I share what I’ve learned with the international creative community through my The Crazy One podcast, blog, keynote speaking engagements, Lynda.com course and more.

I’ve spoken internationally to groups ranging from small sessions for companies like IDEO, Apple, GE, Adobe, Carrefour, L’Oreal and Saatchi to large international keynotes alongside speakers like Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Nest founder Tony Faddel, Martha Stewart, Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh, John Maeda, designers Stefan Sagmeister and Karim Rashid. My talks about creativity, design, and leadership are consistently scored by attendees as one of the best talks at every event. I believe that the audience should walk away with specific, concrete ideas they can immediately implement to make them more creative and effective.

I’ve been named an Adobe MAX Master speaker as one of the top 20 speakers at the conference for the past 4 years with those sessions receiving an average score of 4.9 out of 5 from over 6,000 session attendees. I’ve been a guest lecturer at Yale, Princeton, SVA, Parsons. I am an IDEO trained Design Thinking teacher and Lynda.com instructor.

If you’re interested in having me speak at an upcoming event, please contact me and I will be happy to provide references and attendee scores from past events. Contact me now to check my availability.


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I’ll be speaking at these upcoming events

I am currently booking talks for the second half of 2016 so please contact me now to inquire about speaking at your upcoming event.

DesignThinkers  Toronto

Toronto, Canada
November 7-8. 2017

IN-HOUSE POWERHOUSE: BUILDING & MANAGING AN EMPOWERED INTERNAL CREATIVE TEAM

REACH: Accelerating Creative Leadership

New York, NY
November 13-14. 2017

THE CRAZY ONES

MIT International Design Center

Cambridge, MA
December 5. 2017 at 2pm

LEADERSHIP, VISION & DESIGN FOR GLOBAL INNOVATION

ideo

I’m an IDEO trained Design Thinking instructor.

I have used, taught and led teams using Design Thinking for years to produce world-class creative, change companies and teach everyone how to embrace their creativity. I am trained IDEO Design Thinking instructor who has worked with senior members of IDEO to build a custom Design Thinking curriculum and then taught 5 day, 3 day and 1 day intensive workshops alongside with their team and then by myself under their supervision until I had mastered the material and their teaching style. Since then I have taught hundreds of people all over the world in a wide variety of settings and class sizes.

 

Watch my keynote opening for Steve Wozniak at NICE Interactions 2014

I was incredibly honored to deliver the keynote at NICE Interactions 2014 that opened for Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas in front of an audience of over 3,000 people. The talk focused on what drives social media and its role in customer service.

WATCH THE KEYNOTE

I’ve taught at these companies and more about leadership and innovation.
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What attendees say about my talks

Adobe MAX 2015

“Last year Stephen gave me advice about being a young Creative Director that changed my career. His classes alone are worth the ticket price.” @djsummitt


Adobe MAX 2015

“Terrific! So knowledgeable and so cool!

Had some mind blowing insights and techniques. I’ve always struggled to generate great ideas and they have given me the skills to do so. The group work we did has been my favorite experience here at MAX! I liked the interactivity and social aspect of generating ideas and working together.”

SCORED THE SESSION 4.98 OUT OF 5 BY SESSION ATTENDEES

NICE Interactions

“This keynote was simply amazing.

LOVED the presentation theme, and Stephen was totally genius. I appreciated his well thought reflexions, sense of humour and deep knowledge and experience. I’m going to take lots of his nuggets of info in my life, professional et personnal. Thanks for this great time!”


FUSE 2016

“So inspired to hear Stephen Gates at #FUSE16. What a rock star!” @WithOnlyOneC


Marketing World 2013

“WOW.

I could listen to this guy all day because he is so fascinating and engaging. Wish he had his own agency so I could hire him!”

OMExpo Barcelona

“Most interesting session so far!

Loved the ideas behind how you are marketing to your target audiences. Gave a lot of insight on how to look at design differently to reach our market.”

Adobe MAX 2016

“This was the best session of the entire conference. I left with a completely new outlook on life. Simply an amazing speaker.”

New York City UXPA

“The best session we have ever had.

Excellent presenter, good content and approach.”

ATTENDEES SCORED THIS SESSION 4.92 OUT OF 5 WHICH IS THE HIGHEST SCORE OF ANY SESSION EVER GIVEN

Adobe MAX 2014

“The best, most inspiring session at Adobe Max.

This is a talk that all creative leaders and aspiring leaders should be aware of. There is nothing, that I have heard, directed towards leaders in the creative industry that is as powerful as this session.”

MOST POPULAR SESSION AT MAX 2014 SCORED THE SESSION 4.9 OUT OF 5 AND AWARDED MAX MASTER AFTER THIS SESSION

Adobe MAX 2016

“Great Adobe MAX talk from Stephen Gates. Like he takes my trash pile of head muck and gracefully sorts it out into organized, color-coded insights” Andrew Walpole

Lynda.com instructor ‘Running a Design Business: Leading a Creative Team.

Leading a creative team comes with a unique set of challenges that must be navigated with care in order to get reports to be able to perform at their best. In this course, I break down the tenets of impactful leadership for creative professionals. Covers how creative leadership is unique, why it’s important, the ways leaders can improve what they are doing, and how to help foster the kind of culture that is most beneficial.

