Illustration by Nora Herting of ImageThink.

Illustrated Takeaways #2: Jared Cohen, Aaron Dignan, Starlee Kine & Laura Guido-Clark

For the visual learners among us, our second installment of “illustrated takeaways” from the 2011 99U Conference shares insights from Google Ideas director Jared Cohen, game dynamics researcher Aaron Dignan, radio producer and writer Starlee Kine, and designer Laura Guido-Clark.

AARON DIGNAN /// Author, Game Frame

Game Frame author Aaron Dignan is out to help apply “the power of play” and the excitement of games to other, less stimulating places – namely, school and work. It’s no secret that kids and adults alike are much more engaged when playing video games than they are when they’re doing humdrum daily tasks. So how can game dynamics be applied to our everyday lives and creative endeavors?

All great experiences that engage us have an element of uncertainty at their core.

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Illustration by Nora Herting. Click to view a larger image.

JARED COHEN /// Director, Google Ideas

Jared Cohen, a former State Department employee, is the director of Google Ideas, loosely framed as Google’s “think/do tank.” Interested in the causes of radicalization, Cohen has traveled extensively in the Middle East and South America, at times interviewing terrorists, to help “foster an intellectual collision” surrounding radicalization. He brought his expertise to The 99U to help us understand how technology impacts youth identity, and how pursuing controversial ideas can work in our favor.

Controversy leads to debate and new ideas; create waves.

STARLEE KINE /// Radio Producer & Writer

Just after Cohen, radio producer and writer Starlee Kine, a veteran of NPR’s This American Life, took the stage. As one attendee commented, “listening to Starlee Kine is like sitting on a couch with her.” In narrating her trials and tribulations (including a memorable phone call/songwriting lesson with Phil Collins), she spoke about finding ideas in everyday experiences and learning how to stay motivated to see them through.

If you find something that you feel you belong to, become a groupie and a fan, and then a critic.

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Illustration by Nora Herting. Click to view a larger image.

LAURA GUIDO-CLARK /// Principal, Laura Guido-Clark Design

At Laura Guido-Clark’s design studio, she focuses on the color, materials, and finish, working with companies like Apple, Dell, DWR to “skin” products. Guido-Clark shared her thoughts on how to “get closer to your DNA” to be true to who you really are, and hone in on the creative projects that will have the most impact.

Power and uniqueness aren’t things you have to prove or learn, you just have to own them.

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Illustration by Nora Herting. Click to view a larger image.

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