News Article | May 4, 2017
SAN MATEO, Calif., May 04, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zuora, Inc., the leading provider of subscription commerce, billing and finance solutions, today released more details about Subscribed™, the highly anticipated conference for companies striving to thrive amidst the most disruptive business-model shift in a century. Subscription businesses are growing about nine times faster than those in the S&P 500. Those looking to capitalize on this trend, and to learn how to develop and nurture lasting customer relationships, will convene at the Zuora® “Subscribed” conference on June 5-7, 2017 at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco. Subscribed will feature keynote speakers Tom Kelley, Founding Partner of IDEO; Andy Mooney, CEO of Fender; Jamie Allison, Director, MS&S Global Mobility & Connectivity of Ford; Tom Bucklar, Director of Innovation & Digital of Caterpillar; Gytis Bardzukas, VP, Head of Product Management of General Electric. Additional sessions will be led by visionaries, disruptors and industry leaders representing every type of enterprise, from native subscription businesses to iconic Fortune 500 companies that are successfully embracing the shift to a subscription business model. Conference attendees will hear from Zuora Founder and CEO Tien Tzuo, as well as executives from CLEAR, HPE, Inspirato, Nutanix, Salesforce, SurveyMonkey, Symantec, Zoom Video Communications, and many more. “The rise of the Subscription Economy® is a once-in-a-century shift,” said Tzuo. “As with every disruption, there will be winners and losers, and Subscribed is an opportunity for any company in any industry to learn about what it takes to succeed in this new world. We’re especially excited this year to host companies like Ford, CAT, HPE and GE, which are completely transforming their businesses to exceed customer expectations with new subscription services.” Subscribed is more than just a conference. It's a movement formed by a rapidly growing community of visionaries which see that the world of business is changing and want to share and learn from others. In addition to the Subscribed conference in San Francisco, where the entire Subscribed community convenes annually, the festivities and opportunities will continue throughout the year with: Register here to attend Subscribed San Francisco on June 5-7, 2017 at the Marriott Marquis, and to learn more about the future of the global Subscription Economy and learn from those who have blazed the trail. The event will feature: Additional Resources “The Subscription Economy: A Business Transformation” by Tien Tzuo, CEO of Zuora SlideShare: “Drivers of Success in the Subscription Economy” MGI Research Forecast on Agile Monetization Platforms 2016-2020 Follow us online: Facebook.com/zuora @Zuora #SubscriptionEconomy About Zuora, Inc. Zuora is a SaaS company and the world’s foremost evangelist of the Subscription Economy. Zuora’s leading subscription relationship management platform helps enable businesses in any industry to launch or shift products to subscription, implement new pay-as-you-go pricing and packaging models, gain new insights into subscriber behavior, open new revenue streams, and disrupt market segments to gain competitive advantage. Zuora serves more than 800 companies around the world in every industry including Box, Komatsu, Rogers, Schneider Electric, Toshiba, Xplornet and Zendesk. The Subscription Economy Index (SEI) demonstrates that SEI companies are growing revenues approximately nine times faster than the S&P 500. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Zuora also operates offices in Atlanta, Boston, Denver, San Francisco, London, Paris, Beijing, Sydney and Tokyo. © 2017 Zuora, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Zuora, Subscribed and Subscription Economy are trademarks of Zuora, Inc. Third party trademarks mentioned above are owned by their respective companies. Nothing in this press release should be construed to the contrary, or as an approval, endorsement or sponsorship by any third parties of Zuora, Inc. or any aspect of this press release. To learn more about the Zuora platform, please visit www.zuora.com.
News Article | April 17, 2017
Frequency and severity of Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) in the California-Nevada region have increased in recent years. These HABs affect plant operations and sometimes force temporary closures of water treatment plants due to severe taste and odor issues or cyanotoxins. Copper-based algaecides have been an important tool for many decades in management of source water. In some cases, copper has been over-used, leading to backlash. Doctor Hammond will discuss recent advances that have led to more efficient formulations of copper, which have superior performance and have less environmental impact. “Data from real world case studies will be presented, illustrating that a formulation of liquid copper yields superior results, superior pest control, and better cost-effectiveness at lower doses.” states Hammond. One such product, EarthTec, has been reported by municipalities to reduce taste and odor by directly removing or degrading the compounds responsible, such as geosmin. It delivers a low-dose of copper at only 60 Parts per billion. The use of advanced copper based products such as EarthTec QZ for the treatment and prevention of invasive quagga mussels (Dreissenids) will also be discussed by Dr. Hammond. Both products are approved by the EPA for control of in lakes and open waters. They are also approved for mussel control in pipelines and flowing waters. QZ is one of a select group of products that is both NSF-Certified for drinking water and EPA registered as a molluscicide. It has been in full-scale implementation at water treatment plants throughout the U.S. Data and case studies from some of these municipalities will be presented at the CA/NV AWWA conference in Anaheim, CA on April,11. David Hammond, Ph.D. is an environmental chemist with an interdisciplinary background in physical, biological and social sciences. As a scientific consultant, his clients have included Nike, IDEO, Amorim, agricultural producers, and the Green Chemistry Institute. Dr. Hammond has three patents for pest control agents and numerous peer-reviewed publications. He holds an M.S. from the Energy & Resources Group and a Ph.D. in Agricultural & Environmental Chemistry, both from the University of California, Berkeley, where he specialized in Chemical Ecology. He was honored with the Macy award for excellence in entomology. Dr. Hammond currently serves as Senior Scientist with Earth Science Laboratories, Inc. For more information visit EarthTecwatertreatment.com / EarthTecQZ.com or call (800) 257-9283. You can follow EarthTec on LinkedIn.
