Humanizing Innovation a summit powered by Aether and Credo
October 2-5, 2018
The future is here, introduce yourself and say hi.
October 2-5, Aether and Credo will present a unique un-conference that combines knowledge transfer, skill building, storytelling, and networking in the Dynamo of the South—Chattanooga, Tennessee. The summit focuses on ways that companies, organizations, and individuals are humanizing innovation to drive positive change and sustainable growth. You will learn how to create, contribute, and connect the atoms, pixels, currency, and heartbeats required for the ever-evolving experience economy.
The summit is designed to provide actionable next steps to generate a measurable impact for your organization. You will be introduced to others through meaningful discussions, take part in collaborative experiences facilitated by thought leaders, be inspired by the next generation of activists, designers, business leaders, and technologists, all while experiencing the best food, music, and culture the region has to offer.
Jules PieriCEO The Grommet
Jules Pieri is Co-founder & CEO of the The Grommet, a site which has launched more than 2,800 consumer products since 2008. The company’s Citizen Commerce™ movement is reshaping how products are discovered, shared, and bought. Jules started her career as an industrial designer for technology companies and was a senior executive at Keds, Stride Rite, and Playskool. The Grommet is her third startup, following roles as VP at Design Continuum and President of Ziggs.com.
Jules completed her undergraduate degree summa cum laude at the University of Michigan and people tell her she is the first designer to graduate from Harvard Business School, where she is currently an Entrepreneur in Residence. Jules also serves on the board of the University of Michigan Alumni Association.
Jules was named one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs in 2013 and one of Goldman Sachs’ 100 Most Interesting Entrepreneurs in 2014. In June 2014, Jules was invited to the White House Maker Faire to launch The Grommet Wholesale. This extension of the Grommet business connects Makers with Main Street Retailers by bridging the gap between the two and helping to ensure Grommet’s goal that within five years 10% of all products flowing through U.S. retail originate from independent Makers. In 2017, Ace Hardware acquired a majority stake in The Grommet.
Jules is frequently asked to speak on consumer trends and technologies, design, and entrepreneurship. She has presented as HBS, SCAD, MIT, and at conferences, including SXSW, Internet Retailer, and the Conference on World Affairs. She’s been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, and many other media outlets.
She writes a personal blog on these subjects at jules.thegrommet.com and posts as @julespieri on Twitter and Instagram.Connect on Linkedin
Bob WheelerCEO Airstream Inc. & TH2
Bob Wheeler is President and CEO of Airstream, Inc., which produces the world’s most iconic recreational vehicles. Under Mr. Wheeler’s leadership, Airstream is experiencing a renaissance fueled by design and innovation that has positioned the brand to participate in the zeitgeist.
Airstream, a company once dominated by its history, is now energized by looking forward while respecting its past.Connect on Linkedin
Jeevak BadveVP Strategic Growth Sundberg-Ferar
Jeevak brings energy, passion & curiosity to his role as VP of Strategic Growth at Sundberg-Ferar: a full service Industrial Design Studio supporting the Product and Vehicle industries from its metro Detroit location, since 1934.
He helps companies to understand and leverage the fundamental role of Industrial Design Thinking; Usefulness, Usability, Ergonomics & Aesthetics as unique and compelling differentiator’s in your products, to aid the sustainable growth of business; by planning for the entire range of use-case scenarios and designing for the ideal user experiences.
With his unique blend of all three; Design, Engineering and Business education and experience, he relentlessly rallies for the alignment and optimal inclusion of end user’s un-met needs, unspoken wants and un-articulated desires to the core value proposition offered by the portfolio of products-n-service deployment, to generate the much sought after shareholder value.
He has 22-years of work experience, 7 years in India (Tata Motors ERC, Tata-Johnson, Voltas M&H) and 15 years in the USA (GM Design Center, ASC and now SF studio).Connect on Linkedin
Jay RogersCEO Local Motors
John B. Rogers, Jr. is the CEO and co-founder of LM Industries, a technology company that designs, builds and sells vehicles and other high-technology products in partnership with other global manufacturers. This disruptive company is redefining the rapid development of connected hardware by pairing advanced manufacturing with open innovation tools. LM Industries is the first company to utilize Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM), as evidenced when it debuted the world’s first 3D-printed car, the Strati, in September of 2014. Currently the Company is working on its latest creation, Olli, an urban speed, cognitive, electric, shuttle.
