"Inspiring and original." —It's Nice That
Creativity is human. It’s global. It’s technology-agnostic. It doesn’t discriminate. From people working at the bleeding edge of their fields to others bringing more humanity to technology and business, the program for the 11th Annual 99U Conference is a call to action for creatives to take control of our tomorrow. Because in the hands of creatives, the future is bright.
This year's program includes groundbreakers and innovators in augmented intelligence, virtual reality, interactive art, sonic design, poetic computation, and much more.
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.
Kat Holmes, named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business in 2017, is founder of Mismatch.design, a firm dedicated to inclusive design resources and education. She served as the Principal Director of Inclusive Design at Microsoft from 2014 to 2017, leading the company’s executive program for inclusive product innovation.
Kat’s award-winning toolkit was inducted into the Smithsonian Institution's Cooper Hewitt Design Museum. In 2018, she joined Google and continues to advance inclusive development for some of the most influential technologies in the world.
Kat is the author of Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design.
Dr. Vivienne Ming is a theoretical neuroscientist, entrepreneur, and author frequently featured for her research and inventions in publications including The Financial Times, The Atlantic, Quartz, and The New York Times.
Vivienne co-founded Socos Labs, an independent think tank exploring the future of human potential. Socos, her fifth company, combines her varied work with that of other creative experts to expand their impact on global policy issues, both inside companies and throughout communities.
Previously, Vivienne was a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley's Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience, pursuing research in cognitive neuroprosthetics. In her free time, Vivienne has invented AI systems to help treat her diabetic son, predict manic episodes in bipolar sufferers weeks in advance, and reunite orphan refugees with extended family members. She sits on boards of numerous companies and nonprofit organizations including StartOut, The Palm Center, Cornerstone Capital, Platypus Institute, Shiftgig, Zoic Capital, and SmartStones.
Vivienne also speaks frequently on her AI-driven research into inclusion and gender in business. For relaxation, she is a wife and mother of two.
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).
Tune-Yards was formed by Merrill Garbus in 2006, and that band name has ever since been synonymous with forward movement—whether because of the group's explosive performance style, the always-surprising way in which their songs unfold, the danceability of the music, or the connections Merrill highlights between song and social consciousness.
First gaining notice with the debut BiRd-BrAiNs, which The New York Times called “a confident do-it-yourselfer's opening salvo,” Merrill forged a reputation as a formidable live presence through relentless touring. She became a producer in her own right on 2011's w h o k i l l, a startling and sonically adventurous statement that led to a whirlwind period where the band accrued accolades from critics (including the #1 spot on the Village Voice's 2011 Pazz and Jop poll.)
Tune-Yards has collaborated with music industry legends including Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, and Mavis Staples. Their latest record, I can feel you creep into my private life, was released in January of 2018 as a fully collaborative effort between Merrill and bassist Nate Brenner.
Merrill’s lyrics explore her place in the world, ruminating on race, politics, intersectional feminism, and the environment. Rolling Stone called it “an LP determined to conjure kinetic joy while staring down our present cultural fright show.” Merrill and Nate recently scored Boots Riley’s acclaimed film, Sorry to Bother You. Both will continue to produce music for Tune-Yards and for other artists in the coming year
Anna Pickard makes up voices for a living, then teaches other people how to use them. As the first writer at Slack and holder of the voice and tone, she's been in editorial, marketing, product, design, customer experience, brand, and communications. Because who knows where the gravitational center of writing belongs? Anyway. She now works across them all as Head of Brand Communications at Slack, working out how to create a community of practice across a distributed cross-functional writing team, in an industry and a time when people expect brands to deliver a consistent quality and voice … and to sound authentically human while doing it.
Before Slack, Anna worked in education and in games, writing dialog for pigs, trees, and evil prime numbers. Before that, she worked in advertising, where she gave voice to polydactyl cats and "the concept of butter" on social media; in journalism, where she live blogged cultural milestones for the Guardian newspaper. She trained as an actress and holds an MPhil in Dramaturgy, which everyone said could never turn into a successful career. Turns out they were only partially correct.
Kyle T. Webster is an illustrator, designer, and author who has drawn for The New Yorker, TIME, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Scholastic, NPR, Nike, IDEO, and many other distinguished clients. His illustration work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, Communications Arts, and American Illustration.
He is perhaps best known as the founder of KyleBrush.com, the brand behind the world's best-selling, and now industry-standard, Photoshop brushes for professionals, used by artists at Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, MTV Networks, and Weta Digital. These brushes were the first of their kind to be officially licensed by Adobe for inclusion in the Adobe Creative Cloud.
Kyle also currently teaches Life Drawing, Portraiture, and Digital Painting at the UNC School of the Arts.
Thaniya is the Head of Product, Creator Experience at Patreon, where she helps creatives make a living through patronage support from their biggest fans. Her passion lies at the intersection of human-computer interaction, design, and behavioral economics.
Thaniya is the former founding Head of Mobile and platforms and Head of Product at TED, where she was responsible for overall strategic direction, investment, product, growth, and operations on all non-web platforms. Prior to TED, Thaniya led product development for live game experiences at Major League Baseball for seven years. Her work has been recognized by the Emmy Awards, the Peabody Awards, Adobe MAX, the Webby Awards, DigiDay, and the prestigious Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards.
