We invite the world's leading creative visionaries to share pragmatic, real-world insights on how you can put your ideas into action.
Jack Dorsey is the Co-Creator, Co-founder, and Chairman of Twitter, Inc. Originally from St. Louis, Jack's early fascination for mass-transit and how cities function led him to Manhattan and programming real-time messaging systems for couriers, taxis, and emergency vehicles. Throughout this work Jack witnessed thousands of workers in the field constantly updating where they were and what they were doing; Twitter is a constrained simplification designed for general usage and extended by the millions of people who make it their own every day. Jack is dedicated to creating public goods which foster approachability, immediacy, and transparency, and is starting a second company focused on bringing these concepts to commerce.
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.
Leslie Koch is president of the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation (GIPEC). Governors Island is a 172 acre island in the heart of New York Harbor that includes a 92 acre National Historic Landmark District with historic buildings, fortifications, and open spaces. Appointed by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Governor George E. Pataki in April 2006, Ms. Koch is responsible for the planning, redevelopment and on-going operation of 150 acres of the Island. Under her leadership, GIPEC has developed a strategy to create world-class open spaces on the Island, expand public access and early signature uses, preserve historic structures and improve the Island's transportation and infrastructure, and plan for mixed-use public and private development over a multi-year, multi-phase process. This strategy is helping to transform Governors Island into a destination with great public open space, as well as education and other facilities.
Prior to GIPEC, Leslie Koch was the CEO of the Fund for Public Schools, the nonprofit organization affiliated with the New York City Department of Education where she developed initiatives to increase public participation and private sector support for public education in New York City. Under her leadership, the Fund secured nearly $160 million for system-wide initiatives and school-based programs.
A native New Yorker, Ms. Koch began her career in the NYC government and since that time, her career has spanned all three sectors. As an executive with Microsoft, she was responsible for strategic development and marketing of several flagship products. Ms. Koch also served as a consultant and board member for a variety of organizations. She graduated summa cum laude from Yale College with a B.A. in history and received a Masters in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management.
Fred Wilson has been a venture capitalist since 1987. He currently is a managing partner at Union Square Ventures and also founded Flatiron Partners. Fred has a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Fred is married with three kids and lives in New York City.
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.
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.
Jay O'Callahan has performed at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, National Theatre Complex in London, the Olympics, Lincoln Center, Boston Symphony Orchestra and in venues in Africa, New Zealand, Canada, Germany and China. The Associated Press trumpeted him as "a theater troupe inside one body." Time Magazine dubbed Jay "a genius."
Jay writes the plays he performs. The hallmark of his talent is the passion he brings to big and small dramas of ordinary life. He slips into the souls of his characters and captures the wonder and sparkling sense of life welled up inside them, creating a magical world of hope, courage and dignity.
With the sweep of a hand, the flex of a muscle or the hushed click of a word, Jay gives voice to the small town clerk in Village Heroes, the puzzled son coming to terms with his father in The Dance, or the young woman growing up in Nova Scotia during World War II in The Herring Shed.
Jay has just completed creating Forged in the Stars, a story commissioned by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) for their 50th anniversary. He is currently performing it at NASA locations around the country. Jay is working on a story commissioned by the town of Jonesborough, Tennessee and the National Storytelling Network. It will be completed the fall of 2010. Other commissioned works include: The Myth of Billy the Kid (National Public Radio), The Spirit of the Great Auk (Quebec Labrador Foundation), Peer Gynt and the Hary Janos Suite (Boston Symphony Orchestra), Edna Robinson (Town of Harvard, Massachusetts for their 250th anniversary), The Bread and Roses Strike (Massachusetts State Department of Environmental Management), Pouring the Sun (Lehigh University), and Father Joe (College of the Holy Cross).
The National Endowment of the Arts awarded him a fellowship for solo performance excellence. Jay has received awards for his performances, books, audiotapes and videos from the National Education Film Festival, Fund for U.S. Artists at International Festivals, Parents' Choice, NAPPA, New England Theater Conference and UNESCO, to name a few. He also is a regular contributor to National Public Radio and leads creativity workshops for corporations and other interested groups.
Frans Johansson is an entrepreneur and thought leader. He is also a consultant and the managing director for a hedge fund. Frans previously co-founded and managed two companies, a Boston-based software company and a medical device company operating out of Baltimore, Maryland and Stockholm, Sweden.
Raised in Sweden by his African-American and Cherokee mother and Swedish father, Frans earned an MBA at Harvard Business School and a BS in environmental science at Brown University.
A successful author, Frans has written on a variety of topics, from business management to healthcare to sport fishing to how to save our oceans. His bestselling book, The Medici Effect, has been translated into 17 languages and was named "One of the Ten Best Business Books of 2004" by Amazon.com.
