Author, "Inventology: How We Dream Up Things that Change the World," and contributing writer to "The New York Times"
The former Innovation columnist for the New York Times Magazine, Pagan Kennedy is the author of 11 books. She has been an MIT Knight Science Journalism fellow and published articles in dozens of newspapers and magazines. Other awards include a Smithsonian fellowship, a Massachusetts Book Prize honor in nonfiction, and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. Her most recent book, Inventology, was published last year. Based on interviews with inventors, economists, and psychologists, as well as evidence from studies, Inventology reveals the steps that produce discoveries.
Chris Rockwell is the founder of Lextant, a human experience consultancy dedicated to informing and inspiring design through a deep understanding of people, their experiences, and their aspirations. In forming Lextant, he led the development of immersive research methods and translation strategies to identify and clarify opportunities for product, retail, brand, and interactive design programs. His contextual, ethnographic, participatory, and modeling frameworks have been applied for such clients as Ford, Fiat Chrysler, P&G, Nationwide, and others to help deliver products and solutions aligned with the emotional, behavioral, and experiential needs of their customers. Recently, Lextant studied patient-centered care in 110 hospitals to develop insight into how healthcare organizations can use patient experience as a proactive and sustainable advantage.
Founder and designer, Crucial Detail
Martin Kastner, born in the Czech Republic, trained as a blacksmith and spent some time restoring historical metalworks at a castle in Western Bohemia before moving on to natural materials design and sculpture. He founded Crucial Detail in 1998, shortly after his arrival in the U.S. He is best known for his Alinea restaurant serviceware concepts, which landed him on The Future Laboratory’s list of the 100 most influential individuals in contemporary design. He is also the designer behind The Porthole Infuser, an infusion vessel (shown below) originally created as one of many custom pieces for bar chefs at The Aviary in Chicago. The Porthole has been featured in dozens of publications, including the cover of Food Arts magazine, eventually finding its way into prestigious bars, hotels, and restaurants worldwide as well as the Museum of Modern Art store in New York City. Kastner received the 2014 IHHA Global Innovation Award for Best Product Design and is the designer behind Team USA platter and tools for Bocuse d’Or 2015 and 2017, helping Team USA win silver and gold for the first time in history.