November 13-14, 2017
School of Visual Arts Theatre, NEW YORK CITY
Register to Attend



The REACH program will be packed with proven tips, guiding principles, inventive tools and leadership insight that can be put into action immediately to help creative professionals thrive.

This won’t be a show-and-tell or a speaker self-promotion. REACH will be full of candid conversations, honest stories and straight talk designed to be evocative, empowering and inspirational.

Sessions will cover critical topics such as: Design ROI for business, innovation, influence and persuasion, navigating the system, conflict and negotiation, high-performance, active listening and effective communication.

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“The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: artists, inventors, storytellers, creatives and holistic “right brain” thinkers whose abilities mark the fault line between who gets ahead and who doesn’t.”

– Daniel Pink, Author

Day 1 | Monday, November 13

Continental Breakfast + Registration
Opening Remarks
The Four Tendencies
by Gretchen Rubin - Author
Leading into the Unknown
by Sara Kalick - VP & General Manager Leadfully, by SYPartners

If you manage what is known, prepare to be left behind. In a world marked by constant disruption and unrelenting change, leading into the unknown is essential. Sara Kalick will share SYPartners’ core beliefs about the capabilities that today’s leaders must acquire. Backed by more than 20 years of working with the world’s most forward thinking leaders, Sara will guide you through an exercise on Optimism—a core capability for today’s leader. A session focused on real-time application, you’ll leave ready to put new insights into practice.


  1. Four new capabilities are required to lead in a disruptive world: Optimism, Creativity, Authentic Communication, and Humanity
  2. Leadership is a practice—and we can all get better at it
  3. New habits to help you lead with optimism
Leading at Scale
by Mike Rigby - Vice President and Executive Creative Director at R/GA

Join Mike Rigby VP, ECD at R/GA as he shares the guiding principles behind his career trajectory from boutique graphic designer to multidisciplinary designer. Mike will share learnings from his first project – designing a logo for a bank – all the way to his last project, designing an entire bank. He will chart the significant rise in the scale, scope and importance of design leadership. Exploring how we can scale the impact of our creativity in ways previously unimaginable, by designing at the intersection of creativity, technology and human behavior. He will share why he believes there has never been a better time to be a designer. And with unprecedented social, economic, health and environmental concerns, there’s never been a more important time to be a designer.


Lunch on Your Own
What’s next? The career path for creative leaders? 
by InSource Panel Discussion on Creative Leadership with Andy Brenits, President, InSource; Carol Carter, Head of Global Creative at BlackRock; Robin Colangelo, Global Director, Creative Services at White & Case and Peter Leeds,Director of Global Creative and Brand Activation at Pitney Bowes

What’s next for creative leaders when they’ve reached that sought-after pinnacle of creative leadership – Creative Director – and held it for a number of years? When you’re ready to move on to a new challenge, is it simply getting a new job and doing the same thing for another company? Considering it takes 10,000 hours (that’s almost 5 years if you work at it every single day) to become a master at your craft, then for those of us at this for 20+ years, “post-mastery” comes after a long successful career… but we’re ready to move on. Not retirement mind you, but maybe not managing others anymore either.

So, what’s next for the creative leader? What is the “post-mastery” phase of our craft comprised of? Maybe it is yet more advancement up the corporate ladder to “super-executive-chief-creative-grand-poo-bah”. Or maybe it’s not leading people at all, yet still finding a way to influence creativity from within the company you work for. Or maybe it’s time to hang out your shingle and start your own agency (or be a consultant if you don’t want employees). It really depends on what you want to do with the mastery and experience you’ve earned over the years. How do you want to influence others with your talent and expertise? Join industry veterans Andy Brenits, Robin Colangelo, Carol Carter, and Peter Leeds in a lively discussion about “What’s Next” on a creative leaders’ career path.

The Crazy Ones: How To Be A Leader Who Inspires Creativity And Innovation
by Stephen Gates - Global Head of Design at Citi, Designer, Brand Builder, Speaker and host of The Crazy One podcast

Every company wants more creativity and innovation like never before. But very few companies or creative leaders understand the fundamentals of the creative process and leadership that will help make their teams more creative and have a larger impact on their clients. This talk will provide you with tangible takeaways learned from firsthand experience leading world-class creative teams for some of the world’s biggest brands and working with senior teams at Apple, Google and more to help you create greater creativity and a stronger culture within the same team you’re working with today.

This session will cover:

  • 5 elements that will help you and everyone on your team be more creative
  • 5 lessons I have learned that will help you become a more effective leader
  • A few tough questions that every leader and creative needs to answer to find success and happiness in their careers
Jessica Walsh - Designer, Art Director, Partner at Sagmeister & Walsh
Reception - Venue: 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar

sponsored by B&H

Day 2 | Tuesday, November 14

Continental Breakfast + Registration
Opening Remarks
Jonathan Adler - Potter, Designer, and Author
Soft Is The New Strong: 21st Century (Design) Leadership
by Moira Cullen - VP, Global Beverage Design

Leadership and power are inextricably linked. If power is the ability to influence the behavior of others to get the outcome one desires, in today’s complex and volatile world what is the power of design? Of design leaders? Within this context, acceptance and adoption of design as a competitive advantage have increased.  Indeed, a growing number of companies are building internal design functions as a strategic competence. Still, the traditional bases of power and authority available to leaders in the corporate world are often not available to design leaders. Moira will share a helpful framework of understanding and application for design leaders based on her belief that design is soft power. Informed by her executive experience for multiple Fortune 500 multinationals, she will discuss how to put the principles of soft power to work to embolden designer/leaders and advance design leadership – even when design doesn’t have the biggest team, the largest budget or the broadest shoulders at the decision-making table.

  • What is soft power
  • How soft power works in an organizational world dominated by hard power
  • Why its mindset and principles can develop and augment an effective leadership style
  • When leadership is a way of being not just behaving
The Real Value of Design
by Carole Bilson - President, Design Management Institute

How can we put a value on the importance of design? Design isn’t an isolated function like accounting or HR, it’s dispersed across any single organization and different from company to company. That makes it a challenge to communicate a clear and complete picture of what contributions design makes, and presents an additional challenge: how do you create a convincing business case for more investment in design, or in specific initiatives that could drive value?

The Design Management Institute (DMI) has spent the last 40 years championing the value of design. In 2013 the organization began developing the dmi:Design Value System, a set of tools that help design leaders map where design adds value to an organization.

DMI President Carole Bilson will give an overview of the dmi:Design Value System and share success stories (and failures) from her 20+ year career in corporate America and at DMI campaigning for the value of design.

Lunch on Your Own
by John Maeda - Global Head of Computational Design + Inclusion at Automattic

What drove John Maeda to buy the domain name “” in 2006? In this session you’ll learn the reason why.


  1. Creatives shouldn’t fear money.
  2. Talkers can have maker integrity.
  3. Computational design is key.
Eddie Opara - Partner at Pentagram
Robert Wong - Google, VP Creative Lab
Closing Remarks