Thaniya has advised on various projects for StoryCorps, National Geographic Learning, Women's March Global, and For Freedoms.
Michael Ventura is the CEO and founder of Sub Rosa, a strategy and design firm that has worked with some of the world's largest and most important brands, organizations, and start-ups, including Johnson & Johnson, Pantone, Adobe, TED, Delta Airlines, and The Daily Show.
Michael has served as a board member and adviser to a variety of organizations, including Behance, the Burning Man Project, Cooper-Hewitt, and the UN's Tribal Link Foundation. He is also a visiting lecturer at institutions such as Princeton University and the United States Military Academy at West Point.
In addition to these pursuits, Michael leads a thriving indigenous medicine practice, where he helps patients address illness and injury of all types on the road to better well-being. A passionate entrepreneur, he also owns and operates a globally recognized design store in New York's West Village with his wife, Caroline.
Applied Empathy, his first book, was published by Simon & Schuster in May 2018.
Zach Lieberman is an artist, researcher, and educator with a simple goal: he wants you to be surprised. In his work, he creates performances and installations that take human gestures as input and amplify them in different ways: making drawings come to life, imagining what the voice might look like if we could see it, transforming peoples silhouettes into music.
Zach has been named one of Fast Company's Most Creative People and his projects have won the Golden Nica from Ars Electronica and Interactive Design of the Year from Design Museum London, and have been listed in TIME's Best Inventions of the Year. He creates artwork through writing software and is a co-creator of openFrameworks, an open source C++ toolkit for creative coding.
He helped co-found the School for Poetic Computation, a school examining the lyrical possibilities of code.
Giorgia Lupi is an information designer, artist, and entrepreneur. She is the co-founder and design director of Accurat, a data-driven design firm with offices in Milan and New York.
After receiving her master’s degree in architecture, she earned her PhD in design at Politecnico di Milano. Her work is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, where she was commissioned to create an original, site-specific piece in 2017.
Giorgia's TED TALK on her humanistic approach to data has over one million views. She is co-author of Dear Data and of the new interactive book, Observe, Collect, Draw! A Visual Journal. She recently joined the MIT Media Lab as a Director's Fellow.
Joel Beckerman is an award-winning composer, producer and the founder of Man Made Music, a global sonic studio. He is the author of The Sonic Boom: How Sound Transforms the Way We Think, Feel, and Buy and is dedicated to solving human and business challenges through Sonic Humanism, the power of music and sound to make lives richer and simpler.
As innovators in their field, Joel and Man Made Music have partnered with global brands such as AT&T, Disney, Deloitte, Abbott, Hulu, Nissan, QVC, IMAX, and Subway to craft unique sonic experiences. His work began in network television creating themes for Entertainment Tonight, HBO Features, CBS This Morning, and The Super Bowl on NBC, and has evolved into pioneering new musical approaches for sound in products, brands and environments.
Joel is a leader on the subject of sound, business, and the future of humanity. He has been featured on stages around the world including The Wall Street Journal D.Live, SXSW, Cannes Lions, London Design Week, C2 Montreal, Fast Company Innovation Festival, and Future of StoryTelling. For his work, Fast Company honored Joel as one of their Most Creative People in Business 1000. He is a PROMAX board member, helped found the New York chapter of the Society of Composers and Lyricists, and proudly serves on the ASCAP board.
Courtney E. Martin is an author, entrepreneur, and facilitator. She has written and edited five books, including The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream and Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists. She is also the co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network and FRESH Speakers Bureau, and has consulted with a wide variety of organizations—like TED, the Aspen Institute, The Obama Foundation, and The Sundance Institute—on how to make impactful, story-rich social change.
Courtney writes frequently for The New York Times and The On Being Project, among other publications; has appeared on the TODAY Show, MSNBC, and The O’Reilly Factor; and speaks widely at conferences and colleges. She has interviewed luminaries as wide ranging as filmmaker Ava DuVernay, writer Zadie Smith, choreographer Alonzo King, organizer Ai-Jen Poo, rapper Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest, and designer Tim Brown.
Courtney has an honorary doctorate from Art Center College of Design and received the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics. She lives with her partner, John Cary, and two daughters, in a co-housing community in Oakland.
Will Allen is a VP 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.
Spend time with some of our favorite thinkers and makers in a series of breakout workshops and master classes, open only to 99U Conference attendees.
Hosted by: Brian Collins, Chief Creative Officer, COLLINS
At any given moment, there are multiple, parallel futures fighting for dominance – emerging from science fiction, political parties, corporate visions, counter cultures, and more. But in all cases, they need design to compete and thrive.
Brian Collins, Chief Creative Officer of COLLINS, will present a new brand and design operating system based on more than a decade of research working with some of the world's leading brands including Chobani, Dropbox, Equinox, Instagram, Microsoft, Nike, and Spotify.
Leveraging brand beliefs, company capabilities, and marketplace wants, this approach reimagines how an organization can use design to re-connect with people’s hope and make a leap into the future.
