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The Adobe 99U Conference Main Stage at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center

99U Conference

Speakers Announced for the 11th Annual Adobe 99U Conference

We believe that when creatives take their rightful seat the table, the future is bright. Here's a look at what to expect at this year's 99U Conference, taking place May 8-10 in New York City.

Creativity is futureproof. It’s human. It’s global. It’s technology-agnostic. It doesn’t discriminate. 

From people working at the bleeding edge of their fields to others bringing more humanity to technology and business, the program for the 11th Annual 99U Conference is a call to action for creatives to take control of our tomorrow. Because we believe that when creatives take their rightful seat the table, the future is bright.

Here’s a look at what to expect at this year’s 99U Conference, taking place May 8-10 in New York City.


Main Stage

In a series of main stage talks and performances over two days, we’ll hear from leaders and groundbreakers across the fields of inclusive design, augmented intelligence, sonic design, data humanism, poetic computation, and brand voice.

Headshot of Tim Brown, IDEO CEO

Tim Brown
CEO & President, IDEO

As the CEO of IDEO and author of Change By Design, Tim’s work has had a significant impact on the increasing presence of creativity and design thinking in almost every corner of business. Having helped to chart the course of the design industry for the past few decades, Tim will sit down for a can’t-miss conversation on what lies ahead.


Headshot of Kat Holmes, Microsoft

Kat Holmes
Director, UX Design, Google & Founder,

As the author of Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design and founder of the firm, Kat’s dedication and approach to inclusive design is informed by the World Health Organization’s definition of disability as a “mismatched interaction between the features of a person’s body and the features of the environment in which they live.” She currently serves as Director, UX Design at Google, previously held the position of Principal Director of Inclusive Design at Microsoft, and her award-winning inclusive design toolkit is on display at Cooper Hewitt.


headshot of anna pickard, slack

Anna Pickard
Head of Brand Communications, Slack

Following a career in journalism at the Guardian, Anna joined Slack as the then-startup’s first writer. Since then, she’s become the course-setter for the entire company’s voice as Head of Brand Communications, reaching three million-plus users with authenticity and humanity, and reshaped how the greater tech industry thinks about communications.


merrill garbus, tune-yards

Merrill Garbus
Musician, Tune-Yards

A musician who is at once forward-facing and deeply present, we’re thrilled to feature a live performance by Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards on the 99U main stage. First gaining notice with the debut album BiRd-BrAiNs, which The New York Times called “a confident do-it-yourselfer’s opening salvo,” Merrill forged a reputation as a sonically adventurous musician and formidable live presence. Merrill and Tune-Yards bassist Nate Brenner recently scored Boots Riley’s acclaimed film, Sorry to Bother You, and the group has collaborated with music industry legends including Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, and Mavis Staples.


Headshot of Vivienne Ming, Socos Labs

Dr. Vivienne Ming
Co-Founder & Executive Chair, Socos Labs

Vivienne has the answers to one of our most pressing questions: How will AI influence the future of creativity? After pursuing research in cognitive neuroprosthetics at UC Berkeley, Vivienne founded Socos Labs, an independent think tank exploring augmented intelligence (you read that right: “augmented,” not “artificial”) and the future of human potential. Her AI systems have helped treat her diabetic son, predict manic episodes in bipolar sufferers weeks in advance, and reunite orphan refugees with extended family members.


headshot of kyle t. webster, adobe

Kyle T. Webster
Design Evangelist, Adobe

An unrivaled innovator in the digital art and illustration world, Kyle is best known as the founder of, the brand behind the world’s best-selling, industry-standard Photoshop brushes. His brushes — the first of their kind to be officially licensed by Adobe for inclusion in the Adobe Creative Cloud — have been used by professionals at Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, and Weta Digital. His illustration work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, Communications Arts, and American Illustration, and he teaches the next generation of creatives at UNC School of the Arts.


headshot of ashley c. ford, writer

Ashley C. Ford
Writer, Editor, Speaker, Host

Ashley is a master of boldly honest storytelling in all its forms, receiving praise for her thought-provoking, and powerful essays and talks. Her work has appeared in the Guardian, ELLE, BuzzFeed, Slate, Teen Vogue, and New York Magazine, and she currently hosts the interview series PROFILE by Buzzfeed News.


headshot of michael ventura, sub rosa

Michael Ventura
Founder & CEO, Sub Rosa

The founder of strategy and design firm Sub Rosa, Michael is a leading thinker in the intersection of empathy, creativity, and business. Sub Rosa has worked with organizations including Pantone, Adobe, TED, Delta, and The Daily Show; and Michael’s thinking has spawned a book, a monthly speaker series, and even a deck of cards.


headshot of thaniya keereepart, patreon

Thaniya Keereepart
Head of Product, Creator Experience, Patreon

Thaniya’s passion lies at the intersection of human-computer interaction, design, and behavioral economics. Following her tenures at Major League Baseball and TED, Thaniya now helps creatives make a living by connecting them with their biggest fans as Head of Product, Creator Experience at Patreon.


headshot of joel beckerman, man made music

Joel Beckerman
Founder, Composer & Producer, Man Made Music

Design isn’t always a visual medium. An award-winning composer and the author of The Sonic Boom: How Sound Transforms the Way We Think, Feel, and Buy, Joel is the founder of Man Made Music, a global sonic studio that has designed experiences for AT&T, Disney, Nissan, and IMAX. Joel isn’t just rethinking sound; he’s also rethinking the conference talk, bringing a ‘sonic keynote’ to the 99U main stage.


headshot of zach lieberman, school for poetic computation

Zach Lieberman
Co-founder, School for Poetic Computation

Zach has one goal: to surprise you. He creates performances and installations that achieve impossible things, like making drawings come to life, imagining what a voice might look like, and transforming silhouettes into music. His creations have been listed in TIME’s Best Inventions of the Year and he’s the co-founder of the School for Poetic Computation, which examines the lyrical possibilities of code.


headshot of giorgia lupi, accurat

Giorgia Lupi
Partner & Design Director, Accurat

Giorgia is a creative leader working to make data more human. She’s the co-founder of data-driven design firm, Accurat, co-author of Dear Data, and an MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow.


Duncan Wardle Breakout Session

Duncan Wardle of id8 & innov8, pictured here at his 99U workshop in 2018. Photo by Ryan Muir for 99U.

Master Classes and Workshops

We’ll dive deep into new creative technologies and the future of work in a series of breakout master classes and workshops with some of our favorite individuals and organizations, including:

Local Projects
Adobe Design
Wolff Olins
Fake Love
Man Made Music
Tina Essmaker
Duncan Wardle
Sylvain Labs
Anton & Irene
Meg Lewis
Adobe Creative Residents
Jasmine Takanikos
Christina Amini
Sahar Yousef
Lisa Rothstein


Register now and join 1,000 fellow creatives at the Adobe 99U Conference, May 8-10, 2019 in New York City.


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