News Article | April 26, 2017
Leonard brings to her new role more than 10 years as senior design lead and creative strategist at global design and innovation firm IDEO. During that time she honed her human-centered skills across a wide range of projects – from retail and finance to hospitality and health care – for clients such as Nike, Marriott, Visa, and AT&T, helping them make a positive impact through design. Her diverse background also encompasses radio broadcasting and print journalism, as well as co-authoring the award-winning book Massive Change: The Future of Global Design with Bruce Mau, a modern, illustrated primer on the new inventions, technologies, and events that are impacting humanity worldwide. “We are thrilled to have Jen join our team. Her creativity, influence and design leadership will be integral to fulfilling what we’ve set out to accomplish at Taylor Design – creating design that empowers people to do what they do best,” said Randy Regier, president, Taylor Design. “I appreciate how design can be a force for positive change in our world,” Leonard shared. “So I’m excited to see this manifest in the projects at Taylor, whose focus areas include healthcare, education and technology. Through design we can positively influence people’s lives and empower both those who serve and receive.” Leonard is also the host and producer behind Brand New Ways, an interview-based podcast about change making and rule breaking. She received her design diploma from the Institute without Boundaries, at George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto, Canada, and studied journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism, The University of Western Ontario, in London, Canada. Her undergraduate degrees are in Sociology (Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada) and Anthropology (The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada). About Taylor Design: Taylor Design is a full-service design firm that collaborates with clients to learn together and develop powerful user-based solutions, places and services that drive value and are effective, valid and delightful. The firm’s three practices in architecture, environments and strategies are united in their use of design as both a point of view, and a unifying method for its work. With offices in northern and southern California, Taylor Design’s dynamic and effective strategy-based practice assures that decisions made at every stage of the design process have a positive impact on organizations and communities. Clients of the firm have included: UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland; UC Berkeley; UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco; Stanford University; SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; San Mateo County; Scripps Health, San Diego; UC San Diego Health System, San Diego; UC Irvine Health, Orange County; Hoag Health Network, Orange County; as well as numerous service areas for Kaiser Permanente, among others. For more information about Taylor Design, visit Irvine, CA, April 26, 2017 --( PR.com )-- Taylor Design, a solution-oriented architecture, environments and strategies firm, has announced that Jen Leonard has joined the firm as Strategies Practice Leader. In this role, she will focus on bringing her human-centered design experience to Taylor Design collaborating across its Irvine, San Francisco and San Diego offices, and inspiring new ways of approaching design challenges.Leonard brings to her new role more than 10 years as senior design lead and creative strategist at global design and innovation firm IDEO. During that time she honed her human-centered skills across a wide range of projects – from retail and finance to hospitality and health care – for clients such as Nike, Marriott, Visa, and AT&T, helping them make a positive impact through design. Her diverse background also encompasses radio broadcasting and print journalism, as well as co-authoring the award-winning book Massive Change: The Future of Global Design with Bruce Mau, a modern, illustrated primer on the new inventions, technologies, and events that are impacting humanity worldwide.“We are thrilled to have Jen join our team. Her creativity, influence and design leadership will be integral to fulfilling what we’ve set out to accomplish at Taylor Design – creating design that empowers people to do what they do best,” said Randy Regier, president, Taylor Design.“I appreciate how design can be a force for positive change in our world,” Leonard shared. “So I’m excited to see this manifest in the projects at Taylor, whose focus areas include healthcare, education and technology. Through design we can positively influence people’s lives and empower both those who serve and receive.”Leonard is also the host and producer behind Brand New Ways, an interview-based podcast about change making and rule breaking. She received her design diploma from the Institute without Boundaries, at George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto, Canada, and studied journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism, The University of Western Ontario, in London, Canada. Her undergraduate degrees are in Sociology (Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada) and Anthropology (The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada).About Taylor Design: Taylor Design is a full-service design firm that collaborates with clients to learn together and develop powerful user-based solutions, places and services that drive value and are effective, valid and delightful. The firm’s three practices in architecture, environments and strategies are united in their use of design as both a point of view, and a unifying method for its work. With offices in northern and southern California, Taylor Design’s dynamic and effective strategy-based practice assures that decisions made at every stage of the design process have a positive impact on organizations and communities. Clients of the firm have included: UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland; UC Berkeley; UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco; Stanford University; SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; San Mateo County; Scripps Health, San Diego; UC San Diego Health System, San Diego; UC Irvine Health, Orange County; Hoag Health Network, Orange County; as well as numerous service areas for Kaiser Permanente, among others. For more information about Taylor Design, visit www.WeAreTaylor.com Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from Taylor Design
News Article | November 10, 2016
"Scotiabank Solutions" branch offers financial education and literacy to members of the community at regular Scotiabank Presents classes in the branch KITCHENER, ON--(Marketwired - November 09, 2016) - Scotiabank proudly opened the doors of a new Scotiabank Solutions branch at 1 Victoria Street in Kitchener today. This branch, managed by Peter Ly, is the second Scotiabank Solutions branch in Canada. It follows the opening this summer of two new branch formats designed to provide customers with a banking experience that meets their ever-evolving banking needs. "Our new branch formats were effectively designed by our customers to build an even better bank, and meet our customers' evolving needs," said Rob Jones, District Vice President for the Ontario Central West district at Scotiabank. "Our new branch formats are designed to complement the existing network of branches and other banking channels, providing customers with a choice in how they do their banking. Scotiabank Solutions branches are innovative advice and learning branches for customers who come to the branch for financial advice, to work alongside a Scotiabank Advisor, and to learn and explore the services and tools available to help them reach their financial goals." Scotiabank Solutions branches offer financial learning and advice. November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada -- the ideal time to launch the Scotiabank Presents series at the new Scotiabank Solutions branch in Kitchener. Scotiabank Presents offer financial education and literacy to all members of the Kitchener-Waterloo community with free financial classes. The classes are tailored to beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels and focus on a variety of topics, such as how to save an extra $100 a month, planning to buy your first home, and a student's guide to managing money. Through financial education, and tailored, personalized advice, Scotiabank is working alongside Canadians to help them become better off. Scotiabank partnered with IDEO, a human-centred design firm, to create modern branch formats that will meet the banking needs and expectations of customers today and into the future. These innovative, customer-focused new branch formats have been rolled out in Canada, Mexico and Peru to complement the existing network of branches and other banking channels to provide customers with a choice in how they do their banking. Scotiabank is Canada's international bank and a leading financial services provider in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean and Central America, and Asia-Pacific. We are dedicated to helping our 23 million customers become better off through a broad range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking, and capital markets. With a team of more than 88,000 employees and assets of $907 billion (as at July 31, 2016), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (TSX: BNS) and New York Exchanges ( : BNS). Scotiabank distributes the Bank's media releases using Marketwired. For more information, please visit www.scotiabank.com and follow us on Twitter @ScotiabankViews.
News Article | February 10, 2017
