A think tank for transformational learning & creative leadership.

Aether connects the dots between disciplines and provides an immersive path to success.

Our desire is to locate, inspire, and nurture the world’s future leaders.

Our Network

Board of Directors

Bruce Claxton Professor of Design Management,

Julia Kemp Associate Director, Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship,
Harvard Business School

Elyse Larouere Project Manager,
The Coca-Cola Company

Farrell CalabreseSustainability Strategic Initiatives Manager,

Ken Musgrave VP, Head of Global Customer Experience and Global Experience Design,
HP, Inc.

Jeevak Badve Vice President Strategic Growth,

Pin-Chia Murphy Global Public Affairs and Corporate Responsibility Representative,

Cameron Campbell-Wilkens Executive Creative Producer,
Amazon Design Leadership

Joe Jasinski Global Design Director,

Jonathan Bragdon VP, Founder,
Southside Ventures

Our Team

John McCabe

My design career began as an Architect at the Auburn University and the world renowned Rural Studio. After years of working as an Associate Architect I returned to academia to earn additional degrees in Environmental Design and Industrial Design. As I balanced teaching at Auburn and practicing design at Fulcrum Collaborative, my love for mentoring truly began to grow. I moved on and became a Professor of Industrial Design and Program Coordinator for the User Experience Design, Service Design, and Design for Sustainability Programs at the Savannah College of Art and Design. During that decade at SCAD I focused on external collaborations and facilitated over 30 collaborative projects with numerous Fortune 100 companies and socially focused organizations. I have had the unique privilege to work on many projects that were selected for highly regarded international design awards, be published and awarded top honors for my work in education, and develop some of the most advanced curriculum in the industry. But what really drives me is not the professional accolades, but knowing that I’m helping create citizen agents of change. My students have a hell of an exciting ride awaiting them and I want to make sure they are more than prepared to be leaders during that adventure.

Owen Foster

My background in Architecture, landscape, environmental, and industrial design has afforded me the opportunity to work on projects ranging from small consumer products to immersive outdoor experiences around the world. I have held design director positions for product design and manufacturing companies, co-founded Fulcrum Collaborative, and became a regional landscape architect representative for Monrovia Nurseries. I followed a calling to be an educator and mentor with professorships in industrial design at Auburn University and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Most recently I was a Professor and Department Chair for Industrial Design, Design Management, Service Design, Design for Sustainability, Business of Design, Interaction Design, and Marine Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design. During that time, the SCAD Industrial Design program was ranked in the top 10 by DesignIntelligence each year, earned a Red Dot World Ranking, and continually won awards from international design competitions. As a professor, I have facilitated more than 20 collaborative studio projects with Fortune 100 companies and guided international study abroad programs in Ireland, UK, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China. Honored and humbled, I have earned many of the industries top awards and honors for both education and design. With a strong passion for being a mentor, I will never worry about my name being remembered–just my deeds.

Tom Gattis

After earning degrees in Industrial Design and Education Industrial Technology I spent ten years working as a designer and project manager, as an account executive, and as a professional model maker. I began my career as a professional educator when I started the first Industrial Design program at Finlandia University. Later I became a Professor and Chair of Industrial Design at the Savannah College of Art and Design where I was the principal architect of the live-sponsored project program. During my time at SCAD I launched programs in Marine Design, Interaction Design, Design Management, Service Design and Design for Sustainability and established study abroad opportunities to Europe, Asia and Central and South America. I later served as the Associate Vice President for Academic Services at SCAD Hong Kong assisting with the opening of the campus and was responsible for all academic operations. Currently I am the Dean of the School of Design at the Columbus College of Art & Design, where I developed the MindMarket, a collaborative lab for design services, trend forecasting, enterprise support and community engagement. Since my first teaching assistantship, I have been on a quest to build a type of educational experience for my students that truly prepares them for the future.

Facilitated and participated in over 30 international learning experiences to 21 countries

Over 50 years combined experience in developing educational organizations

Developed and managed $4.7 mm worth of collaborations with companies and organizations

Aether is a non-profit 501c-3 with a mission to make the next generation better.

Our educational initiative, SHiFT accelerates talent, vision, and capabilities to create successful leaders. These immersive events provide opportunities to gain leadership experience, amplify abilities, push collaborative boundaries, and increase global insight all to grow and mature professional intuition.

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