Interview: Maria Cornejo

I've been a fan of Carol Han's blog Milk & Mode for a while now.  She has found the intersection of fashion and food--what could be better?  I'm also a big fan of Maria Cornejo.  So when I came across this article on Bon Appetit, I got excited.  I was fortunate to work with Maria at a storytelling workshop led by one of my clients Karen Harvey.  After spending two days together in the workshop, I came away inspired by Maria's natural ease and her incredible design talent.  In my eyes, she embodies the word goddess and this interview only affirms my feelings.

 

Kitchen Couture: Designer Maria Cornejo's Ceviche

By Carol Han

A few days ago, Chilean-born fashion designer Maria Cornejo had the best meal of her life: homemade gnocchi, made by her husband, photographer Mark Borthwick, and served with fresh basil pesto and lasagna with bacon and vegetables. They ate by candlelight in the garden of their Brooklyn brownstone. And she was wearing (we had to ask) the Long Sarah Dress in Tribal linen from her spring/summer collection.

To us, the dinner sounds just as sophisticated and lovely as her garments. An award-winning designer who counts Tilda Swinton, Cindy Sherman, and Michelle Obama among her customers, Cornejo makes clothes for the thinking woman--simple lines that curve and swoop along the body, and prints that hold attention.

Here she takes a quick pause from fashion week prep to talk food and cooking, which she happens to love, and shares a ceviche recipe she learned to make while growing up in Chile.

What's your go-to snack after a long day of fittings? Roasted seaweed

What do you eat to celebrate a new line? Tacos and margaritas

How often do you cook? My husband Mark Borthwick does most of the cooking at our house. I usually cook when he is traveling or for our picky teenage son, Joey.

What are a few of your favorite restaurants? 5 Burros in Queens for fish tacos; Il Buco and Frankies 457 for fresh, quality Italian; Hibino in Cobble Hill for sushi.What is your favorite city and can you tell us what your top 5 favorite places are in that city? Los Angeles: Animal Restaurant, Lucques, MOCA, Getty Museum, The Botanical Gardens at the Huntington LibraryWhat are your top three tips for entertaining? Cook with togetherness and with love, candles set the ambience, and make sure you are able to enjoy the time with your guests.What is the one kitchen accessory or tool you couldn't live without? A blenderWhere are some of your go-to tableware items and where did you buy them? Our wooden serving spoons we collect from world travels and Lebanese Silverware from Liwan in Paris.Maria Cornejo's Ceviche

INGREDIENTS 1 1/4 pounds fresh red snapper (or similar firm white fish), rinsed, patted dry, and cut into 1-inch cubes Juice of 15 limes (enough to cover the fish) 1 red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise 1 garlic clove, minced 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped Salt and pepper

PROCEDURE In a large bowl, combine fish chunks, red onion, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, and salt and pepper. Cover with lime juice. Refrigerate and let marinate for 3 hours. Serve chilled.

Welcome: Think Quarterly

A couple week ago, Google put out what they are calling  “Think Quarterly,” a digital magazine of sorts that aims "to help people and organizations navigate a world gone digital."  The theme of their inaugural  issue?  Innovation.  They open the issue by reminding us:

"In 2003, a total of five exabytes of data existed. Now we generate that every two days. We are, literally, more creative than ever.

Where to begin? Right here. We've curated big ideas from heads of industry, leading experts and our homegrown visionaries -- all to help guide your own thinking. In our inaugural US issue, we focus on Innovation. Where can you break molds and shape the future? We hope this gives you inspiration, insight, and some new ideas of your own."

There's lots of inspiration and insight throughout but the piece that struck me the most was written by Google's employee #16, Susan Wojcicki.  Her article, The Eight Pillars of Innovation, boils innovation down to the core.  The two pillars that got me thinking the most were- Strive for continual innovation, not instant perfection and Spark with imagination, fuel with data.  What two resonate most with you?

 The Eight Pillars of Innovation

The greatest innovations are the ones we take for granted, like light bulbs, refrigeration and penicillin. But in a world where the miraculous very quickly becomes common-place, how can a company, especially one as big as Google, maintain a spirit of innovation year after year?

