Yves Béhar is a designer and entrepreneur who believes that integrated product, digital, and brand design are the cornerstones of any business. He is founder and chief designer of the industrial design and branding firm fuseproject, founded in 1999; he is also chief creative officer of Jawbone and co-founder of August, the next-generation home entry system.
Over the past 20 years, Béhar has also pioneered design as force for positive social and environmental change. His humanitarian work includes One Laptop Per Child, which has given 2.5 million laptops to children in developing countries, and See Better to Learn Better, which distributes 500,000 corrective eyeglasses to schoolchildren in Mexico and California every year. For each of these he was honored with the INDEX Award, making him the only designer to receive it twice. He also spearheads SPRING, an accelerator supporting African entrepreneurs focused on social and economic change in East Africa.
His collaborations with partners such as Herman Miller, Movado, Puma, Prada, SodaStream, Samsung, Swarovski, Canal+, and many others have received international acclaim. He is widely recognized for products that establish new categories, such as the JAMBOX wireless speaker, Jawbone UP sleep and fitness tracker, Herman Miller Sayl task chair, and SodaStream Source.
Béhar's works are included in the permanent collections of museums worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Centre Pompidou, and Art Institute of Chicago. He is a frequent speaker on design, sustainability, technology, and entrepreneurship; he has given talks at TED, the World Economic Forum in Davos, and the Clinton Global Initiative.
Béhar was selected as the artist trustee of the board of directors of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He has garnered more than 300 awards, including the Design Miami/ 2015 Design Visionary Award, the London Design Museum’s Design of the Year, Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Award, IDSA Design of the Decade Award, IDA Product Design of the Year, and Condé Nast Traveller Designer of the Year. Behar was named a Top 25 Visionary by Time and was recently deemed “Most Influential Industrial Designer in the World” by Forbes.
Ida C. Benedetto is a Brooklyn-based experience designer and media strategist. Her creative roots lie in documentary photography, and her current work involves games and interactive experiences. Ida is often at the helm of a fair bit of creative chaos, be it with a film collective of AIDS orphans in Ethiopia or a punk rock DIY video game arcade gallery in New York City. She brings on order for the sake of greater impact and stability.
Ida is the co-founder of Sextantworks, where she practices experiential gift design and transgressive placemaking through generosity, location, and intimacy. Sextantworks has been profiled in The New York Times, Fast Company, NPR, and The Daily Beast. For two years, Ida ran the design consultancy Antidote Games, creating playful experiences for understanding complex realities. Her clients included the International Federation of the Red Cross, Columbia Teachers College, the African Climate Change Resilience Network, and the Innocence Project.
Ida has worked in Guatemala, India, and Brazil, on documentary projects and collaborative media production, including a Fulbright-funded project in Ethiopia. Through her graduate work at the School of Visual Arts’ Design Research program, she is creating a lexicon for crafting transformative social experiences.
A Bay Area native, Neal Benezra became the Helen and Charles Schwab director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2002. Under his leadership, SFMOMA has enjoyed a period of unprecedented growth, including a physical expansion of the museum—designed by Snøhetta—and an extensive enhancement of its programs, collections, and education services. Benezra is also overseeing an ambitious collections campaign—the Campaign for Art—which has garnered nearly 3,000 works by artists such as Francis Bacon, Jackson Pollock, and many others.
Over the past three decades, Benezra has directed and curated at institutions including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden of the Smithsonian in Washington, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Des Moines Art Center, and was one of the first coordinators of the Anderson Collection in the Bay Area.
He currently serves on various boards and committees at numerous museums, such as the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Istanbul Modern, and the New Art Trust. Benezra holds both an M.A. and a Ph.D. in art history from Stanford, an M.A. in art history from the University of California at Davis, and a B.A. with honors in art history and political science from UC Berkeley.
Janine Benyus is a biologist, innovation consultant, and author of six books, including Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. Since the book’s 1997 release, she has evolved the practice of biomimicry, consulting with businesses and conducting seminars about what can be learned from the genius of nature.
