We invite the world's leading creative visionaries to share pragmatic, real-world insights on how you can put your ideas into action.
Yves Béhar is the founder of fuseproject, a San Francisco based design agency contributing to areas that include technology, furniture, sports, lifestyle and fashion. Béhar brings a humanistic approach to his work with the goal of creating projects that are deeply in-tune with the needs of a sustainable future, connected with human emotions and which enable self-expression.
“Start with questions, not answers,” says visionary designer Yves Béhar in this in-depth 99% talk on his seven principles for “holistic making.”
At a time when electronic devices have all but rendered our individual memory obsolete, Joshua Foer makes a compelling bid to resurrect the forgotten art of remembering in Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything.
Joshua was born in Washington, DC in 1982 and lives in New Haven, CT with his wife Dinah. His writing has appeared in National Geographic, Esquire, Slate, Outside, the New York Times, and other publications. He is the co-founder of the Atlas Obscura, an online guide to the world's wonders and curiosities. He is also the co-founder of the architectural design competition, Sukkah City.
OK-ness is the enemy of greatness. Journalist Joshua Foer illustrates why we must step outside of our comfort zones to achieve truly remarkable things.
Beth Comstock is Chief Marketing Officer and SVP of GE. She leads the company's organic growth and commercial innovation initiatives, and the sales, marketing and communications functions. She is responsible for the GE-wide business platforms ecomagination, devoted to reducing environmental impact with new technology, and healthymagination, focused on achieving sustainable health through innovation by lowering costs, improving quality and reaching more people.
Beth returned to the CMO role after having spent over two years as President of Integrated Media at NBC Universal, where she oversaw the television ad sales, marketing and research teams, with a focus on new advertising innovations. She led the company's digital media development and distribution, including the formation of hulu.com, Peacock Equity and the acquisition of ivillage.com.
Storytelling, experimentation, passion, and even failure – these are the ingredients that help great ideas make it to the finish line, says GE’s Beth Comstock.
Dr. Michael B. Johnson leads the Moving Pictures Group at Pixar Animation Studios. His group is responsible for the design, implementation and support of the pre-production pipeline for Pixar features and shorts. This includes Story, Editorial, Art and the review process, as well as Production Management. His team works directly with the directors, editors, producers, production designers, art directors, artists and production folks who start the process of bringing Pixar stories to the screen.
Dr. Johnson has been at Pixar since 1993, and has written tools for all of Pixar's feature films (and many of their short films), including storyboarding, pre-viz, layout, animation, modeling, lighting, rendering, and editorial tools.
Prior to Pixar, Michael attended the University of Illinois where he earned his undergraduate degree in Computer Science Engineering. He studied abroad for a year in Swansea, Wales and also worked for NCSA, Thinking Machines, IBM and MIT's Media Lab.
He completed his Masters of Science in Visual Studies and his PhD in Computer Graphics and Animation at the MIT Media Lab, where Dr. Edwin Catmull (founder & President of Pixar) was on his thesis committee. He lives in Oakland, CA with his wife and daughter.
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.
Jared Cohen is the Director of Google Ideas and an Adjunct Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. From 2006 to 2010 he served as a member of the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff and a close advisor to both Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. Jared introduced the concept of technology delegations to American diplomacy, where he routinely assembled delegations of technology CEOs and senior executives to places like Iraq, Congo, Syria, Russia, and Mexico in an effort to develop technology-based solutions and leverage technology-based thinking in our effort to address local challenges in these countries. He is author of several books including One Hundred Days of Silence: America and the Rwanda Genocide and Children of Jihad: A Young American's Travels Among the Youth of the Middle East.
Drawing on his extensive research into radical extremism, Google Ideas Director Jared Cohen launched a new program that will bring together former militants and extremists from around the world to foster an “intellectual collision.” Through his narrative, Cohen shares the importance of unstoppable passion, the value of misperceptions, and why we shouldn’t mind being called crazy.
Laura Guido-Clark is a designer whose passion is to make the human response to products more meaningful through color, material, finish and pattern. Through her trademarked process, Climatology, she researches and tracks relevant changes on the social, political, economic and emotional fronts. She distills these collective traces of the consumer consciousness into a thesis about their needs and unfulfilled desires — figuring out what people really want and why, often before they even know it themselves.
Her multiple disciplinary design studio, with locations in Berkeley, CA and Milan, IT, collaborates with companies like Kodak, HP, LG, Mattel and Toyota — as well as start-ups across industries such as automotive, consumer electronics, and home furnishings. Her textile and pattern design include work for HBF, Pallas, FLOR and Uncommon. As a result of her expertise, Laura has been invited to speak both nationally and internationally on design, and was an expert design blogger for Fast Company magazine.
Named one of "America's Best Leaders" by US News & World Report and one of 100 "Innovators for the 21st century" by TIME, Linda Rottenberg is one of the world's most dynamic and respected experts on entrepreneurship, business opportunities in emerging markets, and innovative leadership for the new economy.
