• Home
  • Previous Speakers

Previous Speakers

Shaun Abrahamson

Founder, Mutopo

As founder and Social Production Engineer at Colaboratorie Mutopo, Shaun works with organizations to make much better products & servicesusing social technologies. He is also an early stage investor and advisor in companies like ZocDoc, Trialpay, Sense Networks, Jovoto and Daylife. He researched new product development at the MIT CADLAb and more recently Mass Collaboration at the Berlin School of Creative Leadership. He has written for the Economist Intelligence Unit and taught at NYU and Wharton. He was born in Cape Town, South Africa and although accused of living in the future, he lives in New York with his wife Andrea and sons Max and Oli.

Mike Arauz

Mike lives in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and is a Senior Strategist at Undercurrent, a New York-based digital think tank. He’s a voracious blog reader, Twitterer, and consumer of digital information and has enjoyed sharing his discoveries with audiences at conferences such as FutureTrends and SXSW Interactive. Mike’s curiosities and obsessions are guided by the overlap between how digital technology is changing how we live and solving problems. Prior to joining Undercurrent, Mike was a Digital Planner at Deep Focus, and a Brand Strategist at the design firm Pompei A.D., known for their work with retail brands Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie.

Scott Belsky
Founder and CEO, Behance

Scott Belsky believes that the greatest breakthroughs across all industries are a result of creative people and teams that are especially productive. As such, Scott has committed his professional life to help organize creative individuals, teams, and networks. Scott is the founder of Behance, a company that develops products and services for the creative industries.

Behance oversees the Behance Network (Behance.net), the world’s leading online platform for creative professionals; The 99% (The99percent.com), Behance’s think tank and annual conference devoted to execution in the creative world, and Action Method (ActionMethod.com), a popular online/mobile productivity application and line of organizational paper products. Scott is also the author of the national bestselling book Making Ideas Happen (Portfolio, Penguin Books).

Through his work at Behance, Scott has become an advocate for technology and community initiatives that empower the careers of creative professionals. He has consulted for leading media and Fortune 500 companies, including GE and Hewlett-Packard, and has traveled as far as the Kaospilots School in Aarhus, Denmark to talk about his findings. He has appeared in the Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek, and has shared Behance’s research in segments on ABC News, MSNBC, and with the United States State Department. Scott was also included in Fast Company Magazine’s list of “100 Most Creative People in Business.” Scott has guest lectured at Cornell University, Harvard University, VCU Brand Center, and UC Berkeley among other institutions, and serves as a small business expert on American Express’ Open Forum website.

Prior to founding Behance, Scott helped grow the Pine Street Leadership Development Initiative at Goldman, Sachs & Co. Scott was especially focused on organizational improvement and strengthening relationships with Goldman Sachs’ key clients. Scott chairs the Board of Reboot, serves on Advisory Board of Cornell University’s Entrepreneurship Program, is a board member for the Art Director’s Club, and is a member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. He attended Cornell University as an undergraduate and received his MBA from Harvard Business School.

Grant Blakeman
gb Studio / Backstage

Backed into a corner and forced to explain himself, Grant would say that heʼs primarily a designer and web applications developer, working under the moniker gb Studio. Heʼs also co-founder of Backstage, a company helping musicians and other artists market and sell their work in ways that put them in control. Heʼs happiest creating things, building tools to help others with their creative work, and scheming up ways to overturn established business models. He likes to say that his official job description is to, “make magical things on the internets,” but he spends most of his day telling stupid jokes on Twitter. A longtime resident of Boulder, Grant can be found running mountain trails, sipping Sencha green tea at his favorite cafe, or you can stalk him many places online, starting with: grantblakeman.com.

Edward Boches
Chief Creative Officer and Chief Social Media Officer, Mullen

Edward Boches is one of Mullen’s four original partners. Over the last 27 years he has helped define the agency’s creative standards, established its public relations group, integrated digital design and production into all of the agency’s operations, and most recently launched its growing social influence practice. The latter — comprised of strategy, PR, content and analytics — is both a department and a mindset helping clients market in the new consumer-driven world.

Edward blogs at Creativity Unbound; speaks regularly about consumer trends and changing media habits; guest lectures at Boston University and Emerson College, and serves on boards of directors at Boulder Digital Works and at Spring Partners, makers of Springpad. Despite spending a lot of time on line, he’s fearful that his brain might be re-wiring itself for the worse, having read Nicholas Carr’s The Shallow, so he still reads real books, most recently Tom Rachman’s The Imperfectionists and Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story, both of which he highly recommends.

Rachel Botsman
Author, What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption

Rachel Botsman is a social innovator who writes, consults, and speaks on the power of collaboration and sharing, and on how it can transform the way we live. She received her BFA (Honors) from the University of Oxford, and undertook her postgraduate studies at Harvard University. She has consulted to businesses around the world on brand and innovation strategy. As a former director at the William J. Clinton Foundation, she spearheaded major public-private partnerships with Nickelodeon, Rachael Ray, and the NBA. Please visit her site for full bio

Noah Brier

Head of Strategy, Barbarian Group

Noah likes the internet a lot. Which is a good thing, because so does The Barbarian Group, where he leads the strategic planning department working with clients such as Red Bull, GE and Kashi. He is also the founder of Brand Tags, a digital experiment in brand perception and Likemind, a global coffee morning meet-up with locations in 50+ cities around the world. Prior to joining The Barbarian Group, Noah was a strategist at Naked Communications. In 2009 he was named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business and one of four social media innovators by BusinessWeek. He blogs at NoahBrier.com

Ryan Chapman
Online Marketing Manager at Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Ryan Chapman is the Online Marketing Manager at Farrar, Straus and Giroux and Producer of their online magazine Work in Progress. He’s worked on campaigns with Thomas L. Friedman, Jonathan Franzen, and Alex Ross, and speaks often at conferences about publishing and technology. You can probably guess which New York borough he calls home.

