Why Forge Conference?

Home to America’s original makers, Philadelphia has tons of great people, meetups and groups, but Forge Conference is the flagship event for those making an impact in the digital space. The conference brings together extraordinary speakers and practitioners from around the country in user experience, design, development, and digital product management. There’s an intimacy to the event, and to the talks, which are focused on sharing stories and lessons learned from some of the most talented and passionate people in the industry.

Make sure to bring your curiosity, and your appetite for good food and a good time, because Forge ensures that the event is much more than just a conference.

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Our speakers are a diverse collection of innovators who test the limits of the digital space. Developers, designers, and product engineers aren’t just job titles to our speakers, they’re opportunities to inspire others and push the industry forward.

Follow @ForgeConf on Twitter to stay up to date as we announce all our speakers!

  • Cap Watkins from BuzzFeed
    Cap Watkins BuzzFeed

    About Cap Watkins

    Cap Watkins is a product designer living in Brooklyn, NY. He’s the VP of Design at BuzzFeed, as well as a blogger, conference speaker, podcast guest and lover of startups and technology. Cap believes in thoughtful, holistic design solutions that get out of the way and empower people to accomplish more. His past work includes Etsy, Zoosk, Formspring and hush-hush stuff at Amazon.

  • King Britt
    King Britt Music Producer

    About King Britt

    King Britt’s curiosity has paved the way for the artist he is now. From creating house tunes for the legendary Strictly Rhythm, djing for Sector 6 comrades Digable Planets, starting Ovum Recordings with techno wunderkind, Josh Wink, being tapped to underscore Michael Mann’s Miami Vice and various commercials, to curating a full day at MoMA PS1 in New York, the list goes on and on. Presently, he is exploring many afro sonic possibilities with his Hyperdub released, Fhloston Paradigm project, The Phoenix, and his aural experiments with friends appear on his imprint, The Buddy System Project. King’s creativity is at a point where process meets end result. It’s the journey and not the destination. No limitations. Come join the ride.

  • Dan Tello
    Dan Tello Viget

    About Dan Tello

    Dan is a Sriracha-powered ex-graphic designer turned front-end dev at Viget.com who believes that every successful day starts with a plate of bacon. When not sitting with bad posture at his desk typing code, he enjoys listening to vinyl, smoking pipe tobacco, reading C.S. Lewis, and being alive in Falls Church, VA with his wife, Bekah, and his dog Maeby.

  • Amritha Prasad
    Amritha Prasad Uber

    About Amritha Prasad

    Amritha is currently a UX Designer at Uber and is extremely passionate about changing the way people perceive transportation and modern convenience. She’s worked on a wide variety of products at Uber over the past 2 years or so, including the Uber and Spotify integration. In her spare time she enjoys reading modern fiction over brunch, watching Bollywood films, and hanging out with the Uber design team.

  • Michael Lebowitz
    Michael Lebowitz Big Spaceship

    About Michael Lebowitz

    Michael is Founder and CEO of Big Spaceship, a globally-recognized digital creative agency. Since launching the agency in 2000, he has defined the strategy and vision for their growth and culture, and worked closely with their clients. Michael has led Big Spaceship to attain countless awards of high distinction and established himself as an industry thought leader. Speaking on creativity, innovation and the evolution of business, Michael leads seminars across the globe and has engaged audiences at AIGA, Cannes, SXSW and ad:tech, to name a few. Michael is a member of P&G’s Design Advisory Board, the Chairman of the IAB Agency Advisory Board and is one of the founders of SoDA.

  • Zander Brimijoin
    Zander Brimijoin Red Paper Heart

    About Zander Brimijoin

    Zander Brimijoin is Creative Director and Co Founder of Red Paper Heart, an interactive art studio in Brooklyn. After over 10 years as an Art Director, and an MFA to boot, Zander left his career to combine art, technology... and bears. The result was Red Paper Heart, a studio that has created large scale installations for likes of Sonos, Red Bull Studios, BMWi, MOMI, and Google. Zander makes people run, jump, and maybe even find unexpected joy in life.