Rogers founded LM after serving for seven years in the United States Marine Corps, where he was an Infantry Company Commander. He has worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Co., as an investment analyst at Ewing & Partners, and at a startup medical device company in the People’s Republic of China. He serves as the Chief Investment Officer and Director of the RBR Foundation, a philanthropic foundation focused on education and healthcare. A graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Rogers holds a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School (Baker Scholar).Connect on Linkedin
Ravi SawhneyCEO RKS Design
Ravi Sawhney, Founder and CEO RKS Design, globally recognized as a leader in design and innovation with over 200+ patents and 200+ design awards worldwide. Cofounder/Early investor in more than two dozen companies including; LoanGifting, GameVice, D&A Gear, RKS Guitars, FloWater, FreshRealm and KOR Water. BA in Industrial Design from CSU Northridge and an honorary doctorate from the Art Academy University.Connect on Linkedin
Marcus Shaw (Emcee)CEO The Company Lab
Marcus joins CO.LAB as a recent transplant from the Baltimore-D.C. area. Marcus is the former senior director of business development and partnerships for Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), a D.C.-based nonprofit that helps build diversity and leadership pipelines for corporate institutions, nonprofit organizations and government agencies. While there, he significantly grew MLT’s partnerships with Fortune 500 partners and led the proposal for an entrepreneurship development program focused on women and minorities. Marcus is also the founder of a boutique consulting company that specializes in working with startups and small to medium-sized businesses. Marcus holds an MBA from Duke University as well as a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Morehouse College and a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.Connect on Linkedin
Frank SpencerFounder & Creative Director Kedge
Frank is a published author and speaker, delivering presentations and workshops around the globe. He holds a MA in Strategic Foresight from Regent University. With a strong background in both business and academic foresight, Frank was the creator and lead instructor of The Futures Institute: Shaping The Future Now at the Duke University Talent Identification Program Institute. He has worked on foresight for companies like Kraft, Mars, and Marriott. Frank also led the effort to establish foresight as a leadership competency across The Walt Disney Company, training over 300 employees across the globe. Frank is co-founder of The Futures School, a multi-disciplinary Strategic Foresight training program. He’s created a worldwide network of foresight campuses in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. More than 500 global citizens have joined The Futures School movement to embody a future-empowered mindset. Frank is also the founding partner at Kedge, a foresight, innovation, creativity and strategic design firm.Connect on Linkedin
Bob WrayStudio Musician Fame Studios
Bob Wray is a studio bass guitar player who launched his career at the infamous FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL in 1970. Bob’s nearly 50 year career as a studio musician includes playing on hit records including “One Bad Apple”, the Osmond’s; “Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me”, Mac Davis; and “Seven Spanish Angels”, Ray Charles & Willie Nelson. He has recorded with the likes of Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Etta James, Michael McDonald, The Temptations, Hank Williams Jr., Chuck Berry, Alabama, David Allen Coe, Ween, BB King, Amy Grant, Joe Cocker, Emmylou Harris, Wilson Pickett, Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Steven Tyler and many many more. Bob has recorded in Muscle Shoals, Nashville, Atlanta, Memphis, Chattanooga and Los Angeles. He has been recognized by his peers with numerous awards, been a part of live TV events, toured with top artist and even played for former President George Bush’s 50th wedding anniversary. Bob continues to do sessions,teach and play live.
Ken TencerCEO Spyder Works
Ken’s vision for Spyder Works is to be the business consultancy of choice for mid-market organizations and intrapreneurs globally.
A successful entrepreneur and business developer, Ken helps organizations to get their ideas off of the back of a napkin and successfully into the market. He has built international-scale companies spanning manufacturing, product development, distribution and professional services. As CEO of Spyder Works, Ken helps companies with both business and innovation strategy.
Ken is the co-author of two books on innovation – The 90% Rule and the bestseller Cause a Disturbance which are being avidly read by business leaders in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Business journalists with leading publications and networks including The Globe & Mail, INC, CNBC, Forbes and Bloomberg have recognized the timeliness and power of these important works. Ken is currently working on his highly anticipated third book set to close the loop between dynamic team building, customer experience and intrinsic value – Never Be Satisfied: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Intrapreneurship.
Ken’s insights on entrepreneurship and innovation appear in his guest columns for Canada’s National Newspaper, the Globe & Mail and CNBC. He is also an in-demand keynote speaker and workshop leader having delivered talks across North America, Europe and South America including such notable events as the World Innovation Convention in Cannes, France, and Unleashing Innovation in New York. Ken also sits on a number of for profit and not-for-profit Boards including the Conference Board of Canada’s Council for Innovation and Commercialization and the Centre for Business Innovation.