Ed Cotton
Director of Strategy, BSSP

Ed joined BSSP in 1999. As director of strategy, he leads brand strategy development efforts for all BSSP’s clients, including consumer research and data analytics. Ed also started one of the earliest and most popular marketing blogs, www.influxinsights.com. Prior to coming to BSSP, Ed worked at McCann Erickson in Europe, then in Seattle. In his spare time Ed is an avid amateur photographer.

Mark Earls

Author and President of HERD Consulting

Mark Earls is a recovering planner who now writes, talks and works independently & collaboratively under the banner of HERD Consulting. As you might suspect from his HERDmeister handle, he spends most of his time helping organisations and their collaborators come to terms with our social (or HERD) nature and with the connected nature of world in which we now live.
His writing is widely read and discussed: his blog is on the Adage Power 150 and the global planning top 20 also. His latest book – “HERD” (Wiley 2007) has won much applause, being described as “like Malcolm Gladwell on Speed” (the Guardian), “an essential guide to the new media landscape” (The Spectator), “one the 5 sexiest ideas in politics today” (The Times).

Stuart Eccles
Managing partner/Lead Technologist, Made by Many

Stuart has a Masters Degree in Engineering and 10 years experience as a software engineer, technical architect and management consultant working on internal systems and large-scale websites and applications. In 2007 he founded Made by Many with Tim Malbon, William Owen and Isaac Pinnock to create a new type of agency – a social technology company that works more like a web start-up. At Made by Many Stuart acts as the managing partner and lead technologist. He is an advocate of and frequent speaker on Agile project methodologies and Lean Manufacturing philosophies applied to the strategy, design and development of digital services and products and he contributes to a number of open source projects.

Craig Elston

Head of Strategy, The Integer Group

Craig Elston heads up the Insight & Strategy Group in the Denver office of The Integer Group® and has spent the vast majority of his career in Integrated Strategy roles. Craig has particular expertise in strategic planning, new business development and the building of diverse strategic teams. His role at Integer is to spearhead the development of our integrated approaches through Disruption and Media Arts, thus pushing strategic thinking and execution in the Shopper Marketing space. Before entering the Integer fold in October 2006, he served for 5 years in our sister network at TEQUILA\London, heading a large team of communication planners as well as leading TEQUILA\Connect, a separate consulting group dedicated to the planning, management, and measurement of total brand experience. Craig has had a broad planning career that also includes creating Alphabet, a boutique integrated shop in London, a stint heading the planning department of Brann Worldwide as well as time in marketing research, both agency and client side. Integer is one of the leading retail and promotional marketing agencies in the U.S., currently growing internationally, and at the forefront of developments in Shopper Marketing. It has particular strength in beverage, packaged goods, telecommunications, fast food, home shelter and appliances, powersports and financial services.

Griffin Farley

Strategy Director, BBH/Zag

Griffin Farley is a strategy director at both Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Zag in New York City. Before moving to New York, Griffin worked as a strategist for a number of ad agencies and brand consulting firms including JWT, Hal Riney, Tattoo and 22squared. For the last few years he has dedicated his time to defining, developing and cultivating the art of Propagation Planning. Griffin tells account planners to, “plan not for the people you reach, but the people that they reach.” By developing campaigns with fixed word of mouth principles, creative assets can extend beyond their intended audience.

Kathleeen Hansen

University of Minnesota, School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Kathleen A. Hansen is a Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota.  She is co-author (with Nora Paul) of Information for Mass Communication (an online-only text updated continuously by Great River Technologies), Computer-Assisted Research: Information Strategies and Tools for Journalists (IRE Beat Book Series, No. 8, 2007), and Behind the Message: Information Strategies for Communicators (Allyn & Bacon, 2004) and of Newspapers of Record in a Digital Age with Shannon E. Martin (Praeger, 1998); dozens of scholarly articles and numerous pieces in journalism trade publications.  She and Paul are recipients of a 2007 Knight Challenge Grant of $250,000 to study the use of digital games to deliver news content.  They are also recipients of a 2009 state grant for training at the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Chris Heathcote

Chris Heathcote is a designer interested in how new technology changes peoples’ lives: mobiles, GPS, RFID, physical computing, and recently urban screens and interactive environments; and how this changes the way people interact with each other.

He has been designing for the Internet for 13 years, and for mobile phones for 8, and now runs a design consultancy in London – Metaloca . He specializes in interaction design, UI design, product creation, design management, and planning wider customer and brand experiences, working with companies such as Nokia, Orange, Unilever and Nike, as well as several startups, such as Dopplr. He writes at anti-mega .

Jeremy Heimans
CEO, Purpose

Jeremy Heimans is the co-founder and CEO of Purpose. Prior to Purpose,he co-founded Avaaz.org, the world’s largest online political community and GetUp.org, an Australian online political movement andinternationally recognized social movement phenomenon. Jeremy was named one of “The Top People Who is Changing the World of Internet andPolitics” by the World e-Government Forum. His work has been
recognized in publications like The Economist and the New York Times.

Jeff Hull
Creative Director, Nonchalance

Jeff Hull is Creative Director at Nonchalance, a hybrid arts consultancy in San Francisco with an expertise in Situational Design.  Their mission is to provoke discovery through visceral experience and pervasive play.  He is the writer and director of the Jejune Institute, an immersive narrative adventure combining elements of Street Art, Social Practice, and Situationism.  Utilizing automated environments, pirate radio broadcasts, guerilla masonry, and lock boxes within lock boxes, Hull’s work represents a warp zone that transports audiences between hyper realized fantasy worlds.