About Brian Collins: Brian Collins is a designer and educator. He is Chief Creative Officer of COLLINS, the strategy & experience design firm in San Francisco and New York. The firm was named by Forbes as a company transforming the future of brand building. Their work has been covered by The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Businessweek and The Wall Street Journal. In a survey of global companies, COLLINS was named one of “50 Places Creative People Would Kill To Work For” along with Disney, Tesla, Pixar and NASA. They were just named to the 2019 Ad Age A-List.
Brian has been a professor at the School of Visual Arts since 2001. He was made Distinguished Alumnus of the Massachusetts College of Art in 2004 and received an Honorary Doctorate from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California in 2008. Fast Company named him American Master of Design and he was recently honored with the Claude Shannon Luminary Award from Nokia/Bell Labs.
Ovetta Sampson, Design researcher, IDEO
Jess Freaner, Data Scientist, IDEO
This workshop is a mix of hands-on activities and thought-provoking discussion about the creation, use and impact of models that fuel Augmented Intelligence (AI). You’ll get the opportunity to create your own (analog) algorithm. You’ll also get an introduction to how IDEO integrates data science as a creative discipline and integral part of human-centered design. By the end of the session, you will have a framework for creating your own personal ethics code when it comes to data, design and AI incorporating ethics principles IDEO created to help individuals, designers and companies navigate the thorny ethical waters of developing intelligent products and services.
About IDEO: IDEO is a design company known for its human-centered, interdisciplinary approach. As early leaders in the practice of design thinking, they create positive impact through design by applying their creative skills and mindsets, and by teaching others to do the same. IDEO helps clients and customers around the world build the capacity and outcomes required to navigate today’s complexity and lead their markets. As problem solvers, they drive change, build new ventures, and design digital and tangible experiences for a broad range of business, social and governmental sectors through co-creation with our clients. As teachers, they help individuals, teams and organizations cultivate the confidence they need to step into the future with optimism and creativity.
Hosted by: Forest Young, Head of Design and Global Principal, Wolff Olins
There’s a lot of anxiety around the future, from alarming dystopian prediction to the unrelenting appetite for “novelty” and “innovation.” In this master class, Wolff Olins’ Forest Young will provide a framework for designing a better future where everyone benefits, using case studies such as his work with Uber that reimagined accessibility and equitable mobility.
You’ll learn how creatives can leverage different approaches and philosophies to tease apart how to think about (or begin to think about) Future Design.
About Forest Young: Forest Young is a global design leader, educator and speaker. He is a Principal at Wolff Olins — which was recently named Fast Company’s Most Innovative Company for Design. Here, he leads initiatives for the world’s most influential companies and cultural institutions. Prior to joining Wolff Olins, Forest was the Executive Creative Director at West, leading design across a portfolio of early stage companies.
Forest is an MFA critic in graphic design at the Yale School of Art, where he is a distinguished alumnus and recipient of the Mark Whistler Prize. He recently served on the Board of Directors for AIGA/NY, and his work has been exhibited at MoMA, the Royal College of Art, the Yale University Art Gallery and at international biennials. He has received the industry's highest design accolades including the Cannes Gold Design Lion and the ADC Black Cube.
Anton Repponen, Designer / Co-Founder, Anton & Irene
Irene Pereyra, Designer / Co-Founder, Anton & Irene
It’s one thing to be able to create compelling, innovative creative work, it’s another to effectively present it to stakeholders. The skill of ‘selling’ is essential: all the talent, experience, and expertise in the world won't matter if your client buys the wrong design or your SVP waters down the right one.This workshop will help you to work persuasively with colleagues at all levels, from clients to creative directors to budget directors to investors to C-level executives. Through practical tips and tricks and hands-on experiments, you’ll learn how to build the confidence needed to present your ideas convincingly.
About Anton & Irene: Anton Repponen and Irene Pereyra climbed their way from junior designers to founders of their own studio, the Brooklyn-based Anton & Irene. Their portfolio includes projects for Karim Rashid, Spotify, Zumtobel, The Met, Nickelodeon, BBC, Balenciaga, Wacom, National Geographic, USA Today, and Red Bull, as well as self-initiated projects like an interactive documentary on co-living and an analog wristwatch.
Almost every month, Anton & Irene deliver workshops and lectures in various corners of the world. The studio has won more than a dozen prestigious awards from the Webbys, Emmys, Red Dot, .NET, and Cannes Lions.
Jessica Orkin, President, SYPartners
Rie Nørregaard, Managing Creative Director, SYPartners
What does it mean to truly listen? To train yourself to hear what you’re not yet hearing?
Design thinking has inspired many people (particularly those who don’t self-conceive as "creatives") to recognize their creativity and to generate ideas and solutions at high volume and velocity—a "creative exhale" of sorts.
This session will guide participants to cultivate their "creative inhale"—or deep listening—by attending to the information being received and defining the challenges each of us has set out to solve.
SYPartners President Jessica Orkin and Managing Creative Director Rie Nørregaard are masters of different disciplines (strategy for Jessica, design for Rie), but are bound by their practices of deep listening to tune into richer, less obvious information from the world: the energy of a room, the connections between people, the voices that are missing in a conversation, and the ideas that jolt and jar rather than easily fit in.
During this interactive session, Rie and Jessica also will draw on work they’ve done at SYPartners for clients including Starbucks and Eileen Fisher, where deep listening has sparked surprising new solutions to existing challenges.
