Explore the Future of the Web


Keynote Sessions

This is the Golden Age of Design! …and we’re screwed

Everywhere I look companies are hiring designers! Two hundred over here! A thousand over here! We need a lot of them and we need them fast. Finally! Companies have come to understand the importance of design in building successful products and services. Isn’t that great?

Throwing Rocks at the Google BusHow Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity

The digital economy has gone wrong. Everybody knows it, but no one knows quite how to fix it, or even how to explain the problem. Workers lose to automation, investors lose to algorithms, musicians lose to power law dynamics, drivers lose to Uber, neighborhoods lose to Airbnb, and even tech developers lose their visions to the demands of the startup economy. Douglas Rushkoff argues that it doesn't have to be this way. This isn't the fault of digital technology at all, but the way we are deploying it: instead of building the distributed digital economy these new networks could foster, we are doubling down on the industrial age mandate for growth above all.

Activism × Technology

What happens when the digital tools and platforms we make and use for communication and entertainment are hijacked for terrorism, violence against the vulnerable and nefarious transactions? What role do designers and developers play? Are we complicit as creators of these technologies and products? Should we police them or fight back? As a leader of gravitytank's interaction design discipline and social innovation practice, Antonio García will share a mix of provocative scenarios torn from today's headlines and compelling stories where activism and technology facilitated peace—and war.

The Business of Beacons

Kevin Hoyt

Built on BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) beacons get a lot of press, and have seen increasing deployment around the globe, adding value to business and consumers. In this session, join IBM Developer Advocate, Kevin Hoyt, on a journey through beacon opportunities you may not have considered. Practical, real-world, references will be highlighted as we examine innovative use-cases for beacons in your business.

Cognitive ComputingThe Symbiosis of Humans and Machines

Mark Wyner

In what is being called the “third era of computing,” cognitive computing will revolutionize the relationship between humans and computers. Internet of Things is only the beginning. Artificial Intelligence will finally sprout out of science fiction and blossom into palpable technology. Cognitive systems are able to learn independently, build upon pre-programmed knowledge, understand natural language, and interact with human beings with reasoning and logic.

Rules, Hunches, and Coin Flips

In a world looking for rules of thumb, checklists, best practices, and guarantees, how do we know what we know? Even worse, how do we choose when every rule has an equal and opposite position? As knowledge increases and every dissenting opinion is available for citation, it becomes more important to set aside the mundane challenges … at least that’s what we’re told by a succession of books, speakers, and multimedia campaigns. How can one be expected to produce a manifesto, let alone get work done, when every other day someone else is muscling up to the church door with a new sheaf of papers to share with the world?

Users are People Too

Too often we create brands, experiences, and content that sacrifice humanity on the altar of conversion optimization. In this session, we’ll explore how to make our products feel less like a business transaction and more like a conversation through human-oriented brand, marketing, and experience design. Don’t worry, this won’t be a stern sermon about user personas or focus groups – Meagan knows that conference attendees are people too. Instead she’ll share some of the practical hows and whys of designing for people, not customers.


Join us in Portland

Awesome speakers and attendees. Chewy sessions and workshops. An awesome city with food, art, culture and outdoor activities… book it, Dan-o.

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