Benyus has personally introduced millions to the meme of biomimicry through two TED talks, hundreds of conference keynote presentations, and a dozen documentaries, such as Biomimicry, produced by Leonardo DiCaprio’s Tree Media, 11th Hour, Harmony, and The Nature of Things with David Suzuki, which aired in 71 countries. Most recently, she has been a featured speaker at SXSW Eco 2015 and the Dubai Sustainable Cities Summit. However, her favorite role is biologist at the design table, where she introduces innovators to 3.8 billion years’ worth of brilliant, time-tested solutions through her work at Biomimicry 3.8.
In 1998, Benyus co-founded the Biomimicry Guild with Dr. Dayna Baumeister. That morphed into Biomimicry 3.8, providing biomimicry consulting services to clients such as Boeing, Colgate-Palmolive, Nike, General Electric, Herman Miller, HOK architects, IDEO, Natura, Procter & Gamble, Levi’s, Kohler, and General Mills. In 2006, Benyus co-founded the Biomimicry Institute, a nonprofit designed to embed biomimicry in formal education and informal spaces such as museums and nature centers.
Benyus has received numerous awards, including the Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Award in 2015, the Gothenburg Award for Sustainable Development 2013, the Heinz Award 2011, Time magazine’s Hero for the Planet Award 2008, the United Nations Environment Programme’s Champion of the Earth for Science and Technology 2009, the Rachel Carson Environmental Ethics Award, the Lud Browman Award for Science Writing in Society, and the Barrows and Heinz Distinguished Lectureships. In 2010, Bloomberg Businessweek named her one of the world’s most influential designers. In 2012, she received the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Mind Award.
An educator at heart, Benyus believes that the more people learn from nature’s mentors, the more they’ll want to protect them. This is why she writes, speaks, and revels in describing the wild teachers in our midst.
Stewart Butterfield is the co-founder and CEO of Slack, a platform for team communication, used by customers ranging from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to Deloitte, from Samsung to BuzzFeed.
Butterfield has built a distinguished career as a designer, an entrepreneur, and a technologist. He co-founded Flickr in the early 2000s and was named the Wall Street Journal’s 2015 Technology Innovator of the Year.
Jane Marie Chen is co-founder and CEO of Embrace, a social enterprise startup that aims to help the 20 million premature and low birth-weight babies born every year through a low-cost infant warmer. The Embrace warmer costs about 1% what a traditional incubator costs and is being distributed across clinics in India, with pilot programs being conducted in 10 countries. The warmer is estimated to have helped more than 150,000 babies to date.
Before Embrace, Chen worked with nonprofit organizations on health-care issues in developing countries. She spent several years as program director of Chi Heng Foundation, a startup HIV/AIDS nonprofit in China, and worked for the Clinton Foundation’s HIV/AIDS Initiative in Tanzania. She also worked at Monitor Group as a management consultant, advising Fortune 500 companies. Chen has been a TED speaker and was selected as one of Forbes’s Impact 30 in 2011.
In 2011, Chen was also recognized as the Inspirational Young Alumni of the Year by Pomona College and was keynote speaker at Stanford’s Women in Management event. She also speaks at various international conferences, including the Skoll World Forum. In 2012 she was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and was featured in Dove’s “Real Role Models” campaign for women and girls. In 2013, Chen and the other founders of Embrace were awarded the prestigious Economist Innovation Award, under the category of Social and Economic Innovation.
James Corner is a leading-edge landscape architect and urban designer, and founding partner of James Corner Field Operations, based in New York City. Important public-realm design projects include New York’s much acclaimed High Line; Santa Monica’s Tongva Park; Philadelphia’s Race Street Pier; London’s South Park at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; and Hong Kong’s Salisbury Gardens and Waterfront. He is currently leading the design for San Francisco’s New Presidio Parklands, a 14-acre park connecting the Main Post of the Presidio to Crissy Field and the Bay.
