Joe Hebenstreit is the CEO of Shaper, a human-involved robotics company focused on dissolving barriers between human intuition and machine tool automation. Shaper’s Origin is a handheld CNC router that employs computer vision and real-time positional motor control to auto-correct for imprecise hand movements and enable entirely new fabrication possibilities. Prior to Shaper, Joe led the Product Design & Engineering team responsible for Glass hardware development at Google X. He began his engineering career in the automotive industry before earning his product development stripes at frog while tackling projects across a wide range of industries including medical devices, wearables, home appliances, industrial equipment and consumer electronics. His reputation for shepherding new technology out of the prototyping lab and into consumer products led him to Amazon’s Lab126 in its earliest days of hardware development. At Amazon, he helped usher enabling technologies like touch interfaces and front-lighting to generations of Kindle e-readers.
Founder & Creative Director, AWOL Company
Andy Logan is the Founder and Creative Director at AWOL Company, a small but mighty Southern California-based product design agency. AWOL specializes in award-winning design that challenges assumptions, grows market share, and delights users. A veteran of California’s top consultancies, Andy’s 20-year design career resume includes both BMW/Designworks and frog design, leading creative teams to tackle challenges in the Consumer, Industrial, and Medical categories.
With a strategic design philosophy, he has helped businesses as varied as HP, Nike, John Deere, Proctor & Gamble, Turtle Beach, Welch Allyn, AutoDesk, and SanDisk better connect with their customers through amazing design. Most recently, he installed a kick-ass zip line in his backyard for his three daughters.
Head of Design, PG&E
Gretchen spent the first part of her career in design consulting for firms like frog, Cooper, and LUNAR. Currently, she is head of design at PG&E, California’s largest energy company where she’s helping to build the energy company of the future. Previously, she led the design of the hardware and software of a next-generation surgical system and was VP of Product at GreatSchools.org.
Gretchen is a frequent speaker on design topics including the changing role of design in the age of artificial intelligence and bridging physical and digital design. Gretchen has also taught design methods and design thinking in a variety of settings including Stanford and UC Berkeley.
Her past clients include Virgin Records, Samsung, Johnson & Johnson, and Starbucks. Gretchen is a Bay Area native who left only long enough to get a bachelor’s degree from Harvard in History & Literature.
CEO, Limeback Group, Limeback Media, @toolaholic
Early on, Kiefer started his career as a professional remodel contractor in Toronto, where he developed his skill using tools and equipment ranging from hand tools to large scale heavy machinery.
When Instagram was in its infancy, he started a page (@toolaholic) where he could discuss tools and techniques amongst the community to better the industry. This quickly blossomed into more detailed media and articles, landing him partnerships with some of the largest names in the industry. He currently works with leaders in power tools and construction products such as Milwaukee, Dewalt, Festool, Fein, Makita, and many more, developing and testing new tools and jobsite solutions. He also writes for publications such as Fine homebuilding and Canadian contractor magazine.
His media company serves an as outlet to show the world the latest in power tools, and also to product detailed content to help our younger generation learn more about tools and techniques.
Spencer Wright is a writer, operator, and mechanical designer living in New York City. At theprepared.org he runs a weekly newsletter on manufacturing, logistics, and the business of hardware product development. By day he works on industrial 3D printing software at nTopology.
With a formal education in English syntax, Spencer built his project management experience in construction, learned to machine and weld building custom bicycle frames, and cut his engineering teeth designing structural and actuator assemblies for robotic sliding doors.
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