We invite the world's leading creative visionaries to share pragmatic, real-world insights on how you can put your ideas into action.
For four decades Paula Scher has been at the forefront of graphic design. Iconic, smart and unabashedly populist, her images have entered into the American vernacular. Scher has been a principal in the New York office of the distinguished international design consultancy Pentagram since 1991.
She began her career as an art director in the 1970's and early 80's, when her eclectic approach to typography became highly influential. In the mid-1990s her landmark identity for The Public Theater fused high and low into a wholly new symbology for cultural institutions, and her recent architectural collaborations have re-imagined the urban landscape as a dynamic environment of dimensional graphic design. Her graphic identities for Citibank and Tiffany & Co. have become case studies for the contemporary regeneration of classic American brands.
Scher has developed identity and branding systems, promotional materials, environmental graphics, packaging and publication designs for a broad range of clients that includes, among others, Bloomberg, Bausch + Lomb, Coca-Cola, Perry Ellis, the Museum of Modern Art, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet, the New York Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the New 42nd Street, the New York Botanical Garden, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Robin Hood Foundation, TheStreet, the Sundance Film Festival and The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. In 1996 Scher's widely imitated identity for the Public Theater won the coveted Beacon Award for integrated corporate design strategy. She has served on the board of The Public Theater, and is a frequent design contributor to The New York Times, GQ and other publications. In 2006 she was named to the Art Commission of the City of New York.
During the course of her career Scher has been the recipient of hundreds of industry honors and awards. In 1998 she was named to the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame, and in 2000 she received the prestigious Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design. She has served on the national board of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and was president of its New York chapter from 1998 to 2000. In 2001 she received the profession's highest honor, the AIGA Medal, in recognition of her distinguished achievements and contributions to the field. In 2006 she was awarded the Type Directors Club Medal. She has been a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale since 1993 and was elected its president in 2009. Her work is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York; the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich; the Denver Art Museum; and the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
Scher holds a BFA from the Tyler School of Art and honorary doctorates from the Corcoran College of Art and Design, the Maryland Institute College of Art and Moore College of Art and Design. She has lectured and exhibited all over the world, and her teaching career includes over two decades at the School of Visual Arts, along with positions at the Cooper Union, Yale University and the Tyler School of Art. She has authored numerous articles on design-related subjects for The Huffington Post, AIGA Journal of Graphic Design, Print, Graphis and other publications. She is the author of Make It Bigger (Princeton Architectural Press, 2002) and MAPS (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011).
“Once you know what you’re doing, it’s not as good,” says legendary designer Paula Scher in this talk about ignoring the brief & charting your own course.
Baratunde is a politically-active, technology-loving comedian from the future. He co-founded the black political blog, Jack & Jill Politics, serves as Director of Digital for The Onion and is a regular guest on Leo Laporte's TWiT. His book, How To Be Black, was published in February 2012 and is a New York Times best seller. Basically, he's a smart, funny, and extremely handsome dude.
The bestselling author of How To Be Black talks about making things happen with a team, despite his natural inclination to fly solo.
Tony Fadell is the founder and CEO of Nest Labs, Inc., the company that developed the Nest Learning Thermostat. The Nest Learning Thermostat learns about you and your home to automatically turn itself down when you're away, guide you to energy-efficient temperatures when you are home, and free you from programming hassles by creating a customized temperature schedule. Nest has been dubbed the "iPhone of thermostats" by Wired, and the New York Times describes it as "gorgeous, elegant and very, very smart."
Prior to Nest, Tony served as senior vice president of Apple's iPod division, reporting to Steve Jobs. He was responsible for creating the first 18 generations of the iPod digital music player and the first three generations of the iPhone. In 2001, after eight weeks of researching and designing the iPod product solution as a contractor, he was hired to create and lead the implementation team.
Before joining Apple, Tony was a co-founder, CTO and director of engineering of the Mobile Computing group at Philips Electronics. He architected the award-winning Velo and Nino PDAs, based on the Windows CE Palm PC platform, and later became vice president of business development for Philips U.S. Strategy and Ventures, managing its digital music strategy and investments.
Earlier in his career, Tony was a hardware and software architect at General Magic working with Sony, Philips, Matsushita, Toshiba and other consumer electronics firms to develop a line of personal handheld communicators. Tony is currently an advisor to and investor in several Silicon Valley startups in the mobile-Internet and green-tech industries, helping them craft and implement their business, technical and product strategies.