As the CEO and Co-founder of Endeavor, Linda pioneered the field of High-Impact Entrepreneurship, the global phenomenon of using business to transform economies. Headquartered in New York with affiliates throughout Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, Endeavor identifies, mentors, and scales the most promising emerging-market entrepreneurs. The 600 Endeavor Entrepreneurs selected to date have created 150,000 jobs and generate annual revenues of nearly $4 billion.
If no one is calling you “crazy,” you’re probably not thinking big enough. Endeavor CEO Linda Rottenberg shares unorthodox advice for startups.
Aaron Dignan dressed up like a super hero for 180 straight days of the first grade, which marked the beginning of his life as an iconoclast, observer, theorist, and performer. Now, as a founding partner of the digital strategy firm Undercurrent and based in New York, he advises global brands and complex organizations like GE, American Express, Hyatt, and Ford on their future in an increasingly technophilic world. Aaron's first book, Game Frame: Using Games as a Strategy for Success, was released in 2011.
Real life isn’t always satisfying, but games are almost always are. So how can we take the principles that make Angry Birds so addictive and apply them to work?
Tony Schwartz is Founder and CEO of The Energy Project, a company that helps individuals and organizations fuel energy, engagement, focus and productivity by harnessing the science of high performance. Tony's most recent book, Be Excellent At Anything: The Four Keys to Transforming the Way We Work and Live, was published in May 2010 and became an immediate New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. His previous book, The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy Not Time, co- authored with Jim Loehr, spent four months on the New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into 28 languages.
Tony is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, and is one of HBR.org's most popular bloggers. His most recent HBR article, The Paradox of Productivity: How Sony Pictures Gets More Out of Employees By Demanding Less was published in May, 2010. He also writes for numerous other publications, including the New York Times.
Are you over-worked and under-energized? Energy expert Tony Schwartz breaks down our productivity myths and shows us how to get back on track.
Patrician McCarthy is the first Mien Shiang expert to translate this ancient science for the mainstream American public. She founded The Mien Shiang Institute to teach the Taoist technique of Medical Facial Diagnosis, Wu Xing (the Five Element philosophy), and Face Reading. In 2000 she created the first university Certificate Program on these teachings in the United States. She has served on the faculties of Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Los Angeles, and Emperor's College of Oriental Medicine in Santa Monica, California.
For more than twenty years Patrician has applied the power of this discipline to the modern world. Through her private practice she has studied thousands of faces and told their owners the most intricate and personal details of their minds, emotions, health, and spirit. Her workshops have helped many to discover their life's passion, find their right partner, resolve conflicts, and much more.
It’s easy to take our natural gifts for granted. In this talk, Patrician McCarthy shows how the ancient practice of “face reading” can reconnect us with our innate strengths.
Andrew Zuckerman is a New York based photographer and filmmaker. Conceptual in nature, his work investigates common themes explored through multiple mediums.
Andrew has published four books that reflect his influential style of photography and film, including the internationally acclaimed CREATURE (Chronicle, 2007), an intimate portrait series of animals; WISDOM (Abrams, 2008) a book, film, and traveling exhibition produced with the support of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, which included portraits and interviews with extraordinary individuals over the age of 65, such as Nelson Mandela, Andrew Wyeth, and Chuck Close; BIRD (Chronicle, 2009), a study of over ninety species from common to rare; and MUSIC (Abrams, 2010) a book, film, and iPad app featuring musicians from across genres, who provide their perspectives on one of the most universal and yet unexplainable art forms.
In 2006, he produced and directed the critically acclaimed short film High Falls, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to win for best short narrative at the Woodstock Film Festival.
In 2007, the Forma International Center of Photography featured a solo exhibition of Andrew's work from CREATURE. The WISDOM portraits were on display at the Library of New South Wales in Sydney in 2008, and in 2010, the WISDOM North American tour launched at the Winter Garden in the World Financial Center. A companion film to BIRD screened on The High Line in New York City in 2009, and at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston in 2010. Photographs from BIRD were exhibited at Colette in Paris.
Andrew has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors for both his photographs and films.
Starlee Kine is a radio producer and writer. She is a regular contributor to the public radio show "This American Life". Her dispatch on sad break-up songs won the Third Coast International Audio Festival's Gold Prize for best radio story. You can also hear her on the CBC show, "Wiretap".
Her writing has appeared in WIRED, Gourmet, and the New York Times Magazine. With The Thing Quarterly, she created a limited edition cutting board, specifically meant to be used to chop up onions. She has performed live for 'The Moth Mainstage" and is co-creator of "The Post-It Note Reading Series". She is finishing up her first book, It IS Your Fault, about her adventures in the self-help industry.
“This American Life” contributor and producer Starlee Kine talks about what making ideas happen has to do with Little Orphan Annie and Phil Collins.
During our 75-minute master classes, top creative minds share best practices for making ideas happen and take questions in a smaller, more interactive setting.
Our off-site studio sessions explore the inner-workings of leading creative companies and allow attendees to meet in an intimate, informal setting.