Josh Linkner is the New York Times Bestselling author of Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity. As CEO and Managing Partner of Detroit Venture Partners, he works with Earvin "Magic" Johnson and NBA team owner Dan Gilbert to actively rebuild urban areas through technology and entrepreneurship. Josh is also Adjunct Professor of Applied Creativity at the University of Michigan and a President Barack Obama Champion of Change award recipient.
Tamara G. Kleinberg is the founder and chief imaginator of imaginibbles, an organization dedicated to helping people and organizations think sideways and ignite disruptive ideas. As author of Think Sideways: a game-changing playbook for disruptive thinking, Tamara travels the globe speaking for leaders and organizations looking to ignite innovation, provoke new ideas and harness the power of the entrepreneurial spirit. She is also the creator and host of the internationally watched web show imagi-NATION®: disruptive innovators road tour.
For the past 18 years, Tamara has advised companies such as Procter and Gamble, General Mills, Clorox, WhiteWave Foods and IBM on fostering innovative ideas and people.
As a kid in computer camp, she won the “I’ll try anything once” award, a motto she still lives by.
Cynthia Nikitin has led numerous large-scale and complex projects during her 20 years with Project for Public Spaces. With a portfolio of more than 250 projects, Cynthia's technical expertise stretches from the development of downtown master plans and transit facility and station area enhancement projects, to the creation of corridor-wide transportation and land-use strategies, to the development of public art master plans for major cities, and the coalescing of civic buildings into civic centers. This includes facilitating approximately 40 public workshops, visioning sessions, and public meetings annually.
Cynthia's efforts regarding downtown and civic buildings include working with the U.S. General Services Administration Public Buildings Program. This multi-million-dollar program provides technical assistance for the redesign of federal plazas and public spaces nationwide. Currently, Cynthia is spearheading PPS's alliance with UN-HABITAT to create 300 great public spaces in cities across the developing world in fulfillment of a UN Habitat General Resolution that seeks to incorporate public space planning and programming as part of slum upgrading, gender mainstreaming, and urban regeneration projects. She has lead place-making training initiatives for the Nairobi City Council, City of Johannesburg/Johannesburg Development Authority. The Nairobi City Council committed to creating 60 great public spaces in that city by 2017.
Dennis Humphries is a founding partner of Humphries Poli Architects, a Denver-based architectural practice, acclaimed for innovative and engaging library projects. Dennis has been the creative lead of over 60 public library commissions, including six recent Anythink Libraries in Adams County, Colo., and recent work in Jackson Hole Wyo.; Glenwood Springs, Aspen, and Bayfield, Colo.
Dennis was honored with the conferring of the Silver Medal from the six-state Western Mountain Region AIA, the institute’s highest honor, in recognition of his passion for the advancement of the profession and his commitment to the community. He has also been distinguished as AIA Colorado Architect of the Year in 2007 and AIA Denver Architect of the Year in 2006. Humphries Poli Architects has also been honored with the designation of Firm of the Year in the Western Mountain Region, AIA Colorado and AIA Denver.
Donavon Roberson is the Culture Evangelist for Dyn Inc., located in Manchester, N.H. Dyn has set itself apart as the Infrastructure as a Service experts, powering DNS and email for enterprise, small business and personal users. Donavon’s role with Dyn is to ensure that culture intersects with every aspect of the company’s internal ecosystem and then to take that message out to other businesses seeking to make culture change. His responsibilities are to articulate and scale the Dyn culture to meet the demands of growing business with multiple locations.
Prior to his role with Dyn, Donavon was The Director of Service Innovations for OOBE, Inc. and a member of the Zappos Family as the Culture Evangelist and Operations Manager for Zappos Insights. In these roles, Donavon has had experience in crafting service initiatives for employees and customers, as well as sharing with hundreds of businesses how to create a business focused on service and culture, a role that uniquely prepared him for the “hands on” endeavour ahead of him with OOBE.
John Bellina, founder and creative director of Ricochet Ideas, is a 20-year marketing veteran who loves working with underdog brands. He has held creative director positions at powerhouse advertising agencies, including TBWA/Chiat/Day/Tequila, PublicisWest, and Hal Riney.
