Joel has been one of the top influencers in the marketing and technology space for more than 20 years, graduating SUNY Buffalo in 1999 with a degree in Anthropology. He is an entrepreneur and free thinker who understands culture, technology, and the people. With an extensive career in building brands across media, entertainment and technology, Joel is currently the Chief Strategy Officer at Kreatr, an NFT marketplace for physical artwork authenticated on the blockchain. He fell in love with the promise of NFTs while acting as an advisor to Rarible, one of the top NFT marketplaces today.
Joel was previously the Vice President of Global Brand and Creative Strategy at Twitter, responsible for Twitter’s brand, growth, and product marketing as well as creative lateral thinking across the company. He was there pre-revenue to post IPO, leading a Global Strategy team spanning 30 countries and charged with partnering with brands to fuel Twitter’s advertising, growth and data business. In his time there, he was responsible for growing the business from to $2.4B in revenue in just a handful of years. Prior to Twitter, Joel was one of the first employees, Media Director and eventual CEO of Moxie a top 10 digital agency where his accomplishments helped shape the digital industry in ways still felt today. Moxie was recognized as a top 10 digital agency, and in 2008 it was acquired by Publicis, the world’s largest holding company. Joel has led engagements with world-class brands such as Verizon Wireless, L’Oreal, Twentieth Century Fox, and Coca-Cola, HP, and many others.
He is a strong advocate for the future of technology and creativity, holding board positions with the IAB and the Global Art Directors Club, as well as advisory roles across multiple technology start-ups. An award winning creative, Joel has been awarded a Cannes Lion Grand Prix, Platinum Obie, Gold DA&D and many other accolades for his work. As a recognition of his career achievements and impact on the industry, Joel was inducted into the AAF’s Advertising Hall of Achievement in 2015.
Joel also cares deeply about giving back to society. In 2014 he co-founded a nonprofit – The Guardian Project www.guardiangym.org, a boxing and jui-jitsu academy in Oakland, CA and Baltimore, MD working with at-risk youth to build community and self esteem through martial arts. Joel also served on the board of Hire Heroes USA a nonprofit that helps veterans and their spouses find jobs and transition from military to civilian life.
Linda Ong is the CEO + Founder of CULTIQUE, the premium cultural insights and strategy boutique of CIVIC (a Seacrest Global Group Company). Co-founded with partner Sarah Unger, the company crafts bespoke cultural strategies for forward-looking businesses in media, entertainment, tech, travel, and other consumer spaces. Launched in Fall 2020, CULTIQUE unites thought leaders, industry disruptors, academics, creatives and experts to maximize the impact of brands, content, and products in a world of constant change.
Formerly Chief Culture Officer at CIVIC, Ong leads a team of analysts devoted to helping some of entertainment’s leading companies navigate fast-changing times, recalibrate for new audiences, and cultivate growth in an uncertain world. Ong’s groundbreaking work on cultural insights related to women, Latinx biculturals, Millennials and other drivers of the rapidly changing landscape has positioned her as a sought-after cultural advisor and industry voice. She has been featured in several books including Joel Beckerman’s The Sonic Boom: How Sound Transforms the Way We Think, Feel, and Buy; Scott Stowell’s Design for People; and Chiqui Cartagena’s Latino Boom II. Ong has been a guest lecturer at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, the Marshall School of Business at USC, the School of Visual Arts’ Masters in Branding program, and UTLA, The University of Texas’ LA-based program for broadcast, marketing, and communications. She sits on the advisory boards of STORYTAP and FRONTIER.
Ong has been at the center of some of the most high-profile brand transformations in the media and entertainment industry over the past 25 years, having run her own shop TruthCo., an omnicultural branding and insights firm. As one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, Ong sits on the publication’s Impact Council, which brings together some of the brightest and most innovative leaders in business, and was featured in the November 2020 “New Rules of Business” issue.