In his 20-plus years of experience in the consumer electronics industry, Tony has authored more than 100 patents.
He graduated with a bachelor of science degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan in 1991 and won the College of Engineering's alumnus of the year award in 2004.
iPod godfather and ALVA Award-winner Tony Fadell shares incredible insights on how to design, build, and ship disruptive products.
Jad Abumrad is the host and creator of Radiolab, which reaches roughly 2 million people per month. He's been called a "master of the radio craft" for his unique ability to combine cutting edge sound-design, cinematic storytelling and a personal approach to explaining complex topics, from the stochasticity of tumor cells to the mathematics of morality. Jad studied creative writing and music composition at Oberlin College in Ohio. He composes much of the music for Radiolab, and in the past has composed music for film, theater and dance. He's currently co-producing a second child.
In 2011, Radiolab received a Peabody Award, the highest honor in broadcasting, and Jad received the prestigious MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship.
When every instinct is telling us to stop, how do we keep pushing our creativity to unknown heights?
Neil Blumenthal loves helping people see. Determined to radically transform the eyewear industry, Neil and three friends launched Warby Parker in February of 2010. Warby Parker designs and sells vintage-inspired frames and prescription lenses for $95 whereas comparable quality glasses cost $500. For every pair sold, a pair is given to someone in need. To date, Warby Parker has distributed over 100,000 pairs to those in need around the world.
Neil had been the Director of VisionSpring, a non-profit social enterprise that trains low-income women to start their own business selling affordable eyeglasses to individuals living on less than $4 per day in South Asia, Africa and Latin America. He was responsible for developing VisionSpring's award-winning strategy (Fast Company Social Capitalist Award '08, '07 and '05) and expanding VisionSpring's global presence from one to 10 countries. In 2005, Neil was named a Fellow for Emerging Leaders in Public Service at NYU Robert F. Wagner School for Public Service.
Prior to joining VisionSpring, he worked with the International Crisis Group and attended the Institute for International Mediation and Conflict Resolution in The Hague, Netherlands. Neil received his BA from Tufts University and his MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he was both a Social Enterprise Fellow and a Leadership Fellow. Neil and his wife, jewelry designer Rachel Leigh, live in NYC.
Everybody makes mistakes, even great businesses. Warby Parker and Rent the Runway on the unexpected benefits of transparency and vulnerability in customer service.
Jason Goldberg is a serial entrepreneur, passionate about designing products that enrich millions of people's lives. Prior to leading Fab.com, Jason founded fabulis, socialmedian (sold to XING AG), and Jobster. Jason also served as Chief Product Officer at XING in Hamburg, Germany in 2009. Jason holds an MBA from Stanford University. Jason writes about entrepreneurship on his blog, http://betashop.com. The first start-up Jason worked at was Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign in 1991 and 1992, which led to a 6 1/2 year stint working in the White House. Jason resides in New York City with his partner Christian and their dog Rupey, aptly named after the Indian currency as Jason has traveled to India more than 30 times in the past 5 years to work alongside the best web development team on the planet.
Co-founder and CEO Jason Goldberg shares the thinking behind Fab.com’s famous pivot and how it translated into incredible success in less than 12 months.
Jennifer Hyman has been the Chief Executive Officer of Rent the Runway since the company's inception in November 2009. She is responsible for all areas of the business including technology, fashion, sales, marketing, operations, customer service and team management, while also serving as a company spokesperson. Most well-known within the entrepreneurial and fashion communities for her unmatched marketing abilities, Jennifer was named as the Chief Marketing Officer of Fortune magazine's "Executive Dream Team."
Jennifer co-founded Rent the Runway with her Harvard Business School classmate Jennifer Fleiss. After receiving approximately $31 million in venture capital from Bain Capital Ventures, Highland Capital, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, they quickly built the company to include over 2 million members, 60 employees and 150 designer brands. Rent the Runway is a members-only online fashion community that builds customer loyalty for designer brands by enabling women to rent dresses and accessories for all the special occasions in their lives. As the "Netflix for fashion," Rent the Runway encourages women to live the life they dream today.
Within only two years of business Rent the Runway has been honored with numerous recognitions including Time Magazine's "50 Best Websites of 2010," Forbes' "15 Names You Need to Know in 2011," Fast Company's "10 Most Innovative Fashion Companies of the Year" and Newsweek's "Best Ways to Save in 2011," among others. Additionally, Jennifer and her co-founder were named as Fortune's "Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs in 2011," Inc. Magazine's "Top 30 Under 30," and Fashionista's "Fashionista 50: The Most Influential People in New York Fashion."
