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Click Here for the Top Takeaways from the San Francisco IM



Monday, November 13 (all times PST):

2:00 p.m.: Innovation Mission kickoff at Northwestern Medill School San Francisco Campus
• Attendees share their goals for the trip
• Design thinking overview from Jeremy Gockel, McClatchy’s Head of Innovation

3:00 p.m.: The Hustle – Sam Parr, Founder, and Adam Ryan, Head of Revenue
This “digital-native” publisher has built a massive 100,000+ subscriber database of millennial professionals that its daily newsletters. On the back of this targeted database and distinctive content, The Hustle is creating a diverse business model that includes live events, custom sponsorships, and more. We will meet with the founding team to learn how The Hustle is building its next-gen media brand.

[walk to SmartNews]

4:30 p.m.: SmartNews – U.S. leadership team
The SmartNews discovery app has more than 20 million downloads and works with 1500 publications to aggregate news content. In the process, the company has raised more than $88 million in funding. How has it built such a massive mobile following, and how is it monetizing this audience? The SmartNews leadership team will address these questions during a visit to their U.S. headquarters.

6:00 p.m.: Happy Hour & dinner in downtown San Francisco (location TBD)

Tuesday, November 14:
[7:30 a.m.: Bus departs for Google]

9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.: Full-day meeting at Google headquarters in Mountain View.

AMP, ad solutions, strategic partnerships, consumer data, machine learning, news innovation & more – this full-day visit to Google’s Mountain View headquarters has it all! From immediate partnership opportunities to longer-term, groundbreaking disruptions, Google will roll out the red carpet for Innovation Mission attendees in this private meeting.

Meetings are confirmed with the following teams:

  • Google News & News Lab
  • Machine Learning for Publishers
  • Ad Solutions / Strategic Partnerships
  • AMP & Subscriptions

4:30-6:00 p.m.: IDEO
IDEO is a global design company whose mission is to “create positive impact through design.” They have advanced the practice of design thinking for three decades across industries as diverse as fashion and “fintech” (financial technology).

7:00 p.m.: Private dinner with Matter Managing Director Corey Ford (location TBD)
Matter has quickly emerged as a leading light in media innovation, and Managing Director Corey Ford is the architect behind it all. The Matter accelerator incubates dozens of media startups each year, and their design thinking workshops empower media companies to build innovative DNA. In this private dinner, Ford will update attendees on the breakthrough innovations that Matter sees in media, and will share his wisdom on how to utilize design thinking to spark innovation within your walls.

Wednesday, November 15:
[7:45 a.m.: cabs to Pandora HQ, Oakland]

8:30 a.m.: Pandora – John Donaldson, EVP Strategy & Corporate Development
Digital audio – it’s one of media fastest-growing and most exciting frontiers. And there’s a big opportunity in local! Pandora is the original digital audio innovator. Their senior leadership team will take attendees inside their latest innovations, from live streaming to podcasting, and provide thought leadership on how local media companies can pursue these opportunities.

[10:00 a.m.: cabs to Northwestern Medill School San Francisco Campus]

10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Northwestern Knight Lab and Spiegel Research Center presentations

The Northwestern Medill School’s SF-based center for digital media entrepreneurship leads groundbreaking research and new product development. It also has a dedicated design thinking lab. Attendees will learn about the Knight Lab’s latest projects, and also have an intensive discussion with the executive director of Northwestern’s Spiegel Research Center about their latest findings in multiplatform audience engagement.

12:30-4:30 p.m.: Design thinking boot camp, led by McClatchy’s Jeremy Gockel

McClatchy’s Head of Innovation Jeremy Gockel is an industry leader in teaching media companies how to leverage design thinking for growth. He will lead an exclusive design thinking boot camp for attendees. During this “roll up the sleeves” workshop, attendees will learn how to incorporate design thinking principles into their company cultures to spark innovation.

4:45-6:30 p.m.: Innovation Mission wrap-up and sharing of key takeaways by attendees


The SF/Silicon Valley Innovation Mission is $2,595 and is limited to only 15 participants, so reserve your spot today! No refunds will be given after Oct. 6.

The trip will address a number of critical industry themes, including:

• Platform partnerships
• Customer data strategies
• Audience loyalty
• Digital audio
• Design thinking
• Human-centered innovation

Click here to make your reservations


“The regional Innovation Mission was well worth the investment. What an incredible experience. There were lessons to be learned at every stop along the way, as well as from the other participants. The list of takeaways could be a mile long!”

— Meg Boyer, Publisher, Summit Daily News