Corner is also a professor of landscape architecture and urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. His work has been recognized with the National Design Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Architecture, and the AA&D Black Pencil Award. Corner’s work has been published broadly and exhibited at the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, the Royal Academy of Arts, and the Venice Biennale. Books include The High Line (Phaidon, 2015); The Landscape Imagination (Princeton, 2014); and Taking Measures Across the American Landscape (Yale, 1996).
Dominique Crenn, co-owner and chef at Atelier Crenn in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow district, focuses on cuisine as a craft and the community as an inspiration. Crenn’s highly distinctive French heritage, imaginative gastronomic flair, and proven originality behind the stove reflect her unique life story. From her beginnings in Versailles, to being named Esquire’s 2008 Chef of the Year, combined with her win on Food Network’s Iron Chef America, Crenn has built a solid reputation both nationally and internationally for her artisanal, seasonal, and modern cuisine.
She began her formal training as a chef when she moved to San Francisco in 1988 and fell in love with the Bay Area, working at the celebrated restaurant Stars and learning from local luminaries Jeremiah Tower and Mark Franz. In 1997, Crenn made culinary history as the first female executive chef in Indonesia, heading the kitchen at the InterContinental Hotel in Jakarta. Over the years she’s built an impressive résumé, cooking at such acclaimed San Francisco venues as Campton Place, 2223 Market, the Park Hyatt Grill, and Yoyo Bistro at the Miyako Hotel.
Crenn made her name at Luce in San Francisco, where she won her first Michelin star in 2009. Her passion to create a deeply personal project led her to open Atelier Crenn in January 2011. Less than a year later, the restaurant achieved its first Michelin star. In 2012 she became the first female chef in the U.S. to win two Michelin stars.
Crenn is also the founder of A Moveable Feast, a series of dinners honoring sustainable agriculture, which pairs prominent local chefs with produce from a single local farm In November 2015 she released her first book, Atelier Crenn: Metamorphosis of Taste. In February 2016, Atelier Crenn was named to the Diners Club 50 Best Discovery Series.
Since 1989, Craig Dykers has established offices in Norway, Egypt, England, and the U.S. His interest in using design to promote social and physical well-being is supported by ongoing observation and development of an innovative design process.
As one of the founding partners of Snøhetta, Dykers has led many of its prominent projects, including the Alexandria Library in Egypt, the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo, the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in New York, and the recently completed the Ryerson University Student Learning Centre in Toronto. Dykers is leading the design of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art expansion and the Times Square reconstruction in New York, both of which are currently under construction, as well as the French Laundry kitchen expansion and garden renovation under construction in Napa, Calif., and the James Beard Public Market planned for Portland, Ore.
Dykers’s work has led to numerous international awards and recognitions, including the Mies van der Rohe European Union Prize for Architecture, the World Architecture Award, and the Aga Kahn Award for Architecture, among others. Published internationally for more than 25 years, Dykers has most recently been the subject of an exposé in the New Yorker in January 2013; that same year, Fast Company magazine nominated Snøhetta as one of the 10 most innovative architecture companies in the world.
Dykers has served as a Diploma Adjudicator at the Architectural College in Oslo and in recent years has been a Visiting Professor at Syracuse University, Cornell University, Parsons, and Washington University in St. Louis. He’s lectured extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and the Americas. He’s an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Manufacturers, a LEED accredited professional, and a member of the American and Norwegian Institutes of Architects. A graduate of the University of Texas School of Architecture in Austin, Dykers was named a 2002 UT Outstanding Ex.
Innovator, artist, protagonist, and positive provocateur, Maria Giudice has pursued a vision of intelligent, elegant, people-centered design throughout her professional life. Her grasp of the pragmatic, the authentic, and the essential has kept her at the forefront of design and business for more than 25 years.
