Updates, Updates, Updates

Wow! Some time has passed since our last post, but you can expect that posts will come more often now that everything is starting to pick up speed. We have so many cool things coming down the pipeline! This is more of an informal announcement, to give you more information quickly, so you can expect to see these changes reflected on our main pages of the site very soon.

Design Firms

We're off to an amazing start collaborating with design firms around the country to gather an interesting bunch of facilitators and spaces in which teams will be working in. Can you imagine working in gravitytank's Chicago office? Well, 20 participants will have the opportunity to do so at this event! Similarly, participants will have the opportunity to work in spaces occupied by Greater Good Studio, Conifer Research, the Service Design Network and more! Moment Design, from New York City, and Emergent Design are even traveling to Chicago to host teams! Along with a few firms we're talking to on the west coast and more in Chicago, we're expecting to have a variety of design methods and perspectives reflected in the team of design firms represented at BarnRaise.

Follow us on Twitter as we share progress and stories from each of these awesome firms. We'll be highlighting many of their projects over the next few months leading up to the BarnRaise event.


We have some amazing speakers confirmed, and several more we're eagerly waiting to hear back from. We can't wait to share our excitement with you all about the quality, experience, and range of disciplines each of these individuals adds to. Stay tuned as we continue to roll in announcements! By the way, if anyone has a personal connection to help get us in touch with Elon Musk... you would have our eternal gratitude. 

Here's the amazing people you can definitely expect to see at BarnRaise 2014:

Lori Andrews

Lori Andrews brings her experience and knowledge of digital privacy to this year's theme, Urban Safety in an Open-Source World. The ABA Journal describes Lori as "a lawyer with a literary bent who has the scientific chops to rival any CSI investigator." She is an internationally recognized expert on emerging technologies. Her social network constitution and her path-breaking litigation about technologies caused the National Law Journal to list her as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America.


Matthew Manos

As passionate believers in reframing problems and re-thinking the status quo, the BarnRaise team knows Matthew Manos brings this mindset to the table. He's a neo-philanthropist, creative director, and author dedicated to disrupting the economic models of service-oriented business. Matthew is the founder and managing partner at verynice, a global design and innovation consultancy. His book, How to Give Half of Your Work Away for Free, is documentation of verynice’s 50% pro-bono business model and the subsequent Give Half movement.

Charles Adler

We've also just gotten confirmation today that Charles Adler, one of the co-founders of Kickstarter will also be speaking! We're waiting for an official bio and photo for him, but in the meantime, you can look him up easily online!



We're in the process of reaching out and hearing back from community focused organizations and companies around the city that focus on some aspect of safety and privacy within the city. Remember, our topic space is "Urban Safety in an Open Source World", with clarifying buckets including health, public spaces, transportation, home safety, and virtual privacy. We have reached out to several Chicago non profits, as well as a few larger companies which are working in areas like technology solutions and advertising strategy that could certainly provide intriguing problem spaces to play in. 

Friends of the Park

Our first community organization is IN, and will be helping us determine a problem space within "public spaces"... drum roll please... Friends of the Park! 

Friends of the Park is a park advocacy organization, dedicated to preserving, protecting, and improving Chicago’s parks and forest preserves for all citizens. Since 1975, FOTP has increased private and public commitment to Chicago’s parks through establishing park advisory councils, developing new parks, renovating playlots, and presenting public workshops and lectures to create and informed citizenry.


IIT Institute of Design, 350 N LaSalle St, Chicago, IL, 60654, United States