OpenCo Comes to CCA

On October 10, 2013, CCA hosted an OpenCo session, an event that announces itself as “a mix between a business conference and artist’s open studio with the vibe of a music festival.”

OpenCo launched in 2012 in San Francisco and has since expanded to four cities. At this year’s San Francisco edition, more than 3,600 attendees -- investors, marketers, job seekers, and curious neighbors -- visited 135 different companies and organizations, getting direct access to local innovation leaders in, you might say, their natural habitat.

CCA Welcomed OpenCo

The session at CCA, hosted by Director of Campus Planning David Meckel, welcomed many new audiences. “Almost all of the OpenCo attendees who came to CCA had never been on campus before,” he reported.

“We know that an art and design education contains many of the core values necessary for innovation, yet it’s only in recent years, since the founding of Stanford’s d.school in 2005 and CCA’s MBA in Design Strategy program in 2008, that there’s been widespread acceptance and understanding of the power of design thinking.”

Innovation Corridor

CCA sits squarely in the epicenter of the “innovation corridor” that San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has been promoting. The college’s location, and its strong partnerships with organizations and companies such as Intel, Levi Strauss, Autodesk, and the SF Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation, are key to CCA’s ability to connect emerging talent with innovation opportunities.

The OpenCo session at CCA was geared toward showing attendees what an art- and design- and human-centered approach to innovation looks like.

Key Players

They were welcomed with a short introductory presentation about the college, followed by a curated gathering in the Hybrid Lab, where they heard presentations from studio managers Chris Parsell and Andrew Maxwell-Parish, Architecture faculty Jason Kelly Johnson and Michael Shiloh, and MBA in Design Strategy faculty Christopher Ireland and Tim Smith.