image“In order to survive in today’s complex world, organizations need to generate, embrace, and execute on new ideas. That takes creativity and a creatively capable workforce. It’s the secret sauce, or in evolutionary terms, it’s what keeps you fit. Organizations without it can’t compete.”

Tim Brown, CEO and president of IDEO, sounds like he was writing an ad for Raleigh’s Hopscotch Design Festival with this May 2016 Design Thinking blog post.

His clear point? Design thinking isn’t just for designers.

2016 is Hopscotch Design’s third annual event, a bonus round to the Hopscotch Music Festival, and discover the people designing the future is the perfect tagline for the two-day “gathering of designers, thinkers, makers, and storytellers who are shaping what’s next right now.”

September 8th and 9th, it’s a deep dive into design thinking through the eyes of local, national and international thought leaders. Panel discussions, workshops and food truck adventures abound, capped off with a street party leading into Hopscotch Music Festival Friday night.

After the keynote kickoff for all attendees on Thursday, it’s going to be difficult to choose between the three different venues. Interestingly enough, “Design for Hope & Action” lightning talks are scheduled concurrently with those exploring “Design for Fear & Failure” on Friday afternoon. 1

Speakers include Dan Heath, coauthor with his brother Chip of three New York Times bestsellers: Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die,2 Switch, and Decisive. Amazon named Switch one of the Best Non­Fiction Books of the Year, and Made to Stick was named the Best Business Book of the Year in 2007.

Lulu Miller is co-creator and radio host of NPR’s Invisibilia, a fascinating new show about human behavior. She covers “stories that challenge our assumptions about how the human organism works,” such as a blind man who uses echolation to navigate his world. Miller “is always on the hunt for ‘stories in which Duct-Tape Solves the Ethereal Sadness,’ as she puts it.”3

Debbie Millman, named “one of the most influential designers working today” by Graphic Design USA, is also an author, educator, brand strategist and host of the podcast Design Matters. The first and longest running podcast about design, Millman has interviewed more than 250 design luminaries and cultural commentators, including Massimo Vignelli, Milton Glaser, Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Pink, Barbara Kruger, Seth Godin and more. In the 11 years since its inception, the show has garnered over a million downloads per year, and iTunes designated it one of the best podcasts of 2015.

If you’re into history, Crash Course in Design 501 is my wrap-up from 2014, WARNING everything is ok is 2015’s review, and writing Of Hopping and Haikuing is how I got to meet my heroine Elle Luna.4

But really all you need to know is their handy guide on How to Pitch Your Boss on Attending

Taking two days off from work can feel like a stretch. That’s why we put together a list of our top reasons for why it’s worth your time and how you might pitch your boss on supporting you.

5 Reasons your boss wants you to participate:
GET MOTIVATED: Learn best practices and trends from local, national, and global leaders shaping the future of their fields. Get inspired about what’s happening next. Learn about new opportunities and position yourself for success. 

BE A CONTRIBUTOR: You and your company have expertise and ideas that the community needs and can benefit from. The festival offers plenty of opportunities to share your unique knowledge. Be a representative for everything your organization is working toward.

GROW YOUR NETWORK: Join a community of like-minded people who want to share their diverse perspectives. Have conversations or have a beer with people from multiple industries. Expand your network.

HOMETOWN PRIDE: Hopscotch Design brings these luminaries to your back door. Raleigh is at a critical point in its growth—be a part of the next chapter of our city. 

UNBEATABLE PRICE: The full price to attend two days with world-class speakers, local chefs, engaging workshops, parties, and the best people around is only $175,5 a fraction of the cost of some of the national conferences of the same caliber, which are typically $1K+. Student tickets are just $80.

The bottom line is that attending the festival will give you tools and connections to improve your career, and inspiration to enrich your life.

Thanks to the efforts of New Kind, downtown Raleigh is lucky to host yet another world-class meeting of the minds. Don’t miss it.

  1. If there ever was a Rorschach test in conference form, this would have to be it.
  2. It’s a book I own since they had me at the duct tape on the cover.
  3. Hmmmm, I’m starting to sense a theme…
  4. I still have her first-ever handmade watercolor business card locked up for safe keeping. No duct tape included.
  5. If you’re a “normal” person; no special discounts, or surcharges, for those of us who may be abnormal.
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