat with Gillette embroidered in black above the left breast pocket. She smiles as she stands inside a laboratory. In the corner is an illustration of a light bulb and the word "innovation."

Ilaria Ambrogio, Director Principal Scientist

If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

— Isaac Newton

“What I really love about this quote by Isaac Newton is that despite him being a genius scientist, he was also modestly fully aware of the fact that his bright ideas would never have arisen without all the meticulous work that fellow scientists had done before him, and that he only continued building on those.

That’s also exactly what we do at P&G. Our team of scientists spans so many different disciplines, and by bringing together and sharing all that expertise and knowledge, we can create truly meaningful innovations that change people’s lives across the globe.

And that’s also why I love my job so much. I am surrounded by an amazing team of scientists, not only internally but also through top academic partners. Together, we deep dive into the most challenging consumer needs and use these insights to create new products that solve consumer problems.

The new GilletteLabs with exfoliation bar is a great example: the razor removes dirt and debris that gets in the way of the blades and helps release trapped hairs, which consumers reported as a real issue. Thanks to our technical expertise we were able to develop an innovation that solved that problem.

We have so many other innovative products that make me proud to be part of this company. But I’m most proud of the decision I made at the time to move and leave behind my Italian family and friends to pursue my career dream. It was hard and, at many times, I wanted to quit and go back, but every time I make a new discovery, or I see a product I helped create on the shelf, I am happy I persevered.

I also believe it’s good to have new dreams. I know it is impossible, but one of my dreams is spending an evening with Leonardo da Vinci and just listening to his reasoning!”


Meet European Summit Innovator: Frank Wiesemann

Headshot of an older light-skinned male with graying hair and glasses against a black backdrop. In the top left-hand corner is a blue circle with an illustration of a lightbulb.

Frank Wiesemann, Principal Scientist, Babycare, Europe

“I’m optimistic by nature and that certainly helps when you work in product development. I love to find solutions, so I don't see problems, I only see challenges. And cracking those challenges is my biggest motivation. I am working with a diverse group of colleagues from different cultures, scientific disciplines and generations. They all bring in their own viewpoints and experiences, and that makes the development and innovation process so exciting and interesting.

P&G is all about innovation, which is also why I applied for a job here. Moreover, I wanted to work on products used by consumers. And at P&G, I can combine the scientific understanding of physical and chemical processes with the understanding of people's needs in their everyday activities to develop products that best suit these needs.”


“A great example of this innovation process in the evolution of Pampers diapers: we moved from diapers that were basically designed the same for all babies in all age groups and just varied by size, to diapers that have different designs and very specific features to address varying needs. Today we have a broad line-up with diapers smaller than a hand to protect Preemie babies in their incubators, up to pants-shaped diapers enabling freedom of movement for active toddlers.

In my free time, I love hiking through forests, preferably in the mountains. I also love to spend time with family and friends, travelling and volunteering in my church and other organizations. If I had more time, I would love to travel around the world and do some long-range hikes on famous trails. But I consider each innovation process also as a kind of travel or journey. I guess that’s my optimistic side talking again…”


Meet European Summit Innovator: Aude Ingenbleek

A woman with dark blond hair, wears a white long sleeved shirt and stands in front of a large sign for Fairy dish care products. An image of the silver pouch packaging for Fairy Platinum Plus dishwasher soap pods sits above her left shoulder.

Aude Ingenbleek, Automatic Dishwashing Senior Scientist

“Understanding consumer tensions and solving those tensions is what truly motivates me. A great example is Fairy Platinum Plus, an automatic dishwashing product that delivers great performance even in short cycles. The work on shorter cycles started some years ago when we noticed consumers expressing frustration over extended eco cycles lasting up to 4 hours. At the same time, we learned through various qualitative interviews that consumers desired shorter cycles but refrained from using them because of unsatisfactory cleaning and drying outcomes.

We identified new technologies that were capable of delivering satisfactory results and led to the launch last year of Fairy Platinum Plus upgrade for superior performance within shorter cycles. This is truly a win-win-win product for consumers:

  • It leads to increased convenience and mental relief, as the cycle can be run whenever a consumer has time.
  • That means the machine completes its cycle faster and is available sooner to be refilled with dishes, avoiding that troublesome pileup in the sink.
  • And opting for short cycles benefits both the environment and your wallet. Ultimately, these shorter cycles consume less energy and water compared to the more commonly used normal/auto cycles.

LEARN MORE: Listen to our Innovation Expo Live Podcast Series

Caring about the environment and nature is something which has always been deeply embedded in me. Even as a child, I dreamed of working in a National Park to protect nature, which is also why I chose to study biology. I even did a couple of missions in some exotic countries, but eventually returned to Belgium to start working at P&G.

In my free time I also like to be in nature. I just love gardening, and spring is by far my favorite time of the year: starting to plant vegetable seeds, seeing them grow — which I still find a true wonder of Nature — and eventually eating them in summer, isn’t that amazing? My ultimate dream would be to learn permaculture and experiment with it. Once a scientist, always a scientist!”


Meet European Summit Innovator: Adam Boulding

A man with short dark hair wears a white lab coat and a dark blue lanyard. He stands in front a digital lab, with keyboards, monitors and other devices in the background.

