This 12 months’s 99U Convention was, for the primary time, a free, digital expertise with attendees becoming a member of us from around the globe. From a paper-crafting workshop that investigates the interaction of the bodily and digital, courtesy of Kelli Anderson, to Antionette D. Carroll’s blueprint for real inclusivity and fairness, there’s a wealth of concepts from our featured group of thinkers and creatives that have interaction with this 12 months’s theme of The Artistic Self. 

All periods, keynote, grasp class, and workshops, at the moment are obtainable to stream and we’ve got gathered highlights under. Watch a replay of the livestream and entry all of this 12 months’s talks and explorations on demand at behance.web/99U.


Acknowledge the second

With exceptional honesty and compassion, creator Anne Helen Petersen’s keynote discuss Rethinking Productiveness Tradition, takes a second to acknowledge the discomfort, ache, and sheer strangeness of the scenario we’re all dwelling by way of. Her investigation of burnout and our relationship to work provides her distinctive perception into the stresses and challenges of profession uncertainty, anxiousness, and stress to be productive. Anne Helen’s perspective right here provides us much-needed context and a short respite from the exhaustion of being “all the time on.” In any case, if every thing in our world has modified, “so too ought to our understandings of what’s attainable and what we must always anticipate from ourselves and others.”

The inventive energy of appreciation

Saying “thanks” will tackle a brand new dimension after A.J. Jacobs’ keynote Training Radical Gratitude. His discuss takes us by way of probably the most invaluable classes that he discovered from his gratitude undertaking of thanking each particular person concerned in his day by day cup of espresso, and the way extending appreciation can rework your mindset. It’d really feel unusual at first, however as A.J. can attest, “Your thoughts catches up together with your conduct. So typically our actions form our ideas, not the opposite method round.”

John S. Sofa’s grasp class Designing a New Day can also be a lesson in appreciation, as he argues for carving out “me time.” Creating this private area is essential for psychological and artistic well being, and as John says, “my argument is that for inventive innovation, the flexibility to operate higher at work, you want time by yourself. You want time to take a seat and ponder and heart.” The easy motion of creating an hour every day in your private tasks and ambitions will lengthen gratitude in each route in your life. 

Discovering worth in wholesome rigidity

Anna Sale’s podcast, Demise, Intercourse & Cash, focuses on these questions and conversations that we would favor to keep away from—uncomfortable, thorny subjects that fire up concern, anger or unhappiness. However as we hear in her keynote Let’s Discuss About Onerous Issues, she has discovered that embracing this discomfort results in real connection, development, and foundations for neighborhood constructing. Anna notes that that is extra invaluable now than ever earlier than, “I’d argue that the onus is extra on us as people to skillfully navigate these items in dialog with the folks in our lives. The onus is on us now in a method that it hasn’t been in earlier generations.”

The idea of rigidity additionally knowledgeable Taeyoon Choi’s keynote, Methods for Embracing Our Contradictions. The founding father of the Faculty for Poetic Computation talked us by way of the idea of “unlearning,” which is rooted within the notions of reconciliation and mending relationships. How can we acknowledge one another’s complexities and contradictions and nonetheless discover frequent floor to type significant connections? Utilizing code and computing as a reference level, Taeyoon guides us by way of how we are able to apply the identical ideas to {our relationships}, urging us to “Spend time with those that admire your contradictions, who problem your beliefs, however acknowledge that you’re your personal particular person. Discover the way you develop of their presence, discover how time slows down, whenever you’re with them.”

Mapping a considerate future

In her prescient grasp class, Understanding Id, Energy, & Fairness in Design Management, Antionette D. Carroll presents us a set of methods for the design trade to look at its influence, make clear priorities, and work in direction of a shared aim. She explores how considerate, genuinely inclusive management depends on recognizing accountability and duty of these in energy. Antionette is instructive, giving us perception into how she arrived at her dedication to creating fairness and truthful illustration, noting that “we have to have a cultural or systemic shift inside our precise trade.” 

Likewise seeking to a extra compassionate future, Michael Ventura, the founder and CEO of Sub Rosa, leads Making use of Empathy, a workshop that dispels a number of the myths round empathy, and illustrates how it’s much less of a trait than an everyday apply, and a muscle that we are able to all construct. He reveals us how empathy involves life, and the way we are able to broaden our capability for connection and fascinating with these round us. As he says, “We will begin to turn out to be conscious of the issues which have held us again prior to now, our fears, our anxieties, and by working by way of these, we’re in a position to assist others.” 

Yancey Strickler’s keynote, A Framework for Your Final Self, illuminates a chook’s-eye view of the long run, as he walks us by way of his idea of Bentoism, composed of “4 distinct areas of self-interest to consider.” By Bentoism, Yancey illustrates how your assumptions could be challenged, and your time and power redirected to create a extra beneficiant, coherent worldview. 

