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John Maeda: Looking for Superman

About this talk

Rhode Island School of Design president John Maeda defines the key qualities of standout innovators–a willingness to struggle, to make mistakes, to live with ambiguity–and tackles the creative’s biggest challenge: How to lead other creatives. Perhaps confronting the status quo, killing bureaucracy, and leading change can be its own art form.

John Maeda, Global Head of Computational Design + Inclusion, Automattic

John Maeda is a world-renowned artist, graphic designer, computer scientist and educator whose career reflects his philosophy of humanizing technology. For more than a decade, he has worked to synthesize technology, education and the arts into a 21st-century model for creativity and innovation.

At Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Maeda works with KPCB’s entrepreneurs and portfolio companies to build design into their company cultures. He served as the 16th president of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) from 2008 through 2013, during which time RISD saw increased applications, fundraising, and career placements. Prior to RISD, Maeda spent 13 years at the MIT Media Lab as a professor and head of research. His career bridging the intersections of graphic design, computer science, art, education, and leadership earned him the distinction of being named one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century by Esquire.

Maeda chairs the eBay Design Advisory Council, serves on the boards of the wireless hi-fi company Sonos and the advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, and is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on New Models of Leadership.

Comments (3)
  • goldenlogos

    fantastic presentation

  • Guest

    Lol, that was ambiguous. I was expecting him saying something about being an übermench in today’s age. Still love Maeda tho.

  • Gregg Mazel

    “It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”
    -Cassius Clay, AKA Muhammad Ali
    I also stare at the edge of the precipice when I begin writing music. Looking down, I encounter the ground and the sea. Looking up I discover the sky.
    Looking in I encourage myself to see.

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