Previously, as a community events organizer, his ambition was “to infuse more variability and play into the civic realm” and to create opportunities for real cultural exchange in negative urban spaces.  The result was Oaklandish, a decade strong grassroots community arts organization with 20 consecutive “Best of the East Bay” Awards to it’s credit.  He is also the founder of inner city playground activities such as the Urban Capture the Flag League, the Lake Merritt Radio Regatta, and the Liberation Drive-In which spurred an international movement of similarly subversive parking lot movie screenings.

Tim Hwang

Strategist at The Barbarian group and Founder, Web Ecology project

Tim Hwang is the founder and managing director emeritus of the Web Ecology Project, a research community dedicated to building an applied science around measuring and influencing the systemwide flows of culture and patterns of community formation online. Formerly, he was a researcher with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, where he researched the relationship between the design of online social spaces and emergent collaborative behavior. He is currently working on Robot, Robot, and Hwang — a legal startup that seeks to bring quantitative analysis and geek methods to the practice of law.

On the side, he is also the creator of ROFLCon, a series of conferences celebrating and examining internet culture and celebrity. Currently, he is a micro-trustee and coordinator of the Awesome Foundation for the Arts and Sciences, a worldwide philanthropic organization founded to provide lightweight grants to projects that forward the interest of awesomeness in the universe. He Twitters @timhwang, and blogs regularly at BrosephStalin.com. He likes Choco Tacos.

Paul Isakson
Founding Partner, Thinkers & Makers

Paul describes himself as a former farm kid creating better ways forward through anthropology, design and technology. Prior to founding Thinkers & Makers, he was the head of strategy at space150, a digital agency in Minneapolis, Minnesota with offices in New York and Los Angeles. Paul’s interests lie in using human understanding, cultural insights, market research and raw creativity to make ideas that spread and do Good. Over the course of his career, he has had the privilege of working with great marketers and people at American Express, General Mills, Dairy Queen, Starz Entertainment, Molson Coors Brewing Company, General Electric and Sun Microsystems to name a few. If you’d like to know more about him, you can follow him on Twitter as @paulisakson or visit his blog at paulisakson.com .

Barak Kassar
Founder, Rassak Experience

Barak is principal and creative director at Rassak Experience, an award-winning digital branding building and communications firm with offices in Barcelona and San Francisco. Rassak’s clients include a range of successful startups (some of which have literally put the 2.0 in web 2.0) and multinational companies–including Slide, StumbleUpon, Bigfix, Nokia and Ricoh Innovations.

Prior to founding Rassak, Barak founded INBOXTV, a pioneering online video entertainment company, was VP Marketing and Business Development for CHOW (acquired by CNET/CBS); and Senior Marketing Manager at Wink Communications (acquired by Liberty Media) and Marketing Manager at Ferris Research, an email technology research firm. He’s quoted frequently on digital brand building and communications in trade and global business media — from the New York Times/International Herald Tribune to iMedia Connection — and has presented at industry forums including the US National Association of Broadcasters, Digital Hollywood and SDForum at TED Global. Here is a recent presentation he gave on creativity and business: http://bit.ly/7fxXMU

Barak has an MBA from the University of California, Davis where he was an IMSEC exchange student at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus Universiteit. He has a BA from the University of Californa at Berkeley. He serve on the advisory boards of TextMarks and Bixbe. He is also co-founder of Zibkids.com —- now in public beta.

Check his blog at www.everythingcommunicat.es, and join the Rassak online community at www.facebook.com/rassakexperience

Len Kendall

Len leads a life of micro-empires, throwing his weight into many projects at all times and optimizing the ones which bring the most fulfillment to others, and himself. During the day he spends his time as Digital Supervisor at GolinHarris in Chicago leading brands like McDonald’s, Unilever, and YMCA in the digital space. His agency background spans media-buying, digital, and public relations and all fuel his hybrid approach to digital marketing. Outside the walls of an office, Len spends time running “the3six5 project” along with CoFounder Daniel Honigman. the3six5 is a year-long experiment in which 365 different individuals each take turns documenting their day, dreams, and reactions to a specific 24 hour period in order to ultimately create a collective diary of the year 2010. In addition to crowd-curation, Len spends time as a writer at GOOD.is, a magazine which pushes for advancements in culture, sustainability, and technology. He enjoys revising his bio every few months as the lack of necessity to do so indicates a slow-down in his growth and experimentation.

Alnoor ladha
Director of Strategy, Purpose

Alnoor Ladha is the Director of Strategy at Purpose. His work focuses on the intersection of brand, political, and social strategy. Alnoor has worked as lead strategist on world-renowned projects such as the
global launch of Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, MTV’s Exit initiative against human trafficking and slavery, Amnesty International’s recent expansion of their mandate to include social,economic and cultural rights, and Greenpeace’s anti-aviation campaign.

Sonaar Luthra
CEO, Water Canary

Sonaar Luthra is the CEO of Water Canary, a recently launched
startup that seeks to bring to market a fast networked water testing
solution that will transform the fight against waterborne illness and
water-related emergencies in the developed and the developing
world. He is passionate about the ways inexpensive hardware
might provide new forms of leverage to promote social change in
systems – an approach he developed while at NYU’s Interactive
Telecommunications Program (ITP) that he calls “Tactical Metrics.”

Before ITP he received his MA in Media, Culture and Communication
in 2008 from NYU where his thesis, examined the intersection of global media, contemporary architecture, political theatre, human rights, and emerging forms of power at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. He has taught Physical Computing at the Greenfab Laboratory and writing at the Punahou School and University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. He has worked as a reporter for the India Today Group, and his writing and projects have been featured in SPIN Magazine, Planet Magazine, NPR and the Come Out and Play Festival.

