Sheryl Connelly is something like a walking TED talk (and indeed, she recently gave one). As Ford’s in-house futurist, it’s her job to keep her eye on the big picture—to examine trends, to think flexibly, and to imagine possibilities as much as decades away. Since being named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People earlier this year, Connelly has begun developing a “futuring” curriculum at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. And this week, she released Ford’s second annual trend book, tackling themes she projects will be relevant for the next two years—on topics like the “joy of missing out” and a reconsideration of nostalgia.
Today at 1:30PM EST we will be hosting a live Q & A with Chef Sarah Simmons, one of 2013’s Most Creative People and the woman behind one of the most exciting dining experiences in New York.
Join us here.
Here’s a conversation tip from #34 on our Most Creative People of the year list, comedian Marc Maron.
“I don’t make a list of questions. Ever. I think a lot of my interviews are driven by my need to feel connection. You listen and when you hear intonations, you hear feelings. It’s just feeling where there’s something more, getting them to a place that they’re not usually.”
Here’s more advice from some of 2013’s most creative people.
2013’s Most Creative People:
#2 Samsung’s Dong-hoon Chang
To gather ideas, Chang led his design team on a city-hopping observation tour around the globe, from hot-air-balloon rides in Africa to Singapore’s Skypark on the Marina Bay. “We were able to come up with a new design paradigm,” he says. And with it, a cool factor to rival Apple’s.
#16 on our 2013 Most Creative People list is Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.
Every day, as his every move is monitored in Beijing, Ai Weiwei does not silently suffer the blows of being an enemy of the Communist Party. “I have a voice,” he says, “and I have a lot to say before going to my grave.”
Jared Leto’s with us in the Fast Company office, answering your questions!
Having reinvented himself a few dozen times, he clearly feels the occasional need to destroy something beautiful. And it’s his knack for creative destruction that earned him a spot as one of our 100 Most Creative People 2012. He joins us today to talk about the three businesses he’s hatched, all of which have a shot at shaking up entertainment as we know it. The One & Only Golden Tickets is a Willy Wonka approach to online concerts, offering all access to digital VIPs. His digital ticketing business, VyRT, is the more like the general admission component—don’t call either sophisticated service “streaming,” though. On the artist side, he’s forged The Hive, a powerful social media consultancy based on best practices he picked up with his own band and their rabid social followers.
“Fred Armisen and I are obsessed with the minutiae of a situation. What is fomenting the most discomfort in a relationship? It’s usually where someone’s belief system kind of goes off the rails. That’s where we want to start exploring, because that moment is where you feel almost your worst.”
Carrie Brownstein, writer and actor, Portlandia, from The 100 Most Creative People In Business 2012
His band, Thirty Seconds to Mars, once invited fans to submit photos of themselves, for a chance to be on the band’s next album cover; it yielded 2,000 different fan covers. He realized, “I’d prefer 1,000 followers, friends, and fans that actually meant something, rather than 10 million that weren’t engaged.” So, he launched: The Hive, which runs social-media management and digital marketing for his band and others such as Jessie J and Semi Precious Weapons.
Welcome to our annual celebration of business innovators who dare to think differently. They’re the ones taking risks and discovering surprising new solutions to old problems. This year, they tell you exactly how they do what they do.
Photo Issue 2011: Comedy writing has two main ingredients, Conan O’Brien says. Part one: left-brain bullshitting. Part two: seeing ideas up on their feet, in rehearsal, and then reworking them.
"Most Creative People: Conan O’Brien"
Photo By: Matthias Clamer
This looks great!
Here is the trailer for Rodman Flender’s documentary Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop. The doc landed a multi-platform distribution deal within 24 hours of its premier at SXSW this year. It should land in a theater near you soon.
We just launched an iPad app for the Most Creative People in Business! Check it out here. It’s full of video interactive goodies and we hope it inspires you to get creative! Tell us what you think of it by responding to this post or tweeting to us @fastcompany using the tag #MCP11.
In these audio outtakes, Conan tells senior writer Chuck Salter about the process of creating his nightly show. The last video shows the hijinks that ensued during our cover photo shoot, in which Conan portrayed everyone from Einstein to Madonna.