Nurturing a culture that allows for innovation is the key. As we’ve grown to over 26,000 employees in more than 60 offices, we’ve worked hard to maintain the unique spirit that characterized Google way back when I joined as employee #16.

At that time I was Head of Marketing (a group of one), and over the past decade I’ve been lucky enough to work on a wide range of products. Some were big wins, others weren’t. Although much has changed through the years, I believe our commitment to innovation and risk has remained constant.

What’s different is that, even as we dream up what’s next, we face the classic innovator’s dilemma: should we invest in brand new products, or should we improve existing ones? We believe in doing both, and learning while we do it. Here are eight principles of innovation we’ve picked up along the way to guide us as we go.

Have_a_mission_that­_matters

Work can be more than a job when it stands for something you care about. Google’s mission is to ‘organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.’ We use this simple statement to guide all of our decisions. When we start work in a new area, it’s often because we see an important issue that hasn’t been solved and we’re confident that technology can make a difference. For example, Gmail was created to address the need for more web email functionality, great search and more storage.

Our mission is one that has the potential to touch many lives, and we make sure that all our employees feel connected to it and empowered to help achieve it. In times of crisis, they have helped by organizing life-saving information and making it readily available. The dedicated Googlers who launched our Person Finder tool (to learn more see Missions that Matter) within two hours of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan this March are a wonderful recent example of that commitment.

Think_big_but_start_small

No matter how ambitious the plan, you have to roll up your sleeves and start somewhere. Google Books, which has brought the content of millions of books online, was an idea that our founder, Larry Page, had for a long time. People thought it was too crazy even to try, but he went ahead and bought a scanner and hooked it up in his office. He began scanning pages, timed how long it took with a metronome, ran the numbers and realized it would be possible to bring the world’s books online. Today, our Book Search index contains over 10 million books.

Similarly, AdSense, which delivers contextual ads to websites, started when one engineer put ads in Gmail. We realized that with more sophisticated technology we could do an even better job by devoting additional resources to this tiny project. Today, AdSense ads reach 80 percent of global internet users – it is the world’s largest ad network – and we have hundreds of thousands of publishers worldwide.

Strive_for_continual_ innovation, not_instant_perfection

The best part of working on the web? We get do-overs. Lots of them. The first version of AdWords, released in 1999, wasn’t very successful – almost no one clicked on the ads. Not many people remember that because we kept iterating and eventually reached the model we have today. And we’re still improving it; every year we run tens of thousands of search and ads quality experiments, and over the past year we’ve launched over a dozen new formats. Some products we update every day.

Our iterative process often teaches us invaluable lessons. Watching users ‘in the wild’ as they use our products is the best way to find out what works, then we can act on that feedback. It’s much better to learn these things early and be able to respond than to go too far down the wrong path.

Iterating has served us well. We weren’t first to Search, but we were able to make progress in the market by working quickly, learning faster and taking our next steps based on data.

Look_for_ideas_everywhere

As the leader of our Ads products, I want to hear ideas from everyone – and that includes our partners, advertisers and all of the people on my team. I also want to be a part of the conversations Googlers are having in the hallways.

Several years ago, we took this quite literally and posted an ideas board on a wall at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View. On a Friday night, an engineer went to the board and wrote down the details of a convoluted problem we had with our ads system. A group of Googlers lacking exciting plans for the evening began re-writing the algorithm within hours and had solved the problem by Tuesday.

Some of the best ideas at Google are sparked just like that – when small groups of Googlers take a break on a random afternoon and start talking about things that excite them. The Google Art Project, which brought thousands of museum works online, and successful AdWords features like Automated Rules, are great examples of projects that started out in our ‘microkitchens.’ This is why we make sure Google is stocked with plenty of snacks at all times.

Share_everything

Our employees know pretty much everything that’s going on and why decisions are made. Every quarter, we share the entire Board Letter with all 26,000 employees, and we present the same slides presented to the Board of Directors in a company-wide meeting.