You’re looking for a new challenge: how about jumping into an ice pool, crawling through electrified wires, and dragging yourself up a steep incline in a muddy field? Not tempted? Tough Mudder – an extreme assault course – might not be for everyone, but it has pulled in 2.5 million participants since launching in New York in 2010. In 2015, it made $100m (£79m) in global revenue. Those taking part can choose to raise money for charity, or simply get involved for personal achievement. The business has evolved into a lesson in savvy branding. Co-founder Will Dean, alongside his partner Guy Livingstone, has struck up sponsor partnerships with a number of companies such as Merrell, Jeep, Volvic and Virgin Active as well as Help for Heroes (the official UK charity partner). The brand has also secured two US television series. The first of these is with CBS sports and follows a select few taking part in Tough Mudder’s most extreme event: The World’s Toughest Mudder. Dean says: “CBS has been approaching me for about six years. When they [initially] got in touch we weren’t sophisticated enough.” But last year Tough Mudder and the network settled on an idea. Taking place annually in Nevada, the Toughest Mudder event runs for 24-hours. Participants do as many laps as possible to vie for a $100,000 prize. The winners cover more than 100 miles of mud and obstacles, although they can choose to take rest breaks. “You get these crazy characters who appear to only sleep for an hour or two,” says Dean. In the UK, the three-part series aired on Sky Sports in January. Sky and Tough Mudder are working on another series that will focus on participants in UK races. Meanwhile, a different series was made with the US-based CW channel, which is due to air later in 2017 on Sky Sports Mix. This consists of five shorts followed by a one-hour special and focuses on the stories of participants in the usual Tough Mudder events. People featured in this include a female Iraq war veteran who has post-traumatic stress disorder and a man living with multiple sclerosis. All of these shows play on Tough Mudder’s camaraderie. Dean claims 10,000 people have been tattooed with the Tough Mudder logo. “It’s a tribe, as a [business] we think about tribal values and what it means to be a tribe.” Dean dreamt up Tough Mudder while completing an MBA at Harvard Business School and launched it a year afterwards. In his 20s, he started taking part in marathons. He found that when he told someone he’d ran one, the first question was always: what was your time? “Then they’d always reply with something like ‘Oh, my brother in law did it 10 minutes quicker’,” he says. “You’d feel like saying ‘I know I didn’t win’.” This piqued his interest in starting a physical event that wasn’t all about speed. The Iron Man brand, which puts on a range of triathlons and runs, offered Dean a proven business model. “I didn’t even know Iron Man was a company, it kind of seems dumb looking back, but I thought maybe it was a not-for-profit or just enthusiasts putting things on. Then to find out it was owned by a private equity group I thought ‘Oh wow’. “I started thinking ‘I wonder if I could take the Iron Man model and apply it to something different’.” Hitting on an idea he could get behind Dean set to work testing it out. “When we first started it was pretty amateur. Finding a venue was hard enough. I had this beat up 15-year-old car and I’d drive around fields in New York [looking for a venue]. I eventually found this ski hill – it was literally one lift on the side of a hill – in Allentown, Pennsylvania. “Back then it was just Guy and I. The night before the event we had headlamps on and were banging signs into the ground. With hindsight, we were so disorganised.” Building the brand hasn’t been straightforward, or without controversies. The earliest of these saw Dean accused of stealing the idea by the founder of another assault course brand called Tough Guy, which Dean reviewed as part of his MBA. Dean has always denied this. However, the dispute was settled out of court in 2011 with money paid to Billy Wilson, founder of Tough Guy. Dean says: “When you start a business, it genuinely feels like the world is against you, like people are out to get you.” But now the business, which is completely self-funded, is a sophisticated machine running events across the world including the US, Europe, Australia and Asia. There is a team of four engineers in New York that design Tough Mudder obstacles. The business then works with design company IDEO to test them. Dean says: “They do anthropological design, so they see how people interact with things, how they use space.” Tough Mudder aims to make each obstacle physically and mentally challenging and to require an element of teamwork. It has warehouses in Southampton in the UK and the US Midwest. “For a big event we have four trucks and trailers, they come in and it’s basically a travelling circus,” says Dean. Taking the brand across borders has required minor tweaks, says Dean, such as the music played and food served. However, he does note a difference in customer behaviour. “Germans buy their tickets a year in advance. They then ask lots of customer service questions, six times more than the Australians ... Australians sign up really late. Americans buy everything [in terms of kit] for Tough Mudder. They’ll spend like $1,000. Whereas the English spend like £20 and they’ll turn up in their old PE kit.” Since 2010, the Tough Mudder community has raised more than $12m (£9.5m) for charities, including more than £2.5m for Help For Heroes. Dean, who lives in the US, was awarded an MBE for services to charitable giving through sport in the New Year’s honours list. Was this his proudest moment? “It’s nice to get recognised in the honours,” he says. “My parents were very happy to go to Buckingham Palace.” But, he adds, what gives him a real boost are the stories of Tough Mudder “heroes” who’ve faced adversity and can gain a sense of achievement from taking part. One example he gives is of a group of fathers of the children who were killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut in 2012. He saw one of the fathers speak about taking part. “By no means am I suggesting that they did a Tough Mudder and everything was fine, clearly things will never be fine again; but we offer something that people can focus on, can train for, they can some gain confidence knowing that they’ve done that.” Sign up to become a member of the Guardian Small Business Network here for more advice, insight and best practice direct to your inbox.
News Article | April 14, 2016
Fast Company editor Linda Tischler died Monday after a long illness. Linda started at Fast Company in 2000 and pioneered the magazine's design coverage at a time when few, if any, mainstream publications paid attention to design. Through her exuberant stories on everyone from architect Michael Graves to industrial designer Yves Béhar, she highlighted both the business of design and the importance of design in business. It is much to her credit that design has evolved into a core business practice, embraced by companies large and small. Here, we asked colleagues and friends to share memories of Linda.—Eds. Gadi Amit, founder, NewDealDesign I met Linda at a Fast Company event, when the economy was in a rut. At first, I was quite shy about approaching her, but we started chatting and when I suggested that we should pay more attention to design for the middle class—and less for the 1%—she lit up. With her warmth and intelligence, she said, "Okay, why don’t you do that? Write something!" The whole discourse around the democratization of design—Linda had a huge role in that. She always had a social conscience. Paola Antonelli, senior curator of architecture and design, Museum of Modern Art I have great memories of Linda in many different places—at MIT's Media Lab and at the Aspen Ideas festival, at MoMA at my marathon events and at evening panels with young designers. Everywhere, she was my kindred spirit, holding the design flag high with intelligence, open-mindedness, and generosity. Everywhere, her eyes pierced the air like curious, bemused laser beams, crowned by her bob that reminded me of my favorite Italian singer when I was a child. She was a force. She loved design and was able to explain it to all, very simply, honestly, and elegantly. I will personally miss her tremendously, and so will the design world. Rinat Aruh, cofounder, aruliden Linda taught me about what really mattered. Not just about design, but about friendships, business, and people. She always had to time to listen, looked out for me and gave the most appreciated feedback—straight to the point without any fluff! She was our biggest champion, constantly encouraging us to keep doing what we do while sharing her point of view with enthusiasm and humor! I will miss her dearly. Caroline Baumann, Director, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum LINDA=LIGHT. Linda Tischler spread light through her magnetic personality and that one-of-a-kind smile, and her unique embrace and celebration of design. She illuminated minds with the way she wrote and talked about design, and encouraged teens year after year to pursue careers in design at Cooper Hewitt’s Teen Design Fair. She was an irreplaceable model for them and for all of us—to share positivity, excitement and generosity. We miss you Linda. Yves Béhar, founder, fuseproject Through great times and tough ones Linda was a force with a smile. She was understanding and inquisitive, always curious about the world. I will never forget those qualities, and aspire to them. A couple of years ago, we spoke on stage at the Aspen Ideas Festival—it was fun and entertaining, it was just a solid human conversation about design and life. And this moment reminded me of how every conversation with Linda was always just that: a human story at the center of design. All of us designers are lucky she applied her talent and wit to design. I am lucky to have known her. It aches to say it: So long Linda. Dror Benshetrit, founder, Dror In 2002, I launched my design practice as a hopeful 25-year-old and shortly thereafter, met Linda. To this day, I count our meeting as one of my luckiest stars. Growing to become