  • Nickey Skarstad
    Nickey Skarstad Etsy

    About Nickey Skarstad

    Nickey Skarstad is a Group Product Manager on Etsy's Shop Management team. She’s worked with Etsy sellers for over five years helping to build the tools that power their creative businesses. On the weekends, you can usually find her biking around Brooklyn or flying home to Minnesota to sharpen her waning midwestern accent.

  • Will Harding
    Will Harding NPR

    About Will Harding

    Will Harding is currently a Senior Product Designer at NPR in Washington DC. Will is a proponent of a fast and iterative design process that relies on user research and analytics to judge the success of a hypothesis. When away from his computer he spends his time with his wife and two young sons.

  • Renda Morton
    Renda Morton The New York Times

    About Renda Morton

    My name is Renda Morton and I write my bios in the first person. I’m a Product Design Director at the The New York Times, where I’ve been working on a redesign of NYTimes.com. Previously, I founded and ran a small, multi-disciplinary design studio called Rumors. Before moving to New York ten years ago, I worked on physical interactive media at a design studio called Lust in The Hauge, Netherlands. I have BFA in Interactive Media from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

  • Judd Antin
    Judd Antin Airbnb

    About Judd Antin

    Judd Antin is a social psychologist and Head of Insights at Airbnb. Prior to joining Airbnb in May 2015, Judd was Research Manager at Facebook, where he led research teams working on products such as News Feed, Groups, Feed Ads, and Photos. Also the co-founder of a relatively short-lived crowdsourcing start-up and a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York, Judd’s diverse experiences have helped him appreciate the value of multiple perspectives when building great products. Judd completed his Ph.D. in Information Management & Systems at the School of Information at UC Berkeley in 2010. In 2011 Judd was named one of MIT Technology Review’s top 35 innovators under 35 (TR35).

  • Natalie Be’er
    Natalie Be’er Huge

    About Natalie Be’er

    Natalie Be’er is a Senior Interaction Designer at Huge, where she is responsible for producing work that is usable, intuitive, and intelligent. Her passion for cross-discipline collaborations has led her to focus on technology, interaction design, and user experience. Prior to Huge, Natalie was an Interaction Designer at Noise, translating business problems into best possible user experiences. Natalie received a BA in Sociology and Studio Art from the University of Mary Washington, and an MPS from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.

Forge Conference Attendees


Conference Venue

Situated on the vibrant UPenn campus, the Penn Museum is the largest university museum in the United States. With a mission to broaden the collective understanding of our human experience, the museum’s goal makes it a perfect fit for our UX conference. It’s brimming with creations from makers of yesteryear and serves not just as a venue, but another source of inspiration as we take a look at the future of the web.

University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology
3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Check out the Penn Museum

Hotel Palomar Exterior Hotel Palomar Map

Hotel Partner

This year we’re excited to share that we have partnered with Hotel Palomar in Rittenhouse to offer a special rate for Forge Conference attendees. The stylish hotel’s Art Deco theme paired with its excellent service will undoubtedly provide you with a unique and comfortable experience in Philadelphia from start to finish. If you’re still standing following the Forge Conference After Party, we highly recommend that you find out for yourself why Square 1682 was voted “#1 Hotel Bar” by the readers of USA Today.

A limited number of discounted rooms will be available through the end of August. Please mention “Forge Conference” if you’re booking over the phone.

Book Hotel Room

Hotel Palomar
117 South 17th Street at Sansom
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(800) 546-7866

Get Directions to Hotel Palomar

Our Sponsors

A huge shout out to our sponsors who support Forge Conference and provide the resources to help us all create.

Become a Sponsor

2014 Recap

On September 26th, 2014 designers, developers, and product people from around the U.S. came together in Philadelphia, PA to learn the story behind some of the web’s most loved brands, products, and experiences. We listened to some of the industry’s brightest folks talk about the things they feel the most passionate about. We learned how to bring internal stakeholders together, how UX in gaming can provide new perspectives to traditional web processes, and how we as an industry are collectively experiencing first-hand, the digital revolution.

Visit the 2014 Site
Forge Conference Attendees

Questions & Comments

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Get Your Tickets

What’s included with your ticket purchase you ask? Admission to Forge Conference, breakfast, lunch, and snacks throughout the day, and admission to the after party. By purchasing a ticket, attendees registering agree to follow the Code of Conduct set forth by Forge Conference.