Beth Veglahn

5 takeaways from an inspirational creative conference

By Beth Veglahn on December 16, 2015

At Core Creative, we know our success depends on making sure we live our brand values. One of our values at Core is to “get smart”. When we’re able to get out of the office, hear new perspectives and connect with other creatives, we come back with fresh ideas for our clients. This year, Monica Cerletty and I attended CUSP, a creative conference that brings together artists, innovators, scientists, inventors and other seemingly unrelated presenters to speak on one theme. We left inspired by so many ideas and people, which we’ve condensed here into our top five.

  1. Build a container of collaboration. We need collaboration to fix broken systems. Eve Blossom, social entrepreneur and founder of We’ve, believes its not our companies, our products or services that will change the world, its how we collaborate. Instead of focusing on building a company, build a container of collaboration and the ideas will follow.
  1. Business can be romantic. In today’s society driven by technology, innovation and data, it often seems as if we’ve left one thing behind… humanity. We are becoming more and more disenchanted with this society and Tim Leberect, author of the book “the Business Romantic, believes it’s time for another romantic movement. He offers up three rules of enchantment: Find The Big in the Small, Keep the Mystique and Suffer (a Little). Following these rules will change your relationship to the world around you and move your business away from the daily grind and more toward serving humanity.
  1. You don’t have to be a millionaire to bring your product to market. 13-year-old Lily Born is already a bonafide inventor with a product on the market. At age 9 she drew a three-sided no-spill cup for her grandfather with Parkinson’s disease. Her father helped her design prototypes out of clay, which led to a Kickstarter campaign that raised enough money to manufacture the cups in China. To date they’ve sold over 1,000 cups.
  1. We’re all adaptive. After a traumatic brain injury, Marily Zosia used fitness as a way to regain her sense of self and recovery from memory loss. Her wife Ellyse was born with metabolic condition that meant exercise could kill her, but she didn’t let that stop her. They realized that there had to be others out there like them so together they founded I am Adaptive, a non-profit organization that is focused on empowering people who are viewed as handicapped or disabled and striving to remove those labels that are so often negatively perceived by society.
  1. What would you be doing without the influence or inspiration of someone? Maurice Woods grew up in the inner city dreaming of becoming a basketball star. After realizing only 1.3% of college athletes are drafted into the NBA, he declared graphic design as his major because he liked to draw as a kid. Bringing his life full circle, Maurice founded the Inneract Project, a program that brings design to inner city minority youth. The program focuses on education, exposure and context, giving kids in the city influential mentors to propel them through college and into creative careers.

So what is the connection in all of these seeming unconnected speakers? They were all faced with a challenge, be it social, business or personal, and rose up to meet it. They designed new ways of thinking, new ways of inspiring, new ways of interacting with the world around them. They designed solutions. The word design should no longer be limited to making things aesthetically pleasing or making a hit product. The word design should become more powerful than that because truly great design can change the world.