Gel Conference Logo

The world’s best
customer experience conference. Since 2003.

The Gel conference is an annual gathering of experience leaders and designers from around the world. Gel connects attendees to the visionaries who are creating good experiences.

Next Gel event: Skeptech, Wednesday, May 24
Seating is extremely limited - sign up soon

Skeptech: Wed, May 24, 2017

We're excited to announce to announce the next event in the Gel conference series:

Skeptech: Tales From the Dark Side of Tech
Wednesday, May 24, 2017 from 7pm to 9pm Eastern
Presented in partnership with WFMU, Jersey City, NJ
Sign up to attend in person or, if you can't make it, watch the livestream (starting 7pm Eastern on Wednesday, May 24, 2017).

Skeptech is a new event discussing digital technology and its effects on our day-to-day lives - not in Luddite opposition to tech, but rather raising awareness about the challenges raised by digital technology today. Online apps and services can be addictive, they can threaten privacy, and they often manipulate users without their knowledge or consent.

To dive deeper, Skeptech will feature tech experts who will speak about "the dark side of tech" that they have witnessed in their own fields. Between the speaker presentations and audience participation, Skeptech's goal is to "gel" some diverse perspectives while offering some ideas and inspiration for next steps: how to choose better tools, and perhaps even how to create better tech in the future.

WFMU Benefit: 100% of Skeptech ticket sales will go to WFMU to benefit the station and its free-form programming.

Skeptech Speakers

DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF, writer, documentarian, and lecturer whose work focuses on human autonomy in a digital age. He's the author of 15 bestselling books on media, technology, and society - most recently, "Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus" - and is the creator and host of the Team Human podcast. Rushkoff is Professor of Media Theory and Digital Economics at CUNY/Queens and technology and media commentator for CNN. Online: @rushkoff

NATASHA DOW SCHÜLL is a cultural anthropologist and associate professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. Her recent book, "Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas," draws on research among compulsive gamblers and the designers of slot machines to explore the relationship between technology design and the experience of addiction. Her next book, "Keeping Track" (expected late 2018) concerns the rise of digital self-tracking technologies. Online: natashadowschull.org

VICKI BOYKIS is a data scientist examining the intersection of technology and the humanities, particularly with regards to data privacy and content creation. She writes on the impact of data and technology on the human condition and has been published in Offscreen Magazine, the Forward, and Lilith. She's also currently working on Ironed Curtains, a project chronicling the experience of former Soviet immigrants in the United States. Online: @vboykis or vickiboykis.com

KEN FREEDMAN is the Station Manager of WFMU, the longest running and most renowned freeform radio station in the United States. Freedman also developed WFMU's internet presence: WFMU was the first radio station to offer full on-demand listening, podcasts, and a working iPhone stream. He recently founded Congera PBC which is developing the Audience Engine, an open source platform for small and medium sized broadcasters and journalists. Online: @stationmgrken

LIZ BERG is the Assistant General Manager at WFMU. In addition to hosting a weekly radio show and podcast, Liz oversees the station's operations, web development projects, and more. Alongside WFMU Station Manager Ken Freedman, Liz has recently been hard at work as a Product Manager for Audience Engine, a suite of open-source software tools to help media makers build community and crowdfund online.

MARK HURST (host of Skeptech) has spent his career consulting, writing, and speaking about how to create digital tech that benefits users more. Hurst is the founder and host of the Gel conference, which featured the first stage presentations of Khan Academy and Wikipedia, and is the creator of the Good Todo mobile productivity platform. His books "Bit Literacy" and "Customers Included" introduced the world to the empty inbox method (now known as Inbox Zero), and made the case for companies to treat customers better. Online: @markhurst

Gel 2016 Speakers & Videos

For last year's event, Gel 2016, our theme was journey - what are the user journeys, customer journeys, human journeys that all experience designers and managers should know about? Gel 2016 featured leaders and innovators who create good experiences in a wide range of fields.