About SYPartners: SYPartners is a consultancy that helps leaders, teams, and organizations build the capability to transform into more vibrant versions of themselves—so they can grow with purpose, and have a positive impact in the world. For 25 years, we’ve partnered with executives in some of the world’s most influential organizations to help design their futures, including Starbucks, BlackRock, IBM, Apple, Nike, and Obama Foundation.
SYPartners is based in New York and San Francisco, and is a founding member of kyu, a collective of best-in-class creative firms.
Hosted by: Tina Essmaker, Creative Coach
Feeling burned out or discontent with work, going through a big transition, or wondering what’s next for your career? In this session, creative coach Tina Essmaker will lead you through a series of exercises from her practice to help you kickstart your creativity, realign your career, and build a meaningful foundation for your future. You’ll explore your values and strengths, your unique contributions, rethink the way you work, and leave with a plan to take action toward a more meaningful career and life.
About Tina Essmaker: Tina Essmaker is a New York City-based coach, writer, and speaker. An expert in the creative landscape with more than ten years of experience, Tina’s coaching practice draws on her formal education as a social worker, years of researching and interviewing creatives as Editor in Chief of The Great Discontent magazine, and her training in the coaching framework.
Personable and practical, Tina’s approach is rooted in helping individuals and teams across creative industries take action toward their goals.
Hosted by: Jake Barton, Principal and Founder, Local Projects
What will the most exciting experiences of the future look like? Where will they be? Who will go? Who will make them? The radical changes on view in museums may show the way. Many of those changes are being spearheaded by Local Projects, the firm behind the 9/11 Memorial Museum, the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, ZERO for the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and many more.
In this interactive workshop, lead by Local Projects’ principal and founder Jake Barton, you’ll hear how the interdisciplinary firm develops visitor engagement strategies, then learn how to create your own engagement ideas using a mix of inspirational visuals, interaction ideas, and cutting-edge technologies.
About Local Projects: Local Projects is a studio that places visitor engagement at the forefront of their work. They design in a wide range of mediums, ranging from architecture and graphic design to interaction design and custom software development. Their aim is to always create original work and to ensure that each one of their clients -- among them, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, Bloomberg, and Target -- see their mission and vision carried through within Local Projects’ design approach. With over 15 years of experience working for the world's top museums, institutions, and public spaces, Local Projects continues to push the boundaries of experience design around the world.
Silka Miesnieks, Head of Emerging Design
Phil Clevenger, Senior Director, Experience Design
As technology continues to rapidly open new avenues for creatives, the topic of design ethics is increasingly important for design teams to consider and implement in their work. In this master class, leaders from the Adobe Design team will discuss ethical challenges posed by emerging technologies (including AI, augmented reality and voice interfaces), and dig into dark matters past, present, and future.
Attendees will learn how to recognize these challenges as they present, and walk away with an ethical principles framework for to use in their own projects.
About Adobe Design: Adobe Design is a dynamic, cohesive, global team of designers, researchers, prototypers, content strategists, program managers, and more who work across Adobe’s three product lines: Creative Cloud, Document Cloud, and Experience Cloud. They design the tools and services that Adobe customers use to create and communicate.
Jamal Dauda, Global Head of Music, WeTransfer
Karen van de Kraats, Senior Designer, WeTransfer
You know what nobody asked for? Another tech company blundering into ‘content marketing’ with a blog-by-numbers. So when WeTransfer decided to launch storytelling site WePresent in 2018, they were determined to do things differently. They wanted to rethink not just the types of stories told, but the way they told them. Content and design worked together from the very start, and things got weird (in a good way).
In this master class, WeTransfer Senior Designer Karen van de Kraats and Global Head of Music Jamal Dauda will get real about the mistakes they made and the lessons learned when launching and shaping WePresent. Plus, they’ll share their principles and process to ensure your own content and design teams build each other up and bring out the best in what we all care about: the work itself.
About WeTransfer: WeTransfer makes beautifully obvious tools to get your ideas moving. Founded in 2009 in Amsterdam as a simple, well-designed file sharing service for the creative community, WeTransfer has grown to include tools that scale across the creative spectrum, including editorial platform WePresent, mobile app 'Collect by WeTransfer', quick slide-making tool Paste, immersive sketching app Paper, and the original web platform with 43 million monthly users and over a billion files sent each month.
Stephanie Yung, Design Director, Smart Design
John Anderson, Technology Director, Smart Design
Inclusive design has flourished over the past decades, helping to bridge the gap between assumptions and realities about designing for diverse groups of people. But it’s not always clear what it means – even as its relevance to the products, services, and experiences around us continue to grow.
In this session, you’ll hear from a studio that pioneered inclusive design and how they’re evolving their approach to meet the challenges of today. Inclusive design goes beyond output and outcomes to describe a way of working. This practice helps each designer continually listen, learn, and adjust their individual lenses and biases to navigate the world around us, and bring the full spectrum of diversity into the design process; whether that’s expressed in ability, language, culture, gender, age, or other human differences.
