Aaron Keller, Managing Principal, Capsule

You may have plenty of excuses for missing FUSE this year. Perhaps budgets were cut in favor of quarterly earnings, learning is no longer important to your organization, or inspiration has been limited to watching TED videos between meetings. Whatever the reason, we’re not judging, just looking to help fill your knowledge gap on what you missed. So here it is: the slightly amusing and even more slightly inspiring version of the events at FUSE 2014.

Design Thinker as Economic Contributor: the economic value of design was pushed up from several fronts. The DMI economic value study was discussed in significant detail and other thinkers brought forth further evidence of the contribution design makes to the economic engine.

Wicked Speed of Retail: Design an Adaptive Behavior: Dave Moore spoke on the adaptive nature of running marketing, brand and design for Ethan Allen. Then, Simon Doonan, Creative Ambassador, Barneys gave the audience a retrospective on his window designs for retail, showing us all how he has adapted to culture and retail.

Decades of Design Innovation: the legacy of Nike in the world of design, innovation and creative thought is already written. Tinker Hatfield, VP Creative Concepts faced the audience by video conference and gave us a peak inside the large shoes he filled in the history of Nike. And, in a speech Phil Duncan, Global Design Officer at P&G gave us a great view inside the “chief” suite along with lessons on how we can keep the C-seat warm.

If this wasn’t enough, the CEO and Chief Design Officer of Pepsi Co, Indra Nooyi and Mauro Porcini (and his red shoes) made a visit to the FUSE stage. And, the most authentic representation of the Chipotle brand in William Espy’s speech on how they are changing the economics of better food sourced from better origins. Add to this list, The Associated Press, Gilt.com, David Carson, Colgate, SC Johnson, and many others.

After going back over this list of memories, photos, tweets and blog posts it occurs to me that the FUSE conference packs more inspiration for the investment than any other design, innovation or brand conference. Bold? Yes. Rational argument for attending next year? We hope. If you don’t agree yet, read the blog, browse the tweets. If you’re still suspicious, call or email me: 612-702-6286, akeller@capsule.us and I’ll talk you through this year and the previous three years of this inspired gathering of thinkers, leaders, academics and activists in design.