"Inspiring and original." —It's Nice That
The Adobe 99U Conference is a live experience that inspires creatives to supercharge their work and make their ideas happen.
Hear from a diverse group of 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 breakout sessions explore new ideas and methodologies around leadership, teamwork, productivity, and more.
Hands-on workshops give you a chance to dive into new disciplines, trends, and technologies.
From our pre-conference kickoff to our closing party, 99U provides you with endless opportunities to meet 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.
Leave with our much-coveted swag bag, packed with cool (and useful!) stuff. More incredible surprises await you throughout the conference - we put a ton of work into creating a beautiful experience for you.
Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Lincoln Center is one of the city's premiere arts destinations. The 99U Conference hub is Alice Tully Hall, and additional events and sessions take place across Lincoln Center's other striking venues.
The official 99U Closing Party returns to MoMA, one of the world's premier art institutions.
Join us early to pick up your badge, meet fellow attendees, and get hands-on with creative technology at Chelsea's Caldwell Factory, former home to an independent ballet company.
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.
An incredible group of visionary creatives, entrepreneurs, and researchers have joined us to pull back the curtain on their creative process and share road-tested insights.
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.
Overnight success is rare, and often comes at the expense of valuable learnings. From early-career false starts to her sleeper hit podcast Design Matters, Debbie Millman isn’t afraid to be frank about the incredible patience that good work requires.
John Maeda is an American executive spearheading a new convergence across the design and technology industries. He joined Automattic in 2016 as Global Head of Computational Design + Inclusion and previously served as Design Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), a world-leading venture capital firm.
An internationally recognized speaker and author, his books include The Laws of Simplicity, Creative Code, and Redesigning Leadership. He holds degrees in Electrical Engineering + Computer Science from MIT, an MBA from Arizona State U, and a PhD from University of Tsukuba in Japan. He has appeared as a speaker all over the world, from Davos to Beijing to São Paulo to New York, and his talks for TED.com have received cumulative views of over 2 million to date.
Maeda serves on the Board of Directors for wireless hi-fi innovator Sonos and the global advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy. Prior to his work in industry, Maeda was a tenured research professor at the MIT Media Laboratory and 16th President of the Rhode Island School of Design.
Maeda can be found on Twitter discussing technology, business and design at @johnmaeda, one of TIME Magazine’s 140 Best Twitter Feeds.
The prolific John Maeda—whose career has spanned Cooper Hewitt, MIT, and KPCB—now leads computational design and inclusion at Automattic. In this conversation with Adobe VP of Design Jamie Myrold, Maeda shares his insights from a long and varied career on the history and current state of diversity and inclusion in the design industry.
Tim Brown is the CEO and president of IDEO. Ranked independently among the ten most innovative companies in the world, IDEO is the global consultancy that contributed to such standard-setting innovations as the first mouse for Apple and the Palm V. Today, IDEO applies its human-centered approach to drive innovation and growth for the world's leading businesses, as well as for government, education, health care, and social sectors.
Tim advises senior executives and boards of Fortune 100 companies and has led strategic client relationships with such corporations as Microsoft, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, and Steelcase.
In this conversation with Courtney E. Martin, IDEO’s Tim Brown discusses the arc of his career, and how creative industries have evolved, from the early socialization of design thinking to the changing relationship between design and engineering to the urgent challenge of design ethics.
Paola Antonelli’s work investigates design’s influence on everyday experience, often including overlooked objects and practices, and combining design, architecture, art, science, and technology. In addition to her role as Senior Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA, Paola was appointed director of a new Research and Development initiative in 2012. She lectures frequently at high-level global conferences and coordinates cultural discussions at the World Economic Forum in Davos. A true interdisciplinary, energetic, and generous cultural thinker, Paola was recently rated as one of the top one hundred most powerful people in the world of art by Art Review.
In her 99U talk, Paola shares why failure and rejection are two feelings creative people should not only become familiar with, but should learn to embrace. “[Our work] can be weapons to really help people understand how to be better citizens,” she said. “But only if we will be allowed to do exhibitions that shock, disgust, and sometimes, even fail.”
Ashley C. Ford is a writer, podcaster and educator who lives in Brooklyn. She is writing a memoir entitled Somebody’s Daughter, which will be published by Flatiron Books under the imprint An Oprah Book. Ford is working on a collection of interviews (B-Side Chats) with her husband, Kelly Stacy.
She was also the host of the first season of Audible.Com's literary interview series, Authorized. She has been named among Forbes Magazine's 30 Under 30 in Media (2017), Brooklyn Magazine's Brooklyn 100 (2016), and Time Out New York's New Yorkers of The Year (2017).