A lifelong learner, Ken holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons.) from the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University and a Masters of Science in Management from Boston University through its campus in Brussels, Belgium. Ken is also a graduate of the Directors Education program offered jointly by the Institute of Corporate Directors and the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, and holds their ICD.D designation.Connect on Linkedin
Julie AbijanacInstallation Artist
Julie Abijanac received her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and BFA from CCAD. She currently is an Associate Professor teaching in the Contemporary Craft, Fine Arts, MFA and CORE FY programs at CCAD. Her professional practice outside of the educational community includes: II International Textile Art Symposium: FORTRESS MAN at the Mark Rothko Center in Daugavpils, Latvia, 9th & 8th International Paper Triennial at the Musee du Charmey, Switzerland, FiberArt International 2013 (where she received the People’s Choice Award), and 68th Annual Ohio Exhibition 2012 (where she placed 1st in Fiber/Textiles,). Julie is also a recipient of the Capelli d’Angeli Foundation 2013 Artist Grants for woman artist whose work is a response to having and coping with cancer.
The work of Julie Abijanac reflects her personal struggle with and surviving cancer. She creates relief and three- dimensional paper sculptures that explore the systematic development of cancer cell metastasis and or cordyceps. Each piece she creates depicts a shape quality or motif from specific field-stain specimens or cordycep, which is then used in multiples. Compositional aspects are then portrayed with the use of these individual segments or shapes and then fused together to create highly decorative modules. With the use of recycled paper(s) and/or fiber, wood and beads, the fundamental elements of visual art are put to use including space, shape, texture, movement, and pattern. Close up, the three-dimensional decorative and textural qualities of these works are so elegantly graceful, but also intricately complex, just as life itself is at once lush and beautiful in the face of an utterly unpredictable future. Julie aspires to create works that provides a connection between the viewer and the beauty found in the organic development of cellular growth found in a potentially deadly disease and parasites.Connect on Linkedin
Charlotte BellandChair of Animation Columbus College of Art & Design
Charlotte Belland, BFA, MFAis an Associate Professor and Chair of Animation at the Columbus College of Art and Design. Her artistic practice focuses on capturing the immediacy of animal movement with ink drawings.
“Working with ink is foundational to my process because the quick, permanent medium keeps me focused in the present moment. Even though my ink drawings are a single moment in time, the energy of the gesture that leads and follows that moment must resonate in the lines. This energy honors the essence of the animal and encourages viewers to pause and appreciate the beauty of the animal realm.”
Belland graduated with a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Computer Animation from The Ohio State University. Part of her creative habit is to post a daily animal drawing to Instagram. Those drawings can be viewed here: instagram.com/bellandpixelConnect on Linkedin
Meghan PreissResearcher and Synthesizer RKS Design
Meghan Preiss is a Design Researcher and Synthesizer at the global design consultancy RKS and works with clients like Lego and Boston Scientific to uncover user needs and identify ways to empower stakeholders.
Before RKS, Meghan attended SCAD and completed degrees focused in industrial and service design. During that time, she led team projects with clients like BMW and Hewlett-Packard. During her career, she has consistently held multiple leadership roles in the local chapters of IDSA and SDN.
Over the years, Meghan has attended numerous SHiFT events and admits that the immersive camps are where she rediscovered her confidence and learned to craft a unique leadership style. She has continued to be connected and active in meaningful organizations around the world and believes that design is community and it’s the best way to create change.Connect on Linkedin
John WeissCEO & Co-founder Human Design
John Weiss has spent his twenty year career fully immersed in design, spanning multiple
agencies and disciplines, with a singular focus on how to create compelling and rich
experiences that are rooted in elegant design, innovative technology, and create lasting
relationships and shape the future. His work is guided by purpose, passion, simplicity, beauty,
innovation and surprise.
After the acquisition of his own design agency in 2008, John went on to build and lead high
performing design teams as Director, Experience Design at the worlds second largest privately
held PR firm (WE-Communications) and the nations largest independently owned digital agency
(SMITH), and as Executive Creative Director at WebMD Health Services. John left his stint at
Crispin Porter + Bogusky in 2013 to co-found Human Design, a full service design agency
working with clients that include the UN, Discovery, Twitter, Nike, Vulcan Inc, Adidas and
several start-ups spanning multiple verticals.
John’s an active investor, advisor, university guest lecturer, and speaker at conferences and
Dee SeaverService Designer Philips Design
Diane, better known as Dee, has supported multi-million and billion dollar global and national companies as they undergo radical transformation. Starting as a Spatial Designer, and now in her role as a Strategic Design, she works with these companies to develop superior experiences. Dee assists in building the necessary capacity to achieve sustainable results, engaging cross-functional teams to define and deliver the envisioned solutions.
