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STRATEGY / Mediating Change

PUSH 2005: The Geography of Change, Session 4


Now that we've peered over the horizon, it's time to consider where you want to place yourself in the future.  What territory can you own? Who will you serve? And how will you get there? What future will you create? These critical questions can only be answered through further exploration of ideas and insights as yet unseen. Tools and methods for uncovering the Big Idea will be introduced in this concluding segment, allowing you to locate yourself in the Geography of Tomorrow.


Cecily Sommers is a futurist who helps organizations manage for advantage amidst certain, but unpredictable, cultural and business change. Through her consulting firm, Unit 1, Inc. she engages multinational companies, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and others in pivotal conversations about the direction of the future, and their place in it.

Her annual PUSH Conference, held under the aegis of the non–profit PUSH Institute which she founded in 2002, has become known for its bold look into the future, intellectual rigor and multidisciplinary focus. Culture, art, science, technology, economics, marketing and politics are explored and mined for inspiration and practical business application.

A sought–after speaker, Sommers is often featured at conferences, business schools, workshops, seminars and board retreats across the country. She has also been featured on Minnesota Public Radio and her “What’s Up With That?” trend segment can be regularly heard on WCCO’s Pat Miles Show. She recently completed “The Energy Foresight Report,” and is currently at work on a book “The Next America.”

Sommers has been described as “one of those rare people who is destined to make a mark, who has that special blend of heart, foresight and leadership” (Andrew Zolli, Founder, Z Partners, New York City). In the words of Merle Minda, President of Merle Minda Plus and former Senior Vice President of Fleishman-Hillard, “She is catalytic and brilliant.”


Jerry Michalski (ma–call–ski) is the founder and president of Sociate (“so–see–8”), a strategic consultancy. Jerry’s principal interests are in the many ways that technology and people interact — in private and business settings, and at all scales: as individuals, businesses, economies and societies. His point of view is informed in large part by his pursuit of the word “consumer” for the past decade.

Among his varied roles, Jerry is an advisor to companies such as UBS, Boeing, Tellme, Monitor Group, IDEO, the Institute for the Future, Socialtext and Seedwiki. He advised eGroups before they became YahooGroups, and Pyra (makers of Blogger) before their acquisition by Google. More recently, he founded the Yi Tan Collective, an open, federated network of practitioners skilled in change. As one of Yi Tan’s activities, he hosts a weekly podcast about technology and change.

For the five years before founding Sociate, Jerry was the Managing Editor of Release 1.0, Esther Dyson’s monthly newsletter. With Esther, he also co–hosted the annual PC Forum, the technology industry’s premier executive conference. Jerry has been quoted regularly in major news media and trade publications; he has appeared on CNBC, CNNfn and other TV broadcasts.

Prior to joining Release 1.0, Jerry was a vice president with New Science Associates, a retainer market–research company later bought by Gartner Group that helped large corporate clients make effective use of emerging technologies such as neural networks, object–oriented programming and groupware. At New Science, Jerry launched and directed two research services: Intelligent Document Management (1989) and Continuous Information Environments (1991). Jerry is also an alumn of Price Waterhouse’s Strategic Management Consulting group and Mobil Oil’s domestic supply and transportation department (well before they became PriceWaterhouse Coopers and ExxonMobil, respectively).

Jerry earned an M.B.A. in International Business from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (1985) and a B.A. degree in Economics (principally econometrics) from UC Irvine (1980). He was raised in Peru and Argentina and speaks fluent Spanish, German and French.


David Kuehler currently leads the Clay Street Project, a new innovation program at Procter and Gamble.

Prior to joining P&G he was the Director of Project Platypus, a groundbreaking product development initiative at Mattel Toys. Kuehler’s background encompasses over fifteen years in the design and entertainment fields. His education is in design, engineering and theater.

Before joining Mattel, Kuehler was Director, Creative Development and Programming for Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Centers. At the Walt Disney Company, Kuehler was instrumental in the design development and rollout of Club Disney, a location based entertainment concept for families.

As an Instructor and Speaker at Art Center College of Design, he created and taught new curriculum designed to get Graphic Design Students “off–the–page” and focus on storytelling, experience design and product development.

Kuehler founded an entertainment design company. In addition, he has developed television shows for Nelvana Communications and Britt Allcroft productions. He is the co–creator of SCOOBS a new kids action adventure television show beginning production later this year.

Kuehler is a contributing author in the recent books: The Change Champions Fieldguide: Strategies and Tools for Leading Change in Your Organization and Best Practices in Leadership Development and Organizational Change.