By sharing everything, you encourage the discussion, exchange and re-interpretation of ideas, which can lead to unexpected and innovative outcomes. We try to facilitate this by working in small, crowded teams in open cube arrangements, rather than individual offices.

When someone has an idea or needs input on a decision, they can just look up and say, ‘Hey…’ to the person sitting next to them. Maybe that cube-mate will have something to contribute as well. The idea for language translation in Google Talk (our Gmail chat client) came out of conversations between the Google Talk and Google Translate teams when they happened to be working near one another.

Spark_with_imagination, fuel_with_data

In our fast-evolving market, it’s hard for people to know, or even imagine, what they want. That’s why we recruit people who believe the impossible can become a reality. One example is Sebastian Thrun who, along with his team, is building technology for driverless cars to reduce the number of lives lost to roadside accidents each year. These cars, still in development, have logged 140,000 hands-free miles driving down San Francisco’s famously twisty Lombard Street, across the Golden Gate Bridge and up the Pacific Coast Highway without a single accident.

We try to encourage this type of blue-sky thinking through ‘20 percent time’ – a full day a week during which engineers can work on whatever they want. Looking back at our launch calendar over a recent six-month period, we found that many products started life in employees’ 20 percent time.

What begins with intuition is fueled by insights. If you’re lucky, these reinforce one another. For a while the number of Google search results displayed on a page was 10 simply because our founders thought that was the best number. We eventually did a test, asking users, ‘Would you like 10, 20 or 30 search results on one page?’ They unanimously said they wanted 30. But 10 results did far better in actual user tests, because the page loaded faster. It turns out that providing 30 results was 20 percent slower than providing 10, and what users really wanted was speed. That’s the beautiful thing about data – it can either back up your instincts or prove them totally wrong.

Be_a_platform

There is so much awe-inspiring innovation being driven by people all over the globe. That’s why we believe so strongly in the power of open technologies. They enable anyone, anywhere, to apply their unique skills, perspectives and passions to the creation of new products and features on top of our platforms.

This openness helps to move the needle forward for everyone involved. Google Earth, for example, allows developers to build ‘layers’ on top of our maps and share them with the world. One user created a layer that uses animations of real-time sensor data to illustrate what might happen if sea levels rose from one to 100 meters. Another famous example of open technology is our mobile platform, Android. There are currently over 310 devices on the market built on the Android OS, and close to half a million Android developers outside the company who enjoy the support of Google’s extensive resources. These independent developers are responsible for most of the 200,000 apps in the Android marketplace.

Never_fail_to_fail

Google is known for YouTube, not Google Video Player. The thing is, people remember your hits more than your misses. It’s okay to fail as long as you learn from your mistakes and correct them fast. Trust me, we’ve failed plenty of times. Knowing that it’s okay to fail can free you up to take risks. And the tech industry is so dynamic that the moment you stop taking risks is the moment you get left behind.

Two of the first projects I worked on at Google, AdSense and Google Answers, were both uncharted territory for the company. While AdSense grew to be a multi-billion-dollar business, Google Answers (which let users post questions and pay an expert for the answer) was retired after four years. We learned a lot in that time, and we were able to apply the knowledge we had gathered to the development of future products. If we’d been afraid to fail, we never would have tried Google Answers or AdSense, and missed an opportunity with each one.

Our growing Google workforce comes to us from all over the world, bringing with them vastly different experiences and backgrounds. A set of strong common principles for a company makes it possible for all its employees to work as one and move forward together. We just need to continue to say ‘yes’ and resist a culture of ‘no’, accept the inevitability of failures, and continue iterating until we get things right.

As it says on our homepage, ‘I’m feeling lucky.’ That’s certainly how I feel coming to work every day, and something I never want to take for granted.