a supporter, mentor, and friend, she has been a pivotable force in my career, and I’m sure I’m not the only one for whom that holds true. In any instance, whether it be through her Fast Company articles, book with David Butler or speaking engagements, she radiated kindness, positivity, and love. Linda, I will miss you. Tim Brown, president and CEO, IDEO Linda was a great advocate for design thinking. My best memory of working with her was at the opening address of Bill Clinton’s Global Initiative conference. She was going through chemotherapy at the time, but you would never have known it. We were both sitting in the green room feeling very out of place alongside President Clinton, Queen Rania of Jordan and Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank. But once we got on stage we relaxed in each other's company and had an inspiring conversation about the role of design in social innovation. Her willingness to stand up for design in business and society, even when she was going through her own health challenges, was a great example for all of us. Design will miss her voice. Ken Carbone, founding partner, Carbone Smolan Agency Every designer owes Linda their deep gratitude. Linda was a courageous champion for all design disciplines and no one expressed the value of what we do better that her. Through her brilliance, curiosity and generous spirit, her influence on design and business was nothing short of singular. Beth Dickstein, founder, BDE If you're lucky, you get to work with good people. If your luckier, you get to make a great friend. I was luckier, as Linda and I were great friends. One I will miss tremendously. Her brilliance, humor, generosity and warmth were always there. When her illness was getting worse, I said, "I'll pray for you everyday." In her wonderful witty way she said, "Okay, better put it in overdrive, baby." I know the industry lost a dynamo, a straight shooter, a true journalist. Her family lost an irreplaceable force. I lost an amazing and caring friend. Tyler Gray, former editorial director, FastCompany.com I took over Linda's office at Fast Company when she stopped coming in. I remember finding the bottom drawer meticulously organized with clips and past issues of FC. I stacked them up and barely moved them because it felt like she was the steward of our archive. When people came in to ask about something we'd covered I half pretended it was me who kept that archive—not sure if anyone actually did other than her. The fib only stretched so far, though. She had dog-eared pages and Post-it notes on issues she clearly referred to often. Most people, including me, wouldn't have the patience today for that kind of thing these days without some sort of digital interface with search capabilities. Linda was a rare breed who could straddle the digital and analog worlds, with a mind that could slipstream through either. She commanded the respect of designers and architects and artists and brands—without ever seeming like she was relenting to anyone's will than he own. I've spent the evening reading through old emails we shared. I found this one, after she learned about her cancer, about the same time I learned about my mom's. "This stuff is scary as hell," she wrote, then referenced a Boston cancer institution. "When they handed me my little blue Dana-Farber card I thought, 'Shit! This is a club I never wanted to belong to!' but there you have it, and I guess you have to play the hand you're dealt. I'm going to give it my best shot." Walter Herbst, professor, Segal Design Institute, Northwestern University Like all who met her, it was an instant love affair. Linda visited our Management program in Product Design and Development at Northwestern University, some years back, which started it all. I invited Linda to speak at our annual design event, Design Chicago, which I knew came at the same time as the Milan Fair. She quickly shot back, that she had seen enough chairs in her life, and agreed to come. She captured the entire audience, which included our own design and development master’s students as well as our Kellogg MBA’s, our engineering students, as well as the president and the Deans of the university. Her influential talk may have led to what Northwestern University has now—"Design" as one of our pillars. We were always checking in, and she was always finding time to talk about our kids and of course design. I will miss her, as will everyone who knew her. David Kelley, founder, IDEO and Stanford d.school Most people know Linda for her hugely generous support of design. But what not everyone may know is how her work connected people. She was the first to break the story of my cancer publicly in a piece she wrote in 2009 about design thinking. For her to tell the story in such a caring, thoughtful, sensitive way helped me have the conversation with others. Her writing engendered so much empathy. People shared their stories with me, and I bonded with those who’d gone through it themselves. Knowing how difficult that experience was, I admired Linda’s strength in soldiering on and not making a big deal about her own illness. In the piece she wrote, she quoted me about the moment we started calling ourselves design thinkers: "I'm not a words person, but in my life, it's the most powerful moment that words or labeling ever made. Because then it all made sense." Linda was a words person, and what she wrote changed the world of design, and lives like mine, too. Judy Klavin, president, Kalvin Public Relations Nobody covered the intersection of design and business the way Linda did. We started working together in 2008 when I arranged meetings for her with my design firm clients. Before the meeting, we’d spend hours reviewing story ideas that we thought for sure she’d be interested in. Then she’d zero in on a completely different angle or something she saw on a designer’s desk that caught her eye. And, the story she’d develop and write was always smart and engaging. Shortly after, she was recruiting design leaders to be guest bloggers on the inaugural FastCoDesign site. She had a gift for encouraging the creative community to articulate their vision and bring it to life. I am so grateful for her friendship, honesty, insight and determination. Thank you, Linda, for uncovering so many stories that might never have been told. We all learned so much from you. Cliff Kuang, founding editor, Co.Design Linda was a giant. Our readers today often remark how Fast Company has brought design into the realm of business and innovation; Linda pioneered that ideal as an editor here in the early 2000s. Moreover, she kept with it. Through the relationships she cultivated in the profession, she helped make the very first iterations of FastCompany.com into a platform for designers to be heard. And it was because she believed in the power of design, and she believed in the optimism inherent in making the world a little bit better with the things you do every day. All of us at Fast Company, who've found our careers bringing design stories to the world, owe Linda a debt. Hopefully, we can repay it by continuing the work. Stuart Leslie, president, 4sight Inc. Conversations with Linda about design were always the highlight of my day and I looked forward to each one. Her enthusiasm in understanding the unique angles she was exploring was contagious and left me energized, thinking differently about design each time. What a rare treat it was to be able to escape the day to day routine and have a few minutes of thought provoking discussion to remind me of all the reasons I became a designer. Bruce Nussbaum, writer The truth is, I did not know Linda personally but professionally. She was my only real competitor covering the juncture of business and design, and I followed her work obsessively (because she kicked my butt consistently). So much written about Linda focusses on her warmth and humanity, and I'm sure that's true. But the Linda that was in my life was the killer journalist who had the best sources and wrote the deepest analyses of the most important design issues of the moment. She saw design in terms of relevance to people and tools to solve social problems. I saw Linda's immense humanity through the lens of her work. She made me a better journalist and a better person. Clive Roux, CEO, The Society for Experiential Graphic Design Few people from the media understand the role of design like Linda did. That's a fact. However, what is perhaps less understood is the role Linda played FOR designers. She was trusted. We're ideas and picture people. Words escape us usually. Linda had our back there. What made her stand apart was that she did not view design as another topic to be milked. She really believed in the power of good that it could do in the world. Danielle Sacks, senior editor, Inc. The first time I encountered Linda Tischler was through her words. I was 25, and had just started my first journalism job as a lowly fact checker at Fast Company. I was fact checking a colorful profile on Howard Dean’s campaign manager, Joe Trippi, written by a senior writer at the magazine—Linda Tischler—who I had yet to meet. I was taken with the story’s attitude, its writerly flair. I needed to meet this Linda woman. Little did I know that Linda and I would soon become fast friends, despite the years between us. She became the person I decided I wanted to become when I "grew up." As a young writer, she always took me seriously as a peer, even though I was learning what she had already been doing for decades. When she began immersing herself more deeply in the design world, she let me pick up the pieces of the advertising beat, which she had once carved out for herself. But she graciously relished in watching me take it on, and we’d gab endlessly about stories and reporting strategies and industry scuttlebutt. She was able to do what very few writers can—she wrote just as she spoke. When you read her work, you could hear her whispering in your ear—her sharp sense of humor, her wit, her word