Kate Lutz

Kate Lutz, MBA lives in the world of stories as a professional storyteller, workshop
presenter and story coach who performs at festivals, conferences, businesses, schools and
libraries. Her stories will make you laugh and cry, and wish you could spend your whole
day just listening and enjoying.

Kate hosts a monthly storytelling open mic on the 3rd Monday (6:30 pm) at Swallow Hill
Music School. She is on the board of the National Storytelling Network and the Rocky
Mountain Storytellers and teaches storytelling classes in both large and small settings.
She believes that everyone has a story to tell, they just need the skills to do it well.
Kate’s stories include global folktales, mountain lore, historical and personal stories that
celebrate wisdom, courage and a good dose of foolishness!

Tim Malbon
Made by Many

Tim joined The Internet in 1999, designed his first social sites in 2000, and has been making new digital stuff ever since. For most of his career he’s been fortunate enough to work with entrepreneurs, start-ups and media owners to invent and create whole services and businesses, and somehow he’s managed to avoid ever having to design a banner ad. Tim writes about the future of media for the Telegraph and was recently named as one of Revolution Magazine’s ‘Future 50’ – one of the the “marketers, authors, entrepreneurs, and thinkers who will shape the digital industry of tomorrow”. It also called him “disruptive and challenging”. Tim has a number of side projects and obsessions bubbling away, including his ‘brand-stalking’ experiments and an interest in hyper-localism. You can find him on Twitter at @malbonster – come and say hello.

Karen McGrane

Managing Partner, Bond Art and Science

If the internet is more awesome than it was in 1995, Karen would like to claim a very tiny piece of the credit. For more than 15 years Karen has helped create more usable digital products through the power of user experience design and content strategy. Today, as Managing Partner at Bond Art + Science, she develops web strategies and interaction designs for publishers, financial services firms, and healthcare companies.

Prior to starting Bond, Karen helped build the User Experience practice at Razorfish, hired as the very first
Information Architect and leaving as the VP and National Lead for UX. Over the decade she spent there, she led projects for dozens of clients, overseeing major redesign initiatives for The New York Times, Condé Nast, Disney, and Citibank.

Karen is also on the faculty of the new MFA in Interaction Design program at SVA in New York, where she teaches Interaction Design History, focusing on the key movements and trends that have shaped the field, and Design Management, which aims to give students the skills they need to run successful projects, teams, and businesses.

Michal Migurski
Director of Technology, Stamen Design

Stamen partner Michal Migurski has overseen the research and development of Stamen’s technology work since 2003, from running delivered code to prototypes and experiments to far-left-field disruption. He maintains an active weblog at mike.teczno.com, and likes to talk in front of groups.

Ari Popper

President, Brainjuicer North America

Ari is a highly experienced and respected marketing consultant who has worked closely with some of the world’s greatest brands. Ari has been a trusted advisor for CEOs and CMOs world-wide including Robert Redford and his Sundance brand. Armed with a graduate degree in Psychology, Ari began his career as a Marketing Analyst at The Limited Inc and then moved to the agency side in 1999 to join Millward Brown.

An expert on branding, marketing communications and new product innovation, Ari has been leading BrainJuicer North America since 2006 where he has helped to reinvent the market research industry by successfully bringing to the US market some of the most innovative and game changing research solutions available.

Richard Rinehart

Digital Media Director & Adjunct Curator
Berkeley Art Museum

Richard Rinehart is Digital Media Director & Adjunct Curator at the University of California Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive. He is Associate Director for Public Programs of the Berkeley Center for New Media and is a new media artist. Richard has exhibited his art at Exit Art in New York and elsewhere; curated digital art exhibitions
for New Langton Arts in San Francisco and others; and he has taught digital art courses at UC Berkeley and beyond. Richard curates the Berkeley Art Museum NetArt Portal , and he is currently working on a book from MIT Press in his area of research interest, the long-term preservation of digital culture. Rinehart’s papers, projects, and more can be found at http://www.coyoteyip.com

Saneel Radia

Director of Media Innovation, BBH

An atypical hybrid talent, Saneel has been both a Creative Director (Leo Burnett) and a Media Director (Starcom MediaVest Group). He’s serviced clients such as Google, Kellogg, Hewlett-Packard, Procter & Gamble, Nintendo and Miller, helping them uncover actionable consumer insights and craft dynamic communication ideas, both born from a deep understanding of digital media and culture. He currently brings this varied background to his role as Director of Media Innovation at BBH New York.

Prior to his current role, Saneel founded the Alchemy practice at Denuo, an industry-first reinterpretation of a creative department built on a foundation of media sensibility and insights. Prior to that, hewas the driving force behind Play, a division of Denuo that broke ground as the largest and most awarded consumer marketing services company focused on the videogame industry. He’s been recognized as an Internationalist “Agency Innovator” (2009), an Advertising Age “Twentysomething” (2005) and as MediaWeek’s “Media All-Star” in the Non-Traditional category (2006). He still awaits an award for his superlative Twitter wit as @saneel. Or at least formal recognition of his self-proclaimed title as Mayor of the Interwebs. Saneel currently blogs at bbh-labs.com.

Kean Soo

Graphic novelist, cartoonist and illustrator

Kean Soo is the author of the JELLABY series of graphic novels, and is a regular contributor and assistant editor for the FLIGHT anthology, now in its seventh year. A former electrical engineer, Kean was born in England, raised in Hong Kong, and currently works as a cartoonist and illustrator in Toronto, Canada.

