Gel 2009

  • April 30 - May 1, 2009
  • New York City

The seventh annual Gel conference, exploring "good experience in all its forms."

Speakers

Bill Gurstelle

Senior Producer, Make:television
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Taking risks is vital to your health, argues Bill Gurstelle. Not a constant stream of life-threatening activities, but just enough to keep you from eating your own brain. (You'll learn what that means when you watch the video.)

Taking risks is vital to your health, argues Bill Gurstelle. Not a constant stream of life-threatening activities, but just enough to keep you from eating your own brain. (You'll learn what that means when you watch the video.)

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Scott Heiferman

Co-founder and Chief Organizer, Meetup.com
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The "silver lining of economic collapse" is visibly apparent when considering the thousands of communities enabled by Meetup.com, the company that Scott Heiferman co-founded and organizes.

The "silver lining of economic collapse" is visibly apparent when considering the thousands of communities enabled by Meetup.com, the company that Scott Heiferman co-founded and organizes.

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Steven Heller

Author/editor of over 100 graphic design books
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Building a strong visual brand is not always good for the world. Exploring the themes in his book Iron Fists, graphic design legend Steven Heller shows how totalitarian regimes of the 20th century consolidated their power through strong visual imagery.

Building a strong visual brand is not always good for the world. Exploring the themes in his book Iron Fists, graphic design legend Steven Heller shows how totalitarian regimes of the 20th century consolidated their power through strong visual imagery.

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Graham Hill

Founder, Treehugger.com
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Three easy steps: Graham Hill proposes three steps that anyone can take to significantly reduce their carbon footprint: use green energy, travel less, and become weekday vegetarian.

Three easy steps: Graham Hill proposes three steps that anyone can take to significantly reduce their carbon footprint: use green energy, travel less, and become weekday vegetarian.

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Fred Kent

Founder and president, Project for Public Spaces
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Rem Koolhaas and Frank Gehry take some licks from Fred Kent in this Gel talk, as he describes what "placemaking" means in creating a better urban experience. Good architecture, Kent says, serves the needs of the community.

Rem Koolhaas and Frank Gehry take some licks from Fred Kent in this Gel talk, as he describes what "placemaking" means in creating a better urban experience. Good architecture, Kent says, serves the needs of the community.

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Jerry Miller

Exoneree, The Innocence Project
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Thousands of innocent Americans are in prison for crimes they didn't commit. The Innocence Project, through the use of DNA evidence and legal reform, helps prove these people innocent - so that justice is served, and so the actual perpetrators can be... More

Thousands of innocent Americans are in prison for crimes they didn't commit. The Innocence Project, through the use of DNA evidence and legal reform, helps prove these people innocent - so that justice is served, and so the actual perpetrators can be found and imprisoned.

The Innocence Project's cofounder, Barry Scheck, shares the stage here with Jerry Miller, the 200th exoneree of the organization. Miller served 24 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit.

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Bruce Molsky

Musician
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Well-known for performing traditional Appalachian music, Bruce Molsky also blends folk music styles from across the world.

Well-known for performing traditional Appalachian music, Bruce Molsky also blends folk music styles from across the world.

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Risa Morimoto

Producer and director, "Wings of Defeat"
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The documentary film "Wings of Defeat," produced and directed by Risa Morimoto, shatters many myths of Japanese kamikaze pilots by drawing on personal recollections of survivors from both sides of the conflict. Risa also shows how the story took a... More

The documentary film "Wings of Defeat," produced and directed by Risa Morimoto, shatters many myths of Japanese kamikaze pilots by drawing on personal recollections of survivors from both sides of the conflict. Risa also shows how the story took a new turn when American and Japanese veterans met in person.

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Robin Nagle

Professor, NYU
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Listening to New York City sanitation workers - and working side-by-side with them - NYU professor Robin Nagle uncovered a wealth of knowledge about the job and the people who keep the city clean.