Stephanie redesigned the fertility experience as a single woman at the center which has been featured by FastCo Design, Good Morning America and highlighted by Fortune’s Broadsheet. John designed a personalized voice assistant for a woman living with progressive MS for BBC Two’s groundbreaking docuseries The Big Life Fix. Drawing on these experiences, Stephanie and John will share the meaningful outcomes created by leveraging inclusive design tools and processes.
About Smart Design: Smart Design is a strategic design company that helps people live better and work smarter. As technology and business become more complex, they use design as a tool to humanize products, services, and experiences through deep research, insights and design strategies. Founded in 1980, Smart has studios in New York and London and clients all over the world.
Saneel Radia, EVP, Chief Innovation Officer, R/GA
Mike Rigby, VP, ECD, R/GA
What happens when you invite creativity and design into the boardrooms of some of the world’s most important organizations?
Join R/GA’s Saneel Radia and Mike Rigby as they unpack how innovation requires not only a focus on designing more compelling brands, but on designing better business models too.
In this master class, you’ll learn how R/GA has helped organizations re-invent themselves by putting creativity first -- from designing a radical new digital-first bank to serve the under-banked in Brazil to inventing a new business model for a revolutionary green chemistry company that will reduce our dependence on petrochemicals. You’ll also learn how brand design has evolved in the connected age, and the role of creativity and design in cultivating organizational innovation.
About R/GA: An innovation leader for more than 40 years, R/GA has expanded and evolved to offer business transformation, experience transformation, and marketing transformation to clients through its award-winning consulting, ventures, technology, design, marketing communications, and IP practices. The company has more than 2,000 employees globally, whose work spans web, mobile, and social communications, retail and e-commerce, product innovation, brand development, and innovation consulting.
An innovation leader for more than 40 years, R/GA has expanded and evolved to offer business transformation, experience transformation, and marketing transformation to clients through its award-winning consulting, ventures, technology, design, marketing communications, and IP practices. The firm’s work spans web, mobile, and social communications, retail and e-commerce, product innovation, brand development, and innovation consulting.
Kristen Lueck, VP Business Development and Partnerships, Man Made Music
Danni Venne, EVP Creative, Man Made Music
We’re moving into an exciting new voice- and audio-driven world, but not all brands are thinking about their sonic identity in the same way they might think about their visual identity. Without the right sound, experiences will lack attribution, connectivity, and relevance.
Join global sonic studio Man Made Music for an interactive ‘Sonic Mood Board Session’. In this workshop, you’ll be taken through Man Made’s custom music and creative process, from ideation to actualization, to define a unique sonic identity for brands and projects. Leave inspired and educated on how to speak the language of music and sound as it becomes intimately tied to your own work, and our creative future.
About Man Made Music: Man Made Music is a global sonic studio dedicated to creating iconic and enduring music and sound for global brands, technology companies, entertainment groups, and built environments. Their clients include Nissan, Abbott, Alzheimer’s Association, Citi, AT&T, HBO, Hulu, and Deloitte.
Man Made Music's creative approach is based on the concept of Sonic Humanism — the power of sound to make our lives richer and simpler. This commitment to solving for human and business challenges with sound is grounded in their innovative sonic work with autonomous cars, health environments, and connected devices.
Hosted By: Layne Braunstein, Founder, Fake Love
Whether we know it or not, many of the things we love the most come from childhood experiences. Nothing makes you feel quite like that mixtape of pop ballads, or your toy phone, or the taste of your favorite candy. Those feelings and memories are forever embedded into your subconscious.
In today’s search for novelty in marketing, nostalgia is often completely overlooked. Join Fake Love Founder Layne Braunstein for an engaging and playful workshop that explores how nostalgia can play a key role in crafting experiences. He'll discuss how associating consumers memories with an experience can have immediate impact on brand love. And then, dive into a collaborative hands-on session, where we explore and use simple tools to create big ideas.
About Layne Braunstein: Layne is an award-winning creative and futurist, known for his focus on experimental design and post-digital storytelling for the world’s biggest brands like Hermes, Google, Star Wars, Samsung + Levis. As founder and former CCO at Fake Love, Layne led the conceptual creative practice. He set the vision and tone for clients, leading the way to their acquisition by The New York Times and beyond. Beyond advertising, his ideas can be discovered in places like Communication Arts, Wired, IDN, and TED.
Paige Bennett, Design Research Manager, Dropbox
As creatives, we want to produce effective work, but too often, we start projects with a deluge of information that hasn’t been thoughtfully parsed or presented.
The Design Research team at Dropbox was formed to fix this problem, and uncover critical user insights. As designers, traditional research reports fell short as a vehicle to gather buy-in for their work, so the team began looking to other mediums to bring their work to life. Today, their insights are essential in driving company strategy.
In this master class, Dropbox’s Design Research Manager, Paige Bennett, will discuss how any creative -- whether or not they have ‘research’ in their title -- can wield their own findings to get buy-in from stakeholders and do better, more informed work. Attendees will walk away with new tools, ideas, and approaches to bring to their next big project.
About Dropbox: Dropbox’s mission is to unleash the world’s creative energy by designing a more enlightened way of working. Most “productivity tools” drain creative energy. They constantly ping, distract, and disrupt your team’s flow. And none of them connect, so you spend your days switching between apps, tracking down feedback. It’s busywork, not the meaningful stuff. Dropbox wants to change this, so they're building a better way to stay in flow and bring your team’s best ideas to life.