Discover your forex of energy

Energy, in all its varieties, shapes our private {and professional} lives. In his 99U keynote discuss, Understanding Energy Languages, Alain Sylvain, founder and CEO of Sylvain Labs, asks, “how can we manifest that energy as inventive folks with the intention to actually maximize our potential?” He traces energy by way of historical past, explains how it’s situational, ever-shifting, and current in all our interactions. By being conscious of the distinctive capability for energy that designers maintain, we are able to work in direction of understanding this as a device and potential to push for constructive change. 

Embrace the on a regular basis 

In case you’ve spent quite a lot of time surrounded by acquainted sights currently, a pair of workshops on this 12 months’s convention lineup might spark you to consider the on a regular basis in new and surprising methods. 

Illustrator Octavia Brommell leads Exploring Private Tasks, a workshop that exhibit her method to contemplating inventive priorities, centering private happiness, and creating artwork pushed by gratitude and appreciation for easy joys. As she notes, “Not solely has engaged on private issues improved my common wellbeing and my sanity for small issues, it’s additionally turn out to be an effective way for me to maintain the dreaded artist’s block or inventive burnout at bay.”

Jinjin Sun

Jinjin Solar, Adobe’s senior expertise designer, talked with Octavia Bromell in regards to the significance of appreciating small joys. Pictures by Joey Solar.

And in the event you’ve ever checked out one among Michelle Rial’s intelligent, witty charts and puzzled how she makes one thing so compelling out of the on a regular basis, her workshop Chart Your Life, won’t solely offer you a glimpse into her inventive mindset, however an opportunity to faucet into the identical capability in your personal apply. By Michelle’s brainstorming session and guided steps, she breaks down her concepts course of and reveals how her greatest concepts are sparked. And no must be intimidated, as a result of as Michelle places it, “What I discovered in that course of is in the event you can draw three traces, and write three phrases, you may make a chart.”  Don’t be afraid to experiment, both, as a result of as Michelle reminds us, “dangerous concepts can turn out to be good concepts in the event you give them time, area, and love.”

Push in opposition to the algorithm

Everyone knows what it’s wish to really feel as if algorithms can learn our minds, whether or not it’s a just-right playlist, or the product you’ve been fascinated by shopping for popping up on one other web site. We even have a fairly clear line between the digital and bodily worlds set in our minds. However two audio system at this 12 months’s convention challenged our assumptions and inspired us to look past these boundaries. 

More often than not, Nishat Akhtar, inventive director at Instrument, embraces the expertise of seeing her pursuits mirrored again by way of a number of digital platforms. However as she factors out in her 99U grasp class Look Round You, we’ve got a duty to push again in opposition to these patterns and draw ourselves out of our consolation zones to make real connections with others. Her two workouts will hone your “energy of noticing,” join you to your instincts, and deepen your relationships. In each actions, she notes how vital it’s to “Enable your self to be transported to this new place or a brand new feeling. Enable your self to get nearer to the folks that you just do that with. Enable your self to be your self with the intention to end up.” Her personal experiences with the 2 workouts have had a profound influence on her, “I fortified my very own inventive self, I related with my neighborhood, deepened present relationships, and cultivated new ones.”

Jeannie Huang

Jeannie Huang, senior product designer on Behance, in dialog with Kelli Anderson. Pictures by Joey Solar.

Taking a extra hands-on method, Kelli Anderson’s workshop Supplies for Laptop Individuals will push you to interact with supplies in an surprising, playful method. Drawing from historic examples from designers and artists, and citing her personal experiments with paper expertise, the artist and paper engineer leads us by way of thought workouts that problem us to create new hyperlinks between analog and bodily, and guides us in constructing a easy volvelle and a paper calculator. 

Lead with love

In her 99U grasp class Constructing the Love Into Artistic Enterprise, inventive enterprise strategist Emily Cohen explains how her direct, brutally sincere strategies are all the time rooted within the idea of affection. She reveals us “find out how to evolve your enterprise by way of love—and love is all about connections. We’re speaking about constructing connections, one-on-one connections.” She defined how this love shines by way of in all points of the consumer relationship, from day by day firm tradition to sustainable development, reminding us that “If you construct the love, a number of great issues occur. Purchasers will advocate for you. They are going to defend you whenever you make a mistake, they are going to promote you when they should, they are going to discuss how a lot they love you and the way a lot they adore you.”

Sustain the momentum

As a part of this 12 months’s exploration of the idea of The Artistic Self, we partnered with inventive coach and 99U columnist Tina Essmaker who wrote an interactive workbook to create space for reflection and self-discovery in your inventive path. Tina’s dialog with Jeannie Huang, senior product designer at Behance, walked us by way of the second of 5 workouts within the Workbook, which focuses on function and find out how to suppose deeper about discovering your method ahead with intention. Their chat additionally illuminated the core concepts behind each this 12 months’s Convention theme and the Workbook themes, together with voice, constructing neighborhood, and taking good care of your private well-being. 

You can begin the workbook proper in your browser (or obtain a duplicate), courtesy of our pals at Adobe Doc Cloud


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