Nagle also talks about our relationship with trash... More

Listening to New York City sanitation workers - and working side-by-side with them - NYU professor Robin Nagle uncovered a wealth of knowledge about the job and the people who keep the city clean.

Nagle also talks about our relationship with trash - and why we might want to respect, maybe even love, what we leave behind. This is an anthropological study well worth learning from.

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Marion Nestle

Professor, NYU
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What you should eat, and what companies want you to eat, are not necessarily the same thing. Food expert Marion Nestle explains how we got to this point, and what you can do to choose the healthiest food.

What you should eat, and what companies want you to eat, are not necessarily the same thing. Food expert Marion Nestle explains how we got to this point, and what you can do to choose the healthiest food.

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Zina Saunders

Illustrator and author, "Overlooked New York"
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Great art can come out of frustration, as Zina Saunders shows. Her portraits of overlooked New Yorkers, and American political figures, reflect Zina's passionate view of the world.

Great art can come out of frustration, as Zina Saunders shows. Her portraits of overlooked New Yorkers, and American political figures, reflect Zina's passionate view of the world.

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Noah Scalin

Creator, Skull-A-Day
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To design a different skull every day for a year, it turns out, you need a little help from your friends - and some strangers, too. Noah Scalin talks about one of the boldest creative challenges you'll ever hear about.

To design a different skull every day for a year, it turns out, you need a little help from your friends - and some strangers, too. Noah Scalin talks about one of the boldest creative challenges you'll ever hear about.

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Barry Scheck

Co-founder, The Innocence Project
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Thousands of innocent Americans are in prison for crimes they didn't commit. The Innocence Project, through the use of DNA evidence and legal reform, helps prove these people innocent - so that justice is served, and so the actual perpetrators can be... More

Thousands of innocent Americans are in prison for crimes they didn't commit. The Innocence Project, through the use of DNA evidence and legal reform, helps prove these people innocent - so that justice is served, and so the actual perpetrators can be found and imprisoned.

The Innocence Project's cofounder, Barry Scheck, shares the stage here with Jerry Miller, the 200th exoneree of the organization. Miller served 24 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit.

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Barry Schwartz

Author, "The Paradox of Choice"
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A fiasco like the Wall Street meltdown could have been mitigated or avoided if more people had acted on principles of practical wisdom, Barry Schwartz argues. Here he gives diagnosis and prescription for a society that has, in part, lost touch with wisdom.

A fiasco like the Wall Street meltdown could have been mitigated or avoided if more people had acted on principles of practical wisdom, Barry Schwartz argues. Here he gives diagnosis and prescription for a society that has, in part, lost touch with wisdom.

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Joan Sullivan

Founder, Bronx Academy of Letters
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Bronx Academy of Letters: Joan Sullivan founded the Bronx Academy of Letters - a public, not charter, school - in the poorest congressional district in America. A few years later it was ranked as one of the top high schools in New York City. Joan... More

Bronx Academy of Letters: Joan Sullivan founded the Bronx Academy of Letters - a public, not charter, school - in the poorest congressional district in America. A few years later it was ranked as one of the top high schools in New York City. Joan tells her story and invites two alumni on-stage as well.

A few months after Gel 2009, Joan was appointed Deputy Mayor of Education in Los Angeles (source).

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Jamy Ian Swiss

Sleight-of-hand magician
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There is one key ingredient in all good magic tricks, and Jamy Ian Swiss reveals it before taking the audience through a magic trick as shown from the magician's perspective. This is one of the most thought-provoking and talked-about presentations... More

There is one key ingredient in all good magic tricks, and Jamy Ian Swiss reveals it before taking the audience through a magic trick as shown from the magician's perspective. This is one of the most thought-provoking and talked-about presentations from Gel 2009 and should be required viewing for anyone in the business of creating good experiences. (Hint: the key ingredient is also the essence of good listening.)

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Gel 2009 is part of the Gel series of events.

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