Prior to Rent the Runway, Jennifer was the Director of Business Development at IMG where she focused on the creation of new media businesses for IMG's Fashion Division. She also ran an online advertising sales team at WeddingChannel.com and was an in-house entrepreneur at Starwood Hotels, creating Starwood's first wedding business which was recognized on the Oprah Winfrey Show for its innovation.
Jennifer received her BA from Harvard University and MBA from Harvard Business School. She currently resides in New York City where she is a Bloomberg Fellow, on the Entrepreneurship Board at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and enjoys her favorite neighborhood restaurants and boutiques for socializing with her family and friends.
Everybody makes mistakes, even great businesses. Warby Parker and Rent the Runway on the unexpected benefits of transparency and vulnerability in customer service.
Jonah Lehrer is Contributing Editor at Wired and the author of How We Decide and Proust Was a Neuroscientist. His new book, Imagine: How Creativity Works, will be out in March 2012. He is also a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and Radiolab and writes the "Head Case" column for The Wall Street Journal.
Seventeen years ago, a little-known potter named Jonathan Adler was thrilled to receive his first order from Barneys New York. He couldn't have dreamed that today, in 2011, he would lead an international design company offering decorative accessories, tabletop collections, bedding, furniture, rugs, pillows, lighting, and fabrics, all featuring Jonathan's signature Modernist forms, bold colors and groovy graphics. Jonathan is obsessed with creating beautiful design mixed with impeccable craftsmanship. His motto is "If your heirs won't fight over it, we won't make it."
Jonathan Adler has fourteen stores nationwide and just opened the doors to his first international boutique located in London. Beyond a thriving website and a wholesale business boasting more than 1,000 locations around the world, Jonathan is also a highly sought-after interior designer working on luxury residential projects and commercial projects including the celebrity hot spot Parker Palm Springs Hotel.
Jonathan has partnered with many companies to design products including Lacoste, Starbucks, 7 For All Mankind, Lifeguard Stationery, Steuben, Larson Juhl, Robert Abbey Lighting, and HSN. In 2009, Jonathan was tapped to design the retro-glam interior for the "real" Malibu Dream House for Barbie's 50th Anniversary and Jonathan was the lead judge on the Bravo TV series Top Design.
In 2005, Jonathan published his first book, My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living. In 2010 Jonathan launched a new book series with two books: Jonathan Adler on Happy Chic Colors and Jonathan Adler on Happy Chic Accessorizing.
Jonathan Adler is a design company dedicated to bringing style, craft, joy to your home.
“I wanted to follow my heart and not be strategic and throw all preconceived ideas away,” says Jonathan Adler in this talk about ignoring other people’s opinions and charting your own path to creative fulfillment.
For the past two decades, Keith Yamashita has worked alongside CEOs and their leadership teams to define — and then attain — greatness for their institutions. He has worked with leaders at Apple, IBM, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, eBay, Nike, and Gap, among others.
Keith founded, and currently serves as chairman of, SYPartners — a firm steeped in the belief that transformation of individuals, teams, and institutions requires equal parts empathy, aspiration, and a bravery to act. The firm fuses systems thinking and creativity to help organizations in times of seismic change: the formulation of a new business strategy, a merger or acquisition, the rise of a new CEO, the evolution of a brand, the return-to-greatness journeys after an industry shock.
In 2011, SYPartners launched a sister company called Unstuck — dedicated to taking the 20 years of knowledge the firm has gained about transformation and bringing it to everyday people. The first offering is an iPad-based app that helps people find a way forward, when they don't know how to go forward. Slated for release in 2012, SYPartners' next offering will be a suite of collaborative tools focused on helping managers and teams perform at their best.
From 2009 to 2011, Keith served as The Charles and Ray Eames Brand Fellow at IBM — a post dedicated to driving IBM's growth and greatness as an institution and enabling IBMers to perform at their best. He is an author and essayist on leadership and design, having published in the Harvard Business Review and several journals. He has lectured at the Yale School of Management, Stanford Business School, and the Jack F. Welch Leadership Center. He holds an MA in organizational behavior and a BA in quantitative economics from Stanford University.
Great teams don’t happen by accident, they require a diligent and mindful effort to cultivate the specific habits that lead to success.