choices, her energetic voice always filled equally with edge and compassion. She’d pluck a word out of thin air that wouldn’t reveal pretension, but her dimension, her worldliness, her many selves as a lover of language, of culture, of the arts. And she was timeless, ageless. Her stories had the hipness and energy of a twentysomething, with the depth and perspective of a much wiser soul. She could go head to head with anyone—and you’d want to be a fly on the wall to watch. Thirteen years since we first met, Linda is still the woman I want to be when I grow up. She managed to raise two children whom she was fiercely protective of, become a grandmother (albeit, too briefly), a domestic goddess and a feminist, and a successful career journalist who left the field different than she found it. She has helped me navigate my journalistic career with two young kids, just as she did. She has been an incredible friend, making me laugh even during her darkest days with cancer. From a hospital bed, she managed to turn the most mundane, ugly moments into a rollicking, laugh out loud story. It’s hard to imagine a world without another Linda Tischler conversation. Chuck Salter, senior editor, Fast Company For years, I had the best seat at Fast Company’s New York offices: the one next to Linda Tischler. Our friendship traced back to the magazine’s early years, when we bonded over our newspaper backgrounds. But we had always worked out of different cities. In New York, we became next-desk neighbors. Hearing Linda do countless interviews gave me a deeper appreciation of her craft—how she tirelessly developed and worked her design beat, how quickly she thought on her feet to dig another layer deep, and how she treated people. No wonder her subjects trusted her enough to open up: She was fearlessly human—candid, curious, funny, empathetic. Long before facing cancer herself, she wrote memorably about the professional and personal impact of the disease on the designer Michael Graves and IDEO’s Tom Kelley. Linda was a generous spirit in a business that’s often competitive and territorial. She shared sources, story ideas, an honest critique — and so much of her time. Her gushy emails when she connected you to a source could make you blush. As anyone who knew her will attest, Linda was a force. A veteran journalist wired with the energy of a 25-year-old. A critical and creative thinker. A prolific and elegant writer. A devoted friend. My inbox is filled with emails that start more or less, "How are you?"—after a big story, the birth of my son, my mom’s heart surgery. Being friends with Linda made you almost like another beat that she followed with the utmost attention. I will miss her terribly. Fortunately, her voice remains, not just in her stories, but in our wonderfully rambling email conversations over 16 years. In recent years, although I knew she was often struggling with chemo or pain, she sounded as vibrant and irreverent as ever. In December, she joked that the implant she was getting for pain might let her stream the new season of "Transparent." Cancer took her life but not her soul, and definitely not her humor. She wouldn’t let it. That much was clear from one of her earlier notes to me following her diagnosis: And later, from another note: That was, and to my mind, will always be, Linda. Ravi Sawhney, founder, RKS Linda Tischler was such an incredible person, one of the truly inspirational, loving, insightful and passionate ones. There was a certain spirituality in Linda that I always wanted to be close to and valued dearly. She showed incredible strength and optimism as she battled her cancer, never giving up. I feel blessed to have crossed paths with her, to have become friends, and to have had many conversations about life, design, politics, and mortality. There are those who not only touch your life but somehow become part of the fabric of your world. Linda was such a person, as all her friends and family would tell you. She’ll be so dearly missed. Leslie Smolan, founding partner, Carbone Smolan Agency Linda Tischler was my design hero. She could also be called a design aficionado, advocate, supporter, inquirer, explorer, groupie, devotee, maniac, evangelist and connoisseur. She loved design and designers. And she loved to tell the world about us — what we do, why we do it, and why it matters. Losing Linda means we’ve lost an incredibly important voice in the ongoing dialogue about design. And we’ve lost an incredibly kind and generous friend. Bill Taylor, cofounder, Fast Company I’m sure that many of the tributes to and remembrances of Linda will focus on her wit and smarts, her mastery of design, and the legacy of articles and books she left behind. But as I have reflected over the last two days, saddened and stunned at her passing, I thought back to that often-repeated quote from Maya Angelou: "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." I will never forget how Linda made me, and all her colleagues in the early days of Fast Company, feel. She was an essential part of Fast Company during the crazy boom times, she was there for the dark and challenging down times, and she was my office next-door neighbor for a chunk of that time. Every single day, she was one of the few grown-ups in an organization filled (professionally speaking) with gangly adolescents. To many of the young people on the staff, she was a mentor and a sounding board. To me, she was a peer, a pal, a trusted colleague to whom I looked for advice and reassurance. Linda exuded a sense of quiet strength, of emotional and intellectual maturity, that is all-too-rare in the world in general, and in the world of media in particular. Those times when I would stroll into her office, pull up a chair, and say, simply "Do you have ten minutes to talk through something?" were some of the best times of my week. Truth be told, I can’t remember much of what she said in those conversations so many years ago, or what I did as a result of them. But I remember like yesterday how they made me feel. And I feel so blessed to have known and worked with Linda. Rick Tetzeli, editor-at-large, Fast Company When I came to Fast Company in 2010, I arrived with one question: Why does this magazine spend so much time on design coverage? It didn't take me long to figure out the answer, thanks to Linda. Editing her stories, and listening to her patient, humorous, skeptical, and good-natured explanations, I came to understand that the best design writing shows readers how gnarly problems get solved creatively. Linda had been doing this for years—she was a real pioneer. But she was wide open to telling those stories in new ways. One of my favorite experiences with her was working together on a story about architect Bjarke Ingels. As we discussed Ingels, she talked about his energy, his intellectual agility, his almost superhuman capacity for complex projects across the world. We decided that the best way to tell the story was through a comic strip, and the result was one of the freshest things I've worked on at Fast Company. The story delighted Linda, who loved the challenge of continually expressing herself—and highlighting work she deeply admired—in new ways. At its best, Fast Company encourages original thinking across creative enterprises. Linda lived this. My daughters attend a school that's just a couple of blocks from Ingels' recently completed apartment complex on West 57th Street in Manhattan, which was featured in our comic strip. In the midst of that dreary neighborhood of glass blocks, Ingels' building stands out for its angular optimism, a bold, light and unusual burst of energy. Kind of like Linda. We will all miss her deeply. She had spirit to spare, and we are lucky she shared it with us. Alissa Walker, writer, Gizmodo (via Facebook) Even if you didn't know Linda Tischler you very likely read one of her stories in Fast Company over the years. She was a true champion of the design industry, introducing this sometimes complicated world to the mainstream press and explaining its importance in an incredibly accessible way. She was also a great friend and mentor to me in those early days of my writing career. I will never forget her pulling me aside at one of Fast Company's first design events—after she had moderated a panel with her signature quick wit—and telling me that us ladies in design had to stick together. I will miss reading her work and knowing she was always on my side. Alan Webber, cofounder, Fast Company Everyone knows that magazining is a team sport. That’s even more true in the early days of a magazine, when it takes everyone on the team to figure out what it is you’re trying to do, not only in the pages of the magazine when it comes out, but also in the creation of the ideas that go into the magazine, the culture of the office where there’s no substitute for good energy, all the things that create magic and sustain it. That was Linda. She got it. She relished it, for the very first moment of the first day. It was like she’d been invited to be one of the hosts of the very best party you could ever hope to throw or attend. You could see it in her smile, her enthusiasm for the whole venture/adventure. Infectious energy, unstinting generosity, unlimited colleagueship—and of course, remarkable talent, curiosity, work ethic, and heart. One of the early tenets of Fast Company was that a great organization needs leaders at all levels. Linda was a leader—without seeking a leadership role. Sure, she was smart and able and good at her job. But the thing about Fast Company was, it never was all that clear what your job was, except to demonstrate every day that we were all in it together, and that none of us was as smart as all of us—and she was one of the people who lived that and made it happen. A magazine is the people who put it out. We were incredibly fortunate to have Linda to help put it out. I loved her then and I will always love her. If you'd like to share a story about Linda, email slabarre at fastcompany dot com.