Hosted by: Duncan Wardle, Founder, id8 & innov8
Duncan Wardle believes that everyone is creative, and that everyone has the potential to come up with revolutionary ideas that change how we work, play, and connect with one another. In this high-energy workshop, Duncan--the former Head of Innovation & Creativity at Disney--will demonstrate an approach called ‘Blue Sky Thinking’ that can help anyone uncover great, creative ideas.
Attendees will learn:
- How to find and leverage lateral inspiration
- How to get buy-in for big ideas
- How to evaluate ideas
About Duncan Wardle: Having worked at Disney for 25 years, most recently as Head of Innovation and Creativity, Duncan now serves as an independent design thinking consultant, helping companies embed a culture of innovation and creativity across their organizations. Delivering a series of keynotes, workshops, and ideation forums, his unique design thinking process helps people capture unlikely connections, leading to both fresh thinking and revolutionary ideas.
At Disney he lead the innovation catalyst team, helping teams at Disney Animation, Lucas Films, Marvel, Pixar, and Imagineering and Disney Parks to innovate, creating magical new storylines and amazing experiences for consumers. He now brings his Disney experience to audiences around the world using a unique approach to design thinking that not only places the end user at the core of the creative process, but also looks in new and usual places to uncover insights for innovation and truly disruptive ideas.
Duncan is a multi-time TEDx speaker and contributor to Fast Company. He teaches Innovation and Creativity workshops at Yale, UNC, and UF. He holds the American Citizen Award presented at the White House, an Hons. Doctorate from Edinburgh University, and the Duke of Edinburgh Award, presented by Queen Elizabeth.
Kyle T. Webster, Design Evangelist, Adobe
Emma Zhang, Brand Experience Designer, Adobe
Human ingenuity is essential to the future of creativity, but that doesn’t mean we can’t turn it into a dynamic, scalable system. In this workshop, we’ll begin to create a unique illustration system centered around a consistent but flexible style, ready for use in a branding or interface project.
Emma Zhang and Kyle Webster, two professional illustrators working at Adobe Design, will guide participants through this fun, experimental process, and demonstrate illustration systems that are unique and playful, but can grow and evolve throughout a complicated brand or product offering.
They’ll provide illustration prompts to help you get started and develop a foundation on which to build. Experiment with design elements like color, texture, shapes, human form, perspective, and more. iPad Pros and Apple Pencils will be available for each attendee to use in creating their own illustration system.
About Adobe Design: Adobe Design is a dynamic, cohesive, global team of designers, researchers, prototypers, content strategists, program managers, and more who work across Adobe’s three product lines: Creative Cloud, Document Cloud, and Experience Cloud. They design the tools and services that Adobe customers use to create and communicate.
David Schwarz, Creative Partner, HUSH
Zoë Salditch, Senior Producer, HUSH
Experiences that blend the digital and physical worlds are changing the way we think about marketing, design, and culture. In this hands-on workshop, concept-driven design firm HUSH will lead attendees through a creation of this kind of blended experience: an audio/visual tapestry driven by real-world data.
Participants will leave with a better picture of how to approach digital/physical projects, and an actionable way to harness the power of data.
About HUSH: HUSH is a concept-driven design firm. They integrate digital technology and physical environments to create powerful brand experiences for their clients' customers, employees, and partners.
Hosted by: Meg Lewis, Designer, Ghostly Ferns; Educator, Full Time You
There’s no one like you on this planet, so why have a career like anyone else? A traditional career path, like squeezing into one-size-fits-all job descriptions and allowing others to determine your success, doesn’t work for everyone. What if there was a new path that was paved just for you? Let’s ditch the separation of work and life, and embrace a new life where you get paid to be yourself. Champion your unique personality, strengths, and values to grow your life and career!
At the Full Time You workshop, designer and educator Meg Lewis will help you cut deep into your squishy core and find what makes you, you! You’ll work to define your most unique qualities, set a life’s purpose, and define your skillset to create a fulfilling career made just for you. You’ll even make marketing, social media, content guidelines, and an actionable plan to help you get to your dream career even faster!
About Meg Lewis: Meg Lewis is a designer creating experiences for happy companies and a one-on-one educator creating happier lives for humans of all kinds. She is the founder of Ghostly Ferns, a collective of designers & commercial artists and the co-founder of Fool Proof, a shared workspace, podcast, and a whole lot more.
Meg is the mind behind Full Time You, a self-discovery workbook and comedy video series where she teaches people to find a dang purpose and design a career made just for them.
Patrick Walsh, Commercial Director, Decoded
Tammy Lin, Director of Client Services and Social Impact, Decoded
YK Hong, Senior Technologist, Decoded
There's no getting away from the zeitgeist that is machine learning. Behind it all is human data that’s being leveraged, collected, and finessed to change the outcome of the very world we live in. In this hands-on workshop, Decoded will demystify machine learning. They’ll examine how it makes our data valuable and vulnerable, and explore how the pitfalls of AI and data are roadblocking applications. Attendees will leave better informed on how they can contribute to a securer, more creative future, and ready to take control of their own data-driven destinies.