Aki Spicer
Director of Digital Development, Fallon

Aki wants to bring advertising into the age of participation. Clients such as Cadillac, H&R Block, Nestlé Purina Pet Care, Citi, TheLadders.com, NBC-Universal, Totino’s Pizza Rolls, and Minnesota Planetarium have come to respect and rely on Aki Spicer’s guidance and strategic insights about social computing and digital innovation.

At Fallon, Aki leads digital strategy on all accounts and new business. He is pioneering Overheard™ – the agency’s social media analytics dashboard. He is a constant public speaker, co-author of the recent book The Age of Conversation,and he curates the Fallon Brainfoodpresentation series.

Sarah Szalavitz
Founder, 7Robot and External Fellow at the Center for Future Storytelling

Sarah Szalavitz is the founder and CEO of 7Robot, a social design agency. 7Robot builds cross platform communities and systems that encourage and incentivize participation, using tools and technology to transition from publishing to participation and transform storytelling into storysharing.

Prior to founding 7Robot, Sarah acquired content for Veoh Networks, putting together over 1000 deals with content creators and owners, ranging from Facebook to MTV to Ask a Ninja. She has consulted for a variety of old and new media companies, serves as an advisor to several start-ups, and has produced www.aliveinbaghdad.org, www.awkwardsexstories.com and the Webby nominated www.zaproot.com. Sarah also once toiled away as a development executive at Brooklyn Films and briefly practiced law.

Sarah is an External Fellow at the Center for Future Storytelling at the MIT MediaLab and a member of the the Television Academy’s Interactive Media Peer Group.

Sara Thacher
Lead producer and Culture Engineer, Nonchalance

Sara Thacher is the lead producer and culture engineer for Nonchalance, a hybrid arts consultancy in San Francisco with an expertise in Situational Design. She revels in her work there, because she gets to produce experiences that challenge their audiences to become participants and engage with their environment in new ways. She co-ordinates work across every medium, from audio environments and sensor activated installations to faux BBS websites and augmented reality video, to create immersive experiences that interact and merge with their surroundings.

Before arriving on the Nonchalance team, Sara literally walked a mile in the shoes of sixteen different strangers (she gave them back afterwards) and took surrogate vacations for other people who wanted to travel, but were not able to do so. Along the way, she became a proficient glassblower and earned an MFA in Social Practice (although not at the same place). In the course of the last decade she has created and managed numerous socially engaged projects in the public sphere throughout the United States and Canada.

Marc Weidenbaum

Comics editor, Music Critic, Creative-Management Specialist

Marc Weidenbaum is former Editor-in-Chief of the manga magazines Shonen Jump (the U.S. edition of the Japanese phenomenon) and Shojo Beat (aimed at female readers), published by Viz Media, where he was Vice President of Original Publishing. He spent a decade editing comics for Tower Records’ magazines (Pulse!, Classical Pulse!), where artists he commissioned include Jorge Colombo, Megan Kelso, Dean Haspiel, Sam Henderson, Michael Kupperman, Tony Millionaire, Gary Panter, Carol Tyler, and Chris Ware, to name a few. Comics he’s edited appear in books  by Jessica Abel, Justin Green, Carol Swain, and Adrian Tomine, among others. He has curated at the San Francisco Cartoon Art Museum and spoken at Comic-Con (San Diego and Manhattan), Alternative Press Expo (San Francisco), Jump Festa (Tokyo), and the Academy of Art (San Francisco). He is the former President of the brand-strategy firm Dial House. He’s also a longtime music critic (Nature, Down Beat, NewMusicBox.org, Stereophile), and since 1996 has published Disquiet.com, which focuses on the intersection of ambient music, sound art, and emerging technology. He lives in San Francisco.

Matthew Willcox
Executive Director, Draftfcb Institute of Decision Making

As Director of Strategic Planning at Draftfcb San Francisco and as the Executive Director of Draftfcb’s Institute of Decision Making, Matthew’s charge is to help the network deepen its understanding of human decision making.

The Institute works with behavioural economists and neuroscientists and is unique among agency offerings as it seeks to throw light on the role of instinctual or automatic responses, and how these can be addressed through brand messages and experiences.  In addition to the Institute of Decision Making, Matthew heads up the planning team on the West Coast, and has helped companies such as Electronic Arts, Levi Strauss & Co, Del Monte, Hilton Hotels Corporation, AT&T and MTV make more interesting and effective connections with their audiences.

Prior to Draftfcb, Matthew spent 12 years at Ogilvy & Mather, first in London and then in Bangkok.

Sam McClure
Professor, Neuroeconomics and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University

Samuel McClure received his Ph.D. in neuroscience from Baylor College of Medicine in 2003. From there he completed postdoctoral training at Princeton University before moving to Stanford University as an Assistant Professor in 2007. McClure’s work has combined behavioral, computation, and neuroimaging methods to investigate the neural basis of reward processing and decision making. More recently, he has focused on the neural mechanisms of delay discounting, describing the processes by which we evaluate goods that are available in the future.

McClure is a key member of Draftfcb’s Institute of Decision Making, demonstrating practical application of the learnings from behavioral science and neuroscience, and advising on the design of experiments in these fields.

John Winsor
CEO, Victors & Spoils

John Winsor is a leading strategic marketing and product innovation thinker especially known for his work in collaboration, co-creation and crowdsourcing. He is also a respected author of books such as Baked In: The Power of Aligning Marketing and Product Innovation, which was named as an award winner in the Marketing category for the 800-CEO-Read 2009 Business Book Awards.