Adam Boulding, Research and Development Scientist

“As a scientist, I love to understand the why. The more I understand about the science behind how and why things work, the more beautiful I find the world. It’s always been a passion for me.

And that is also the reason why I applied for a job at P&G. For more than 100 years already, the company has been THE inventor of everyday products that make people’s lives easier and better.

P&G plans on doing the same in the next 100 years! They are not hiring you to think about today’s and the next quarter’s challenges, they are hiring you to work on new innovations and build the business and your career for at least the next 20-50 years. P&G has definitely built my knowledge: here, you are always learning and trying something new, no two days are alike.

I have now worked for P&G as a Scientist in Research and Development in Health Care for 15 years. One of the innovations I have been involved in, and which makes me utterly proud, is the launch of Oral-B Pro-Expert toothpaste. I worked in chemistry, and we had developed a completely new and revolutionary toothpaste technology — Crest Pro-Health with stannous fluoride and sodium hexametaphosphate — and under the Oral-B brand I launched this all over the world, from the UK to Australia.

Seeing dentists try it and see the clinical efficacy above anything they had ever tried before was fantastic and exciting. This launch made P&G the global leader in Oral Care, #1 with no compromise or comparison, a truly consumer noticeable significantly superior technology brand.

LEARN MORE: 6 Award-Winning Packaging Designs Inspire Sustainability at Home

I experience the same excitement about Vicks ZzzQuil, the melatonin sleep supplements. With this product, we are helping millions of Europeans to get a great night sleep. With thousands of five-star reviews, we are clearly meeting their unmet and untreated needs and are delighting them every day and night. Seeing something you helped invent make such a big difference in people's lives and happiness is so rewarding and motivating.

Although I love my job, a bit of escapism is always welcome. To relax, I love to go to the movies and to the pub to drink a beer. Of course, in the name of science. After all, beer brewing and mixology are just other chemistry experiments you can share with friends.”


Meet European Summit Innovator: Cindy Vandingenen

Woman with dark hair and glasses holds up a bottle of green Fairy brand dish soap. A similar bottle is behind her, as well as a larger green bag of Fairy brand dishwasher soap tablets. A large silver bag of Fairy brand soap tablets is placed behind her.

Cindy Vandingenen, Group Head of R&D Product Research

“Fairy Max Power is without any doubt my favorite P&G product. The bottle is so easy to use: no flip-top cap, just grab and squeeze, to the very last drop. Moreover, the powerful product provides excellent cleaning — even in cooler water — and saves me time (I don't have to wait for the water to heat) and energy when doing the dishes. This is in essence what every P&G product does: improving the lives of consumers — even in a small way. By making household chores easier and faster, people can spend more time on what really matters to them.

For me personally, this extra time won is spent on reading books. I love to dive into sci-fi and fantasy books, as they take me to a completely new world. Exploring unknown worlds has always been a passion of mine. As a child I even wanted to become an archaeologist. I liked history and wanted to understand and discover how people lived ages ago.

Even today I'm still fascinated by ancient cultures and their remains, like in Machu Picchu, Stonehenge, Angkor, Luxor, etc.


If I had more time, I would definitely spend it on traveling and exploring different countries and cultures. But for the time being I’m exploring the wonderful world of P&G. Throughout your career at this company, you have the opportunity to work in different departments and different functions. It’s great to have opportunities to grow and to have new experiences. At the Brussels Innovation Center, with employees representing more than 50 different nationalities, I get to encounter and work with different people and different cultures, which is so enriching!”


Meet the European Summit Innovators

Bastien Goesken, Senior Scientist in Packaging Research and Development for Haircare

Photo of Bastien Goesken and quote: "I feel like I can handle anything, no matter how bit the challenge."

As a child I dreamed of becoming a toolmaker, just like my dad who was my role model in so many ways. I even completed a 3.5-year apprenticeship to become a mechatronic by job education, a hands-on job profile very similar to what I saw my father doing all those years. Only later, after already having learned this craft, I decided to start Mechatronic Engineering Studies at University. Today, I'm very proud of the craft I learned, which I still apply in my job and in my hobbies.

Motorbiking is probably my favorite hobby and for me the best way to relax outside of work. I also enjoy working on my bike myself, as it requires a lot of technical mastery, but also brings great satisfaction. The same goes for every innovation we develop within P&G. I love that our work results in real products for everyday life. A great example - developed by my Homecare R&D colleagues - is the Fairy Max Power dishwashing detergent in the inversed dispenser bottle. Seldomly has a product innovation literally inverted the delight of a household task as much as this bottle does. There are not that many opportunities to work in a scientific environment so tightly connected to people's life and that’s one of the reasons why I enjoy working at P&G so much.

I am also very proud of my leading role in the development of super light-weighted shampoo bottles. If implemented across the entire FMCG industry, this process could cut the plastic consumption in half. From a technical point of view, this was not the most complex challenge I have ever worked on, but I am particularly proud of it because it has a huge impact on sustainability.

My biggest achievement in life though is being able now to reply ‘very good’, every time I'm asked the common question ‘how are you doing?’. In the recent past I went through a phase of ‘not doing well’, but I’ve learned how to deal with it and how to implement the right things for me to be able to revert back to that ‘I feel good’ – feeling. Thanks to that new mindset, I feel like I can handle anything again, no matter how big the challenge.