News Article | April 21, 2016
A new iPhone application launching today called Plastiq lets you pay any bill with your credit or debit card just by snapping a photo. The goal with the app is to offer something designed for mobile, that’s also more convenient than using a bank’s online bill pay feature. And more importantly, it allows bills to be paid with plastic – hence the name – as opposed to being drafted from your bank account. The company says its primary audience is credit card holders who like the convenience of having all their bills paid on a single card, for example, or who like to pay with credit in order to accumulate rewards. To use the app, which works in the U.S. and Canada, you don’t need to have already signed up for a Plastiq account – you can do so directly from your mobile phone by providing your email address. Then, you simply snap a photo using the phone’s camera, and the app will analyze the information on the bill to determine things like the amount owed, due date, and your account information (like an account number or memo line). You can then choose to pay the bill immediately, or opt to “save for later.” This latter feature is especially useful as it will add the bill to your virtual “bill stack” in the app, then send you a push notification when it detects it’s time to make that payment. Of course, that notification doesn’t arrive on the due date – that would make the payment late. Instead, it’s sent just in time to meet that due date, while also allowing you to pay at the last minute before a late payment occurs. This lets you maximize the funds in your account if paying by debit, or take advantage of a higher credit limit when paying by credit card. The mobile app, which was built-in partnership with design firm IDEO, is an iteration on an online service previously launched from the Boston-founded, now San Francisco-based startup. With a heavy focus on bill pay, the company first launched its service in Canada to test the market, and then brought its web application to the U.S. last year. Today, that online service has grown to half a million customers, the majority of whom are repeat users. Customers use Plastiq to pay for a variety of services, as well as for recurring payments, like rent, insurance, or car payments, as well as for less frequent needs like taxes or tuition. Plastiq accepts the three major credit cards: MasterCard, Visa and American Express. For businesses set up to receive electronic payments, Plastiq will handle that process for you. But many people use the app to pay with cash or checks. It will actually cut a check for you, like your bank does, then send it out by mail and withdraw the funds from your debit or credit card. The startup generates revenue by charging customers a convenience fee of 2.5 percent for credit card transactions and 1 percent for debit. The company says it has some provisional patents around the payment process and reading information from the bill. However, it has largely modified existing OCR technologies to its own ends and then combines that with manual review in order to ensure accuracy. That means you can trust it to not screw up your bills. However, despite the similarities with other payment applications like PayPal, Square Cash or Venmo, Plastiq’s CEO Eliot Buchanan clarifies that the company is not targeting the peer-to-peer payments space with its new mobile product. While you can pay an individual like a contractor, nanny or some other service provider, Plastiq verifies that the person being paid is actually a business. “We’re not for paying your friends back,” he says. “You can pay any business or service where cards aren’t accepted but we don’t do true p2p,” Buchanan explains. The founder also notes that the mobile app is a result of Plastiq’s current customers demanding a way to pay any company or service provider more quickly using their phone. Nobody likes paying bills, but the company believed they could make it a better experience. “How do we make bill payment as easy as taking a selfie? Snap a photo, add your credit card payment, pay a bill,” says Buchanan. The Plastiq app is a free download on iTunes. The startup is a team of 30 in San Francisco, and is backed by $20 million from Khosla Ventures, Atlas Venture, Flybridge Capital Partners, and others.
News Article | August 22, 2016
A team of MIT and Harvard University students won the first-ever Rabobank-MIT Food and Agribusiness Innovation Prize on Thursday night for an idea to make India’s temperature-controlled supply chain for food — or “cold chain” — more affordable. The team, GoMango, is developing smart, modular, refrigerated shipping boxes that can be rented out individually to cut costs and save billions of dollars in spoiled perishable goods in India. This innovation earned GoMango the first-place prize of $12,000 at the competition, which was organized by the student-run MIT Food and Agriculture Club to support early-stage ventures focusing on food and agriculture sustainability. For the competition, six finalist teams pitched ideas to a panel of judges from academia and industry, and a capacity crowd, in the Samberg Conference Center. A team of MIT students, Safi Organics, earned the $8,000 second-place prize, and a team of MIT and Harvard University students, Ricult, won a $5,000 third-place prize. Other inventions included edible eating utensils, nanosensors for plants, and robotic hay compactors. Competition co-sponsors were MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab (J-WAFS) and Rabobank, one of the largest banks in the world that caters specifically to food and agribusiness clients. Keynote speaker was Brent Overcash, who directs Emerging Technologies for the Food + Future coLAB, a collaboration between Target, the consulting firm IDEO, and the MIT Media Lab. In GoMango’s pitch, team member and MIT alumnus Naren Tallapragada ’13, now a PhD student at Harvard University, said refrigerated trucks are rare in India, because they’re too expensive for producers and wholesalers to rent or own. By some estimates, there are as many refrigerated trucks in Boston as there are in the whole country of India. With shipping routes sometimes spanning hundreds of miles in very hot temperatures, nearly 40 percent of India’s fruit and vegetables spoil before reaching customers, Tallapragada said: “This means hundreds of millions of people are malnourished [and] billions of dollars are wasted.” To address the issue, GoMango invented refrigerated boxes that can be collapsed, and stored in partnering cold-storage warehouses. Food producers and wholesalers can rent exactly as many boxes as needed and stack them on traditional dry trucks, which cost roughly $100 less than refrigerated trucks. Boxes are stuffed with packs filled with innovative phase-change materials, much like giant ice packs. They’re kept frozen until packed with food — such as fruits and vegetables and meats and fish — and liquefy throughout a trip to keep contents cool for up to three days. Each box also connects to the Internet to track location, temperature, humidity, and payment information. “We think that we can have a great social impact by getting more food to market, affordably and in an environmentally friendly way, thereby doing our part to keep the developing world healthier, wealthier, and a cleaner place,” Tallapragada said. GoMango’s prize money will go toward developing commercial prototypes to pilot in India in the coming months. Other presenting team members were Francesco Wiedemann, a visiting researcher in the Changing Places group at the MIT Media Lab, and Juan Carrascosa, an MIT Sloan School of Management student. The prize competition is another in a growing list of MIT initiatives — including J-WAFS, which was launched in 2014 — that caters to students interested in food and agribusiness entrepreneurship, said MIT Food and Agriculture Club President Sarah Nolet, an student in MIT Sloan and fellow in the System Design and Management Program. “There’s so much interest around food systems innovation, around changing the food systems, and even just understanding it, and there hasn’t been a good place to go to explore that," Nolet said. “With J-WAFS, the Food and Agriculture Club, and now this prize, we’re giving people who are interested some place to hang their hats, get involved, and join our community.” The competition started last fall, with a generator event that brought together more than 100 student entrepreneurs to meet and form teams. Dozens of teams then submitted ideas and were winnowed down to nine finalist teams that were matched with mentors from academia and industry. Mentors worked with the teams for three months to help them develop the final business plan submissions and presentations. Judges and organizers then chose six teams to compete on Thursday. The other three competing teams were: Plantae.io, which is developing nanosensors to put on plants to monitor their wellbeing; Food Ware, which is developing edible eating utensils; and Iron Goat, which is developing a robotic hay compactor that boosts yields. In his welcoming remarks, J-WAFS Director John H. Lienhard V, the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Water and Food, said the prize competition furthers MIT’s longtime mission of promoting agricultural innovation. He pointed to the inscription along the ceiling of MIT’s Lobby 7 that reads: “Established for Advancement and Development of Science its Application to Industry the Arts Agriculture and Commerce.” “Our focus on agriculture is literally carved in stone,” Lienhard said. “The prize tonight continues that tradition, and expands and amplifies [innovation] in food and agribusiness.”
