Five Working Principles for Big Idea Generators

The future doesn’t just happen. It takes bold vision and strong leadership to create a better world for each new generation. On October 5th, top visionaries in the fields of art, technology, design and media came together at the Generators Summit in San Francisco.

Generators Summit networking session on the roof of The Pearl

Presented by issuu, a Global Advisory Board member of the Academy’s Social Media Center. Generator’s Summit invited participants to explore the way in which technology and creativity work in tandem to drastically alter the way we think, work and live. Adriana Georgiades (MA Fashion Journalism) reports on five key takeaways from issuu’s premiere event:

  • Meditate to clear the clutter in your mind. “We all have incredible genius when we’re not living in the surface level of our minds”, said speaker Will Kabat-Zinn, who has trained vastly different audiences in the art of mindfulness, included neuroscientists and corporate executives.
Meditation session at issuu’s Generators Summit led by Will Kabat-Zinn
  • Do not avoid risks, take them head on. Sara Khoury, user experience design director at Google. She believes in “not valuing perfection, but valuing striving”, and is an advocate of ‘failing fast’, then quickly learning from your mistakes.


  • Talent is a myth! “Mastery is the result of consistently applied practice and there is essentially no evidence for the thing we call talent,” said Brian Sharp, engineer and project director at Oculus, the leading virtual reality platform. Essentially, you can acquire any skill as long as you work on it efficiently and consistently.


  • Turn negative emotions into fuel for innovation and excellence! Morgan DeBaun, Lauren Redding and Mindy Abovitz noticed gaps in the media market for outlets that would appeal to minorities, teenage girls, and… female drummers, respectively. Frustration drove them to launch their own successful publications: Blavity, Rookie, and Tom Tom.


Morgan DeBaun, Lauren Redding and Mindy Abovitz
  • Let the naysayers do their thing! When Alex Green and his co-creators decided to build a four-story tree structure with 25,000 LED light leaves, multiple experts told them the project was unfeasible. They crowdfunded their effort and debuted the Tree of Ténéré at Burning Man this year to worldwide acclaim.
Alex Green

“The age of the starving artist is over,” said Joe Hyrkin, CEO of issuu, the free digital publishing platform with a mission of ‘connecting content to people’. If you believe in something and make people care about it, the cost becomes secondary to the dream. It’s time to invest in your creativity!

Joe Hyrkin, CEO of issuu


Text by Adriana Georgiades, MA Fashion Journalism