Under Giudice’s leadership, Hot Studio, the experience design firm she founded in 1997, grew into a full-service creative agency with an impressive list of Fortune 500 clients. In March 2013, Facebook acquired the talent behind Hot Studio. In 2015, Giudice joined Autodesk as vice president for experience design. Her latest book, Rise of the DEO: Leadership by Design, was published by New Riders. Giudice is an AIGA Design Fellow. She has spoken at conferences all over the world and currently serves as an adjunct professor and trustee at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
Rosanne Haggerty is the president and CEO of Community Solutions, an internationally recognized leader in developing innovative strategies to end homelessness and strengthen low-income communities. Community Solutions works throughout the U.S., using data and design insights to solve the complex problems facing some of the country’s most vulnerable residents. The organization is leading large-scale change initiatives, including the Zero: 2016 campaign to end chronic and veteran homelessness in the US, as well as neighborhood-based partnerships that bring together local residents and institutions to change the conditions that produce homelessness and perpetuate poverty. Earlier in her career, Haggerty founded Common Ground Community, a pioneer in the development of supportive housing and research-based practices that end homelessness.
Haggerty is a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, an Ashoka Senior Fellow and a Hunt Alternative Fund Prime Mover. In 2015 she was honored with the National Design Award for Design Mind from Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
Thomas Heatherwick is a British designer whose prolific and varied work over two decades has been characterized by its ingenuity, inventiveness, and originality. Defying the conventional classification of design disciplines, he founded Heatherwick Studio in 1994 to bring the practices of design, architecture, sculpture, and urban planning together in a single workspace.
Heatherwick leads the design of all the studio’s projects, working in collaboration with a team of 170 highly skilled architects, designers, and makers. His unusual approach challenges every brief from first principles to produce unique solutions for each project’s needs. In applying artistic thinking to the needs of modern cities, the team is engaged in creating some of the most acclaimed and memorable projects of our time.
Based in London, Heatherwick Studio is currently working on four continents on projects together valued at more than £2 billion. Its international reputation is founded on projects such as the UK Pavilion for the Shanghai World Expo in 2010, the Olympic Cauldron for the 2012 London Olympic Games, and the design of the New Bus for London. The studio recently completed a major new university building in Singapore and a gin distillery in Britain; other current projects include the Garden Bridge over the River Thames, 8 million square feet of mixed-use development in Shanghai, and the new glass-domed Google campus in Silicon Valley.
Heatherwick, who trained in three-dimensional design in Manchester and at the Royal College of Art in London, has been appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He’s also an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and a Royal Academician, and in 2004 he became the youngest Royal Designer for Industry.
George Hotz first rose to prominence at age 17 by being the first person to unlock an iPhone, enabling it to be used on different carriers and outside of the U.S. He continued to make a name for himself by developing jailbreak software for the iPhone and the most popular Android rooting program, Towelroot, which has been used by more than 50 million people around the world. At 21, Hotz again achieved notoriety when he cracked the encryption schema on the Playstation 3, which led to a lawsuit and settlement against Sony. Hotz recently founded comma.ai, an autonomous-driving software company.
An international figure in architecture and urban design, the architect Daniel Libeskind (B.Arch., M.A., BDA, AIA) is renowned for his ability to evoke cultural memory in buildings of equilibrium-defying contemporaneity. Informed by a deep commitment to music, philosophy, and literature, Libeskind aims to create architecture that is resonant, original, and sustainable.
Born in Lódź, Poland, in 1946, Libeskind immigrated to the United States as a teenager. He established his architectural studio in Berlin in 1989 after winning the competition to build the city’s Jewish Museum. In February 2003, Studio Libeskind moved its headquarters from Berlin to New York City when Libeskind was selected as the master planner for the World Trade Center redevelopment. The studio is involved in designing and realizing a diverse array of urban, cultural, and commercial projects internationally. It has completed buildings that range from museums and concert halls to convention centers, university buildings, hotels, shopping centers, and residential towers.
