Herman Miller was the premier sponsor for CUSP conference this year and several members of our team had the opportunity to attend.
The overarching message of the 27 different presenters was this: stuff is broken – Healthcare, Fashion, Farming, Politics…and if the speakers stopped there it would have seemed like a pretty bleak conference.
But fortunately, for the attendees (who spent $1700 a ticket) it got better. A lot better. Using words like innovation, biomimcry, sustainability, open source, reimagining, collaboration, and disruption an array of diverse presenters went on to tell us stories and share ideas about how to make a change.
Presenters like Jay Parkinson, MD who left the convention of the traditional medical world to co-found Hello Health: a “Facebook” like platform for health care. With the help of social media, Dr. Parkinson is reinventing doctor-patient experience with a focus on engagement and well-being. (We interviewed Jay last year. You can read the interview here).
Natalia Allen – a surfer, designer, and member of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in business. At only 22 years of age (just a year after she graduated from Parsons School of Design) she founded Design Futurist, a New York based design consultancy that is using modern technology to create eco-friendly and socially responsible products that are free of “gimmicks and greenwashing”.
And Josh Elder, an award winning cartoonist and graphic novelist convinced the CUSP audience through humor and wit that one of the best ways to promote literacy and improve educational outcomes for all students is to integrate comics into the curriculum.
At the end of day, the collective CUSP experience seemed to reflect a very healthy optimism about a better world. It felt like a rallying cry for a broader audience of potential collaborators to drive innovation in teaching, farming, science, fashion, computing, entertainment… everywhere people live and work. And we like this.