In her inspiring 99U talk, writer Ashley C. Ford explains how significant life experiences opened up her ability to expect things she didn’t previously think were possible for herself and others. The lack of imagination, Ashley tells us, is what holds us back as humans. But nurturing the superpower of imagination within yourself opens up endless possibilities for your work, life, and impact on other people.
Christoph Niemann is an illustrator, artist, and author. His work has appeared on the covers of The New Yorker, Time, Wired, The New York Times Magazine and American Illustration, and has won awards from AIGA, the Art Directors Club, and The Lead Awards. His corporate clients include Google, Amtrak, Herman Miller, and The Museum of Modern Art. He is a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale.
Since July 2008, Niemann has been writing and illustrating the whimsical Abstract City, a New York Times blog, renamed Abstract Sunday in 2011, when the blog’s home became The New York Times Magazine. For his column he draws and writes essays about politics, the economy, art, and modern life. He has drawn live from the Venice Art Biennale, the Olympic Games in London, the 2012 Republican Convention, and he has drawn the New York City Marathon — while actually running it.
Niemann is the author of many books, most recently Abstract City. His latest project is an interactive, animated app called Petting Zoo. In 2010, he was inducted into the Art Directors Club Hall Of Fame. His artworks have been subject to numerous exhibitions, most recently at Gallery Max Hetzler in Berlin.
Illustrator Christoph Niemann shares his three biggest fears: the fear of not being good enough, the fear that our work will be irrelevant, and the fear of running out of ideas.
A trained ethnographer and the author of Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek has held a life-long curiosity for why people and organizations do the things they do. Studying the leaders and companies that make the greatest impact in the world and achieve a more lasting success than others, he discovered the formula that explains how they do it. Sinek's amazingly simple idea, The Golden Circle, is grounded in the biology of human decision-making and is changing how leaders and companies think and act.
Sinek's unconventional and innovative views on business and leadership have attracted international attention and have earned him invitations to meet with an array of leaders and organizations, including: Microsoft, Dell, SAP, Intel, Chanel, Members of the United States Congress, multiple government agencies and entrepreneurs. Sinek has also had the honor of presenting his philosophy to the Ambassadors of Bahrain and Iraq, and to the senior leadership of the United States Air Force.
Sinek shares his optimism with all who will listen, speaking at conventions and corporate gatherings around the globe. Additionally, he has written or commented for local and national press, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, Fast Company, CMO Magazine, NPR and BusinessWeek. Sinek is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, BrandWeek, and makes regular guest appearances on MSNBC's Your Business, among others.
Sinek recently became an adjunct staff member of the RAND Corporation, one of the most highly regarded think tanks in the world. He is also active in the arts and not-for-profit world, working with Education for Employment Foundation to help create opportunities for young men and women in the Middle East region. He lives in New York, where he teaches graduate level strategic communications at Columbia University.
“We’re not good at everything, we’re not good by ourselves,” says Simon Sinek. Our ability to build trust and relationships is the key to our survival as a race, and to thriving as ideamakers.
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.
If Google Image search is your sole barometer, “design thinking uses just one tool: 3M Post-Its,” says Pentagram partner Natasha Jen. “Why did we end up with a single medium? Charles and Ray Eames worked in a complete lack of Post-It stickies. They learned by doing.” In her provocative 99U talk, Jen lobbies for the “Crit” over the “Post-It” when it comes to moving design forward.
Stefan Sagmeister formed the New York-based Sagmeister Inc. in 1993 and has since designed for clients as diverse as the Rolling Stones, HBO and the Guggenheim Museum. Having been nominated five times for the Grammies, he finally won one for the Talking Heads boxed set. He also earned practically every important international design award.
In 2008, a comprehensive book titled Things I Have Learned in My Life So Far was published by Abrams. Solo shows on Sagmeister Inc's work have been mounted in Zurich, Vienna, New York, Berlin, Tokyo, Osaka, Prague, Cologne, Seoul and Miami. He teaches in the graduate department of the School of Visual Art in New York and lectures extensively on all continents.
A native of Austria, he received his MFA from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and, as a Fulbright Scholar, a master's degree from Pratt Institute in New York.
Outlining the creative process for his short films, designer Stefan Sagmeister tells us to embrace the surprises that come with executing a creative endeavor.
Joe defines the Airbnb experience. He is dedicated to creating an inspiring and effortless user experience through sharp, intuitive design, and crafts the product roadmap to make it so. Joe values products that simplify life and have a positive impact on the environment, and ensures that the company adheres to these tenets.
Prior to Airbnb, Joe was employed by Chronicle Books, co-founded Ecolet, a green design website, and developed several consumer products, including CritBuns, a product featured in the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial. An alumni of the Rhode Island School of Design, Joe earned dual degrees in Graphic Design and Industrial Design.
Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia walks us through how to shake off our reservations and take the first small step to turning our ideas into an actual experience.