News Article | September 1, 2016
Organ designers, chief drone experience designers, cybernetic director. Those are some of the fanciful new roles that could be created by the global design industry in the next few years. But what about current design roles? How will they favor over the next 15 years? Will every company by 2030 have a chief design officer, or will they all go extinct? Should a generation of creatives who grew up worshipping Apple's Jonathan Ive put all their eggs in the industrial design basket? We talked to a dozen design leaders and thinkers from companies such as Frog, Artefact, and Ideo to find out which design jobs could die out in the next 15 years, and which could grow. There's no empirical evidence behind these picks, so they shouldn't be taken too seriously. Still, they represent the informed opinions of people who get paid to think about the future. UX Designers User experience designers are among the most in-demand designers working today. So how could their jobs disappear? According to Teague designers Clint Rule, Eric Lawrence, Matt McElvogue, "UX design" has become too broad and muddled. "The design community has played fast and loose with the title 'UX designer,'" they write in an email. "From job posting to job posting and year to year, it jumps between disparate responsibilities, tools, and disciplines. Presently it seems to have settled on the title representing democratized design skills that produce friendly GUIs." In the future, they predict that UX design will divide into more specialized fields. "The expanding domain of user experience and its myriad disciplines will push the title 'UX designer' to a breaking point, unbundling its responsibilities to the appropriate specialists," they say. Visual Designers Visual designers are the ones responsible for the way an app looks. UX designers, meanwhile, are the ones who concentrate on how it feels. A lot of times, designers do both, but going forward, jobs that require just visual design skills are going to die out. That's according to Charles Fulford, Executive Creative Director of Elephant, the San Francisco-based, Apple-centric stealth arm of the digital agency Huge. "Gone are the days of UX dumping a ton of wireframes on visual designers," he says, as well as "the days of visual designers being clueless about usability." What are needed instead are designers who can not only come up with the look of an idea, but make it real, with actual programming and prototyping skills. Rob Girling, cofounder of the design consultancy Artefact, agrees. "In the next 10 years, all visual design jobs will start to be augmented by algorithmic visual approaches," he says. After all, design companies are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence to create previously impossible algorithmic designs, as well as crunch UX data on millions of users. "An AI-powered tool can automatically provide a designer with 100 variations of a layout, based on some high-level template, or style definition . . . We see early versions of these algorithmic procedurally generated tools already in use by game designers." For example, the 17 billion planet universe in the recent blockbuster video game No Man's Sky was largely generated algorithmically. The short version? If you're a visual designer, it's time to diversify. Design Researchers "When ethnographic research was new in design, there were designers who specialized in research," explains Harry West, CEO of Frog. "The role of design researcher is now evolving to become a fundamental skill and practice for all types of designers. Today, for any design challenge, it is assumed that you first learn what the customer wants; every designer must know how to set up customer research and learn from the source." Consequently, no one needs a dedicated design researcher anymore. "The role is so fundamental that every designer should know how to do it," says West. John Rousseau, executive director at Artefact, puts a finer point on it: New technologies like machine learning and virtual reality are killing design research. "Design research as we know it may cease to exist—at least in terms of the types of ethnographic field work we do today," he says. "Research—-and researchers—-will likely be marginalized by new forms of automated data and insight generation, compiled via remote sensing and delivered through technologies like virtual reality." Traditional Industrial Designers Most designers we asked predictably thought their own fields had rosy prospects. Not Markus Wierzoch, industrial design director at Artefact. He says that classically trained industrial designers who remain too attached to the "industrial" parts of their profession—in other words, overly focused on the sculptural look of a product—will become, in his words, "designosaurs." "More than ever before, industrial design cannot exist in a vacuum," he writes. The issuer is that form no longer follows function and function only—software is also involved. That means industrial designers in the future will need to evolve to think about the total end-to-end user experience, a role Wierzoch calls the "post-industrial designer." (More on that below.) Doreen Lorenzo, director of integrated design at UT Austin, also sees the role of the classically trained industrial designer dying off soon. "In the future, all designers will be hybrids," she says. Chief Design Officers "This is a trend as of late: to have an executive-level design figurehead," says Sheryl Cababa, associate design director, Artefact. But that role might—and should—die, because it's redundant. "Good design is, fundamentally, interdisciplinary, which means that in a company that is design-oriented, all executives will be design practitioners, and the chief design officer position will vanish as quickly as it came." CEO Tim Brown echoes the idea that design will be embedded at the executive level, although he doesn't necessarily think CDOs themselves are going to die out. "Business is moving from a long period where analytical skills were of extreme value in the search for efficiency, to one where creative and design skills will be essential to deal with complexity, volatility, and the requirements for constant innovation... CEOs will need to be designers in order to be successful." Virtual Interaction Designers Virtual and augmented reality is set to become a $150 billion industry by 2020, disrupting everything from health care to architecture. UT Austin's Doreen Lorenzo thinks that more user interface designers will start strapping themselves into Oculus Rifts and becoming VI designers. "As more and more products become completely virtual—from chatbots to 3D projections to immersive environments—we’ll look to a new generation of virtual interaction designers to create experiences driven by conversation, gesture, and light," she writes. Specialist Material Designers Yvonne Lin of 4B Collective believes that in the near future, there will be a growing need for designers who can work in and across different types of materials. For example, she sees bamboo architects as being an up-and-coming design field, as the Western world embraces "the possibilities of a weight-bearing material that can grow three feet in 24 hours and can be bent, laminated, joined, and stripped," as Asia has. She also says that designers who can sew will soon be in hot demand to create structural soft goods. What's a structural soft good? Think of the kind of things MIT's Neri Oxman designs, or wearables that are as much tech as textile: a blend of circuit boards and fabrics, like Google's Project Jacquard. "Today, there is a skill and knowledge gap between the soft- and hard-good world. Very few people know how to work in both," she says. "The intelligent mixing of fabrics (for comfort) and plastics and metals (for structure and function) would have significant benefits for health care and sports products. As people live longer and as sports participation increases the demand for these more comfortable and higher performance products will increase." Maybe even tomorrow's Air McFlys. Algorithmic/AI Design Specialists Fifteen years down the road, few of the designers we spoke to were afraid that a robot or algorithm would take their jobs. Though "applied creativity is fundamentally hard to codify," as Artefact's Rob Girling says, artificial intelligence will create new design opportunities—so much so that Girling and other designers we spoke to think that AI and algorithms represent growing field. "Human-centered design has expanded from the design of objects (industrial design) to the design of experiences (adding interaction design, visual design, and the design of spaces) and the next step will be the design of system behavior: the design of the algorithms that determine the behavior of automated or intelligent systems," argues Harry West at Frog. For example, designing the algorithm that determines how an autonomous vehicle makes the right human-centered decisions in an unavoidable collision. "The challenge for the designers is to tie the coding of algorithms with the experiences they enable." Post-Industrial Designers "As every object becomes connected—from your couch to your fitness bracelet, the hospital room to your wallet—we need to think about connected experiences," says Artefact's Markus Wierzoch. "[These] offer much broader value propositions, which means we need to change the [design] processes used to define these objects beyond their immediate form and function." Enter the postindustrial designer. Postindustrial designers will need to think of the total end-to-end user experience to build "tangible experiences that connect the physical and digital worlds," Wierzoch says. For example, the designer of the future, charged with designing an electrical toothbrush, will need to make sure their toothbrush can connect to an app, give users brushing stats, as well as plug into the future smart home. It's just not enough to design something that cleans your teeth well anymore. "Someone has to be responsible to stitch complex experiences together," Argodesign's Mark Rolston says. Design Strategists Design researchers may find fewer opportunities in the next 15 years, but Artefact's John Rousseau thinks design strategists will be indispensable. "The importance of design strategy will grow," he says. "Future design strategists will need the ability to understand and model increasingly complex systems"—for example, social media networks or supply chains—"and will design new products and services in a volatile environment characterized by continuous disruption and a high degree of uncertainty." In other words, a future defined by political, social, business, and tech disruption that can happen overnight. In such a future, Rousseau says, design strategists will be like ballerinas, dancing their companies in and out of trouble. "It will be more of a dance, and less of a march." Organization Designers The org chart of the future isn't going to be the same as the org chart of the past. That's why Ideo partner Bryan Walker thinks dedicated organization designers will be on hand, helping make companies more "adaptive, creative, and prolific." These designers, he says, "will help reimagine all aspects of an organization from its underlying structures, incentives, processes, and talent practices to its physical workplaces, digital collaboration tools and communications. " Freelance Designers Get used to working in your pajamas. According to Teague's Clint Rule, Eric Lawrence, and Matt McElvogue, the future of design is freelance. "Creative AI and global creative marketplaces will give individual designers on-demand access to skill sets previously only capable within large teams," they write. "The result is a surge in the specialization, efficacy, and independence of the designer." In their vision, freelancers won't just toil away in solitude, they'll form a "network of targeted micro-consultancies" that compete with more traditional firms. Have something to say? Drop us a note at CoDTips@fastcompany.com. Editor's Note: A previous version of this article misstated that IDEO's Tim Brown thought Chief Design Officers were on their way out.
