Patrick Whitney’s Illinois Institute of Technology conference—Design for the new China Markets—that ran in Beijing on Dec. 1 and 2 was simply stunning. In my talk that concluded the conference, I guessed that the nearly 200 people, half from inside China, half from the outside, who attended came away with up to $1 million worth of IP from the amazing presentations. The level of detail offered up in those presentations totally surprised me. And the networking that went on stunned me. I brought a 100 business cards and they were gone by the beginning of the second day. Where else could you talk to Ying-Jia Yao, the head of design for Lenovo, China’s biggest PC maker and now owner of the IBM ThinkPad, and then turn around and talk to Tom MacTavish, the head of Motorola’s human interaction labs, including the one in Shanghai. Their presentations in particular were extremely valuable. Yao heads up some of the best ethnographic work done in China by a Chinese company. And Motorola is doing the most incredible cellphone work on animation delivering messages. I’ll blog on the conference all week. Whitney plans to do another conference in China soon. Go.
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