• Design has been around since the dawn of humanity.
    For Artificial Intelligence, however, it is only the beginning.

Yet, the implication of A.I. on Design is
both promising and threatening.

Is A.I. going to make Design, one of the oldest
professions of the human race, irrelevant soon?

How can we use Design to infuse
more humanity into A.I.?

What are the positive influences that
Design and A.I. can have on each other?


The aim of the New Context Conference 2018 is to explore, debate and provoke possible clues to these questions and then some.


Nov. 15


09:30 Registration
Session: Morning
10:00 Greetings - Rei Inamoto
10:05 Talk: Designing AI, With and For Humanity- Margaret Stewart (Facebook)
10:25 Talk: Will AI Be the Life or Death of Design?- Elizabeth Kiehner (IBM)
10:45 Panel: Impact & Potential of AI in Design
- Margaret Stewart & Elizabeth Kiehner, moderated by Rei Inamoto
11:10 Fireside Chat- With John Maeda, moderated by Rei Inamoto
11:40 Lunch Break
Session: Afternoon
12:50 Talk: Making Robots See- Takayuki Todo
13:10 Talk: AI + Sensors- Silka Miesnieks (Adobe)
13:30 Talk: More Human than Human- Eugenia Kuyda (Replika)
13:50 Panel: Can Design Save the Future of Humanity from AI?
- Silka Miesnieks, Takayuki Todo & Eugenia Kuyda, moderated by Rei Inamoto
14:20 Wrap-up- Joi Ito with John Maeda, moderated by Rei Inamoto
14:40 Break
14:55 Resi-Tech Global Pitch Session
Thinking about the future of Resi-tech

*Talk titles are subjected to change


Along with Joi Ito, co-founder of Digital Garage and Director of MIT Media Lab, former Chief Creative Officer of AKQA and Founding Partner of Inamoto & Co., Rei Inamoto will be co-hosting the conference as a part of the fifth anniversary event of Digital Garage’s co-working space located in downtown San Francisco, DG717.

  • Rei Inamoto

    Founding partner of Inamoto & Co

  • Joi Ito

    Co-Founder of Digital Garage, Inc & Director of MIT Media Lab

I don't pretend we have all the answers.
But the questions are certainly worth thinking about.

Arthur C. Clarke


We are bringing an unusual mix of the most brilliant and fascinating minds from various fields that you rarely
see in one place: A.I., Architecture, Art, Branding, Business, Design, Media, Robotics, and Venture Capital.

  • John Maeda

    Head of Computational Design & Inclusion @Automattic

  • Elizabeth Kiehner

    Global Leader, IBM Design Principal

  • Margaret Stewart

    VP of Product Design, Facebook

  • Silka Miesnieks

    Head of Emerging Design, Adobe

  • Eugenia Kuyda

    Co-founder and CEO of Replika

  • Takayuki Todo


By focusing on a handful of speakers in an intimate setting in
the heart of San Francisco, NCC 2018 will help us understand the
new context we live in and inspire us all in shaping the
future at the intersection of design, data and technology.

Resi-Tech Global Pitch Session

Brilliant mentors with unique backgrounds come together for the Resi-Tech Global Pitch Session. The team of Global Incubation Stream covers the startup ecosystem worldwide, including: the East and West coast US; Northern and Western Europe; and South, South East and East Asia. Together we generate waves of innovation with the fast growing startups. Mentors include: Joi Ito, Rei Inamoto, Lisa Katayama (SYPartners), Brian Yeh (DG Incubation), Phil Libin (All Turtles) Eric Lagier (byFounders), Adam Lindemann (MindFund), Teruhide Sato (BEENEXT).

The Resi-Tech Global Pitch Session this year is focused on Resi-tech and technologies around it such as AI.

global mentors

global mentors

  • Kaoru HayashiTokyo

    President and Group CEO, Digital Garage, Inc

  • Joi ItoCambridge

    Co-Founder, Digital Garage, Inc
    Director, MIT Media Lab

  • Rei InamotoBrooklyn

    Founding Partner, Inamoto & Co

  • Teruhide SatoSingapore

    Founder and Managing Partner, BEENEXT

  • Phil Libin San Francisco

    Co-founder and CEO, All Turtles

  • Brian YehSan Francisco

    Chief Investment Officer, DG Incubation

  • Lisa KatayamaNew York

    Creative Director, SYPartners

  • Eric LagierCopenhagen

    Managing Partner, byFounders

  • Yoshinari YoshikawaSan Mateo

    Founder & Managing Director, Golden Whales Ventures

  • Adam LindemannHong Kong

    Founder and CEO, Mind Fund Group


Join us and meet thinkers, creators, designers & entrepreneurs like yourself .



717 Market Street, Suite 100,
San Francisco, CA 94103

3-minute walk from Powell Street BART/Muni station