Ong was a founding member of the Creative Alliance for Civic Nation, a non-profit, non-partisan organization started by the former President and First Lady, Barack and Michelle Obama, to address some of the nation’s most pressing challenges, now serving the public policy efforts of the Biden administration. Ong serves on the advisory board of Women in Entertainment. In 2016, she served as a delegate to the United Nations Media for Social Impact Summit and as “Innovation Ambassador” to the 2014 United Nations World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Prior to founding TruthCo., Ong was SVP of marketing at Oxygen Media, where she oversaw the multi-platform launch of the Oxygen network. Before that, she was managing director of strategy and creative director for Lee Hunt Associates, a segment producer for Videofashion! Inc., and an art director for McCann-Erickson USA. She is a graduate of the University
of Texas, Austin. Ong is based in Los Angeles. Follow her @lindaong100 and @cultique.co.
Sarah Unger is the Co-Founder of CULTIQUE, a cultural insights and strategy venture of CIVIC (a Seacrest Global Group Company). Led by Unger and Founder/CEO Linda Ong, the premium boutique crafts bespoke cultural POVs for forward-looking businesses in media, entertainment, tech and consumer spaces. Launched in Fall 2020, CULTIQUE unites thought leaders, industry disruptors, academics, creatives and experts to maximize the impact of brands, content, and products in a world of constant change.
An award-winning cultural strategist, Unger and her team of analysts are devoted to working with brands such as AMEX GBT, Airbnb, YouTube, Apple, WarnerMedia, Disney/ABC, and NBCU navigate fast-changing times, recalibrate for new audiences, and cultivate growth in an uncertain world. Unger was named Media Play News’ 40 Under 40 list in October 2019 and has been a frequent commentator in media such as Forbes, Fortune, The Atlantic, and The Daily Beast.
Prior to serving as SVP, Cultural Insights & Strategy at CIVIC, Unger led brand strategy as Vice President of Marketing Strategy, Trends & Insights at Viacom across its portfolio of Paramount Pictures, Paramount Network, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Nickelodeon, and more. She was named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2015 during her tenure at Ketchum as Vice President, Insights & Strategic Planning where she launched the Millennial and Gen Z division.
Unger is a graduate of the University of Virginia and completed the prestigious Harvard Business School 2018 Program for the Business of Entertainment, Media, & Sports and sits on the Board of Trustees for The Hackley School and the advisory board of UC Riverside’s Women in Leadership program. A frequent public speaker, she has led sessions at SXSW and VidCon among others, and was also featured in New York Times bestselling author Dan Schwabel’s latest book, Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation.
A committed cultural enthusiast, Unger rarely encounters something that doesn’t interest her. A born and raised New Yorker, she moved home base from NYC to California in 2018 to experience life on both coasts. She is a passionate adventure traveler, having ice camped across Siberia, driven cross-country by Jeep with her dog, hiked Everest Base Camp, and ridden horseback across the plains of Mongolia. Follow her adventures on instagram at @sarahjaneunger.
Faris Yakob is the co-founder (with his wife Rosie) of the nomadic creative consultancy Genius Steals and the online learning community The School of Stolen Genius. They have been working with brands, agencies of all disciplines and sizes, media companies and conferences around the world for the last decade, delivering keynotes, workshops, training, and brand or business consulting for creative companies or ones that would like to be.
Their newsletter, Strands of [Stolen] Genius, was named one of the ‘7 Essential Reads for the Curious Creative’ by Hubspot and one of the top community resources for strategists in the world by the Planning Survey.
Previously, Faris was Chief Innovation Officer of MDC Partners, Chief Digital Officer of McCann Erickson (NYC) and spent many years at pioneering agency Naked Communications, in London, Sydney and NYC. While in agencies, he won (as both a strategist and a creative director) and judged numerous awards, including the Effies, One Show, ADC, Clios and LIAs, and worked on clients including Nokia, Verizon, Orange Mobile and Broadband – and many others that weren’t telecoms companies. Before advertising, Faris was a management consultant during the first dotcom boom, working with large corporations and start-ups that wanted to grow with digital thinking.
Faris Yakob is the author Paid Attention: Innovative Advertising for a Digital World which was published in an updated second edition by Kogan Page in 2021. He is also a contributing author to Creative Superpowers: Equip Yourself For The Age of Creativity, & Eat Your Greens: Fact Based Thinking to Improve Your Brand’s Health. He write a monthly column on effective brand communication for WARC – World Advertising Research Council, the premier global brand and communications insight resource. You can usually get his attention on Twitter @FARIS or find the rest of his career highlights over on LinkedIn.