Member Companies Share Expertise at The Fast Company Innovation Festival

The Fast Company Innovation Festival brings thousands of people from around the world to New York City each year for a week of dynamic, engaging sessions meant to educate and inspire.

This year, RedPeak, SYPartners, Sid Lee, and IDEO shared their diverse expertise with attendees of the 2018 Festival.

With cocktails and happy hour as the event’s promising culmination, Phil Meunier led over 40 attendees through Sid Lee’s Creative Credo – the core methodology that Sid Lee uses throughout all of its work. Hosted in the kyu Studios, the workshop not only taught participants about the Credo, but also gave them an opportunity to practice – by mixing drinks! After Phil shared his insights on creating work that matters and resonates with consumers, he then led the group in a cocktail-making exercise using the Credo. A mixologist was assisting in the process, helping participants turn their inspiration into ingredients that would both taste good and represent their ideas.

RedPeak shared their experiences working with MoveOn in their session, “Igniting Movements: How Brands Can Rise to the Occasion.” RedPeak CEO Susan Cantor, MoveOn Campaign Director Michael Crawford,  RedPeak Executive Director of Strategy Andreas Ruggie, and MoveOn’s Chief Technology Officer Ann Lewis led a panel discussion focusing on the new state of activism and the power brands hold to mobilize constituents. The group explained the importance of perpetual activism, and how brands must use their voices to mobilize constituents. In their view, it is becoming increasingly clear today that consumers have put the onus on companies to listen and take a stand in the current social climate.

Aiming to inspire forward-thinking and inclusive leadership, SYPartners presented “The Future (of Design) is You.” The session first featured a presentation on the power of design by Managing and Creative Director Jessica Tillyer, and then was followed by a panel that discussed how design is being led more and more by those who have traditionally been left out of the process. The panelists were Asmau Ahmed, CEO and Founder of Plum Perfect; Melissa Cullens, Chief Design Officer at Ellevest; Yvonne Lin, Founder of 4b Collective; and Jason Brown, Founder of Dan + Jason. They each drew on their own personal experiences navigating workspaces with barriers to entry, highlighting the importance of making space for a diversity of ideas and experiences.

With “A Deep Dive Into Design With IDEO,” executive design director Michael Henrix took attendees through the evolution of design and its application. Drawing on the many ways in which the discipline and its application have changed, Michael explained how design has a presence almost everywhere in a wide variety of forms. As he discussed further, design thinking is important in every aspect of a company’s business and product development, and an organization must focus on not only the final product, but also the many ways that design thinking can be applied throughout the process.

In each packed session, each member company showcased their expertise in a way that was representative not only of their vast skills and knowledge, but also of their individual culture as a company. From interactive exercises to unique insights, each session left attendees not only empowered with new knowledge and ideas, but also eager to learn more about the kyu Collective.

Photo courtesy of Sid Lee