Brandstand brings together several luminary speakers from diverse backgrounds to discuss and examine the pervasive nature of technology and its implication for our society. This debate will investigate the question: Are we customers, products, or pawns to tech companies today?

On: December 7, 2018 

From: 7 - 9 pm EST

At: SVA Theatre, 333 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

Presented by: School of Visual Arts Masters in Branding Alumni Network


The alumni of the School of Visual Arts Masters in Branding program organize a free, annual public event called "Brandstand." Each year we put a timely topic on ‘the stand’ to dissect, debate, and discuss. This year’s topic is the pervasive nature of technology and its implication for our society.

Through a series of talks and panel discussions, we will explore distinct perspectives on technology and its effects on our culture, our lives, and on the practice of branding. Expect a rapid fire set of cultural, creative, and economic opinions designed to provoke discussion and debate.



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Ian Bogost

Author, Contributing Editor at The Atlantic, Game Designer, and Professor of media studies and computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology


Emerson T. Brooking

Expert on social media and conflict. Co-Author of Like War: The Weaponization of Social Media


Cynthia Pratomo

Creative Director/Design Coach at Wolff Olins, New York City


Debbie Millman

Writer, Artist, Educator, Brand Consultant and the Host of Design Matters podcast

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Anthony Ha

Senior Writer at TechCrunch covering media and advertising, Co-host of the Original Content podcast


Mike Murphy

Deputy Technology Editor at Quartz. He focuses on machines with brains, and consumer electronics

Previous Brandstands

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2017: America

We examined the radical shifts in the meaning of America: the brand. Freedom, determination, inclusivity, opportunity… Our distinguished speakers debated the question: what does America stand for today?


  • Charles Blow, Author and New York Times Op-Ed columnist

  • Paola Mendoza, Filmmaker and Artistic Director of the Women's March

  • Derek Thompson, Author of Hit Makers and Senior Editor at The Atlantic

  • Jim Johnson, Attorney and Activist

  • Brian Collins, Designer, Writer, and Founder of COLLINS

  • Debbie Millman, Writer, Artist, and Host of Design Matters


2016: Politics

Our first annual Brandstand put political branding on ‘the stand’ to dissect, debate, and discuss. Through a mix of creative, political and cultural points of view, Brandstand examined the increasingly integral role branding plays in political campaigns.


  • Seth Godin, Author and Entrepreneur

  • Susan Milligan, Political Reporter

  • Ashleigh Axios, AIGA National Board Member

  • Steven Heller, Design Historian, Author and Co-chair SVA MFA Design

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