Back to life! In 2003 we took a leap of faith and launched the Gel conference – despite a war and a plague (the Iraq war began on March 20, 2003; the SARS epidemic started around the same time) – and began something special, including the first stage presentations by Marissa Mayer, Ze Frank, and others.
Now ten years later (and today, Monday is the last day of early-bird tickets), we announce the speakers of the 10th Gel conference, centered on a theme of “back to life.”
Albert Wenger, partner at Union Square Ventures, writes that Gel is one of his favorite conferences:
What makes GEL so special is that Mark Hurst who organizes the conference always brings together a wonderfully diverse and thought provoking group of speakers. And Mark tends to be ahead of the curve. For instance, Sal Khan spoke at GEL in 2010 when Khan Academy was still subsisting on a bit of online advertising (btw, Sal’s TED talk wasn’t until a year later).
This year Gel will feature visionaries, entrepreneurs, and experience-design innovators who are bringing something back:
• Robert Hammond, cofounder, The High Line
• Gabriel Weinberg, founder and CEO, Duck Duck Go
• Ben Kaufman, founder and CEO, Quirky
• Rachel Shechtman, founder of STORY
• Leslie Koch, president, Trust for Governor’s Island
• Joel Salatin, founder of Polyface Farm
• Liam Casey, founder and CEO, PCH International
• Zahra Aljabri, founder, Mode-Sty
• Sam & Leslie Davol, founders, The Uni Project
• Roman Baca, founder, Exit 12 Dance Company
• Ken Freedman, General Manager, WFMU
• Ellie Balk & Nate Affield, Green School educators teaching NYC high school students to visualize data by painting urban murals.
You have one chance to see them all, one month from today, at Gel 2013. For anyone interested in customer experience, design, or innovation, there is nothing quite like the Gel experience. As Michael Sippey, VP Product at Twitter, put it:
It takes guts to put an eclectic program like GEL together–even with a great set of smart people doing interesting talks, there’s always a chance the program slips off the high wire. But Mark pulls it off, and when he’s up on stage walking that wire you can see the joy he takes in sharing the things he loves.