CEO & CO-FOUNDER OF KICKSTARTER
Yancey is co-founder and CEO of Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects, raising nearly $2.8 billion in its short history. Yancey Strickler co-founded Kickstarter to help bring creative projects to life. In the process, he has started an important conversation about how companies can stick to their ideals, resist conformity, and contribute to the public good.
Under his leadership, Kickstarter has become a Public Benefit Corporation, a designation which means the company must consider not only its financial obligations to shareholders, but also its impact on society. As part of its corporate charter as a PBC, Kickstarter donates five percent of its after-tax profits to arts education groups and organizations fighting systemic inequality.
Yancey serves on the board of New Inc., the New Museum’s incubator for art, design, and technology. He has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People, listed among Vanity Fair’s New Establishment, and received a Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award from the Tribeca Film Festival. Prior to Kickstarter, Yancey worked as Editor-in-Chief of eMusic and has written for The Village Voice, New York Magazine, Pitchfork, and other publications.
RESIST AND THRIVE: CREATIVITY, THE PUBLIC GOOD, AND MAKING GOOD IDEAS HAPPEN
Don't sell out your values. Stick to your ideals. Help spread new ideas. Sustain yourself, but don't let profits alone dictate why you do what you do. This is the story of Kickstarter. It's also a rallying cry for a growing group of people weary of the aggressive money-first ethos dominating start-up culture and the economy. In this talk, Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler offers a hopeful rebuke to a quickly calcifying status quo. What happens when society champions maximizing profits above all else? Innovation wilts, small businesses suffer, and people with great ideas struggle to realize their vision. How did we all agree on this model? And how can we cross over into other, better paths? "It's important that there's a diversity of concepts and models about how an entrepreneur, how a business, how an artist or creator can operate," Strickler says. In this keynote, Yancey draws on Kickstarter and a plethora of independent-minded companies to show us how a more meaningful, sustainable concept of success can benefit us all.
THE STATE OF THE ARTIST
Now more than ever we need artists to lift us up, and give us new perspective. Fortunately, it's never been easier to voice our creativity. Unfortunately, it's never been harder to be heard. As the promises of the information age confront the perils of the attention economy, the fault lines of creative culture are shifting. But where does that leave the artist?