Dava Newman

Dava Newman

Deputy Administrator, NASA

Helping lead the human journey to Mars.
Watch video: Vimeo / YouTube

Margarette Purvis

Margarette Purvis

President and CEO, Food Bank For New York City

Understanding community needs and leading a team that serves one out of five New Yorkers.
Watch video: Vimeo / YouTube

Albert Wenger

Albert Wenger

Partner, Union Square Ventures

Advocating for Universal Basic Income.
Watch video: Vimeo / YouTube

Manoush Zomorodi

Manoush Zomorodi

Host, WNYC's Note To Self podcast

Inviting info-overloaded people to transform their relationship with tech.
Watch video: Vimeo / YouTube

Gui Trotti

Gui Trotti

Founder, Trotti + Associates

Designing lunar bases, the space station, and other structures in extreme environments.
Watch video: Vimeo / YouTube

Katie Kirsch

Katie Kirsch

Co-founder, Girls Driving for a Difference

Journeying across the continent to empower middle-school girls.
Watch video: Vimeo / YouTube

Jenna Leonardo

Jenna Leonardo

Co-founder, Girls Driving for a Difference

Journeying across the continent to empower middle-school girls.
Watch video: Vimeo / YouTube

Eric Rodenbeck

Eric Rodenbeck

Founder and CEO, Stamen

Creating an atlas to guide explorers through human emotion.
Watch video: Vimeo / YouTube

j.views / Jonathan Dagan

j.views

Creator, The DNA Project

Sharing - and giving away - every step of his creative journey as he wrote a new album.
Watch video: Vimeo / YouTube

Andrew Beccone

Andrew Beccone

Founder of the Reanimation Library

Uncovering new resonance in old texts, now housed at the Queens Museum.
Watch video: Vimeo / YouTube

Emily Fischer

Emily Fischer

Founder, Haptic Lab

Displaying haptic quilts with embedded maps that "encourage embodiment."
Watch video: Vimeo / YouTube

Mark Hurst

Mark Hurst

Founder and CEO, Creative Good

Curating and hosting his 14th Gel event.
Watch video: Vimeo / YouTube

Lublin

Nancy Lublin, Gel 2015

Ishaq

Omar Ishaq, Gel 2015

Venue

TimesCenter Venue, Gel 2015 & 2016

Wednesday Icebreakers

Gel 2016 began on Wednesday, May 11 with afternoon icebreaker experiences for attendees to meet each other and begin to explore this year's theme of "journey":

cityHUNT: Our friends from cityHUNT, a Gel community favorite in past years, returned with a custom-designed experience for attendees to explore Manhattan, in teams, in a friendly competition.

The Hired Guns: Allison Hemming, founder of The Hired Guns, led a facilitated discussion to help attendees directly connect Gel themes to their workplace challenges.

See also: full Gel 2016 agenda

Gel 2016 continued the next day - Thursday, May 12 - at the TimesCenter on West 41st Street for a full day of on-stage presentations (see speaker list above).

Friday Deep-Dive Experiences

The Gel 2016 experience continued on the morning of Friday, May 13 with deep-dive workshops:

The Power of Creative Practice: Author and past Gel speaker Noah Scalin hosted a workshop inviting attendees to try a new creative practice - showing how this practice can build resilient, powerful organizations.

Unlock Your Network: Mark Monchek, founder of The Opportunity Lab, led attendees through a resource mapping exercise, helping them visualize their resources as an ecosystem – a changing and living network – and show how that ecosystem can accomplish their most important goals.

Creating a Good Experience: Mark Hurst, host of the Gel conference and founder of Creative Good, led a discussion about Gel learnings and how they can help attendees "create a good experience" on their team or product – including Q&A with Mark and a workshop exercise.

We concluded with lunch on the roofdeck overlooking the Hudson River, thanks to mbinnovations (part of mcgarrybowen).

See also: full Gel 2016 agenda


Upcoming Gel Events

Next Gel event: Skeptech, Wednesday, May 24. See speakers and sign up!

For more details, subscribe to the Creative Good email newsletter.

Produced by

Creative Good Logo