Currently, he is the CEO of Victors & Spoils, the world’s first creative (ad) agency built on crowdsourcing principles and one of the most talked about agency launches of the last decade.. V&S provides businesses with a better way to solve their marketing, advertising and product-design problems by engaging the world’s most talented creatives. Victors & Spoils launched two months ago,

Before V&S, Winsor was the VP/Executive Director of Strategy and Innovation at Crispin, Porter + Bogusky helping the company become the most awarded advertising agency in the world for the last two years. In 2007, Winsor sold his company, Radar Communications, to CP+B. Prior to founding Radarin 1998, Winsor built a magazine publishing company devoted to sports such as mountain biking, in-line skating, and extreme skiing. In 1990, he acquired the rights to publish a then-struggling magazine, Women’s Sports & Fitness. Within three years he turned the magazine around and launched several other highly profitable titles and events including The Gravity Games, selling the business to Conde Nast in 1998.

He also writes a well-known blog, John Winsor, www.johnwinsor.com, and is a regular speaker at marketing and business conferences. His next book, Flipped: How Bottom-Up Co-creation is Replacing Top-Down Innovation, will be released in April 2010.

Blair Dore
Agency Relationship Manager, Google

At Google, Blair is responsible for developing digital strategy, leveraging tools and technology for agencies, and enhancing search in the media mix. Blair is currently working to develop agency mobile campaign best practices and implementation. Prior to joining Google, Blair worked at magazine publisher Time Inc.

A graduate of Columbia Business School, Blair is an avid reader, dog-lover, and runner. Blair lives in Manhattan with his wife. If forced to choose, Blair thinks the Rolling Stones are a superior band to the Beatles, but always enjoys hearing arguments to the contrary.

Janine Gianfredi
Marketing Manager, Google

At Google, Janine is responsible for the development of key strategic, marketing and public relations initiatives designed to engage the media and creative advertising agency community. She creates and continuously improves all aspects of programs such as Google Campus@ and Creative Sandbox, designed to transform the energy and innovation of Google into tangible experiences for advertising agencies. Additionally, Janine is responsible for maintaining and growing Google’s relationships with key industry associations, such as the Ad Council and the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

Janine graduated magna cum laude from Douglass College at Rutgers University, with a B.A. in English & Political Science, and certificates from the Institute for Women’s Leadership and the Eagleton Institute of Politics. She lives in Manhattan with her husband George, dogs Duncan & Donut, and well-behaved betta fish. She practices yoga, reads, writes, travels, and performs kitchen experiments in her free time.

Avin Narasimhan
Senior Planning Supervisor, Arnold Worldwide

Avin is currently helping to build Arnold’s digital strategy capabilities, and inspire digital thinking and ideas across departments. He leads digital strategy on Truth, Ocean Spray, and New Business, while also working across other client accounts on a project basis. Prior to Arnold, Avin spent time at Modernista! and Fallon, leading strategy on brands such as (RED), TIAA-CREF, The National Park Foundation, and Travelers Insurance. You can follow his ramblings on Posterous (http://avin.posterous.com) and Twitter (@avin_narasimhan). Outside of the office, Avin is a wannabe foodie (among other things), and you can find him touring many of Boston’s excellent culinary options.

SmartDesign_StaffPhoto_NASAHN Nasahn Sheppard is Director of Industrial Design at Smart Design, where he heads the Industrial Design practice for the San Francisco studio. He serves as creative director for a wide range of projects that often require an integrated design solution, including product, interactive, brand communication, and strategic research. With expertise in the technology, consumer electronics, and consumer packaged goods sectors, Nasahn has led successful programs for such clients as Cisco Flip, HP, Clorox, P&G, Toshiba, Amana, Microsoft, Bell Canada, Intel, GM, and OXO. He holds multiple design and mechanical patents, has won several design awards, and received a BS in Product Design (with honors) from Art Center College of Design.

Nellie Ling PhotoNellie Hsu Ling, as a Senior Design Strategist at Smart Design, uncovered and applied relevant user insights to design successful strategies, products and experiences for clients such as Hewlett Packard, Panasonic, Clorox, Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson. Nellie developed her brand planning career at Arnold Worldwide in Boston creating campaigns and communications for clients such as Gillette, Procter & Gamble, Ocean Spray and American Legacy Foundation for “truth” (anti-teen smoking). After receiving her MBA from Harvard Business School, Nellie worked in brand management and built businesses for Clorox with a focus on strategy, communications, retail marketing, packaging and product development.

maryjanefinalMary Jane Stevenson is California Director for Organizing for America. Previously she was the California Field Director for Obama for America in the 2008 general election. Using California’s exceptionally strong volunteer base, Mary Jane fostered an organization that made over 10 million calls into ten battleground states across the country, freeing up resources that helped President Obama achieve a decisive victory in 2008. During the California primary, Mary Jane helped run the precinctcaptain program, managing 9 congressional districts from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles. Mary Jane has also been a correspondent for Courtroom Television Network and a reporter for the Los Angeles Daily Journal, covering events such as the Clinton Impeachment and the King riots.

evaEva Hasson is Trendspotting Director at Shalmor Avnon Amichay / Y&R Interactive Tel Aviv, where she heads the agency’s think tank. Born in Holland and raised in Belgium, Eva speaks four languages and although she is not a native Israeli, she made Israel her home after completing her studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Passionate about advertising, Eva has worked on a wide range of international clients such as Colgate Palmolive, Danone, American Express, Heinz and the Yellow Pages. A regular contributor to the agency’s blog, Eva also publishes a monthly newsletter about breaking trends and emerging consumer patterns.


Larissa Acosta has worked at leading US Hispanic agencies spearheading business and consumer strategy for Fortune 500 companies targeting the US Hispanic consumer. As such, she has been an active witness to the changing US demographic landscape and the evolution of Hispanic marketing to accommodate to that change. She is a frequent lecturer at universities and industry conferences and was co-chair of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies Spring 07 Conference. Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, she lives in San Francisco, California where she manages Alma DDB’s West coast operations.


