Bluecadet Recaps ThinkFest 2015

ThinkFest, an event hosted annually by Philadelphia Magazine, brings a wide range of speakers together for a full day of thought-provoking idea sharing. The day’s topics ranged from light banter to pointed discussion on topics ranging from local tax policy to favorite Philadelphia restaurants to gentrification and urban development. The throughline among all of the speakers was a strong tie to the City of Philadelphia. The day’s speakers included the vivacious and thoughtful Brigitte Daniel, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe, mayor of Philadelphia Michael Nutter, and other leaders of all things civically oriented in the city. Three headliners in particular shared wisdom that resonated with the creative work we do at Bluecadet.


The Importance of Balancing Support with Space

In a light-hearted conversation with bestselling author Jennifer Weiner, Philadelphia native Abbi Jacobson, co-creator of the hit Comedy Central show Broad City, spoke about the importance of relationships making in creative work. She spoke specifically to the friendship she has with co-creator Ilana Glazer, and the guidance provided by executive producer Amy Poehler. She also articulated how thankful she is for the freedom and the support Comedy Central provides.  “Comedy Central is kind of like my parents,” Jacobson reflected, in that both her parents and the network have given her a combination of support and freedom, a combination that has resulted in remarkable creative growth.

At Bluecadet we aim to strike this balance within every project team. To do his or her best work every designer, developer, and content strategist needs the right combination of support, camaraderie, creative freedom, and space.


Ties to Your Roots

Todd Carmichael, founder of La Colombe Coffee Roasters and proud Philadelphia transplant, reflected on his choice to start his business in Philadelphia. “If you’re an entrepreneur, pick a location that has bandwidth.” Carmichael believes that the same spirit that created modern democracy in our country is alive and well in Philadelphia today, and makes this city a superior choice for people looking to start something big.

Philadelphia is an essential part of the Bluecadet story, it is not only our home city, but the community that gave us our start.



Fresh Perspective + Hard Work = The Best Stories.

The outspoken, wirey, and wise Buzz Bissinger, in conversation with Philadelphia Magazine editor Tom McGrath, praised how “Philadelphia hums along to its own tune.” The Pulitzer Prize winner is known for his immersive nonfiction storytelling and frank opinions on all things Philadelphia. His work includes books Friday Night Lights, Prayer for the City, and Father’s Day: A Journey into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son. His recent profile of Caitlyn Jenner for Vanity Fair sparked a sea change in how our country speaks about gender and inclusion. At one point in the conversation McGrath asked Bissinger how he prepares for a story, especially in light of the breadth of subjects he has profiled. “The best stories,” Bissinger replied, “are the ones where you go in cold. You’re fresh. You have fresh eyes. Everything is new.” He elaborated on how the best stories are told through a combination of fresh perspective followed by the hard work it takes to know a subject or topic truly and deeply.

At Bluecadet we have the good fortune to work with some of the world’s leading museums, nonprofits, and universities. Each project includes a sometimes-daunting amount of information on a subject we are unfamiliar with (dinosaurs, space travel, chemistry, etc.). For each project we use our fresh perspective as an opportunity to tell a story from a new angle. Then, we work hard to learn all we can about the subject at hand. This combination creates stories that are in-depth but approachable, and ultimately allows our clients to share their expertise with the world in the best ways possible.

The creative process is one that demands a combination of self-knowledge (how do I interpret ideas, how do I work best) and open-mindedness (what are others bringing to the table, how can I collaborate, what can I learn). Events like ThinkFest are excellent opportunities to examine one’s own ideas and those of others. ThinkFest in particular has the added bonus of focusing on the shared city that we love and are proud to call home.