Speaker Profile

Neil Stevenson
Executive Portfolio Director / IDEO San Francisco

Neil Stevenson’s fascination with emerging technology and culture started at the age of 8, when he began programming his first computer, a Commodore Pet. Now the executive portfolio director of IDEO Chicago, he has led projects on everything from video game interfaces to digitally-enabled education to cutting-edge food and beverage work. Mr. Stevenson has also taken his experience in psychology, technology and cultural trends, and woven it into a futurology offering. He gives talks on emerging trends and future scenarios, with an emphasis on the tension between new tech-enabled experiences and our relatively unevolved brains. Before IDEO, Stevenson studied at Oxford University, coming away with master’s degrees in psychology and social anthropology. From here he was drawn to London, where digital technology had given birth to house music. He began writing and within a few years was editor of Mixmag, the world’s biggest club magazine. Neil edited other magazines devoted to emerging cultural movements, including The Face. He also launched successful online titles such as B3ta and Popbitch that employed web communities to generate content. Neil’s greatest wish is to travel back in time to meet his 8-year-old former self and show him the mind-blowing capabilities of a modern cell phone.