LEARN MORE

 

Watch my keynote at the 2016 Fifteen Seconds Festival in Graz, Austria

This keynote called “The Crazy Ones: How to Be a Leader Who Inspires Creativity and Innovation” looked at how every company wants more creativity and innovation from its teams, but few understand how to create a culture that fosters leadership, drives innovation and delivers results.

WATCH THE KEYNOTE

 

I’ve been a guest lecturer at these universities and more.


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I’ve spoken at these events and more


Adobe MAX

2017 – In-house powerhouse: building & managing an empowered internal creative team (scored 4.91 out of 5  by attendees)
– Building your personal brand (scored 4.89 out of 5  by attendees)
– Most attendees of any speaker at the entire event

2016 – Success Is a Choice: Building Creativity and Leadership in Your Team (scored 4.95 out of 5  by attendees)
– 1% Inspiration. 99% Design Thinking. (scored 4.9 out of 5  by attendees)

2015 – Beyond the Lightbulb: How to Concept, Design, and Prototype Great Ideas (scored 4.98 out of 5  by attendees)
– The Crazy Ones: How to Build a World-Class Career (scored 4.89 out of 5  by attendees)

2014 – The Crazy Ones: How to Be a Leader Who Inspires Creativity and Innovation (scored 4.87 out of 5  by attendees) press coverage

2013 – Secrets to Creating a Successful Mobile Roadmap, Apps, and Mobile Websites (scored 4.79 out of 5  by attendees)

2012 – Using Adobe’s Web Tools to Rethink Digital Branding (scored 4.8 out of 5  by attendees)
 (watch the video on Adobe TV)
2012 – Create Anywhere

FUSE

2017 – Design Thinking Workshop
2017 – Building Atomic Design Languages
2016 – The Future of Digital Branding is Proactive Storytelling
2016 
 The Crazy Ones: How To Be A Leader Who Inspires Creativity and Innovation
2011
– How Starwood Hotels Creates Design Leads Brands Online press coverage
2010 – Memory Loss and Hamburger: Getting the Best From In-house Design Teams press coverage

REACH: Accelerating Creative Leadership

2017 – The Crazy Ones: How To Be A Leader Who Inspires Creativity and Innovation

Design Thinkers Toronto

2017 – In-house powerhouse: building & managing an empowered internal creative team

Digital Design and Innovation Summit

2014 – How State-Aware Design is Going to Change Mobile

AdTech New York

HTML5 Changes Everything

Adobe Tech Summit

2017 – Inventing the future keynote

Talks and classes on leadership and innovation at Apple, IDEO, Adobe L’Oreal, GE, Carrefour and more.

Social Media Week NYC

2013 – Bringing Real Life Brand Experiences to Online Communities

AIGA

Connecticut – The Crazy Ones: How to Be a Leader Who Inspires Creativity and Innovation

Fifteen Seconds Festival – Graz, Austria

2016 – The Crazy Ones: How To Be A Leader Who Inspires Creativity and Innovation

Online Marketing Expo – Barcelona, Spain

2013 – Opening Keynote: Agile is the new smart

NYC Creative xChange

2016 – The Power of Design Thinking

Usability Experience Professionals Association

International Conference
– Putting Brand at the Center of UX Design
– What is ‘State-Aware’ Design and Why is it Going to Change Everything?

NYC UXPA 2013 – How To Succeed in Mobile When You’re Really Trying (scored 4.8 out of 5 | highest score of any presenter)
NYC UXPA 2012 – Become a Presentation Superstar (scored 4.7 out of 5  by attendees) – watch the video
NYC UXPA 2011
– How Starwood Build Emotional Connections and Brand Loyalty Online (scored 4.8 out of 5  by attendees)
 – watch the video

InVision Design+ Series

2017 – Design + Finance
 – watch the video

Generate NYC

2016 – 1% Inspiration. 99% Designing, Prototyping and Testing

NY Festivals

2017 – ‘Who Owns Creativity’ panel

 

World Usability Day

Building Brands with Every Interaction

Engage: NYC Digital Storytelling Conference

2015 – Inside Successful Interactive Storytelling
2016 – Experience is Not Enough

Saatchi & Saatchi

Experience and Wellness through Design panel

Future Trends

The Future of Crowdsourced Branding

World Future Trends Summit

Using Global Travel Trends to Create Award Winning Mobile Experiences

Private Brand Movement

Transforming from a Graphic Design Team to a Brand-Building Force

The Mobile Marketing Conference

Best Practices in Mobile Web Design

Adobe

– NYC Open House
– NYC Creative Jam Judge
– Brooklyn Creative Jam Speaker

Social Media & Community 2.0

Non-traditional Insight Driven Community Building

Client & Agency Summit Presented by FUSE

Reclaiming client-side creativity

Customer Contact East

Social is real. But is it it’s own channel? (scored 4.7 out of 5 by attendees)

Total Customer Experience Leaders

The Crazy Ones: How to be a leader that inspires creative and innovative customer solutions

Makers of Barcelona

How To Lead World-Class Creative Teams

Digital Luxury NYC

How Starwood Hotels Creates Unique Brands Online press coverage press coverage



Marketing World

2013 – Getting Your Mobile Strategy Off The Ground (scored 4.8 out of 5 | highest score at the conference)
2012 – Rebuilding and Revitalizing Your Brand (scored 4.8 out of 5 | highest score at the conference)

San Francisco Art Directors Club

Houston Art Directors Club

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