A shortlist of his clients includes Anythink, The Auraria Library, Absolut Vodka, Nextel, E*Trade, Cunard, Hewlett-Packard, Merck, Pfizer, Baskin-Robbins, Blue Cross of California, Air New Zealand, The Wyoming Department of Tourism, Domaine Chandon, and Nintendo.
Bellina’s work has been recognized with more than 30 industry awards for creative excellence. He has also been featured in Communication Arts Magazine, Shoot Magazine, Adweek, The Library Journal, iMedia Showcase and Advertising Age.
He has taught advertising at the Academy of Arts in San Francisco, and guest lectured at the Art Institute of Colorado and The University of Colorado – and presided as the Worldwide Judging Co-Chair for the International John Caples Awards.
John Creighton is a student of community life and public leadership. He advises public leaders on strategies to activate citizens to take action.
Creighton's professional journey includes 20 years of work with public-oriented organizations, including the U.S. Bureau of Primary Health Care, American Society of Newspaper Editors, Kettering and C.S. Mott Foundations, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Demos Public Works Project and many Pulitzer prize-winning newspapers. Creighton is the former director and senior fellow with The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation. He is the founder of Conocer, a peer-to-peer learning network for primary health care associations around the country.
John McKnight is co-director of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute and Professor Emeritus of Communications Studies and Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. For more than four decades, his research has focused on social service delivery systems, health policy, community organization, neighborhood policy and the incorporation of labeled people into community life. McKnight's current research focuses on developing new tools to enhance the productive powers of families, neighbors and neighborhoods.
As a result of a national study of local neighborhood initiatives, McKnight and his long-time colleague, Jody Kretzmann, created the Asset-Based Community Development strategy for community building. Together, they co-authored the basic guide to asset-based community development, Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Identifying and Mobilizing a Community's Assets. This book has become one of the nation's best-selling guides to community development, and the methods it outlines are now utilized worldwide. McKnight is also author of The Careless Society: Community and its Counterfeits and, together with co-author Peter Block, The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods.
Nina Simon is Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, which has gone through a radical transformation over the past year to become a community-driven gathering place. Recent risk-taking activities at the MAH have included kids with sledgehammers, pocket museums in bathrooms, fun with flamethrowers, collaborations with homeless people, and a redefinition of mission as being primarily about community development.
Simon teaches radical exhibition design in the University of Washington Museology graduate program and writes the popular blog Museum 2.0. Her 2010 book, The Participatory Museum, was named "a future classic of museology" and is used as a text in hundreds of cultural organizations and graduate programs internationally. Previously, Simon worked as an independent consultant to over 100 museums and cultural centers around the world, focusing on participatory community engagement. She served as curator at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, Calif., and was the Experience Development Specialist at the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C.
As a former public librarian, Ozi Friedrich brings a life-long commitment to creativity and discovery to his work as a library designer with Humphries Poli Architects. He was lead designer of three of the Anythink Libraries and is currently part of the design team for the Pitkin County Library and the Carbondale Library.
Prior to pursuing his career in architecture, Ozi was Fine Arts Librarian at the Queens Central Library. His master’s in Library and Information Science is from the Pratt Institute. He has also been a library staff member at Reed College and Lewis & Clark College. In 2010, Ozi received the Fischer Traveling Scholarship to study library design in the Netherlands.
Tasso Stathopulos, founder and design director of Ricochet Ideas, has led strategic and visual rebranding for clients including Anythink, Pfizer, the University of Colorado, Trimble, Harris Corp., Good Times, and The Auraria Library.
Throughout his career he has also shaped the identity of national brands including Hunter Douglas, Naked Juice, Janus, and the Baker’s Square and Black-eyed Pea restaurants.
His design experience includes brand identity, advertising, print design, trade shows, packaging, direct mail, and environmental graphics.
A graduate of the internationally recognized Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, his work has been recognized by the American Institute of Graphic Arts and The New York Art Directors Club. His work has been published in Communication Arts, Print, and HOW magazines, The Library Journal, and the book Logo Lounge.