Author and journalist Alan Webber speaks April 4

Cofounder of Fast Company to examine intersection of design and business in annual Eugene J. Mackey Jr. Lecture

Design is a problem solver. Design is a provoker, a test lab for change. Design is a tool for breaking old patterns and discovering new ways of thinking.

So argues Alan Webber, cofounder of Fast Company, the pioneering magazine written for and about progressive business leaders.

At 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 4, Webber will deliver the annual Eugene J. Mackey Jr. Lecture as part of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts’ spring Public Lecture Series.

Cosponsored by Olin Business School, the talk is free and open to the public and will take place in Steinberg Hall Auditorium, located near the intersection of Skinker and Forsyth boulevards. A reception for Webber will precede the lecture, at 6 p.m.

For more information, call (314) 935-9300 or visit

A former editor of the Harvard Business Review (HBR), Webber launched Fast Company in 1995 with fellow HBR editor William Taylor. Now arguably the world’s leading progressive business media brand, Fast Company has won national magazine awards and provides a unique editorial focus on innovation in technology, “ethonomics” (ethical economics), leadership and design.

In addition, Weber is co-author of three business-related books, including most recently The Global Detective (2010), his first eBook. A “journey of discovery” through Munich, Romania and the mountains of Austria, the book profiles a series of young entrepreneurs and reveals surprising clues to the real sources of global innovation.

Webber’s previous book, Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths for Winning at Business Without Losing Your Self (2009), offers advice, inspiration and practical lessons gleaned from more than 40 years in business. (Rule number one? “When the going gets tough, the tough relax.”) His first book, Going Global (1997), written with Taylor, features extensive interviews with four leading executives “who are taking their companies beyond the curve of change.”

During Webber’s tenure at HBR, where he spent five years as managing editor and editorial director, the magazine was twice a finalist for the National Magazine Awards. His columns and articles have appeared in numerous national publications, including the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The New York Times Sunday Magazine and The Washington Post.

Earlier in his career, Webber was active in the world of alternative newspapers. He was an editor at Willamette Week newspaper in Portland, Ore., where he oversaw the commentary, editorial and op-ed section, and he helped found The Oregon Times.

Webber is a former fellow of the U.S.-Japan Leadership Program and a former John J. McCloy Fellow of the American Council on Germany. He has worked in the public sector as a policy advisor for the mayor of Portland, written speeches for several governors and served as special assistant to the United States Secretary of Transportation.

Eugene J. Mackey Jr. Lecture

This endowed lecture honors Eugene J. Mackey Jr., a distinguished architect who practiced in partnership with Joseph Murphy, former dean of Washington University’s School of Architecture. Among other projects, Mackey and Murphy designed the university’s John M. Olin Library and collaborated with R. Buckminster Fuller on the design of the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Climatron.

The Eugene J. Mackey Jr. Lecture brings significant patrons of architecture to campus. Past lecturers have included Gerald Edelman, Thomas Krens, Jorma Ollila, Emily Pulitzer, Richard Jackson and Eric J. Cesal.


WHO: Alan Webber, founder of Fast Company

WHAT: Eugene J. Mackey Jr. Lecture

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 4; Reception at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Steinberg Hall Auditorium, intersection of Forsyth and Skinker boulevards.

COST: Free and open to the public

SPONSOR: Washington University’s Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and Olin Business School

INFORMATION:(314) 935-9300 or