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.
Examples of fuseproject's diverse projects include the world's first $100 "XO" laptop for Nicholas Negroponte's One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organization, which aims to bring education and technology to the world's poorest children. fuseproject is now working on the laptop's successor, the "XOXO". Other recent projects include a partnership with "Jawbone", a leading edge mobile phone headset company; "LeCube", a set top box for France's premier digital TV brand Canal +; a recycling project for Coca Cola; a new identity and strategy for iGoogle's home page; "MINI-Motion", a new brand for BMW's MINI Cooper; the LEAF light and other furniture projects for Herman Miller and the NYC Condom for the department of Health of the City of NY.
Béhar was born in Switzerland and studied industrial design in Europe and the U.S. Fifteen years ago he moved to San Francisco at a moment of immense technological innovation; "those innovations were a part of everyday culture here and became an additional tool-set for my work as a designer," Béhar says. He credits his design ethos in part to growing up in Switzerland with a Turkish father and East German mother; "I have a triad personality," he explains. "There's the warmer, expressive, story-telling culture of Turkey combined with an ethic of quality that comes from Switzerland, and the California tech-causal culture mixed in."
The combination of technological innovation and design, or the notion of design 'from the inside out' is a hallmark of Béhar's work. "I see design less from a style standpoint than in terms of innovative experiences," Béhar explains. fuseproject considers not just the outer shell, but the relevant functional purpose and emotional connection of the product itself.
In addition to fuseproject's commercial projects are many not-for-profit clients which underline Béhar's core philosophy that, "Design is a real agent of change. We need to initiate an emphasis on the notion of 'Design for Good'; we have a responsibility to the world around us."
Ironically, perhaps, it's his work which has been developed purely for a developing world audience, the XO and the XOXO for OLPC, which has generated some of the most dramatic innovations in computer design in recent years. A laptop which has been designed to cost 100euros, which can withstand knocks and even be dropped, whose screen must stand up to intense daylight, whose keyboard has to cope with damp and dust, which should be light enough for a small child to carry on long walks to school, and whose appealing design is bright and playful, has all the qualities many consumers in the developed world would find immensely desirable, and yet which conventional manufacturers have barely considered until now.
Yves Béhar's innovative designs have garnered more than 150 awards and his work is in the permanent collections of museums including the Musée Nationale d'Art Moderne/Centre Pompidou, the MOMA, the Munich Museum of Applied Arts and the Chicago Art Institute.
In 2009 Yves Béhar was the one of two industrial designers invited to speak at Davos.
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.
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.
She returned to the CMO role after having spent over two years as President of Integrated Media at NBC Universal. Beth 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.
In 2003, she was named GE's first Chief Marketing officer in more than 20 years and as such, helped reinvigorate marketing across the company, introducing ecomagination, Imagination Breakthrough innovations and the "imagination at work" brand campaign.
Previously, Beth held a succession of publicity and promotions roles at GE, NBC, CBS and Turner Broadcasting. She began her career in local television production in Virginia.
Beth is a trustee of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. She is a graduate of the College of William and Mary. She and her husband have two daughters.
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.
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, where he was not only the youngest member of Policy Planning in history, but also one of the few appointees kept on in both administrations. He is twice a recipient of the Secretary of State's Meritorious Honor Award, earning the honor in both administrations. In this capacity, he was one of the principal architects of what has become known as "21st century statecraft", which is a new approach to foreign policy that leverages and harnesses the power of connection technologies and new stakeholders for defense, diplomacy, and development.
Cohen 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. His delegation with Google CEO Eric Schmidt, marked the first trip by a Fortune 500 CEO to post-war Iraq. In the midst of the June 2009 post-election protests in Iran, Cohen reached out from the State Department to Twitter Chairman and co-founder Jack Dorsey and urged the company to reschedule its planned maintenance of the website so that Iranians could keep tweeting.
Prior to his time in government, Cohen traveled extensively throughout Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Afghanistan, where he at great risk spent time interviewing terrorists from groups like Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda to better understand the recruitment process, the nature and root causes of radicalization, and the dynamics between the terrorist groups and the communities they live in. He also conducted extensive research on the youth of the middle east, looking at how technology is impacting their identity and creating space for new opposition.