News Article | February 22, 2017
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today the Financial Solutions Lab (FinLab) at the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) with founding FinLab partner JPMorgan Chase & Co. officially launched its third annual $3 million challenge to identify tech-enabled innovations that improve the financial health of Americans. The $30 million, five-year virtual lab initiative unveiled Financial Health as the broad theme for its third-year challenge, with a special interest in solutions geared toward the unique needs of often overlooked segments, including people of color, the aging, people with disabilities and low-income women. FinLab provides each winning organization with $250,000 in capital, support from FinLab operating partners IDEO.ORG and ideas42, strategic guidance from its industry-leading advisory council, and resources from founding partners CFSI and JPMorgan Chase, including the JPMorgan Chase employee mentorship program. The importance of this new challenge topic was determined using CFSI’s Consumer Financial Health Survey, JPMorgan Chase Institute research as well as research from other thought leaders. “The consumer impact of FinLab companies to date has been really astounding,” said Ryan Falvey, Managing Director at CFSI. “The 18 organizations supported by the lab so far have cumulatively grown to help more than one million Americans improve their financial health — 10 times the consumer base they served before joining the lab. First year Lab winner Digit, for example, has helped clients save more than $350 million. And EARN, part of the lab’s second class, found that 83 percent of its clients develop a habit of savings, with low-income households saving an average of $558 over six months. We expect this level of impact to continue with the next class of FinLab innovators.” “Technology can help us reach overlooked populations with more affordable and convenient financial products and services that can promote financial health,” said Colleen Briggs, Executive Director, Community Innovation, JPMorgan Chase. “But to unlock this potential, we want to see more innovators who understand these communities and are designing solutions that meet their needs and preferences.” Research shows that certain segments of the population are disproportionately struggling with their financial health. FinTech innovators interested in joining FinLab’s third year class can now complete and submit an application at http://finlab.cfsinnovation.com. There are two “rounds” for this year’s challenge, with deadlines set for March 16 and April 27, 2017. Winners will be announced on stage at the EMERGE Forum 2017, held June 15-17 in Austin, Texas. Also today, FinLab celebrated the culmination of its second cohort of nine fintech innovators. FinLab’s first and second challenges, focused on solving consumer cash flow issues and financial shocks, respectively, drew more than 600 total applications from companies and nonprofit organizations serving more than 10,000,000 Americans combined. To date, the Financial Solutions Lab has supported 18 financial technology companies offering innovative financial products to help more than one million Americans improve their financial health, a 10x growth since joining the lab. Collectively, FinLab companies have raised over $100,000,000 in capital since joining the program. The two FinLab classes to date include Albert, bee, EARN, EarnUp, eCreditHero, Everlance, Remedy, Scratch, and WiseBanyan from the just-completed Year Two, and Ascend Consumer Finance, Digit, Even, LendStreet, PayGoal by Neighborhood Trust, Prism, Propel, Puddle and SupportPay from Year One. “Creating new products is difficult, particularly in a space dominated by a few large players,” said Sameh Elamawy, co-founder of Scratch. “Having CFSI's knowledge and connections at our fingertips, as well as the resources of our mentors at JPMorgan Chase, has made a tremendous difference in our product design.” Leigh Phillips, CEO of nonprofit Lab member EARN, echoes those sentiments. "Our experience with the Lab has far exceeded any expectations we may have had," said Phillips. "In just a few short months, we've expanded our user base more than ten-fold across all fifty states and we can directly attribute those new savers to connections that the FinLab helped us make." “Working-age people with disabilities are more than twice as likely to be living in poverty as those without disabilities (28.5% compared with 11%),”said Tom Foley, Deputy Director, World Institute on Disability. “Shining a light on the unique challenges that this population faces, in an effort to identify financial tools to support their financial health and stability, is critically important. World Institute on Disability applauds the Financial Solutions Lab and looks forward to being a part of this important work.” "It's no small feat to help more than one million Americans improve their financial health," said Andrea Levere, President of CFED. "As a member of the FinLab's Advisory Council, I've been greatly impressed with the quality and innovation of the companies supported by this program. I'm excited to see real financial solutions directed to helping consumers who are often overlooked." “We all need safe ways to help build, manage, and protect savings over our lifetimes. With increasing longevity and a growing aging population, it has never been more urgent to solve these challenges,” said AARP Chief Public Policy Officer Debra Whitman, Ph.D. “AARP applauds the Center for Financial Services Innovation’s Financial Solutions Lab for launching their competition to develop innovative approaches to help families build and maintain their financial resilience as they age.” “Now more than ever, older Americans are facing increasing levels of debt and financial insecurity,” said Laura Carstensen, Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity. “Innovation is critical to tackling this issue and we are encouraged to see the Center for Financial Services Innovation’s Financial Solutions Lab challenging the fintech industry to play an important role.” About the Financial Solutions Lab The Financial Solutions Lab is a $30 million, five-year initiative managed by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) with founding Lab partner JPMorgan Chase & Co. to identify, test and expand the availability of promising innovations that help Americans increase savings, improve credit, and build assets. The lab will launch a series of competitions to identify solutions to specific consumer financial challenges. It will provide incentives for entrepreneurs, businesses, and nonprofits to enhance financial products and services that address these challenges and improve consumers’ financial health. For more information, visit http://finlab.cfsinnovation.com. About the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) CFSI is the nation’s authority on consumer financial health. CFSI leads a network of financial services innovators committed to building a more robust financial services marketplace with higher quality products and services. Through its Compass Principles and a lineup of proprietary research, insights and events, CFSI informs, advises, and connects members of its network to seed the innovation that will transform the financial services landscape. For more on CFSI, go to www.cfsinnovation.com and follow on Twitter at @CFSInnovation. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its JPMorgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com. ii JPMorgan Chase Institute, Coping with Costs: Big Data on Expense Volatility and Medical Payments. In its Coping with Costs report, JPMorgan Chase Institute defines “extraordinary payments” as large in magnitude: At least $400 in magnitude and more than 1 percent of annual income; and unusual: More than 2 standard deviations away from the individual’s normal monthly mean expense in this category. iii (NDI, Banking Status and Financial Behaviors of Adults with Disabilities: Findings from the 2015 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households, forthcoming)