This conference has really helped me see life from a different perspective.

Steven Rebollar, High School Student
CICS Northtown Academy, Chicago, IL

This pioneering conference… is breaking ground. It’s part of a major stirring of the whole design world.

Richard Farson, Cusp Conference 2008 Presenter
La Jolla, CA

There are people who go to technology conferences. There are people who go to design conferences. There are people who go to business conferences. There are people who climb mountains. There are people who go to rock concerts. And there are people who go to the ballet. But what happens when these people collide over an intense two days? Cusp. For me, Cusp is an opportunity to make tangential connections to my current thinking and people I know. Cusp is a jolt to my mind, reminding me of what it means to be human on this planet.

Erik Cox
c2, Half Moon Bay, CA

We seldom get a chance to pull away from our work for several days and indulge in unencumbered cerebral stimulation. Cusp was like an extended brain massage. If I wasn’t being enthralled by the eclectic mix of fascinating speakers, I was meeting equally interesting people at lunch and after the sessions. This conference is a small investment with a big return for anyone in the ideas business.

Tony Leighton, Writer, Messaging Strategist
Guelph, Canada

I must admit this conference impacted me in a way I didn’t expect. And I’m guessing that had to do with a combination of elements—or the design of the conference. The mixture of professions, ages, races, talents and personalities that paraded across the stage was intoxicating… I found myself at times simultaneously wishing the speaker would talk longer and that they would hurry up and finish so I could hear what the next person had to say. I laughed, I cried, I sang (seriously, AND clapped along). I experienced awe, admiration, disbelief, conviction, inspiration and hope over the course of 16 hours. I revisited the past, relished the present and glimpsed the future. And at the end of it all, I left the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and felt like time outside had passed me by while inside it stood still. That’s what good design can do.

Deborah Martin
Capstrat, Raleigh, NC

I got a lot out of Cusp for three reasons: new business intelligence, soul nourishment and the intersection of the two. The conference exposed me to people and ideas that I wouldn’t have been exposed to in any other way that I know. The synthesis of the people and those ideas was the enriching ingredient.

Sanford Morganstein
Dundee, IL

I can not stop talking about it. I feel the buzz I had at S.I.U. with World Game and Bucky Fuller…

Chuck Shotwell, Photographer
Chicago, IL

Cusp is an extraordinary experience… amazing, inspiring and thought-provoking. The new channels of thoughts and discussions that ensue afterwards are priceless. As a designer, it is wonderful to be introduced to people you might not normally encounter in your own everyday work but whose thinking is so relevant and resonant, and the accessibility of the presenters made the experience memorable. In short, Cusp is mind-blowing and should not be missed.

Mary Chin Hutchison, Creative Director
Seattle, WA

This feeling of inspiration and, well, wanting to sprint out of the auditorium and make some change happen, permeated the entirety of the Cusp Conference… it was really a supercollider for innovative, creative thought…

Lindsay Muscato
Gapers Block, Chicago, IL

The Cusp Conference is at the intersection of ideas and inspiration, a blend of work and life experiences that challenges you to think in provocative ways – not giving you answers but asking questions that lead to insight and discovery independently.

Farah Bulsara Speer, Senior Vice President
GolinHarris, Chicago, IL

Aiming high, Cusp promises a conference on ‘the design of everything.’ By assembling innovative and dynamic speakers from a wide range of professions, it succeeds. For me, the ideas, methods and lessons learned were incredibly valuable, and I was surprised at how the conference pushed me to excel in my professional life. At a time when innovation, change and vision are the big ideas, Cusp Conference delivered. It was relevant, and it was effective.

Zach Wemple, HR Director, Business Process Improvement
Sherwin-Williams, Cleveland, OH

Cusp was a treasure hunt into the world of thinking differently. Now I understand why some of the comments on your site sound like the person has just come from a really good self-help seminar. Everyone who spoke had something to say that resonated with me. Here’s why I believe a venue like Cusp can be useful to Pace or any other governmental agency: Cusp provides a safe space to explore possibilities. It takes people out of the everyday. There’s an energy that goes with exploring new ideas, and at times there was a palpable feeling that went with a shift in my thinking.

Odette Samuelson, Manager, Organization Development
Pace Suburban Bus Service, Arlington Heights, IL

Cusp is a valuable resource for ideas and stimulation. It’s a great mind walk.

Steve Frykholm, Vice President, Creative Director
Herman Miller, Zeeland, MI

Cusp provides an oasis for igniting new perspectives and creativity in thinking about one’s company, business or life. I came away from my two-day experience asking new questions, discovering fresh and practical ideas, and identifying new possibilities for growth. I would highly recommend Cusp for anyone committed to innovation and learning from some of the best minds in the world.

Laura Zimmerman, Managing Director, Head of Marketing & Product
Legg Mason & Co., Stamford, CT

A Shot of Adrenaline

Michelle Kaufmann
Michelle Kaufmann Studio

Riding the Cusp: Highlights from Chicago's Coolest Design Conference

Jacquie Wallace
All Beef Media

In a no-holds-barred session by some of the most dynamic and engaging speakers you will ever see/hear/feel, one is almost overwhelmed by the impulse to do more, perform better, give more, think more clearly.

Ion partners find inspiration at Cusp Conference

Ion Branding + Design
Vancouver, BC

Design, Creativity on Display at Cusp Conference

Melissa Harris
Chicago Tribune

Cusp Conference 2011 Wrap Up

Courtney McCormack
The Chicago Portfolio School

Cusp Conference 2011 – Part 1

Rich Nadworny

The Design of Everything. Cusp 2011 Wrap.


Cusp was fantastic. Nothing I saw was related to my company or its business, and yet somehow everything was connected to it in ways large and small. I found parallels and alternate thinking that I can apply to my organization in the most unexpected and amazing places. These were two incredibly enriching and inspiring days—I’ve already marked my calendar for Cusp 2013

John Welk, Director of Insights
Pharmavite LLC

Cusp 2013 and the Design of Everything

Casey Hrynkow
Herrainco Brand Strategy + Design

At the CUSP: Saving You, One Good Design at a Time

F. Philip Barash
Newcity Design

Cusp Conference brings design, innovation to District 300 high schools

Jim Dallke
Northwest Herald

Comics Journalism: Tales From The Cusp

Dan Gershenson
Chicago Brander

Cusp Conference 2013: Creativity with a Strong Chance of Thunder

Nate Burgos
Design Feast

The experience of CUSP is unlike any other; the randomness, the unexpected feelings, the networking, the amazing speakers, the way it makes you think about everything differently.

Experiencing CUSP: The Design of Everything

Sandee Kastrul and Deborah Cane
i.c. stars

What Doctors Can Learn From Designers: Tales From The Cusp

Dan Gershenson
Chicago Brander

Four of my co-workers were lucky enough to attend Cusp last year. While this may sound overly dramatic, it was life-changing. We left Chicago in awe of this little conference that blew away all the other conferences we are fortunate enough to attend. Every speaker was amazing, the venue was intimate and you felt truly in the presence of greatness. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me want to be a better citizen of the world. INSPIRED!

Molly Barbour
Discovery Channel, Silver Spring, MD

It was a hell of a show! I have three teammates ready to strangle me for going on and on about how great it was, so next year can’t come soon enough!

Nicholas Wiesner, Designer
Chicago, IL