 

Monday Morning Inspiration: Kinfolk Magazine

Kinfolk Magazine just launched last week and it is GORGEOUS.  Their mission is to be "a guide for small gatherings."  Given my love for uniting friends around dinner tables, most recently up at Lake Copake with a pan of seafood paella and bottles of Rosé, the concept of the magazine got me from the start.  Add in the photography and it was a done deal...this is my new favorite magazine.  I'll let you discover and enjoy it for yourselves but in the mean time, I'll leave you with their manifesto.

"Kinfolk is a growing community of artists with a shared interest in small gatherings. We recognize that there is something about a table shared by friends, not just a wedding or once-a-year holiday extravaganza, that anchors our relationships and energizes us. We have come together to create Kinfolk as our collaborative way of advocating the natural approach to entertaining that we love.

Every element of Kinfolk – the features, photography, and general aesthetics – are consistent with the way we feel entertaining should be: simple, uncomplicated, and less contrived. Kinfolk is the marriage of our appreciation for art and design and our love for spending time with family and friends."

*Thanks/congrats to Youngna whose blog post introduced me to Kinfolk and whose story, Cloth Napkins, was included!

Why I Love Summer: Lobster!

Screen shot 2010-06-23 at 9.11.03 AM Look, I was never a lobster fan.  Sure, I occasionally enjoyed steamed lobster dunked in melted butter, but being from Oregon, I was partial to Dungeness Crab.  And then it happened.  It was summer on Martha's Vineyard and we pulled into the parking lot of Larsen’s Fish Market to buy some items for dinner and, on a whim, I ordered a lobster roll.  I proceeded to devour it in its entirety and then march right back in and order another one declaring that THIS would be my dinner for the evening.  And as they say, the rest is history.  That moment was nearly 20 years ago and since then, I’ve scoured high and low to find what I deem the world’s best.  So as NY Mag released their summer issue this week, it thrilled me to see this article:

How a Lobster Glut in Maine Has Democratized, and Energized, Crustacean Cuisine in New York.
By Benjamin Wallace

When Ben Sargent was 6 years old, he devoured a two-pound lobster, so impressing his parents that they let him eat a second. He polished it off with a glass of milk. That night, he projectile-vomited on his 4-year-old cousin, with whom he was sharing a bed. “It was like a bad horror movie,” Sargent, now 32, recalls. “He was running down the hall screaming, just coated in pink lobster. I swore I’d never eat lobster again, and look at me now.”

We’re in his tiny, low-ceilinged basement studio apartment in Greenpoint, surrounded by lobsters and other watery memorabilia: surfboards, fishing rods, and water skis; signs from a neighborhood chowder shack he used to own; pictures in frames he made out of lobster claws; a fish tank aswim with tailless mutants the local pet store gives him.

Sargent was to the water born. His father is a Woods Hole science writer and former director of the Baltimore Aquarium, and his grandfather was head of fisheries in Massachusetts. Though Ben came to New York eleven years ago intending to be a sculptor, after surfing in the Rockaways and finding the urban-ocean incongruity thrilling, he gave in to his birthright. He launched Hurricane Hopeful (his former chowder joint), an Internet radio show called “Catch It, Cook It & Eat It,” and, last year, the Brooklyn Fishing Derby. And since the beginning of the year, inspired after interviewing the owners of the Red Hook Lobster Pound on his radio show, he has been running a self-consciously underground lobster-roll business out of his apartment.

Tonight, as we talk, he periodically glances at his BlackBerry and reads incoming texts. This is how orders are placed. Sargent only gives out his number after screening a new customer through his Brooklyn Urban Anglers Association page on Facebook. A text comes in from Yana, a regular who drives from Brighton Beach for her fix: “I want to satisfy my lobster-roll craving.”

Read the rest of the article here

And for the record, my favorite lobster roll in NYC is this beauty from  Pearl Oyster Bar.

pearl

Monday Morning Inspiration: Hurry Up and Slow Down

“How do we slow down what matters the most and speed up what benefits change and progress? We don’t want to impede progress, but we are seeking reconnection to ourselves, to each other, and with the world.” --John Maeda

018-futurists-1

Today marks my first day of re-entering the world of constant stimulation after a week long vacation where all things technology were kept to a minimum.  In order to savor the time away, I referred back to this powerful article that was in Good Magazine a few months ago called Hurry Up and Wait.  In the article, Jennifer Leonard, Senior Project Leader at IDEO and co-author of Massive Change (with Bruce Mau), asked some of the world’s most prominent futurists (Julian Bleecker, Esther Dyson, Jamais Cascio, Bruce Sterling, John Maeda and Alexander Rose) "to explain why slowness might be as important to the future as speed."

