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Touchdown at TED2010


I’m in Long Beach for TED 2010, and the vibe here is great. The speaker lineup looks simply incredible. Already did a bit of an exciting helicopter tour (see some shots from the sky here) in a bit of a rain storm around LA and looking forward to a seirous brain safari starting tomorrow! Blogging every session from here is hard, but tweeting isn’t, so follow on.

The Feast Conference

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While there’s nothing tastier than a meal at Soba Koh, All Day Buffet has come close with The Feast for those starving for change, and looking to make the world a better place. On October 1st at The Times Center, they’re gathering 375 of the world’s greatest innovators from across industries to empower, inspire and engage each other in creating world-shaking change. And to add the icing on the cake, they’ve lined up an amazing group of speakers including musician Kenna (who’s climbing Mt. Kilminajaro with Justin Timberlake and Lupe Fiasco to raise awareness for the worldwide water crisis), professional poker player Annie Duke, William Drenttel from Winterhouse, and the team behind charity: water. If you’re looking to get full on good, get your tickets before they sell out. See you there!

Mark Your Calendar: The 99% Conference


Behance believes there are too many ideas in the world, and not enough action. The name is inspired by Thomas Edison’s famous quote, “genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” The conference is for people that already have great ideas, but need to make them happen. The speakers are all people that have a track record of executing their ideas again and again, successfully. Seth Godin, our Threadless friends, Michael Bierut from Pentagram, Scott Thomas, the director of new media for Obama’s campaign, our friend Ji Lee and a few other very impressive folks. Perhaps the 99% Conference will be the kick in the ass that people with great ideas sometimes need?

Get your tickets now. Seriously. April 16th and 17th. Use the code 99EARLY09 and get $100 off the regular ticket prices. This looks like it’s going to be an amazing event, and probably the first of many to come.

Touchdown at TED 2009

29422_260x196.jpgA hop, skip and a jump from London (I sat next to Thom Yorke on the plane here, by the way) and my mind-boggling conference circuit continues. Yes, I’m here in Long Beach for TED 2009. This is the 25th anniversary, and the first year it’s in Long Beach, TED’s new home. The speaker lineup is one of the best I’ve ever seen. My program tells me it’s time to get ready for a “thrilling discovery, a revolutionary idea, a powerful invention, a spectacular piece of art, a first time performance.” I’ll be doing some live blogging from time to time as I see fit, and of course if you want to follow my inner monologue, Twitter is the place.

If you’re here, drop me a line to grab a drink.

World Economic Forum, Davos 2009


I was at Davos again this year, but decidedly quiet on the blogging front — I did a bit of Twittering, but for the most part was really there to focus on the topics at hand. If you didn’t make it this year don’t worry, they provided HD links to download most all the big sessions, which is pretty neat. Highlights include Putin schooling Michael Dell in the opening plenary (Number 31) “The Values Behind Capitalism” with Indra Nooyi (CEO of PepsiCo), Tony Blair, and others (Number 60), and one of the most intense sessions I’ve ever witnessed, “Gaza: The Case for Middle East Peace” with Tayyip Erdogan, Amere Moussa and Shimon Peres. At the end of the spirited (read: insane) debate, Prime Minster Erdogan of Turkey, walked off the stage. Interested in geopolitics? Watch it, (Number 97).

Overall, given the financial crisis, this year was a little surreal. Unlike many of the other people, I actually left hopeful. My sessions on Creative Leadership and Youth Culture were off the record, but what I can tell you is this: There are some incredibly savvy young people moving the needle across the board, and we need more of them. We simply can’t depend on the old guard to fix things. They’re too busy looking backwards, analyzing where they screwed up in the first place to see the future. Each and every one of us will be paramount in our own way — whether it’s solving the financial crisis, climate change, or making the world as a whole a better place, it’s going to be fresh thinking and innovation that saves the day.

Vision 2020

If you’re interested in the future of architecture, you want to check out Vision 2020, an online conference of noted architects, critics, and students where they paint a picture of the built environment and its relevance in the foreseeable future. The site features literature reflecting perspectives from all sides on the influence of technology, the natural environment, and the needs of the public. The Vision 2020 project serves as an open forum, and succeeds in bringing forth some compelling ideas. Feel like getting involved. You can submit a video to their YouTube page, or just post it here. But that’s not very forward-thinking of you.

