Finding alt conferences

Check out these anything-but-advertising learning opps curated by Steve Mykolyn.
design festival

By Steve Mykoyln and Emily Wexler

We’ve all heard of TED, SXSW and the other big inspiration-based conferences. But as they get larger (perhaps too large), it might be wise to expand your mind and think outside the typical conference box. Here’s a few under-the-radar events you may not have heard of that are guaranteed to inspire:

The Do Lectures
Ideas change everything. Head to Wales, sit in a tent and be wowed by the impressive list of speakers. Taking place in June (and also in April in Australia), it features everyone from a brewmaster to a Native chief, to a chef/zen priest (his name is Edward Espe Brown and he does both).

Reasons to be Creative
Probably the best-ever self-explanatory title. Go to Brighton, on Britain’s south coast, in September and listen to uber-creative folks (Sagmeister spoke last year) give you reasons to…well, you get it.

99U Conference
The goal of this conference is “to shift the focus from idea generation to idea execution,” in other words, get shit done. The 99 comes from the idea that great work is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. This year, it takes place May 1 and 2 in New York.

Gain: AIGA Design and Business Conference
The biannual event caters to both designers and business executives. It takes place over two days and is jam-packed with professional development workshops and innovative speakers. The next event, “Redesigning commerce,” takes place in October 2014 in New York City.

The London Design Festival
Taking place in London (as the name would suggest) in September, this festival was created to promote the British city as the “design capital of the world.” Last year, Canadian Design firm Bocci was a headliner, setting up an installation in the V&A Museum. Nice.

Image courtesy of the London Design Festival.