Emily Dulcan is California Communications Director for Organizing for America. Emily earned a master’s degree in cross-cultural journalism from the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri, Columbia, and parlayed her love of writing and editing into a career in communications and public relations. After two years at Fenton Communications,the nation’s largest public-interest communications firm, Emily began freelancing as a communications consultant and worked on strategy, branding, and messaging for corporate clients and served as the communications director for a Congressional campaign in Los Angeles. When she’s not living to work, Emily enjoys travel, photography, and eating and drinking well.

garyfinal Garry Tan is a cofounder at Posterous, a Y Combinator-funded company that was launched in June of 2008. Posterous.com is the easiest way to publish anything (text, photos, music, video, and documents of all kinds) to the web using email. Since launch, Posterous has raised an angel round and has grown over 1,000%. Garry loves building online communities, hacking Rails, and all things design / user experience. Garry was previously a founding team engineer for the hedge fund analytics platform at Palantir Technologies, a program manager for Windows Mobile, and built ecommerce sites during Web 1.0 as a software engineer for Sapient and Adjacency New Media. He met his cofounder Sachin Agarwal while studying Computer Systems Engineering at Stanford, where he graduated in 2003.


David L. Brown is an Emmy Award-winning San Francisco documentary filmmaker who has produced, written and directed over 80 productions and 11 broadcast documentaries on social, nuclear, environmental, health, engineering, technology, peace and justice issues. His documentaries have received over 80 international awards, include three Emmy Awards, and have been broadcast on PBS and in sixteen countries. Recent work includes The Bridge So Far: A Suspense Story, a comedic 56-minute documentary on the troubled 16-year history of the new east span of the S.F.-Oakland Bay Bridge that received two Emmy Awards (Best Documentary and Best Graphics and Animation in a Program).


Ken Eklund is a leader in the emerging genre of alternate realitygames, especially those that create playful “what if?” collaborative experiences that invite massive public participation. His games surf the confluence as alternate realities, game-like social media, user-created chronicles, crowdsourced movements and digital futurism all surge and crash together. Ken is best known for creating WORLD WITHOUT OIL , a groundbreaking alternate reality game for ITVS, a public media nonprofit. A game for the public good, WORLD WITHOUT OIL used innovative grassroots journalism to grow a massively multi-authored account of our next oil crisis. The game won worldwide acclaim and was honored as digital storytelling art, as innovative green technology, and won an award for activism and was a finalist for Best Game at the 2008 Webby Awards.


Joe Lambert founded the Center for Digital Storytelling (formerly the San Francisco Digital Media Center) in 1994, with wife Nina Mullen and colleague Dana Atchley. Together they developed a unique computer training and arts program that today is known as the Standard Digital Storytelling Workshop. This process grew out of Joe’s long running collaboration with Dana on the solo theatrical multimedia work, Next Exit. Since then, Joe has traveled the world to spread the practice of digital storytelling and has authored and produced curricula in many contexts, including the Digital Storytelling Cookbook, the principle manual for the workshop process, and Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Community.


Grant McCracken holds a PhD from the University of Chicago in cultural anthropology. He is the author of Culture and Consumption, Culture and Consumption II, Plenitude, The Long Interview, Flock and Flow, and Transformations. He has been the director of the Institute of Contemporary Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum, a senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School, a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge and he is now a research affiliate at C3 at MIT. He has consulted widely in the corporate world, including the Coca-Cola Company, Diageo, IBM, IKEA, Chrysler, Kraft, and Kimberly Clark. He has served on marketing advisory boards for IBM and the Boston Beer Company. This fall Basic Books will publish his latest book: Chief Culture Officer.

nickbaum Nick Baum likes to make awesome products, which he gets to do every day as a Product Manager on Google Chrome. Prior to that, he worked on Android and Google Reader. He started at Google in 2005 as a software engineer, after graduating from Dartmouth College. He posts about good design and photography at http://nickbaum.com.


Frank Striefler Frank began his career on the agency side, managing global brands such as adidas and Puma. On the client side, he first joined Wranger Jeans as the European Marketing Manager prior to taking on the role of Advertising Director at Nike Germany. He extended his youth-and-sports-marketing experience into video gaming at Electronic Arts, London, as EA Sport’s European Marketing Director before coming to the States. Choosing San Francisco as his first U.S. home base, Frank successfully built his own brand consultancy: TheBUZZlab, specializing in cultural branding and communications planning. Frank moved to NYC to introduce Connections Planning to Berlin Cameron and lead Nextel’s youth brand Boost Mobile before returning to the West Coast to join Media Arts Lab, as Head of Connections for Apple in 2005. He expanded his role to bring the art to the science of Connections Planning at TBWA\Chiat\Day a year later. With the introduction of Media Arts, Frank was appointed to be one of the key team members in defining, galvanizing and exporting Media Arts as the network’s new and complimentary philosophy to disruption. He played a crucial role in determining how the network practices Media Arts Planning, evolving the role of Account Planning and orchestrating total brand behavior for LA based clients like Method, WaMu, , Infiniti and Pepsi.


