Interview with Bran Ferren, Opening Keynote

Interview with Bran Ferren, Opening Keynote

We can’t wait to welcome Bran Ferren, co-founder and chief creative officer of Applied Minds, to the Congress stage. One of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business,” Bran will offer a candid, off-the-cuff, and sometimes surprising take on the issues that affect us all—in construction and in life—and explore what it means to be innovative in today’s world. From playing key roles in creating major park attractions for Walt Disney Company to consulting for over two dozen U.S. government and military agencies and the U.S. Senate, Bran is uniquely positioned to discuss how our industry can prepare for the future while embracing Lean principles.

Here are some takeaways from Bran’s interview about his address, which is sure to offer unexpected moments. Make your plans to attend this special keynote and register for Congress today!

“The industry must innovate, or it will get eclipsed. The challenge is how to do that.”

Bran will speak about complex questions with no easy answers, and explore how Lean principles around Respect for People, collaboration between our industry partners, and more can help drive vital change and alignment. How do we gear ourselves up to prepare for the future? How do we attract and retain talent in a changing world? How do we get alignments that work for everyone’s best interests?

Bran will share stories that resonate from his career. He says, “The theme park industry forces itself to innovate. There is no choice. There is no standard construction approach to building a mountain in California.”

“I hope to establish a direct connection to help change the way my audience thinks about things.”

We asked Bran what he hopes attendees gain from his keynote. He believes the challenge isn’t giving people answers but guiding them to ask the right questions. He hopes to help attendees get on a path to find the answers most useful and valuable to them.

He shared that one of the most critical questions is how to be creative and innovative yet still practical and functional, and that is where the importance of design as a concept comes in. Bran offers, “These are not mutually exclusive, and that is what design is all about.”

“There is a misconception that anything changing processes drives up cost and uncertainty. I hope to get people over that to understand that innovation might drive up uncertainty, but if you do it well, it can have the opposite effect — it can give you a more predicable outcome in ways you can benefit from.”

The call to action he hopes attendees leave with: “How to make this place a better world for our kids.”

Bran plans to address “how we build a better world that’s safer, more humane, and able to accommodate the diversity that is fortunately catching on as a significant driver in how we think about designing cities, places, and cultures.” He notes that, “people should be bold and ambitious and combine that with civility and respect for others.”We are excited to hear more from Bran at Congress!

Don’t miss Bran’s presentation or any others — register for Congress today.