About Decoded: Decoded helps companies and organizations adapt to the future with hands-on, captivating, and deeply personal educational experiences. As the world's leading digital education company, Decoded prepares teams and organizations for the Future of Work by demystifying the emerging technologies that are disrupting the global status quo.
Digital tools offer different elements, textures, and dimensions with such seamlessness that it’s easy to forget they’re inspired by analog mediums and our physical environment.
In this workshop, photographer, designer, and Adobe Creative Resident Temi Coker will take us back to the basics, using the practice of collage art to create an entirely analog mood board. Temi will break down how photography, composition, and graphic design come together, and how to look for offline inspiration. This workshop is very hands-on, so be ready to rip, cut, tape, and compose your own original work.
About Temi Coker: Temi is a digital artist and photographer widely known for his creative approach in photography and design. He currently one of the seven Adobe Creative Residents for the 2018/2019 year. His goal is to help people tell and share their stories through different digital mediums.
Hosted by: Sahar Yousef, Cognitive Neuroscientist and Faculty, UC Berkeley
We have an abundance of tools today that are supposed to make us more productive and more creative. But in reality, they’ve made us more distracted, busy, and stressed than ever before.
Join us as UC Berkeley neuroscientist Dr. Sahar Yousef explain why it’s harder than ever to stay focused and learn a highly practical, proven set of strategies for working smarter, especially when time and resources are limited—the same methods the highest-performing leaders and teams at Google, Adobe, and Evernote have adopted to increase productivity, innovation, and well-being at work.
You'll have the opportunity to take the Sustainable Peak Performance Index® to diagnose your own productivity challenges and create an action plan with research-backed strategies that you can start implementing when you get back to the office.
About Sahar Yousef: Dr. Sahar Yousef is a cognitive neuroscientist at UC Berkeley and a lecturer at the Haas School of Business. She has conducted research on brain plasticity, human performance enhancement, and cognitive training, starting out in psychopharmacology and then transitioning to non-invasive training work through the Department of Defense. Building on over ten years of research in the field of human performance, Sahar’s current consulting practice helps individuals, teams, and departments become more productive and effective at work.
Hosted by: Ivan Cash, Artist & Founder, Cash Studios
In a world of information overload and nonstop negative media, how do we cut through the clutter to embody messages of hope and positivity?
Join artist Ivan Cash as he shares case studies from his internationally-recognized creative projects (like the screen-blocking ‘IRL Glasses’ and the community-driven ‘Snail Mail My Email’) that connect and engage strangers on a global scale.
Ivan will then conduct a series of unique social experiments inspiring participants to re-examine their relationship to technology, themselves, and the “strangers” around them. Audience members will leave feeling energized to discover new ways to celebrate and foster human connection in the digital age.
About Ivan Cash: Ivan Cash is an award-winning artist, filmmaker, and founder of Cash Studios. He has been recognized as a Forbes 30 Under 30 artist, an Art Directors Club Young Gun, and a Print New Visual Artist. His conceptually driven, genre-bending media projects have been featured in The New York Times, CNN, TIME, The Guardian, Fast Company, BuzzFeed, and The Atlantic, and received multiple Vimeo Staff Picks and Webby Honoree awards.
His studio creates culture-shaping earned media campaigns with global brands like Airbnb, Netflix, and Uber.
Hosted by: Alain Sylvain, Founder & CEO, Sylvain Labs
If you’ve read a pitch deck, a case study, or trade publication in the past decade, you know that companies of all stripes fetishize ‘innovation.’ We’ve thrown the word around so much that it’s nearly lost all meaning -- unfortunate in a time when its true practice has never been more essential. How can we redeem ‘innovation’ and bring dynamic new life to the practice?
In this master class, Alain Sylvain, founder and CEO of Sylvain Labs, will draw from neuroscience, linguistics, history, pop culture, and his experience with clients like Airbnb, Spotify, and BlackRock to argue that by liberating the meaning of innovation, we have the power to unleash a new wave of creativity in business. He'll also detail a ‘new code of innovation’ that transcends products and services to impact people in new and visceral ways.
About Alain Sylvain: Alain Sylvain is the founder of Sylvain Labs, a strategy and design consultancy that helps companies seize the reality and potential of their business, products, and brands. Their clients include Google, American Express, Airbnb, Spotify, Blackrock, Samsung, Pepsico, AB InBev, Jet, IKEA, GM, Sonos, and the NBA. Alain is also a partner and investor in several ventures, an executive producer on short documentaries, and a board member of Plus Pool and the VCU Brandcenter.
Hosted by: Christina Amini, Executive Publishing Director, Chronicle Books
Join publishing executive and editor Christina Amini to dive deep into how collaboration works (and when it doesn’t). Over the last 20 years, Amini has worked on more than 500 projects as an editor at Chronicle Books, and has overseen thousands more as the publishing director for art, food, and lifestyle publishing. Amini will share how authentic relationships lead to great results and how our creative work can bring us deeper into our relationships. As she sees it, creativity happens in the context of collaborative relationships. So, in this masterclass, you will learn to build collaborative capital by identifying the key ingredients, fundamental questions, and your own must-have tools for collaborative practice. Because your awesome work, whatever it may be, has the power to make the world bigger and more connected.