Anil Dash is co-founder and CEO of ThinkUp, a new app that offers deeper insights into our social networks. Dash is also co-founder of Activate, the consultancy which defines strategy for the most important companies in technology and media. Described as a "blogging pioneer" by the New Yorker, he has published his blog Dashes.com continuously since 1999, earning recognition as a Webby honoree. In 2013, Time named @anildash one of the best accounts on Twitter, and some of its half million followers agree.
Dash is based in New York City, where he lives with his wife Alaina Browne and their son Malcolm. Dash is the only person who is quoted in both Chris Anderson's The Long Tail and in Toure's Prince biography I Would Die 4 U, and has never played a round of golf, drank a cup of coffee, or graduated from college.
Entrepreneur Anil Dash explains how even the smallest details of our work shape not only our businesses, but the culture around us. This presents us with a unique opportunity, as he said, “When we say ‘somebody ought to do something,’ here’s a chance for us to show our values.”
Seth Godin is the author of 17 books that have been bestsellers around the world and have been translated into more than 35 languages. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. You might be familiar with his books Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip, and Purple Cow. In addition to his writing and speaking, Seth is founder of squidoo.com, a fast growing, easy to use website. His blog (which you can find by typing "seth" into Google) is one of the most popular in the world. Before his work as a writer and blogger, Godin was Vice President of Direct Marketing at Yahoo!, a job he got after selling them his pioneering 1990s online startup, Yoyodyne. In 2013, Godin was inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame, one of three chosen for this honor.
Recently, Godin once again set the book publishing world on its ear by launching a series of four books via Kickstarter. The campaign reached its goal after three hours and ended up becoming the most successful book project ever done this way. His latest, The Icarus Deception, argues that we've been brainwashed by industrial propaganda, and pushes us to stand out, not to fit in.
Bestselling author Seth Godin argues that we must quiet our fearful “lizard brains” to avoid sabotaging projects just before we finally finish them.
Kimberly Bryant is the Founder and Executive Director of Black Girls CODE, a non-profit organization dedicated to “changing the face of technology” by introducing girls of color (ages 7-17) to the field of technology and computer science with a concentration on entrepreneurial concepts.
Kimberly has enjoyed a successful 25+ year professional career in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries as an Engineering Manager in a series of technical leadership roles for various Fortune 100 companies such as Genentech, Merck, and Pfizer.
Since 2011 Kimberly has helped Black Girls CODE grow from a local organization serving only the Bay Area, to an international organization with seven chapters across the U.S. and in Johannesburg, South Africa. Black Girls CODE has currently reached over 3,000 students and continues to grow and thrive.
We all have biases and blind spots, unconsciously affecting the way we collaborate with others. In this 99U talk, Black Girls Code founder Bryant shares how pervasive these biases are in our society and how that hampers our careers and our culture.
Wendy MacNaughton is an illustrator and graphic journalist whose books include Meanwhile in San Francisco, The City in Its Own Words; Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation, and GPS Technology; The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming A Wine Expert; and the forthcoming Pen & Ink, Tattoos and The Stories Behind Them. Her work appears in places like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Print Magazine. She lives in San Francisco with two cats, one dog and her partner, writer Caroline Paul.
There’s a prevailing myth that great works are created by lone savant-types who locks themselves in a room for days. But illustrator & graphic journalist Wendy MacNaughton believes that the best stuff comes when we get out of our own heads and look for inspiration around us, like listening to the stories of strangers.
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.
Big data has never been bigger, but Instagram’s Ian Spalter warns that while data “can inspire” it “will not save you”. Spalter has found unlikely inspiration from the process of professional comedians: the ability to take raw data and contextualize, iterate, and most importantly, understand the difference between “good laughs” and “bad laughs”.
For the past two decades, Keith Yamashita has worked alongside CEOs and their leadership teams to define — and then attain — greatness for their institutions. He has worked with leaders at Apple, IBM, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, eBay, Nike, and Gap, among others.
Keith founded, and currently serves as chairman of, SYPartners — a firm steeped in the belief that transformation of individuals, teams, and institutions requires equal parts empathy, aspiration, and a bravery to act. The firm fuses systems thinking and creativity to help organizations in times of seismic change: the formulation of a new business strategy, a merger or acquisition, the rise of a new CEO, the evolution of a brand, the return-to-greatness journeys after an industry shock.
In 2011, SYPartners launched a sister company called Unstuck — dedicated to taking the 20 years of knowledge the firm has gained about transformation and bringing it to everyday people. The first offering is an iPad-based app that helps people find a way forward, when they don't know how to go forward. Slated for release in 2012, SYPartners' next offering will be a suite of collaborative tools focused on helping managers and teams perform at their best.
