Cincinnati native founder returns to hometown for Bold Fusion YP conference

Native Cincinnatian David Pescovitz left the Queen City in the early 1990s, when he no longer could resist the pull of San Francisco.

"It was basically a very vibrant time when people where empowering themselves with digital technology to create art, media, communication tools and music. It was inspired partly by the birth of personal computers, and the region being near Silicon Valley. There were remnants of 1960s and psychedelic mindsets," Pescovitz said.

More than 15 years later, Pescovitz is a research director of The Institute for the Future, a non-profit think tank that helps organizations think about long-term future trends, and co-editor of, a 10-year-old technology, art and culture blog hailed by Time Magazine as one of the "50 Best Web Sites" of 2009.

Pescovitz, who returns to Cincinnati periodically to visit family, will bring some insight into the DIY, or "maker," culture sweeping the corporate and entrepreneurial worlds as the keynote speaker at the annual Bold Fusion YP summit set for April 29.

In addition to the keynote, vice president and group creative director for LPK Trends, Valerie Jacobs, will review personal, professional and cultural trends over the past 15 years.

Bold Fusion, sponsored by Cincinnati USA's Regional Chamber, is a half-day long summit and networking event. This year's theme is "Press Pause and Realign: Using Trends and innovation to tinker and tweak your way to a better future."  More than 400 YPs from Greater Cincinnati and beyond are expected to attend this year's event. Pescovitz offered Soapbox Cincinnati a little preview of his talk.

"There's a sort of reemergence of a Do-It-Yourself culture and a maker culture. These are people who are learning how to alter the products that they buy, or to make things from scratch, and connecting with other people. They roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. I think this kind of movement has been amplified by the Internet. There are many lessons organizations can learn about innovation, about creativity and open access to ideas and knowledge though this," he said.

This innovative sharing culture, spurred by web 2.0 concepts of social networking and relationship building can be used by individuals, and small and large companies alike, he said.

"For a large organization there are opportunities to connect with people who are lead users of a product. They're a product's biggest fan, and they're spending time changing or altering a product until it suits their needs. Many companies, when information gets out about how to change a product, will get very upset about that. They say 'That's not the way we intended it to be used, or in a worse-case scenario will send a cease-and-desist letter," he said.

But for those who don't embrace the future, the consequences could be dire Pescovitz warns.
"If they don't do it they are doomed, and I mean that seriously. People and companies who embrace this shift are going to innovate much faster and create better relationship with people who buy their products," he said.

Bold Fusion is April 29 at the The Westin Cincinnati Downtown. It's from 1 to 5 p.m., followed by happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The cost is $45 for non-profits and companies sending two or more, $60 for members and $85 for non-members. Register online at here or call 513-579-3111.

Catch more David Pescovitz in this week's Soapblogs!

Writer: Feoshia Henderson
Source: David Pescovitz, research The Institute for the Future and and co-editor of

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