Clay Parker Jones is a strategist at Undercurrent, builder of ping-pong paddles, drawer of diagrams and spotter of planes. He runs a small freelance creative group called Hustlewood with his two best friends, and runs rather less frequently than he did in college. Though he was featured in an episode of MTV’s Taildaters (link available on request), he’s led a life of considerably less fame than his father, a regional TV news-man. Clay is a graduate of the Diplomacy and World Affairs program of Occidental College in Los Angeles, and is an only child.

emilyfinalEmily Reed of Open Intelligence Agency has been a strategist for 18 years and has worked on over 100 brands including Nike, Coke, Microsoft, Target and Jubitz Truck Stop. She also spent a year doing stand up comedy in Sydney where she learned the meaning of the Australian term, “get the hell off my stage.”

jason final

Jason Oke has been a planner and planning director for 12 years and has been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s best companies from Coke to Pepsi, Kellogg’s to Frito-Lay, P&G to Unilever, and Nintendo to Starbucks. He has worked at big global agencies and small startup boutiques, and has been vaguely associated with some great work that has solved tough business problems for clients and won shiny things like Effies. His real passion is the planning community, and seeing the discipline of marketing strategy move forward, which means he spends more time speaking at industry events, writing for marketing publications, and reading blogs than he admits on his timesheets. He can be found online at jasonoke.com


Like the other Zeus Jones founders, Adrian Ho came from Fallon where he was director of strategic planning, leading a department widely recognized as one of the best in the country. In his six years at Fallon, Adrian helped to redefine the nature of creative communications through constantly evolving the planning discipline and practice at the agency. While at Fallon, Adrian left his mark on campaigns for United, Ted, BMW, Citi and Sony. Prior to that, Adrian worked at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners as the lead planner on HP, and at Anderson & Lembke as the lead planner on Microsoft. Adrian’s thinking has been recognized by the international industry groups which focus on marketplace effectiveness (IPA and EFFIEs). He is a regular speaker at industry events and participates in training for MCAD, MIMA and the Miami Ad School. And he has become a prolific and respected blogger on marketing philosophy, modern branding and on the rangy topic of how technology is changing culture and business.


Ramona Lyons is currently a Senior Research Executive of Flamingo San Francisco, where she has collaborated with semiotic proj.ects for Dockers, McDonalds, and 7Up. Ramona has a Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on cultural studies and visual communication. In a prior lives, she taught film and cultural studies, and worked for almost ten years as an advertising and brand strategist for a global healthcare and financial services firm. She likes to consider herself a both a cultural savant and polytextual junkie, specializing in evolving unique and compelling consumer insights via a blend of semiotic analysis, in-depth interviewing, focus group moderation, and creative ideation.


Amanda Miller is Project Director of Flamingo San Francisco. who specializes in conducting ethnographic research. Amanda received her training in Applied Cultural Anthropology at the University of Michigan and the University College London, where she studied Semiotics and Material Culture Studies. Over the years has carried out a wide spread of strategic and immersive ethnographic research deconstructing the codes and language of the material world, including work for such varied clients such as Dove, Unilever, Starbucks, Clorox, EA, Tabasco, and Cadbury.


John Wise is a Project Director of Flamingo San Francisco, where he has co-written Semiotics pieces ranging in scope from the mythical deconstruction of the 7-Up can, to the usage of ‘codes of masculinity’ in light beer advertising, to the meaning of ‘change’ in Russia, Asia, and the Middle East. John graduated with a BA in American Studies from Cornell (with concentrations in English and Anthropology), where he was a member of the Sphinx Head Honor Society. Prior to joining Flamingo in 2005 he gained considerable hands-on experience in the usage of signs and symbols as the proprietor of a small graphic / web design studio in San Francisco.


Adam McClaughlin uses witty social satire and captivating characters to create hilariously theatrical performances that leave audiences cheering for more. He performs stand up comedy regularly at many Bay Area clubs, including the SFCC Clubhouse, where he often hosts shows on Friday and Saturday nights at 9pm.


Stephanie Redlener is a born connecter. She’s currently the head of strategic talent for the Talent Business, an exclusive global talent management company for the creative industry. Throughout her 10+ years, she has worked in the creative, entertainment and non-profit industries, in some of the most creatively fuelled cities in the world, including NY, LA, San Fran, Las Vegas and London. She’s always believed that a career is a constantly evolving work of art that takes a lifetime to develop. A trained strategist, Stephanie came to TTB by way of StrawberryFrog, and now uses her strategic prowess helping people and companies align with their goals and pushing a new generation (old and young) of creative talent forward. Stephanie’s also a part of the social entrepreneur scene in NY and actively advises companies such as AllDayBuffett and Purpose Campaigns on their talent strategy. Her mission in life is helping people figure out what they want to do and giving them the tools and connections they need to get there. From CEO’s to interns to entrepreneurs, people turn to Stephanie to help them create and build the career they want.

gareth_kay_poza2 Gareth Kay is Director of Digital Strategy at Goodby Silverstein and Partners, where he is charged with thinking about what digital means for brands and communication, and fostering digital knowledge, education and innovation.

Prior to joining GSP, Gareth was the Head of Planning at Modernista! where he introduced and built the planning discipline, and oversaw the strategic direction of all accounts. He built a department that has gained recognition for its business effectiveness at both the EFFIE and AMA award shows, and for its creative inspiration at the AAAA Account Planning Awards. In 2009 he was recognized by his peers as the most respected planning director in the US.

Gareth began his career in the UK and worked at TBWA, dfgw and Lowe where he was lucky enough to help develop award winning communications for a diverse bunch of clients including Waterstone’s, fcuk, the BBC, Reebok and Unilever. He graduated from Oxford University with an MA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

Gareth serves on the board of the VCU Brandcenter, and is a co-founder of the non-profit ‘Planning For Good’, a virtual entity that harnesses the collective intelligence and amazing minds of planners around the world to help address the business and communication challenges of non-profits. He writes the blog on brands and communication, ‘Brand New’ (http://www.garethkay.com), and passionately believes that there has never been a more exciting time to work in advertising.

© 2016 Planning-ness
Powered By DynamiX