From 2009 to 2011, Keith served as The Charles and Ray Eames Brand Fellow at IBM — a post dedicated to driving IBM's growth and greatness as an institution and enabling IBMers to perform at their best. He is an author and essayist on leadership and design, having published in the Harvard Business Review and several journals. He has lectured at the Yale School of Management, Stanford Business School, and the Jack F. Welch Leadership Center. He holds an MA in organizational behavior and a BA in quantitative economics from Stanford University.
Great teams don’t happen by accident, they require a diligent and mindful effort to cultivate the specific habits that lead to success.
Few 99U speakers have a better window into your psyche than Todd. A former filmmaker, Todd joined Netflix almost 12 years ago, and in his current role as Vice President of Product, he leads the team that leverages vast amounts of data, sophisticated algorithms, and best-in-class user interfaces across numerous viewing devices to create easy, compelling ways for Netflix members to find something great to watch.
As VP of Product for Netflix and self-proclaimed “enabler of iconoclasts”, Todd Yellin leads the team that helps millions of people find something great to watch. In this talk, Yellin explains his unique approach to leadership, which includes:
– Why leaders should never say never
– How to empower your team to make decisions (and mistakes)
– Why a simple hand-raise is fundamental to the diversity of voices and ideas at Netflix
– Plus, what we can learn from Titus Andromedon, Michael Scott, and Paul Blart Mall Cop
Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame.
Brené is a nationally renowned speaker and has won numerous teaching awards, including the College's Outstanding Faculty Award. Her groundbreaking work has been featured on PBS, NPR, CNN, and has appeared in The Washington Post, Psychology Today, and many other national media outlets.
Her 2010 TEDx Houston talk on the power of vulnerability is one of the most watched talks on TED.com, with over 6 million views. She gave the closing talk, Listening to Shame, at the 2012 TED Conference in Long Beach.
Brené is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (2012). She is also the author of The Gifts of Imperfection (2010), and I Thought It Was Just Me (2007).
In 2007, Brené developed Connections, a psychoeducational shame resilience curriculum that is being facilitated across the nation by mental health and addiction professionals. The Connections Certification process was launched in 2012.
Brené lives in Houston with her husband, Steve, and their two children.
One of the most underrated parts of the creative process is remaining vulnerable says New York Times bestselling author Brenè Brown in this moving 99U talk.
One of our favorite creative doers and community galvanizers, Tina returns to the 99U Conference main stage following her 2014 talk that inspired thousands to 'Create, Don't Complain'. Among her many projects, businesses, and achievements, Tina is the founder of the global lecture series CreativeMornings, ubiquitous designer temporary tattoo brand Tattly, and beloved design blog Swissmiss.
As CEO of Creative Mornings, Tattly, and the newly launched Creative Guild, Tina Roth Eisenberg oversees some highly creative teams. Rather than follow traditional leadership practices, she’s writing her own rules that prioritize joy, generosity, and confetti. In this inspiring talk, Eisenberg explains how she’s building a workplace her employees are excited to go to every day.
Jad Abumrad is the host and creator of Radiolab, which reaches roughly 2 million people per month. He's been called a "master of the radio craft" for his unique ability to combine cutting edge sound-design, cinematic storytelling and a personal approach to explaining complex topics, from the stochasticity of tumor cells to the mathematics of morality. Jad studied creative writing and music composition at Oberlin College in Ohio. He composes much of the music for Radiolab, and in the past has composed music for film, theater and dance. He's currently co-producing a second child.
In 2011, Radiolab received a Peabody Award, the highest honor in broadcasting, and Jad received the prestigious MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship.
When every instinct is telling us to stop, how do we keep pushing our creativity to unknown heights?
Stewart Butterfield is the co-founder and CEO of Slack, the platform for team communication. Prior to Slack, Stewart co-founded and lead Flickr from its inception in late 2003 through its 2005 acquisition by Yahoo! and until 2008 by which point it was one of the largest web services in the world with over 50 million users and billions of photos.
In nearly two decades working on the web, Stewart has had a distinguished career as a designer, entrepreneur, and technologist. He has been named one of the "100 Most Influential People in the World" by Time Magazine, BusinessWeek's "Top 50 Leaders," and been featured in interviews and articles by hundreds of publications and broadcasters, including the Wall Street Journal, the BBC, The New York Times, CNN, the Financial Times and has appeared on the cover of Newsweek magazine.
Butterfield graduated from the Universities of Victoria and Cambridge, with degrees in philosophy and retains academic interests in cognitive science, the history and philosophy of science, and economics.
Slack is one of the fastest-growing B2B businesses of all time. So how can the company continue to innovate in the face of breakneck growth? In this sit-down interview with Fortune writer Erin Griffith, Slack founder Stewart Butterfield shares how he leads when his team (and bank account) are getting larger each week. His biggest struggle: finding the right people. “Every practice that we develop for how to manage becomes obsolete in 60 days,” he says.