Keynote Session

Explore Innovation: Don’t Get Comfortable: Embrace Discomfort & the Spirit of Innovation

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Bre Pettis '95, 3-D printing entrepreneur and inventor.

Bre Pettis is the best-known figure in the printing world. He led MakerBot, a global leader in 3-D printing technology, as CEO from its beginning in 2009. Bre has a long history of making things and inspiring others to make things. Prior to co-founding MakerBot, Pettis co-founded the Brooklyn hacker collective NYC Resistor, where MakerBot technology was first concocted, tested, and proven. He was instrumental in building the first prototypes of MakerBot’s 3-D printers and has become known worldwide as a leading evangelist for personal manufacturing.

In 2006, Bre started the popular “Weekend Projects” video podcast for Make: magazine, where he taught millions of viewers to make things from pinhole cameras, to bicycles, to hovercrafts. He also introduced the blog at the popular online handcrafts marketplace, Etsy. Prior to both endeavors, Bre was an art teacher in the Seattle Public Schools system. Bre is passionate about providing the tools for individuals and organizations to create the world around them. He has spoken publicly about empowering students to solve the problems of the future and worked behind the scenes to bring professional-quality 3-D printing technology into the hands of average consumers.

In 2012, Bre was honored with the Disruptive Innovation Award from the Tribeca Film Festival, for “creating an entire ecosystem for desktop 3-D printing.” Foreign Policy named him #60 on its list of 2013 Global Thinkers. Bre has been a highly sought-after speaker and interview subject, gracing the cover of numerous magazines (most recently Popular Science), and been a guest on The Colbert Report and many more. MakerBot was featured in the October 2012 edition of Fast Company as a 2012 Innovation by Design awardee, as well as in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Engadget, Make:Magazine, Rolling Stone, TIME, IEEE Spectrum, CNN, Financial Times, NPR, Vogue Italia, and many others.