Julian Bleecker

Julian Bleecker, a designer, technologist, and co-founder of the Near Future Laboratory, devises “design-to-think experiments” that focus on interactions away from conventional computer settings. “When sitting at a screen and keyboard, everything is tuned to be as fast as possible,” he says. “It’s about diminishing time to nothing.”

So he asks, “Can we make design where time is inescapable and not be brought to zero? Would it be interesting if time were stretched, or had weight?” To test this idea, Bleeker built a Slow Messaging Device, which automatically delayed electronic (as in, e-mail) messages. Especially meaningful messages took an especially long time to arrive.

018-futurists-2He says the SMD experiment is a reminder of a time when love letters were handwritten and posted by mail, often having to cross continents and oceans before reaching the recipient. “I wanted to revisit that experience of anticipation and uncertainty.”

He also wanted to observe the patterns in flows of people in the urban environment. So he conducted a research experiment with video cameras placed atop “a super long pole, looking down.” In postprocessing he obscured the fast-moving people, high-lighting what moved slowly or simply remained still.

“This became a visual reference to how much we normally don’t notice. Slowing down affords a different kind of understanding and sense of yourself in the world. Sometimes when I’m in Manhattan I decide that I’m just going to slow down and pay attention to different things.”

Bleecker follows the slow movement through Carolyn Strauss and her slowLab. “I like how a shift to ‘slow’ pushes us to reconsider the importance of time,” he says. “There’s a natural pace to things, and that includes a natural human pace. I hope the slow movement is not a fad, but broadens in a way to bring a different pace to the world.”

Esther Dyson

Esther Dyson notices the present in a way others don’t. Take a building, for example. “One will say it’s red with two stories,” she says. “Another will say it’s made out of wood, two hundred years old, with a pointed roof. And I will say, ‘Here’s the building. This is where the stresses are and here is where the floor is sagging.’”

Much of Dyson’s skill in spotting tensions can be traced back to her early economics studies at Harvard. “I felt it was a good way to understand the world. Economics is a fundamental mover, and it has helped me concentrate on the structure and dynamics and interactions of things.” She says one of the problems in business right now is its short-term thinking, which is spurred by the speed of the stock market. “When you can measure economic activity minute by minute, it makes it difficult, unfortunately, to not sacrifice long-term investment for short-term results.”

If it were up to Dyson, slowness would be invited into business and define gross domestic product differently, especially in relation to education and health care. “Our health-care system right now is all about repair. If you thought long-term, you’d be good to your body, which is good for the economy.”

Maybe the best way to slow down is to sleep a little more, and pay more attention when you’re awake.

Dyson, a cosmonaut in training with a background in journalism and IT start-ups, is good to her body—and to her mind. She spends an hour swimming laps every morning while considering the things she didn’t have time for the day before. “It’s not about delaying thinking. It’s about assigning a time to things when I can give them my full attention.”

Sleep is also part of it, she says. “People aren’t getting enough. They say they were up late watching TV, but TV doesn’t force you to watch it. It’s a choice. Maybe the best way to slow down is to sleep a little more, and pay more attention when you’re awake.”

Jamais Cascio

The Worldchanging co-founder Jamais Cascio plays computer games to slow down. “Not the ones where I’m running around blowing people up,” he says, “but big strategy games that put me in a flow state. I lose track of time. I live in the never-ending moment of the game.” To him, futurism, like video games, is process-driven: It’s about multigenerational thinking, scenario mapping, and world building.