Martin Ping is the Executive Director of Hawthorne Valley Association, a nonprofit corporation promoting social and cultural renewal through the integration of education, agriculture and the arts.
The Hawthorne Valley Association is located in Columbia County in New York's Hudson Valley and includes Hawthorne Valley Farm, a 400-acre biodynamic farm. A holistic approach to sustainable living, biodynamic farming develops the earth, plants, and animals in concert to create a self-nourishing system that produces no unused waste and employs no artificial chemicals.
The Hawthorne Valley Farm encompasses a full dairy herd, with onsite dairy processing, CSA and market garden; GreenMarket stands at Union Square and Inwood Markets, as well as a lacto-fermented vegetable processing kitchen, organic bakery, and full-line organic grocery store. It operates the Visiting Students Program and Summer Camps, a residential program welcoming classes of school children during the academic year, as well as children during the summer, for a week or more on the farm; the Farmscape Ecology Program, conducting on farm research, education, and outreach combining an understanding and appreciation of the natural world with a realistic approach to agriculture; and the Farm Learning Center, offering farm apprentice and training programs through Farm Beginnings®.
The Association also oversees the Hawthorne Valley School, an independent day school offering Waldorf education grades Nursery through Twelve; the Center for Social and Environmental Responsibility, researching new social and economic forms that foster social responsibility and environmental sustainability; and Free Columbia, a quest into the heart of artistic action and the relationship between money and art.
Martin has been at Hawthorne Valley for more than 20 years. For much of that time he taught practical arts in the High School and for 14 years was director of facilities and served as project manager on several million dollars of new construction projects. For the past seven years as Executive Director, he has balanced his time developing the working relationships amongst the Association's diverse enterprises (and the 150 co-workers who carry out those initiatives) with cultivating collaborative relationships between Hawthorne Valley and other organizations in the Upper Hudson/Berkshire region as well as like-minded initiatives nationally and globally.
Eve Blossom is the Founder and CEO of Lulan Artisans, designers and producers of sustainable textiles that elegantly merge original contemporary designs with centuries-old weaving techniques. She works in partnership with more than 800 weavers, spinners, dyers and finishers - in small workshops in Cambodia, India, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.
Blossom seeks to empower these artisans through an economic engine and celebrate their spirit, talents and traditions - giving them a stronger voice for their future. Lulan Artisans integrates Blossom's design sensibilities with her yearning to create social change and the company is charting new territory as a for-profit social venture. Lulan works closely with these individuals, paying sustainable wages, creating economic stability, growing local economies and assisting in other social benefits - such as education, housing, healthcare - as well as opening up new markets for their products.
Frequent lecturer on design and social change, trained-architect Eve Blossom is not only committed to environmentally responsible design, she is also intent on changing business methodologies to create economic options for artisans whether in Southeast Asia or in the U.S. She received her Masters in Architecture from Tulane University and has undertaken graduate studies in Business Administration.
Masamichi Udagawa is a partner at Antenna Design New York Inc., which he co-founded with Sigi Moeslinger in 1997. Antenna's design projects range from public and commercial to experimental and artistic, typically spanning object, interface and environment. Among Antenna's best known projects are the design of New York City subway cars and ticket vending machines, Bloomberg displays and interactive environments, such as Power Flower, an installation in the windows of Bloomingdale's activated by passersby. Antenna's work has won numerous awards, including recognition from Business Week/IDSA, I.D., Fast Company and Wired magazines. In 2006, Antenna received the United States Artists Target Fellowship in the Architecture and Design Category. In 2008, Antenna won the National Design Award in Product Design.
Before forming Antenna, Masamichi was a senior designer at Apple Computer Industrial Design Group in Cupertino, California. He also worked at the Yamaha Product Design Laboratory in Japan. Masamichi holds a MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BE in Industrial Design from Chiba University in Japan.
Sigi Moeslinger is a partner at Antenna Design New York Inc., which she co-founded with Masamichi Udagawa in 1997. Antenna's design projects range from public and commercial to experimental and artistic, typically spanning object, interface and environment. Among Antenna's best known projects are the design of New York City subway cars and ticket vending machines, Bloomberg displays and interactive environments, such as Power Flower, an installation in the windows of Bloomingdale's activated by passersby. Antenna's work has won numerous awards, including recognition from Business Week/IDSA, I.D., Fast Company and Wired magazine. In 2006, Antenna received the United States Artists Target Fellowship in the Architecture and Design Category. In 2008, Antenna won the National Design Award in Product Design.
Before forming Antenna, Sigi was an Interval Research Fellow at New York University. Prior, she was a senior designer at IDEO in San Francisco. She holds a master's degree in interactive telecommunications from New York University and a B.S. in industrial design from Art Center College of Design.