Cohen is author of several books. His first, One Hundred Days of Silence: America and the Rwanda Genocide, was published in 2006 by Rowman & Littlefield and chronicles U.S. policy toward Rwanda during the 1994 Genocide. His second book, Children of Jihad: A Young American's Travels Among the Youth of the Middle East, was published by Penguin Books (Gotham) in October 2007 and has also been published as an audio book and translated into Dutch, Arabic, and Italian. Children of Jihad was starred by Kirkus Review and selected as one of the "Best Books of 2007." Additional publications include "The Passive Revolution: Is Political Resistance Dead or Alive in Iran" (Hoover Digest, 2005), "Iran's Young Opposition" (SAIS Review, 2006), "Diverting the Radicalization Track" (Policy Review, Spring 2009), and "The Digital Disruption: Connectivity and Diffusion of Power" (Foreign Affairs, November/December 2010), which he co-authored with Google CEO Eric Schmidt and which also appeared as an op-ed in the New York Times and International Herald Tribune.
Cohen frequently appears in the media: he has been featured in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Business Week, Wired Magazine, and appeared on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, CNN, CBS, ABC, NPR, Fox News, MSNBC, BBC, Discovery Channel, CSPAN, and a variety of other TV and radio programs both domestic and international. He is frequently asked to speak at domestic and international conferences hosted by think tanks, the public sector, the military, the private sector, and foundations.
Cohen is actively involved in the Tribeca Film Festival, where he has twice served as a juror for the categories of "best world documentary", "best first time filmmaker", and "best short narrative." He is also a professional artist and has sold his work in east coast galleries. Cohen is fluent in Swahili and has also studied Arabic, Farsi, Maa, Kilarusa, and Spanish. He received his BA from Stanford University and his M.Phil in International Relations from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. He was selected by Huffington Post as one of the 100 gamechangers of 2010 and by Devex as one of the top 40 people under 40 in international development.
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, Rottenberg 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.
Having assembled an unparalleled network of the world's foremost business leaders, Rottenberg is often sought out for her ability to understand trends in global business. She has been the subject of three Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business case studies; Dell, Inc. featured her as a Hero in its "Take Your Own Path" global ad campaign; Veuve Clicquot named her Business Woman of the Year in 2008; and Thomas Friedman dubbed her the world's "Mentor Capitalist" in The World Is Flat 2.0.
Rottenberg, who in 2011 was named "Ms. Davos" by Business Insider, served as co-chair of the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and currently serves on the Forum's Entrepreneurship Steering Committee. She has been named a "Global Leader for Tomorrow," "Young Global Leader" and "Leading Social Entrepreneur" by the Forum.
A graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School, Rottenberg is a member of Young Presidents Organization and Council on Foreign Relations and an expert judge for the prestigious McKinsey-Harvard Business Review awards. She has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, TIME, Forbes, Fortune, New York Times, Fast Company, Inc., and The Economist. The mother of identical twin daughters, Rottenberg is the wife — and frequent subject — of the best-selling author and New York Times columnist, Bruce Feiler.
Rottenberg has inspired and instructed audiences across the globe on the next big waves of growth and innovation: "After 20 years of traveling from Rio to Cairo, Johannesburg to New Delhi to Istanbul, I have come to understand the power of thinking big and thinking global; you cannot understand the world today without understanding what is happening in emerging markets. I've been honored to have a front-row seat into the incredible changes taking place in the new economy."
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.
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.
Tony began his career as a journalist. He has been a reporter for the New York Times, an editor at Newsweek, a staff writer at New York and Esquire, and a columnist for Fast Company. He also co-authored the #1 worldwide bestseller The Art of the Deal with Donald Trump, and wrote What Really Matters: Searching for Wisdom in America.
Tony has delivered keynotes to audiences around the world and has worked with leaders at dozens of organizations including Apple, Ford, Google, Goldman Sachs, Intel, Ernst & Young, Kraft, Wells Fargo and Oracle, as well as the Los Angeles Police Department, the Cleveland Clinic and the National Security Agency.
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.
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.
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.