In his work as a research affiliate at the Institute for the Future and as a fellow at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, he helps people see that if you change the rules, you get a new world. In an era when high-frequency trading is in full effect—when computerized traders “make dog food out of human traders”—the tendency toward slowness is a reasonable response. “Recognizing that humans can’t compete with the processing speed of computerized systems, the slow movement is a catalyst for rules that support greater reflection and consideration.”

018-futurists-3He says slower decision-making allows for greater resilience—a parallel philosophy to the slow movement dominant in the worlds of social psychology, environmental science, and international security. It refers to a system’s ability to withstand shocks, to rebuild when necessary, and to improve itself when possible. “A resilient system is not necessarily a strong system,” says Cascio. “A tree that bends in the wind is more resilient than a wall that stands still.”

And a system that allows for slack, like the slow movement, is more resilient than a system that assumes nothing ever fails. “Just-in-time manufacturing is really great when all component systems work perfectly, but when a part breaks down, the whole operation comes to a complete halt. Failure happens. So we’d better build in a way to absorb it.”

Bruce Sterling

The science-fiction author Bruce Sterling says “pace layering”—the idea that different layers of a structure or a system move at different speeds—is an interesting notion when considering slowness, as it helps to explain the various rates of change associated with different sectors of society.

“The slow movement imagines itself to belong by rights to the cultural layer”—a slow-moving layer of society—“but it’s still in the layer of fashionable activism,” he says. “An earthquake is rapid and shocking, it seems, but the underlying forces are geologically slow. So it’s actually our perception of pacing that’s odd, not pacing itself.”

Much of our philosophizing about time is based on the human experience of it, despite the fact that the entire human experience of time to date is a tiny fraction of the actual duration of time. “Humans perceive things in embodied ways,” Sterling explains, “because our perception is an embodied phenomenon. We naturally tend to relate time to the experience of our own bodies. Every time we temporally stretch one of these abstractions—my grandparent’s generation, the American nation, Western civilization, modern Homo sapiens, the Devonian geological period—some apparent relevance drains out of it.”

It’s so much easier to relate to the present than it is to a faraway future. But the value in slowness, according to Sterling, is that people take a lot of comfort in measuring themselves against things that change slowly. “If everything in our lifetime changed at the same pace that we ourselves changed, we would never understand our own maturity.”

018-futurists-4

John Maeda

At the Rhode Island School of Design, where the artist, designer, and computer scientist John Maeda is now president, the acronym STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) has long been touted as the key to fast-paced, cutting-edge innovation.

But Maeda says something is missing from STEM. And that is another acronym: IDEA (intuition, design, emotion, art). “Innovation must also be IDEA led. This is territory of meaningful and more thoughtful, or slow, advances. It’s about reflection, the human domain, and how we relate to change.”

According to Maeda, STEM and IDEA are necessary complements, just like other classic pairings, like, say, Bert and Ernie. “STEM alone is Bert, and IDEA is Ernie. Bert is kind of uptight and has to get things done all the time; Ernie’s a creative guy, in the tub with a rubber ducky, steeping in the moment and preparing to think about the general implications of his actions. Where Bert is fast-moving technology, Ernie is that reflective point we need as a counterbalance in our lives.”

Maeda sees the benefits of fast and slow: problem-solving “with dirty hands” at rapid speeds, as well as critical thinking and critical making at slow enough speeds to allow for the contemplation of the implications of art and design to the greater world.

Again, it’s about balance. And pacing. “You can’t sprint forever, but you can pull your pace down. I’m a jogger—a very slow runner. My runs help me reconnect to my body and re-sort the contents of my brain.”

For Maeda, the fundamental question becomes, “How do we slow down what matters the most and speed up what benefits change and progress? We don’t want to impede progress, but we are seeking reconnection to ourselves, to each other, and with the world.”

Alexander Rose

The artist and designer Alexander Rose, executive director of the Long Now Foundation, says long-term thinking comes from the same place as the slow movement. “Both recognize an ignored space, as we’ve increasingly given value to all things fast.”

