GENSLER SXSW - RobertKoshgarian

SXSW, the singular festival that takes place in Austin, Texas each March, has risen to become a critical incubator of emerging ideas for the way people live, work and play. We think it provides the perfect audience to engage in conversations about the ways design can enhance human experience. Gensler is proposing four separate panels for SXSW 2016, and we’d love your votes to help get us there. Voting is easy. Simply log in to SXSW’s panel picker, and give our panels a thumbs up.

Heads + Hearts: Consumer Engagement Where It Counts

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As the proliferation of online purchasing puts a global marketplace in everyone’s palm, why do select products graduate from the paralyzing pack of choices into the pantheon of “it” brands, whether for a fleeting moment or for generations? Like guests at the perfect dinner party, our thought-provoking panelists debate and discuss this conundrum from sometimes-conflicting points of view. Join global retail and branding expert John Bricker; Wall Street Journal style columnist Christina Binkley, who tracks micro and macro trends in real time; neuroscientist Dr. James Thompson, who can trace a marketing message to the dopamine it triggers in a consumer; and Melody Lee, the brand director charged with making Cadillac cool again.

Video © Gensler

Can Incubators Make Universities Relevant Again?

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As headlines lament mushrooming student debt and a “higher education bubble,” Google—a choice employer and renowned innovator—says college degrees aren’t a prerequisite for the talent they seek. So why should young people invest in degrees? Is higher education still relevant? Universities must change to survive, and there is an interesting model that offers ideas for a new way of learning: the academic incubator. Join Gensler Principal Jill Goebel, Julia Kaganskiy, Director of the first museum-led incubator, NEW INC, and Mike McGee, co-founder of The Starter League, as they debate what differentiates the incubators that work from those that fail, and consider whether incubators could indeed save (or transform) higher education.

Learn more about this topic here.

Finding the Nudgeables – People Open to Better Health

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As health care transitions from a treatment to prevention model, how can we get people to become more preventative in their own care? Some people already are. Others never will be. Still others fall between these extremes. The trick is finding people that need behavioral improvements and are somewhat open to making them. These “Nudgeables” (i.e. people who require a push in the right direction) offer the industry a high ROI opportunity. But the reality is that until now, we knew too little to effectively activate them. Using information gathered in 7,000 interviews, our research team reveals who the Nudgeables are and how they can be moved from inertia to action – both through what we communicate to them as well as how we construct their environments. Join Gensler’s Sarah Bader and Leo Burnett’s Denise Fedewa as they share their research findings with the SXSW Interactive audience.

Building Blocks of Change: A Design Workshop

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Many innovations that shape our lives come from organizations that value experimentation and collaboration. This begins at the corporate ethos level and is reflected in and enhanced by workplace design. In education, we are beginning to see pedagogy approaches that foster these same values, but the design of learning environments has not kept pace. In this workshop we distill the essence of what makes these spaces successful and use this information to create a list of characteristic design strategies for the next generation of learning environments. But the real work happens afterwards: how can the lessons we uncover help us implement change when we return to our own organizations?

Video © Gensler

Join Gensler designers Patricia Nobre and Meghan Webster, along with Northwestern University’s David Schonthal, a founder of MATTER Chicago, and also David Stephen of New Vista in this hands-on design workshop at SXSWedu.

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