"99U is hands-down the most inspiring conference I have attended." —Tina Roth Eisenberg, swissmiss
The 99U Conference is a one-of-a-kind live experience that inspires creative professionals to bring their ideas to life and shape the future of the industry.
Debbie Millman is a designer, author, educator and brand strategist. She is the host of the award-winning podcast ‘Design Matters’, the world’s first podcast on design; Chair of the world’s first Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts; the editorial and creative director of Print Magazine and President Emeritus of AIGA. She is the author of six books on design and branding.
Ian Spalter is Head of Design at Instagram, where he leads the team responsible for all things design ranging from cross-platform app experiences to brand & identity. Ian was previously a Senior UX Manager at YouTube, and prior to that, Director of UX and Design at Foursquare. Ian also spent four years at R/GA where he oversaw design development projects such as the Nike+ Fuelband and Nike Running, Basketball, and Training products. Spalter was born and raised in New Rochelle, New York and graduated from Hampshire College.
Alex Schleifer is the VP of Design at Airbnb, where he leads the user experience, design research, content and design operations teams. As a teenager he co-founded Sideshow, which produced award-winning digital work for a variety of global clients. In 2011 they were acquired by Say Media, where he became Head of Design, helping them to redefine digital publishing. During this time, he also co-founded UX Magazine, which quickly became an authority on user experience design. Alex is passionate about creating beautiful, engaging digital products that change the way we tell stories and make connections.
Natasha Jen is an award-winning designer and educator. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, she was invited to join Pentagram’s New York office as partner in 2012. In 2014 she was acclaimed by Wired magazine as one of nine 'Designers Who Matter'.
Jen’s work is recognized for its innovative use of graphic, digital, and spatial interventions that challenge conventional notions of media and cultural contexts. Her work is immediately recognizable, encompassing brand identity systems, printed matters, exhibition design, digital interfaces, signage and way-finding systems, and architecture. Her clients, past and present, include Harvard x Design, Phaidon, Kate Spade, Chanel, Nike, First Round Capital, MIT, and the Metropolitan Museum, to name just a few. Pentagram made headlines in 2016 for their bold brand work on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
Jen has earned a variety of awards and appeared in a number of publications, including Wired, Fast Company, Kinfolk, Print, Creative Review, Metropolis, Flaunt, and China Art and Design. She was one of the winners of Art Directors Club Young Guns, for which she also served as a judge in 2007 and 2011. She has been a guest critic at Yale University School of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, and Maryland Institute College of Art; and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Storefront for Art & Architecture and AIGA's New York Chapter.
Rick Webb is a writer, angel investor, and consultant to such startups and marketing companies such as Tumblr, Soundcloud, and Percolate. He currently serves as COO at Timehop.
In 2001, Webb co-founded The Barbarian Group, an award-winning digital ad agency. He served as its COO for the first ten years of the company's existence. Webb left in 2011 to pursue angel investing in technology and advertising. He is an angel investor in Foursquare, Percolate, Sherpaa, Nestio and Timehop. He is an advisor to several other tech startups and marketing services companies, including Hard Candy Shell and Small Girls PR.
Webb is author of Agency: Starting a Creative Firm in the Age of Digital Marketing, released by Palgrave Macmillan in 2015, and Man Nup: A Groom’s Guide to Heroic Wedding Planning in 2016. He is an avid writer on technology, advertising, economics, and government. He graduated from Boston University with a degree in International Economics in 1992. He serves a board member of the VCU a, one of the most renowned advertising graduate schools, and was named as Creativity Magazine's '50 Most Creative People in Marketing' (2008). He was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Julia Kaganskiy is a cultural producer across art and technology. She previously served as global editor of the Creators Project, a partnership between VICE Media Group and Intel. In 2010, she founded #ArtsTech Meetup, an initiative that brings together digital artists and professionals from New York’s museums, galleries, and art-related start-ups.
Kaganskiy has been profiled in the AOL/PBS series 'MAKERS', named in Crain’s New York Business’s '40 Under 40' list for 2015, and cited by Fast Company (2011) and Business Insider (2013) as one of the most influential women in technology.
Paul Ford is a writer, editor, programmer, and co-founder of digital product firm Postlight. He writes about technology for publications like New York Magazine, the New York Times Magazine, Slate, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wired, and Print. He was an editor for Harper's Magazine for many years. As a programmer he works in PHP, Perl, Python, Java, and XSLT, and he brought Harper's 160-year archive to the web, roping together millions of files as architect, programmer, and designer.
Farai Chideya has combined media, technology, and socio-political analysis during her 20-year career as an award-winning author, journalist, professor, and lecturer. She is a fellow at Harvard's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy, studying media coverage of the 2016 election. She was, most recently, a Senior Writer covering politics and data at ESPN's FiveThirtyEight, and a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. She is the author of six books, the most recent of which is 2016's The Episodic Career: How to Thrive at Work in the Age of Disruption.
