FAST COMPANY: How do you know when it's time for a change?
RICHARD GREFÉ: "You know, a few years ago, whoever had the knowledge and the power. But today, the power resides in those who have a sense of the way that knowledge flows. And that becomes critical because knowledge is growing at an exponential rate. So what does that mean? That means that for any individual to succeed, has got to go beyond just knowing things. They have to be curious, they have to be thoughtful. And that doesn't come from social media and that doesn't come form deep-diving in data. That comes from thoughtful conversations."
How do you know when it's time for change?
Richard Grefé is the executive director of AIGA, the professional association for design. AIGA is the oldest and largest professional association of designers in the United States; currently it advances the interests of over 20,000 designers working in a variety of communication media and dimensions, ranging from type and book designers to new media, experience and service designers. AIGA, under Ric, has become the leading advocate for the value of designing, as a way of thinking and as a means of creating strategic value for business.
Ric earned a BA from Dartmouth College, crafted books at Stinehour Press, reported from the Bronx County Courthouse for AP, wrote for Time magazine on business and the economy and then earned an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business. Following an early career in urban design and public policy consulting, Ric managed the association responsible for strategic planning and legislative advocacy for public television and led a think tank on the future of public television and radio in Washington. He has been at AIGA since 1995, developing programs at AIGA that reinforce the relevance of design as an extraordinary creative gift and a critical element of business strategy, expanding AIGA to 65 chapters in the US, over 200 college campuses, offices for AIGA China in Beijing, and involving AIGA in global institutions (Aspen Institute, World Economic Forum) to introduce policymakers to the value of designing in solving global problems.