About Christina Amini: Christina Amini is the Executive Publishing Director of Art, Food, and Lifestyle Publishing at renowned independent publisher Chronicle Books. She is happy to be a professional collaborator and creator—bringing new ideas to fruition every season, as well as overseeing the publishing of more than 100 books and gift products every year. She has written for Salon.com, Readymade Magazine, and the San Francisco Chronicle magazine, and is the author of Before the Mortgage (Simon & Schuster). She is also the steward of artist Susan O’Malley’s work, the Chair of Diversity and Inclusion at her children’s school, and a museum guide at SFMOMA.
Hosted by: Lisa Rothstein, Brand Storyteller & CEO at Drawing Out Your Genius
In today’s increasingly complex, digital, and data-driven world, the ability to think and communicate visually – from napkin sketches to whiteboards – is a uniquely human superpower.
In this workshop, you’ll learn how to use the language of simple drawings to explain and simplify complex ideas and technical processes, gain consensus and buy-in, and captivate any audience – even if you think you can’t draw your way out of a wet paper bag.
Attendees will come away with a new understanding of the power of doodling to unlock creativity and understanding, some new drawing skills, recommended tools, and a set of templates they can adapt to jumpstart their own visual thinking and communication.
About Lisa Rothstein: Lisa Rothstein is the award-winning ad agency copywriter and creative director best known for co-creating the long-running ‘Wait’ll We Get Our Hanes on You’ campaign that changed America’s favorite underwear brand. As a brand strategist, visual facilitator and speaker, Lisa uses a combination of words and drawings, as well as her own brand storytelling framework, to help organizations visualize their customers, products, culture, and stories in ways that foster innovation, collaboration, creativity, and communication. Lisa is a published New Yorker cartoonist and a featured author and illustrator in several best-selling books. She holds a degree in Semiotics from Brown University.
Hosted by: Kit Krugman, Chief Curator, co:collective
Organizations of the future will be networked, decentralized, and dynamic. At its best, a more flexible way of working will stimulate creativity and collaboration. At its worst, that flexibility will produce chaos and anxiety that, paradoxically, stifles creativity.
How can we ensure that modern organizations are designed to unlock creativity, not suppress it?
Join co:collective’s Chief Curator and specialist in Organizational & Cultural Change for a workshop that will help you leverage their toolkit to focus, make better decisions, and galvanize people.
About co:collective: co:collective is a strategy and innovation company that designs brands, experiences, and content for firms that transform who they are, how they act, and how they show up in the world. They believe today's most successful organizations are led a driving purpose, one that is so central to their identity it influences everything they do, from capital investment to social media. Ultimately, these brands are defined by what they do and how they engage communities, not by what they say. For them, purpose accelerates business strategy and storytelling becomes StoryDoing.
Hosted by: Jasmine Takanikos, Founder, BrandHuman & Candor Branding
Finding inspiration is a vital part of the creative process, but today, that process can feel like a firehose of information, messages, and images. It’s important as creatives to be open to the world around us, but equally as critical to not let that overload hinder our process or our outputs.
In this master class, Jasmine Takanikos of BrandHuman will break down the process for evaluating what sources to trust for creative inspiration. By identifying the values associated with your identity and the work you want to create, Takanikos will utilize BrandHuman principles to put rigor around what content you take in, acknowledge what personal bias you may be applying, and share how to design a personal lens for learning that will incorporate diverse ways of finding inspiration.
About Jasmine Takanikos: For two decades, Jasmine has worked with both established brands and small businesses to develop brand strategy, integrated marketing, strategic planning, business development, creative direction. She is the founder of Candor Branding, a strategy and design agency.
Jasmine is the creator of the global workshop and lecture series Brand Human, centered around the importance of building lasting relationships with one’s core constituencies through the exploration of the self. She also created and teaches the course ‘Centering Your Brand’ at PARSONS The New School of Design. Her work has earned global recognition from Forbes, Architectural Digest, and NPR.
Brian Quinn, Partner / Instigator, DLW Creative Labs
Shana Dressler, Partner / Activator, DLW Creative Labs
Many companies aspire to put creativity at the center of their practice, but may not yet know how to bring designers into the process and foster effective collaboration.
Process is crucial when multi-disciplinary teams work together: How might designers and creative directors take on leadership positions? How might they work best with their company’s marketing, sales, or operations factions?
In this master class led by DLW Creative Labs, you’ll learn about the ten core human skills that are instrumental to our creative future, based on a wide array of Future of Work reports and thinking. Then, they’ll take a deeper dive into two of these areas to explain specific processes and actions you can implement in your own company and teams.
About DLW Creative Labs: DESIGN/LIFE/WORK is a multi-disciplinary program co-founded by Shana Dressler and Brian Quinn that provides interactive educational workshops and retreats to help companies and creative professionals reskill and upskill their current wheelhouse of capabilities for the 21st Century workforce. Shana Dressler previously led an incubator for design entrepreneurs at Google and produced a four-month on the Future of Work for AIGA/NY. Brian Quinn is an experiential producer who has curated Northside Festival, Social Media Week, CreativeMornings FieldTrips, and a wide range of creative experiences for brands.
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.