Dee is a trained creative problem-solver, with degrees in Industrial Design and Service Design. She believes that Design can save the world, but can’t do it alone. This drives her to learn the “language” of other roles and disciplines. Dee considers herself a multi-linguist collaborator, focused on creating shared success in any context.Connect on Linkedin
Platt BoydFounder & CEO Branch Technology
Platt is the Founder and CEO of Branch Technology who practiced as an award winning
architect for 15 years prior to leaving a partnership four years ago to found Branch. His
fascination with natural beauty and amazing structures led to the initiation of a new
technology using freeform 3D printing combined with conventional materials to robotically
prefabricate architectural assemblies with resource stewardship and unprecedented
design freedom. The Cellular Fabrication (C-FAB™) method takes its cues from proven
methods observed in nature, where material use is minimized, but form is free to become
Branch has evolved from an idea to a global leader in large scale 3D printing, having
produced the world’s largest 3D printed pavilions in 2016. They have received awards
ranging from NASA, Inc, Dezeen, and the publishers of Architect Magazine to the State
of Tennessee where they are located. They are working with the National Science
Foundation, Department of Energy, and corporate partnerships to further develop the
technology to produce load bearing composite walls used for homes and commercial
Marty GageVP of Design Research Lextant
Marty is the VP of Design Research at Lextant. He has a unique perspective on understanding peoples desired experiences that provides creative fuel for all functions in an organization. His innovative approaches have consistently lead to in market success and process improvements for his clients.Connect on Linkedin
Abby FisherDirector of Programming The STEMIE Coalition
Abby Fisher / Professor Prototype has been encouraging students to invent for 20 years in Ohio and is part of The STEMIE Coalition. She is the host of the Invention Convention Curriculum series, “Invention Dimension” and appears around the country sharing the Invention Convention and how students and educators can be part of the program. She appeared at The National Invention Convention & Entrepreneurship Expo at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation.Connect on Linkedin
Day 1 - 10/2
Wired for Next: Human Innovation & Future Thinking Session
A pre-summit half-day workshop on Futures Thinking with Kedge is available as a first come, first serve opportunity. Requires Summit ticket.
In this creative and empowering workshop, participants will leverage Futures Thinking to explore what humanity will think, do, and be in light of the unprecedented changes taking place all around us. Participants will explore how to use Futures Thinking and Foresight for developing the new mindsets needed for redefining and reframing humanity in the rapidly changing environment of the 21st Century.
Keynote Presentation at the Tennessee Aquarium
Jules Pieri, The Grommet
Day 2 - 10/3
Keynote Presentation at the Waterhouse Pavilion
Jay Rogers, Local Motors
Abby Fisher, The STEMIE Coalition
Ken Tencer, Spyder Works
Marty Gage, Lextant
Panel discussion with local kids and speakers
Platt Boyd, Branch Technology
Charlotte Belland, Columbus College of Art & Design
Keynote Presentation inside the Cave at Ruby Falls
Jeevak Badve, Sundberg-Ferar
Day 3 - 10/4
Keynote Presentation at the Waterhouse Pavilion
Bob Wheeler, Airstream
Julie Abijanac, Installation Artist
John Weiss, Human Design
Diane Seaver, Philips Design
Local School Kids get interviewed by Aether Co-Founder, Owen Foster
Closing Party & Keynote Presentation
Ravi Sawhney, RKS Design
Bob Wray, Studio Musician from Infamous Fame Studios jams with local musicians
Day 4 - 10/5
A post-summit, full-day workshop learning the world’s best platform for driving innovation at scale is available as a first come, first serve opportunity. Requires Summit ticket.
The Design Thinking Platform for teams. Created by the experienced design thinking practitioners at Treehouse Innovation, Sprintbase™ helps organizations of any size to drive continuous innovation and build design thinking capability at scale. Guided by intelligent process automation and using intuitive workspaces rich with expert tips, tools and templates; virtual teams collaborate from anywhere to tackle innovation challenges and create meaningful impact.
Transformational learning & creative leadership for our immersive future
We desire to locate, inspire, and nurture the world’s future creative leaders. Aether's educational events provide opportunities to gain leadership experience, amplify abilities, and connect the dots between disciplines to offer an immersive path to success. The talent development venture facilitates SHiFT, an educational initiative that accelerates skill advancement, strategic vision, and emotional capabilities to mature professional intuition.Learn more about SHiFT
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.Connect on LinkedIn
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.Connect on LinkedIn
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.Connect on LinkedIn
Helping companies build better cities
We believe the outcome of innovation is the creation of a world where those around us can thrive. So, we systematically connect businesses who care about their community with financial and social capital, effective resources, and guidance.
We believe investing in businesses is essential to building cities where a workforce is developed, living wages are increased, communities are connected, and long-term wealth is created for more people.Learn more about Credo