As principal design architect for the studio, Libeskind speaks widely on the art of architecture at universities and professional summits. His designs and ideas have been the subject of many articles and exhibitions, influencing the field of architecture and the development of cities and culture. Libeskind lives in New York with his wife and business partner, Nina Libeskind.
Helen Marriage is artistic director of Artichoke, which she founded with Nicky Webb in 2005. Artichoke is one of the U.K.’s leading independent production companies, working to transform landscapes and expectations through its unique way of realizing the ambitions of artists and the dreams of the public.
Over the last nine years, Artichoke has produced some of the U.K.’s most talked about large-scale art events, ranging from the Sultan’s Elephant, by Royal de Luxe, which saw central London come to a standstill with over 1,000,000 spectators; to Antony Gormley’s Fourth Plinth project One & Other; to Peace Camp, made by international theater director Deborah Warner and actor Fiona Shaw for the London 2012 Olympic Festival. Lumiere, Artichoke’s biennial festival celebrating the power of light, has become an international sensation, drawing visitors from across the globe to the wintry darkness of Northern England.
Artichoke’s interests lie at the conjunction of art, politics, communication, and transformation. Creating a platform for an artist’s most impossible ideas and inserting their work into everyday experience, Artichoke achieves a high impact with massive, unexpected disruptions of daily life. The work has taken the company into an examination of the nature of control over the public domain, as well as the ways our cities and landscapes can be re-imagined, if only temporarily. It’s the company’s belief that, while its transformation of the landscape is ephemeral, the transformation of the individual witness leaves a permanent legacy.
Marriage was granted a prestigious Loeb Fellowship at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design from 2012 to 2013. Her previous work has included a seven-year stint as director of the Salisbury Festival, which she transformed from a local event into what the Times described as a “miracle of modern British culture.” She was previously director of arts & events at Canary Wharf for property developers Olympia & York, and an associate director for both the London International Festival of Theatre and Artsadmin.
Michael Rock, a founding partner and the creative director at 2x4, is the director of the Graphic Architecture Project at Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. At 2x4, he’s led a wide range of projects for Prada, Nike, Kanye West, Barneys New York, Harvard, and CCTV. Before starting 2x4, he was co-founder of Information Inc. in Boston.
From 1984 to 1991, Rock was an adjunct professor of Graphic Design at the Rhode Island School of Design; since 1991 he’s been a member of the design faculty at the Yale School of Art. In addition, Rock has been a fellow at the Jan Van Eyck Akademie in Maastricht, The Netherlands, and a contributing editor and graphic design journalist at I.D. Magazine in New York. His writing on design has appeared in publications worldwide. He holds an A.B. in Humanities from Union College, in Schenectady, N.Y., and a M.F.A from the Rhode Island School of Design. He received the 1999/2000 Rome Prize in Design from the American Academy in Rome and currently serves on the board of the Academy.
Oskar Smolokowski is chief executive officer of the Impossible Project, a European company that saved the last Polaroid factory making analog instant film. Having studied both mechanical engineering and liberal arts, he worked in the music industry before joining Impossible in 2012 as assistant to CEO Florian Kaps. Smolokowski’s multidisciplinary approach proved invaluable for Impossible, a company that’s at the intersection of art and technology.
After creating the Impossible Project app, he was soon heading the company’s hardware division, overseeing development and production of the Instant Lab, a device that lets you turn digital images from your smartphone into analog instant photos. His work on Impossible’s products and brand led to his appointment as CEO of the company in 2015, at the age of 25. During this time, Smolokowski presented a unique and innovative vision for the Impossible product offering to be launched in 2016.
Ken Wong is a lead designer at ustwo. He was the lead designer on the acclaimed mobile game Monument Valley, winner of two Bafta Game Awards and Apple’s iPad Game of the Year. He’s also a co-designer of ustwo’s latest game, Land’s End, which is their first foray into virtual reality. Originally hailing from Australia, Wong developed games in Hong Kong and Shanghai before joining ustwo’s London studio in 2013.