James Victore runs an independent design studio hell-bent on world domination. He is an author, designer, filmmaker and firestarter. He continually strives to make work that is sexy, strong and memorable; work that toes the line between the sacred and the profane. His paintings of expressionist designs can be seen on ceramics, surfboards, billboards, and supermodels.
Recently described as "part Darth Vader, part Yoda," Victore is widely known for his timely wisdom and impassioned views about design and its place in the world. He expresses these views and teachings through his numerous lectures, workshops, and writings.
James' work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and is represented in the permanent collections of museums around the globe. His clients include Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, Esquire Magazine, Moet Chandon and The New York Times. His work was recently published in a monograph titled, Victore or, Who Died and Made You Boss? Victore teaches at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. He lives, loves, and works in Brooklyn.
“When we think of our work as a gift, it radically changes what we create,” says rogue designer James Victore.
Named to MIT Technology Review's TR35 list of the top 35 innovators in the world under 35 in 2011, Dr. Sorcar is the founder and CEO of TeachAIDS, a nonprofit social venture founded at Stanford, which creates breakthrough software used in over 50 countries. Funded by UNICEF, Barclay's, Google, Yahoo!, and other organizations, the TeachAIDS software addresses numerous persistent problems in HIV prevention, and provides the most effective HIV education tools to schools, governments, and NGOs worldwide — for free.
Dr. Sorcar began the research to develop TeachAIDS in 2005 as part of her graduate work. Today, she leads a team of world experts in medicine, public health, communications, and education, to develop versions of the software for new languages and cultures. She is the author of numerous articles and has been an invited speaker at many universities, including Caltech, Columbia, Tsinghua, Utrecht and Yale. She holds degrees in Economics, Business and Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and an M.A. in Education and Ph.D. in Learning Sciences & Technology Design from Stanford University.
Speed isn’t everything. Nonprofit founder Piya Sorcar (TeachAIDS) describes how measured growth and iteration can benefit startups dealing with sensitive issues.
Rilla Alexander is an Australian-born Berlin-based designer and illustrator. Her cast of creatures dance across Madrid's Museo del Prado's ceramics and stationery products, populate Swiss Credit Cards for Cornér Bank and sleep on the walls of Hotel Fox in Copenhagen (where she replaced the bed with a tent).
As a member of design collective Rinzen, she has published several books exploring the creative process. The felt-covered book Neighbourhood featured the collaborative efforts of over 30 artists reworking and remaking hand-made toys in a sequence that stretched across the world.
Her all ages picture book Her Idea was launched with an exhibition at Colette in Paris — and tells the tale of her alter-ego Sozi and her quest to make ideas happen.
Ever get distracted by a new idea and have trouble seeing the original one through? Illustrator Rilla Alexander shares her idea execution struggle through an all-ages story.
Teresa Amabile is a professor and director of research at Harvard Business School, and coauthor of The Progress Principle (2011). A psychologist, Teresa studies how everyday work life can influence people and their performance. Her research encompasses creativity, productivity, innovation, and inner work life — the confluence of emotions, perceptions, and motivation that people experience as they react to events at work.
Amabile's most recent discoveries appear in her book, The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work. The book, based on research into over 12,000 daily diary entries from over 200 professionals inside organizations, illuminates how everyday events at work can impact employee well-being and performance. Published in 2011 by Harvard Business Review Press, the book is co-authored with Amabile's husband and collaborator, Steven Kramer, Ph.D.
Amabile was awarded the E. Paul Torrance Award by the Creativity Division of the National Association for Gifted Children in 1998, and The Leadership Quarterly Best Paper Award by the Center for Creative Leadership in 2005. She has spoken to dozens of groups in business, government, and education around the world, and has taught courses on creativity, leadership, and ethics at Harvard Business School. Before moving to Harvard, she was a psychology professor at Brandeis University.
Amabile was the host/instructor of Against All Odds: Inside Statistics, a twenty-six-part instructional series originally broadcast on PBS. She has served on the boards of Seaman Corporation and other organizations. Amabile is the author of Creativity in Context and Growing Up Creative, as well as over one hundred articles, chapters, and case studies.
Could keeping a daily diary be the key to unlocking happiness at work? Creativity researcher Teresa Amabile explains the unexpected benefits of tracking daily progress.
The New York Observer calls him, "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." Madrigal co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.
He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).
Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.
Alexis Madrigal tells us how startups can up the ante by shifting away from free “viral” business models & by having more diverse founders.
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.