Keynote: John Bielenberg

/Keynote: John Bielenberg
Keynote: John Bielenberg2017-12-01T22:39:09+00:00

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John Bielenberg, Founder, Project M/COMMON

What John does best is help companies and their people, find the courage and the sense of humor to consider whole new, wrong ways of bringing their stories, ideas, and innovations out into the world.

John feels so strongly about the value of thinking wrong that he created a program called Project M that is designed to inspire and educate young designers, writers, photographers, and filmmakers by proving that their work—especially their wrongest thinking—can have a positive and significant impact on the world. Project M has developed projects to help a conservation area in Costa Rica, Micro-financing in Ghana, New Orleans after Katrina, the community of East Baltimore, connecting households to fresh water in Hale County Alabama and addressing the the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Alabama.

Most recently, John has partnered with Alex Bogusky and Rob Schuham to form COMMON, a new brand of capitalism that replaces competitive advantage with collaborative advantage. John, Alex and Rob believe that benefiting people, communities, society, the environment and future generations is the new advantage in business.

In his career, John has won more than 250 design awards, was nominated for 2 National Design Awards from the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, served on the AIGA National Board of Directors, and teaches at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has acquired six of his projects and staged a solo exhibition in 2000. In addition, John was awarded the Skandalaris Award for Design Entrepreneurship from Washington University in St. Louis in 2009 and was granted an honorary doctorate degree from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2011.

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