PSFK 2016 Ideas That Transform: The Most Inspiring (and FUN) Conference of the Year

PSFK 2016

My second year attending this incredibly fun and thought-provoking conference. What elevates this event above others is the range of speakers and topics, and let’s not underestimate the importance of brevity. Speakers deliver their info in 15 minutes or less and it’s all meat, no fluff! Piers Fawkes, always on top of his game, keeps it casual, a tad irreverent and moving along at breakneck pace so it never gets boring. There are also ample opportunities, with well-paced breaks, to meet speakers and other attendees.

Here are 7 speakers who were especially phenomenal:

Matthias Hollwich: Architect, Designer and “New Aging” Guru

LOVED his talk: Think about aging (for yourself) as you would a start up company – pioneer the territory with innovation and creativity.

Justin Gignac: Co-Founder of Working Not Working, a real-time invite-only network that broadcasts the availability of freelance creatives to companies looking to hire them

Such a genius idea!! Justin also created the original ElfYourself.com (over 800MM elves were unleashed on the world because of his app!).

Neil Parikh: Co-Founder, COO Casper Mattress

Casper reminds me of Warby Parker (which I LOVE!). Very similar approaches as it relates to disruption, innovation and the consumer. They also both have a fun, quirky vibe. Neil is  passionate about the need for more – and better – sleep. When I tweeted his sleep is the new sex comment, it blew up on the twitterverse – over 3,000 impressions in a few minutes.

Ethan Eismann: Director of Product Experience, Uber

Fascinating to learn about Uber’s mission (transportation as reliable as running water), how they celebrate cities, the algorithms of Uber Pool, how they approach challenges in India where many buildings have no addresses: Uber has set up a system whereby you take a picture of your location to send to the driver for pickup – and then how you relate where you’re going is another whole challenge I guess!

Dennis Mortensen: Founder/CEO x.ai

An incredibly smart and witty presenter – this was an update from last year on his AI- powered assistants (bots).  Interesting to see how quickly things change – last year, I thought this was a great idea but still somewhat in the future, now I am about to get on board with Amazon’s Alexa.

Steve Clayton: Chief Storyteller and Editor-In-Chief Microsoft

Microsoft’s mission (empowering everyone to do more) is somewhat similar to Uber’s. However, when Steve relayed stories of what the company is doing in Africa to bring internet services to remote villages for education and also for internet cafes in the jungle in order to facilitate local businesses, I was sold!!  Inspiring presentation!

Timothy Goodman: Designer and Social Poet

OMG – I’M IN LOVE!!!  Timothy is known for social experiment projects like 40 Days of Dating as well as for his instagram series, Memories of a Girl I Never Knew.  Make sure you watch this video of him – totally BRILLIANT!!! He is also a phenomenal illustrator and designer and has done a lot of work for the Ace Hotel – one of my faves as some of you know.

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