With deep knowledge in a variety of disciplines, including the future of work, politics, culture, race, and technology, Chideya frequently appears on public radio and cable television, and has worked for CNN, ABC, and NPR, and appeared on numerous other networks. Chideya is also the former longtime host of National Public Radio's News & Notes. Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Chideya graduated from Harvard University in 1990. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Mike Perry is an artist, animator, creative director, brand consultant, poet, and designer. His work encompasses paintings, drawings, sculptures, art installations, books, murals, all of which are made to conjure that feeling of soul-soaring you have when you stare into distant galaxies on a dark night, when you go on long journeys into the imagination, when you laugh and can’t stop laughing.
The key to Perry’s working method is the recognition that art and objects, go through many iterations—discoveries, coverings, uncoverings—until they’re finished; people do the same until they are fully revealed. He likes to cultivate collectives of celebration, exhibition, and revelation.
After a chronic neuromuscular diagnosis in 2012, Liz Jackson began to wonder why her eyeglasses were fashionable when her cane and all other assistive products were stigmatizing. This epiphany, spurred Jackson to found the Inclusive Fashion & Design Collective; an ecosystem of products, ideas and people who prioritize the exception rather than the rule. The IFDC's mission is to increase the impact of beautiful, functional products in our everyday lives and in the global economy by supporting designers and retailers in the making and marketing of products for all needs.
Jackson -- sometimes known as the 'Girl With the Purple Cane' -- and colleague Sinead Burke have spoken everywhere from TED to the White House on inclusive design.
Irene Au is design partner at Khosla Ventures, where she works with early-, mid-, and late-stage startup CEOs. Au has unprecedented experience elevating the strategic importance of design within internet companies, having built and led the entire user experience and design teams at Google (2006-2012), Yahoo! (1998-2006), and Udacity (2012-2014). She began her career as an interaction designer at Netscape Communications, where she worked on the design of the internet’s first commercial web browser.
Au also teaches yoga at Avalon Yoga Center in Palo Alto where she is part of the teacher training program faculty and is a frequent author and speaker on the relationship between mindfulness practices, design, and creativity.
Scott Belsky is an entrepreneur, author, and investor. Belsky is the co-founder of Behance, the leading online platform for the creative industry to showcase and discover creative world, and served as CEO until Adobe acquired Behance in 2012. After the acquisition, Belsky served as Adobe's Vice President of Products, rebooting Adobe's mobile product and marketplace strategies and leading Behance until 2016.
Belsky actively advises and invests in businesses that cross the intersection of technology and design, and help empower people. He is a Venture Partner with Benchmark, and is an early advisor and investor in Pinterest, Uber, sweetgreen, and Periscope as well as several others in the early stages. He is also co-founder and Chairman of a new marketplace product under development.
Through his work as a founder and investor, Belsky has become an advocate for technology and community initiatives that empower creative people and help businesses leverage the creative potential of their people. He is the author of Making Ideas Happen, and helped found 99U, a publication and annual conference devoted to productivity in the creative world.
Will Allen is a Senior Director at Adobe where he leads Community Products, including Behance, Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Talent, and 99U. Millions of people across the globe use Behance and Adobe Portfolio every month to showcase and discover creative work. Prior to Adobe’s acquisition of Behance, Will acted as Behance’s COO. Previously, he created strategic partnerships with global brands at TED and was co-founder of the consultancy Industry Digital Media.
Matt McCue is the Editor-in-Chief of 99U. Prior to 99U, he contributed to New York magazine, ESPN The Magazine, GQ, Bon Appetit, Fortune, Fast Company, and Delta Sky. He lives in New York City, but he is willing to travel long distances for a good meal.
Learn from the world’s top thinkers and doers in a series of main stage talks over two days. 99U speakers offer pragmatic, real-world insights that transcend creative sectors.
Expert-hosted workshops give you a chance to pick up career skills and dive into new disciplines.
Get ready to wear out your MetroCard! We’ll explore some of NYC's most innovative companies at breakout sessions across the city.
From our pre-conference kickoff to our killer closing party, 99U provides you with endless opportunities to network with fellow attendees and get exposed to new ideas.
Flex your party muscles early with a kickoff event packed to the gills with hands-on demos, games, and networking opportunities. Come to pick up your badge, stay to meet the rest of the 99U community.
No conference parties like 99U: we’ll wind down on Friday with a closing party at the Museum of Modern Art’s newly redesigned event space.
Leave with our much-coveted swag bag, packed with cool (and useful!) stuff. Plus, incredible giveaways, art exhibitions, and other surprises await you throughout the conference. We put a ton of work into creating a beautiful experience for you.
The 99U Conference unfolds at the gorgeously designed Alice Tully Hall, one of the most beautiful (and intimate) concert halls in the world.
The official 99U Closing Party returns to MoMA, one of the world's premier art institutions.
As official hospitality partner for 99U, the Ace offers a preferred room block to registered attendees.
99U brings together 1,000 people across a variety of practices and professions. Who should attend? Anyone in a creative field working to: put an idea into action, get inspiration from creative leaders, connect with potential collaborators, manage an effective team, or understand the trends affecting the future of creativity.
Get a taste of the 99U experience with a few selected talks from our main stage.