On Thursday, thinkers from a range of disciplines—including marketing, education, logistics, journalism, economics, physics, design, and Star Trek—will gather to examine how our world is changing.

Transition, taking place on September 24 at the TimesCenter in New York, is technically a marketing conference—but good marketing requires taking stock of the ways technology is improving our lives. Globally, we’re becoming richer—we can expect five billion people to join the middle class by 2030. Our world is more connected than ever—40% of the world population has internet access, compared to less than one percent twenty years ago. And software is increasingly running the world—revolutionizing business and promising to put marketing at the center of commerce.

We invited almost two dozen experts to explore those three trends with us and share their varied perspectives. Here they are, in order of appearance; it’s your chance to get to know them before the event.

The Moderators



Three journalists with special interests in tech and marketing will help steer the conversation.

Erin Griffith, Fortune

Erin Griffith covers the world of startups, venture capitalism, and technology in Fortune as well as a variety of news outlets—including Entrepreneur.com, Time.com, and the Los Angeles Times by way of a monthly column.

David Kirkpatrick, Techonomy Media

A former editor of Fortune, David Kirkpatrick is the CEO and founder of Techonomy Media. It organizes the annual Techonomy conference—a forum for business leaders to discuss how technology is solving world problems and revolutionizing business.

Emily Steel, The New York Times

Emily Steel’s news clippings sit at the intersection of media, marketing, and technology. She writes on the media industry as a reporter for The New York Times and was a media and marketing correspondent at the Financial Times. As a reporter for The Wall Street Journal she contributed to an award-winning series about data privacy and cyber surveillance.

A Richer World



Thinkers with a multiplicity of backgrounds, professions, interests, and experiences will dissect what fuels the global economy, how the global poor are becoming empowered, and why technology is at the backbone of this transition.

Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute

In a former life, Geoffrey West was a biologist. In an even earlier life, he was a high-energy physicist. Today, he researches the mathematics governing urbanization. He’ll speak about what companies can learn from the innovation of cities.

Max Roser, University of Oxford

Max Roser is an economist interested in how living standards change and evolve throughout the world. He also publishes OurWorldInData.org. He’ll speak to what it means to lift the world out of poverty.

Manu Saadia, Trekonomics and Felix Salmon, Fusion

Manu Saadia—occasional startup advisor and author of the forthcoming Trekonomics—will speak alongside Fusion editor Felix Salmon to discuss the economics of Star Trek and what the commercial dynamics of a better world might look like.

Rajesh Anandan, UNICEF

Rajesh Anandan is Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and UNICEF Ventures at UNICEF USA. He’ll speak about making a meaningful, global impact in real-time.

Christina Sass, Andela

A former director of the Clinton Global Initiative’s Program Department, Christina Sass is interested in scaling training and employment for youth as co-founder of Andela. She’ll discuss what it means to implement employment-oriented education across Africa.

A More Connected World



Smartphones and the Internet of Things will mean that more people will have access to more types of information. The speakers below will trace that transition and examine what it takes to sustain and propel connectivity going forward.

Kevin Ashton, How to Fly a Horse

If you’ve read or spoken the words “Internet of Things,” Kevin Ashton has made an impact on your life—he coined the term. A technologist and entrepreneur, Ashton also wrote How To Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery. He’ll discuss his findings on creativity.

Tim Hwang, Data & Society

Tim Hwang is the co-author of “The Container Guide,” a field guide to shipping containers. His interest and his talk will center around the power of global standards to mold the world.

Linda Boff, General Electric

As the Chief Marketing Officer at GE, Linda Boff takes care of global advertising, digital and content marketing. She’ll pull from her expertise to explain how systems can scale marketing efforts.

Esther Dyson, EDventure Holdings and Jeff Richards, GGV

Journalist, investor, philanthropist, and HICCup founder Esther Dyson will speak with GGV Managing Partner Jeff Richards about wellbeing and the tackling rising healthcare costs.

A World Run on Software


If software is eating the world, what does that mean for the future of work, business, commerce, sustainability, and marketing? The following guests will explore that question in detail.

Jerry Neumann, Neu Venture Capital

Jerry Neumann invests in early-stage tech companies through Neu Venture Capital and teaches a course on entrepreneurship at Columbia University. He’ll elaborate on the evolving applications of technology today.

Mark Burgess, CFEngine

A theoretician and information systems expert, Mark Burgess founded IT automation company CFEngine. He’ll discuss how the nature of organizational systems can be viewed in “the cyborg age.”

John Maeda, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

John Maeda, a respected voice in the design and software fields, works with startup CEOs as design partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. He’ll speak to the technology design trends he’s observed at KPCB.

Adam Davidson, Planet Money

The co-founder of NPR’s Planet Money, Adam Davidson is the recipient of awards including the Peabody. Davidson will describe the state of jobs and companies in a globalized world that sees regular technological change.

Clay Parker Jones, August

As co-founder of August, Clay Parker Jones helps purpose-driven teams organize for greater impact. He’ll discuss the new ways to scale and grow a company.

Martin Weigel, Wieden+Kennedy

Martin Weigel is the head of planning for W+K Amsterdam. He’s concerned that marketers are too focused on short-term metrics, and he’ll explain why long-term brand building is critical even in the age of “now.”

Jessica Federer, Bayer

Bayer Chief Digital Officer Jessica Federer is spearheading transformation efforts at the global healthcare company. She’ll share her views on how brand management has evolved during the information age.

Bea Perez, The Coca-Cola Company

Bea Perez is a former Chief Marketing Officer and the current Chief Sustainability Officer at one of the most widely recognized and respected companies in the world. She’ll talk about what it means for a brand management powerhouse to build a legacy of sustainability.

A Transition to a Better World

We’re excited to explore these topics with you at the TimesCenter. There’s still a chance to RSVP if you haven’t already; join us for a marketing discussion that goes beyond marketing.