BrandManage Camp 2006 Hosts "Million Dollar Brainstorm" for Room to Read Charity

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Hundreds of top marketing executives to brainstorm on behalf of "Room to Read" global charity, founded by former Microsoft executive John Wood, at annual BrandManage Camp conference in Denver. Julie Anixter, chief marketing officer of laga, a design and innovation company, to lead brainstorm using GroupSystems ThinkTank collaboration technology.

Brand ManageCamp, the annual conference widely regarded by brand marketers as the seminal event of its kind based on the consistently high quality of content, speakers and event logistics, will offer attendees the opportunity to put their learning to work for a global charity at this year’s event in Denver on October 3-4, 2006.

“We were inspired by the conference theme of ’Change Agents Unite’ to take advantage of the brainpower of attendees, top marketing executives from a wide range of industries and categories, to conduct a brainstorm on behalf of Room to Read, a charity that aims to be the Red Cross of Global Literacy,” explained ManageCamp President Len Herstein, himself a former brand marketer for the Campbell Soup Company, The Coca-Cola Company, and Nabisco.

“The fact that Room to Read was founded by John Wood, a former Microsoft executive who lives and breathes change agentry (as he talks about in his new memoir), made it the perfect choice.” Wood’s book, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World (Collins) was just released on August 29, 2006.

The goal of what’s been dubbed a “Million Dollar Brainstorm,” reflective of the collective value of participants’ time, will be to invent ways to help this fast growing and award-winning non-profit go to the next level, both in funding and outreach. Since its inception in 2000, Room to Read has worked to break the cycle of poverty through the lifelong gift of education. To date, the organization has created a network of over 3,000 schools and libraries throughout rural and poor communities in Asia and Africa. For information, visit

“I’m grateful for the support of Brand ManageCamp and my business colleagues in this endeavor,” said Wood. “Harnessing all of the marketing power in the room will give us a new network of brains that can help us continue to change the world, one book and one child at a time.”

The brainstorm will be led by Julie Anixter, chief marketing officer of laga (a sponsor of Brand ManageCamp) and contributing author to The Big Moo by Seth Godin (Penguin Group, 2005). Julie is an expert on Design and Innovation for financial results and will be co-presenting at Brand ManageCamp as a featured speaker. “Every successful leader I know has a love of learning and reading books,” said Anixter. “Books aren’t merely books, they’re possibility-creators. Groups like this one are rarely asked to give back. This is a stellar opportunity for an organization, Room to Read, that is a true agent of change in the world today – change through literacy.”

The brainstorm will be powered by ThinkTank™ by GroupSystems, the most advanced collaboration technology which allows a group of total strangers to quickly stimulate and capture the best thinking of the group – developing high priority ideas and themes that form the basis of an action plan. “We’re proud to team up with Brand ManageCamp and fellow change agents who care about Room to Read, a non profit that is quietly making a huge contribution to education on a global scale,” said Luis Solis, CEO/President of Group Systems.

Other featured speakers at Brand ManageCamp are Sergio Zyman, marketing legend, best-selling author, former CMO of Coca-Cola and current Chairman of the Zyman Group; Lyn Heward, former president of Creative Content for Cirque du Soleil® and author of The Spark: Igniting The Creative Fire That Lives Within Us All (Currency, 2006); William Taylor, founder of Fast Company magazine and author of Mavericks at Work (William Morrow, 2006); Tom Asacker, marketing guru and best-selling author of A Clear Eye for Branding (Paramount, 2005); and, Duncan Berry, director of applied iconology for laga and a Thought Leader on NeuroDesign, who will be co-presenting the process with Anixter.

According to Herstein, an estimated 200 brand marketers are expected to attend the two-day event, representing such market leaders as Procter & Gamble, The Walt Disney Company, SC Johnson, Georgia-Pacific, GlaxoSmithKline, Sprint Nextel, Hewlett Packard, and many others. Topics are designed to inspire attendees to become stronger marketers and more dynamic leaders and will include Branding, Innovation, Creativity, Loyalty, Marketing ROI, Brand Design, and Brand Asset Valuation.

Brand ManageCamp 2006 is coordinated by ManageCamp, Inc. the leader in providing professional learning experiences. Sponsoring the conference are BRANDWEEK magazine; laga, a design and innovation partner to the world’s leading companies; Aquent Marketing Staffing, the largest marketing and creative services staffing firm in the world; Group Systems, the premier provider of structured collaboration technology, including ThinkTank, group intelligence technology for discovery, ideation, teaming, leading and learning; and, First Flavor, Inc., which is introducing Peel ‘n Taste ™, a new way for consumers to taste sample products using strips of edible film. For more information, please visit


Brand ManageCamp

Len Herstein



Amy Stockli



Lisa Doherty


Group Systems

Diana Peterson

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