Pack your business cards and No-Doz: Conference season has begun! Learn how to emulate our cover boy Reed Hastings at 10 Secrets of Customer Experience Design, a roll-up-your-sleeves two-day workshop at Georgetown University. Go undercover in places like the Apple Store to observe how those strange creatures called "customers" react to smart design. www.peerinsight.com
From the micro, get macro at Pop!Tech 2005, the four-day intellectual techno-nerdfest where professors, scientists, venture capitalists, artists, and the like tackle everything from the neuroscience behind happiness to how to build the world's first computer for under $100. Nothing like mental aerobics amid the calming hues of Camden, Maine's fall foliage. www.poptech.org
If you find yourself putting down Dostoevsky to watch Survivor, perhaps you'd be better off skipping Pop!Tech and checking out The Next Big Idea: The Future of Branded Entertainment, a one-day confab at New York's Grand Hyatt. Conversations will explore the untapped terrain of logo-tainment beyond product placement. www.thenextbigidea.com
Calling all corporate revolutionaries! The WorldBlu Forum invites the next generation of business leaders (as long as you're under 40) to DC's Mandarin Oriental Hotel to ponder how to bring democracy to organizations. The eclectic lineup of global thinkers ranges from the former prime minister of Estonia to the head of a GE plant. www.worldblu.com
A version of this article appeared in the October 2005 issue of Fast Company magazine.