One of the most iconic expressions of long-term thinking is the Long Now’s 10,000 Year Clock—a clock whose long life is intended to expand our sense of time—conceived by a computer scientist named Danny Hillis. According to the futurist godfather Stewart Brand, it is “a peephole of predictability through a deeply unpredictable series of events that will come at us in the future.”

018-futurists-5Rose describes it as “a piece of theater; a thing to rally around and change the conversation” in a more tangible way than the well-attended Long Now lecture series. “You can’t tell someone to think long-term, but you can give them a range of contexts so they can find their own way to relate to it personally.”

For Rose, involvement in long-term thinking has given him a fresh view on product design, and the planned obsolescence in consumer products today. “I see more clearly how little need there is for all the consumption and waste. I like what [the inventor] Saul Griffith once said. Everyone should receive a Montblanc pen and Rolex watch at birth, and then they’d never need to replace them in a lifetime.”

Rose also finds value in “the whole DIY or maker culture, which enters into the same category as things built to last, or things that last longer because you take them apart manually and build them back anew with found parts.”

This happens all the time in developing parts of the world, of course. “Yes, I think the slow movement is very First-World-urban-environment targeted. If you’re an agrarian human, slow food is actually your only option. So we need to be careful not to overly romanticize ‘slow’ in this way. There’s a balance between poverty and privilege.”

***I'm particularly fond of the illustrations in this article, which are the amazing work of  Mark Weaver.

Monday Morning Inspiration: Fast Company

Screen shot 2010-05-30 at 5.40.00 PM Fast Company just came out with their annual list of The 100 most Creative People in Business.  The list consists of people who have never been featured in the magazine and is one of my favorite issues each year.   While all of the people selected are obviously creative, what sets them apart is that they are changing the way in which we interact with the world and engage with each other.

There's no way for me to narrow this list down any further, but if I were to pinpoint some particularly inspiring folks I would say spend some time checking out:

Scott Belsky--Founder, CEO, Behance This guy has changed my life.  Seriously.  I've heard him speak a couple of times in the last two months and both times I've left the talk feeling motivated to get things done.  Read his new book, Making Ideas Happen and you'll understand why I give him so much credit.

Bonnie Brooks--CEO, The Bay I want to work for this woman.  Spend 15 minutes in a Lane Crawford and it's obvious that she knows how to lead, inspire and empower a team.  I have no doubt that she'll leave the same mark at The Bay.

Perry Chen--Cofounder, Kickstarter Kickstarter is a game changer.  It uses crowdsourcing to fund creative ventures from creating rooftop gardens to supporting Trade School, where students barter with teachers for instruction. What sets it apart from other crowdsourcing platforms is the fact that it's an all-or-nothing situation. The entrepreneur sets a fundraising goal and a timeline (up to 90 days).  If the goal isn't reached in the time allotted, the entrepreneur gets none of the pledges.

Michael Williams--Blogger, A Continuous Lean One of my favorite blogs because it stays true to it's mission--supporting and representing only American-made wares.  I once spent five hours checking out every brand listed on his American List.

Chris Anderson--Curator, TED Conferences No explanation needed.  Just watch this. or this. or this.

Yes Please: The GOOD 100

good_magazine_100_cover_017 Good, a magazine "for people who give a damn," recently released their first ever GOOD 100.  They invited people to nominate people, businesses and institutions who are making the world a better place.  After a complex process of nomination, ranking, and voting, they compiled a list of those who are driving change in the world.  Their list ranges from the city that is manufacturing the first American-built streetcars in almost 60 years (Go Portland!) to a program that aims to save water and money by paying residents $1 to $2 for every square foot of grass they replace with drought-resistant plants.

As promised on the cover, some I have heard of and some I have not. Either way, it is presented in an interactive grid that is both aesthetically pleasing and inspiring.  Every day until October 22nd, they will release five new entries so make sure to check out the site often.

*How amazing is the cover of the issue?  The cover was shot by Will Etling and styled by Brian Rea and features an amazing collection of hand-cut (and glued and taped) construction-paper models.  They gave us all a behind the scenes look at the shoot here.