PSFK Conference New York Speaker: Robbie Vitrano

PSFK Conference New York Speaker: Robbie Vitrano
Larissa Hayden
  • 16 march 2009

We’re looking forward to having Robbie Vitrano, co-founder and CEO of Trumpet, join us at PSFK Conference New York on April 2. Robbie will be part of our panel discussion about the pursuit of intellectual property and how it’s changing the way agencies and new businesses operate, along with Bart Haney (fuseproject), Carl Johnson (Anomaly), Ben Malbon (BBH Labs), and Danielle Sacks (Fast Company).

First, who are you and what do you do?

I’m something of a denter. Perpetually. Kissing cousin of over-earnest and pedantic. I have a goal: to someday be referred to as possessing “divine discontent.” Good luck. I bring this to my marriage of 21 years, my children of 16 and 20, the 30-something people I work with and the poor bastards who tolerate me in their boardrooms and businesses (and occasionally in public).

I’m this way because I started with an infatuation with art and innovation and none of the necessary perspective, wisdom or tools. So you keep asking “why?,” staying curious and eventually gaining just enough knowledge to torture everyone else. Your EURKEA (!) moments are EVERYONE’S EUREKA(!) moments. I am the oblivious ten-year-old who just got his first drum kit.

I’ve got a lot to work with these days. You’ve likely met someone with a deep, dysfunctional love/hate relationship with their native or adopted New Orleans. Those of us with the affliction have found ourselves on the front line of an unknowable battle. Head and heart all jumbled together. Ego and inspiration pushing and pulling. We sort of think it is now our destiny to save New Orleans, save the world.

I create ideas to help business and organizational ideas gain cultural influence. That used to be more about selling burritos, cars, or financial services. Today it’s about applying those “talents,” an understanding and respect for business, and amazing, embarrassing, access to global creative resources in a way that is considerably more socially responsible. It all needs to work. Creative people need to get more involved and lead. So that’s what I try to do.

You’ll be sharing your ideas on our “New Ideas Agencies” panel. In one paragraph, can you explain what themes and ideas you hope to touch upon during the discussion?

The applications and opportunities of creative destruction. In particular, New Orleans as a microcosm of a world in a state of economic, political, social and environmental re-evaluation. A city as laboratory, encompassing all of the societal systems, that three years ago was virtually (80%) destroyed by the failure of federal levee systems forced to reconcile institutional failure across the board. In many ways, New Orleans got a three year head start on the global recession, experiencing a wave of entrepreneurial activity, citizen/political engagement, grand cultural events (Prospect.1) and as such, has become a talent magnet, with foundations, think tanks, corporate social responsibility teams (, etc.) and B-schools from around the world coming to the city to learn and apply. Today, the city has been largely insulated from the downturn, being one of the only cities to show job increases, relatively active seed-stage business investments and business starts. As a creative person with an embarrassment of talent and resources available, I’ve jumped into that head first. Other creative people will be called on to do the same – to get more deeply involved, far beyond consultation, beyond “business,” to lead and invent in this time of re-evaluation.

5 hyperlinks to sites that provide you with inspiration:

Thanks, Robbie!

To hear more from Robbie, get your ticket for PSFK Conference New York now.


Modular System Lets Musicians Create Their Own MIDI Controllers

Arts & Culture
Sustainability Today

What Material Research In Beirut Bodes For Our Waste Crisis

Might building furniture and lights out of rose petals and coffee grounds point to more sustainable modes of living, as seen in Beirut Design Week?

Technology Today

This Collar Wants To Be The Bridge Between Human-Dog Communication

Inupathy claims to be world's first dog emotion visualizer


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Retail Today

Commerce Expert: Why Brick-And-Mortar Shopping Can’t Be Replaced

Erin Armendinger, SVP of bio, explains the physical need of customers to experience certain products before buying

Travel Today

Bicycle Hotel In Norway Makes Commuting A Breeze

The energy efficient space was designed to help the city of Lillestrøm get closer to their environmental goals by encouraging people to ride their bike

Related Expert

David Slayden

Experience Designer

Fashion Today

Basquiat-Inspired Fashion Line Supports Emerging Talent

The late artist's estate has collaborated with New York label alice+olivia on a new range of designs

Gaming & Play Today

Fidgeting Tools Designed To Help Creative Minds Focus

The DIDGETS Collection helps those who have anxiety or are restlessly moving to focus while they are working

Product Launch Today

Helpful Robot Teaches People Of All Ages How To Code

The Root has coding expertise designed to benefit a wide range of people


Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business

PSFK Op-Ed Today

Why Personalization Is The Key To Customer Satisfaction

Andrew Blackmon of The Black Tux shares how the company is using machine-learning models to streamline the fitting process

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Home Today

Sharing Service Connects Directors With Film Locations

Finding affordable places to film can be difficult, so GETset was designed to help creators easily find good locations

Technology Today

Adobe Is Teaching Machines To Copy Your Artistic Style

A new research project called Stylit uses a camera to mimic a drawing and reproduce the strokes digitally

Automotive Yesterday

Mercedes Reveals Dazzle-Free LED Headlights

Digital Light offers great precision with a resolution of over two million pixels

Cities Yesterday

Nissan Is Testing A Digital Car Sharing Program In Europe

Nissan plans to launch their new service in Paris sometime this year to trial the profile-matching service

Social Media Yesterday

Your Favorite Tweets Are Now Wearable

This temporary tattoo allows fans to wear their most favorite moments from the social platform


Conference Built Around Report Launch

Health Yesterday

This Mirror Tracks Your Dark Circles And Fine Lines

HiMirror is a device snaps a photo of your face every day to provide feedback on how to care for your skin

Sustainability Yesterday

Biodegradable Furniture Made From Pine Needles Could Be The Next Phase Of Sustainable Living

Premiering at Dutch Design Week 2016, the collection fully utilizes an often wasted material

Innovation Yesterday

Creative Director: Navigating The New World Of Founder-Brands

Richard Smith, Creative Director at Sullivan, explains how visionaries like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg approach their branding and why it’s important to apply brand thinking to founders’ products

No search results found.