PSFK Goes To Asia


Grab your passports, put your seats and tray tables in their upright and locked position, and get ready for PSFK’s Conference in Asia. Piers and crew are headed to tax-haven and very international city of Singapore to help spread the gospel of good design, marketing, advertising, communication and so forth.

The conference agenda “Creativity for Change, Ideas To Make Things Better” looks to be one of the tastiest I’ve seen yet, speakers include:

My pal Jeff Staple who will talk about how his great ‘accidental career path’ landed him at the help of an international company, Piers (the PF in PSFK) talks about “making things better” and a handful of others from places like W+K, NASA, Mindshare, Panasonic and MTV will be taking the stage (full list here). Also, Mark Dytha of Pecha Kucha fame will speak– that should be interesting. Tickets are on sale now, with the even happening on Friday, October 10 is the day. Say hi to everyone for me, I’m sorry I’ll miss it.

Flashbelt Conference 2008

Web Developers and designers unite! What’s that? You need a time and a place? Well how about June 8th — June 11th at the Holiday Inn Metrodome in Minneapolis? Apparently there’s a pretty awesome get together being held there called the Flashbelt Conference. For the fifth consecutive year the folks at pilotvibe — a local company specializing in music and sound design for interactive media — has put together this Adobe sponsored convention as a way for Web art wizards to network about their net works. This year’s meeting of the minds boasts an impressive panel of industry leaders and speakers, including Mate Steinforth of Psyop and Robert Hodgin of Flight404. Workshop sessions, recruitment events where designers and developers can shop their talents, and a forum for students to have their portfolios critiqued are among the array of activities. So whether you’re established or aspiring to become a part of the web community, Flashbelt is worth the trip.

Davos: The Future of Mobile Technology

One of the best panels at Davos was The Future of Mobile Technology, a casual discussion with a star studded lineup of panelists. SK Telecom CEO Kim Shin-Bae, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, Sony CEO (and funnest guy ever) Sir Howard Stringer, NBC’s Jeff Zucker, and China Mobile CEO Wang Jianzhou.
A couple of interesting (and some mind blowing) things:

  • China Mobile adds 6 million subscribers a month to its base of 317 Million. An audience member asked if they had plans to expand outside China, and Mr Wang essentially answered, why — there’s a long way to go in China. SMS is bread and butter to them, on New Years day users sent more than 5 billion text messages.
  • SK Telecom also owns a record label, advertising agency, and several other Korean assets. They’re incredibly integrated.
  • Google’s Eric Schmidt is always interesting to hear — he’s calm and calculated. He discussed Google’s Android a bit, and thinks advertising on mobile will reach a tipping point over the next few years.
  • Hilarious and fun-loving Sony CEO and Chairman Sir Howard Stringer (I had dinner with him the night before) joked when someone asked him about the new Sony OLED screens, that “making a profit on consumer electronics is one of our goals.” They’re suffering a tough time across many of their businesses.
  • It was very surprising to hear no discussion of health concerns around mobile devices, and when I asked FCC Chairman Kevin Martin about it — he misunderstood my question thinking I was asking about using mobile technology FOR health benefits. Funny.

Mike from TechCrunch plopped himself front and center and has an awesome roundup of the discussion I didn’t cover here.

Erik Natzke

You may or may not be familiar with Erik Natzke. I mentioned him the other day in a post about Shiftspace, but prior to visiting OFFF last weekend, I hadn’t heard of him. Once you see his work though, the only question that comes to mind is how the heck have I NOT heard of this guy before? My speculation on that point is that Erik is just a quiet guy.

His work, however, speaks volumes. Erik is pushing the limits of Flash beyond what even Adobe ever expected the program to be used for – Erik even mentioned that he’s driven the development team nuts by pushing them for further functionality. Lately he’s been working on a “paint by numbers” approach that combines his interests in photography with his expertise in flash to create amazing images like the one we’ve shown here.

Something else to note about Erik is his willingness to help others understands — or at least try — what he’s doing and to explain his process. At OFFF, Erik was passing out CD’s of his work so that people could deconstruct it and his Flickr feed contains lengthy discussions about his process with anyone willing to ask a few questions. So Flash gurus, go forth and ask. You couldn’t find a better teacher if you searched for a year.

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