Speaking & Workshops

We’ve traveled the world running our foul mouths and preaching what we practice. We believe that creativity is valuable precisely because its products are unexpected. We love to share our story, approach, sense of humor and passion for design through our lectures and workshops.




Win or Learn Lecture
Book our talk about failure and fortitude.


Art of Risk-Taking
Book a workshop

Upcoming Events

Recent Workshop

New Balance Athletics
Boston, MA

Upcoming Workshop

Church & Dwight
Ewing, NJ
November 20, 2019

Lecture Synopsis

Win or Learn—


Back in September of 2010, with a lack of discretion, a bit too much coffee, and some consternation with teaching—GFDA was launched as a joke on a whim. Within six weeks, then graduate students, Brian Buirge and Jason Bacher, were plunged headfirst into business selling prints, shirts, and coffee mugs from the basement of their rental property in Northeast Ohio.

Over the last seven years, GFDA has become established as a powerhouse in the international creative and entrepreneurial community. Their story is overflowing with embarrassing failures and stupid mistakes, which they view—not as road blocks—but as sign posts on their way toward inevitable success. Holding to the perspective that they either win or learn, they believe wholeheartedly that experience only comes the moment after you need it.

In this lecture, GFDA looks to address the barriers that wedge themselves between ideas and execution. They take great pride in using their experiences as unlikely entrepreneurs to champion courage, risk-taking, and rule-breaking.

For pricing and more information, please contact speaking@gfda.co.

Workshop Synopsis

The Art of Risk Taking—


Risk is the lifeblood of the creative process. You can talk about it, you can tweet about it, you can read about it—but all the book learnin’ in the world can’t replace live, hands-on experience. In this intensive workshop, participants get down and dirty with provocative exercises that embrace ambiguity, encourage experimentation, and look at ideas like the Fresh Prince said: flipped-turned upside down (or something like that anyways).

Our exercises teach the value of taking chances while simultaneously exploring how success is not left to chance alone. Participants learn that creativity isn’t magic—it’s a process. That it isn’t a moment—it’s a work ethic. That it doesn’t happen in a vacuum—it happens through collaboration.

The workshop is team oriented, with exercises customized to the audience in attendance, and varying in length from 10–90 minutes. Each exercise concludes with a brief period of group re ection so everyone can learn how to bring the challenges, lessons, and insights from the experience into their personal and professional practice.

For pricing and more information, please contact speaking@gfda.co.

“The Art of Risk-Taking is like a WWF body slam to the creative brain. You leave smiling and thinking what the fuck just happened and where did I leave my inhibitions?”

Hajdeja EhlineArt Director, Adobe

2013 Tour ¡Ole! GFDA Travels the USA

In August of 2013, we left our home in Kent, Ohio in a 1972 Dodge B300 Sporstman and traveled over 11,000 miles within 53 days to 38 cities across 36 states. We presented our story at 25 events all over the country.

Read more about our trip and experience.

Previous Engagements

  • 2018
  • Adobe Systems, Inc.
    San Fancisco, CA
  • New Balance Athletics
    Boston, MA
  • 5W Public Relations
    New York, NY
  • 99U Conference 2018
    New York, NY
  • Trivago
    Dusseldorf, Germany
  • BraveZone
    Goteborg, Sweden
  • 2017
  • OFFF Barcelona 2017
    Barcelona, Spain
  • 99U Conference 2017
    New York, NY
  • Mellor&Smith
    London, United Kingdom
  • Right to Future
    Palermo, Italy
  • LOFT
    Naxxar, Malta
  • Wall-to-Wall Studios, Inc.
    Pittsburgh, PA
  • 2016
  • Nike NA Retail Brand Summit
    Beaverton, OR
  • Nike EKIN-Pacer Division
    Portland, OR
  • Southern Illinois University
    Carbondale, IL
  • What If the Conference 2016
    Cancun, Mexico
  • 2015
  • Northeastern University
    Boston, MA
  • 99u Social Innovation Week
    New York City, NY
  • Boston University, AIGA Boston
    Boston, MA
  • St. Louis Design Week, AIGA STL
    St. Louis, MO
  • AAF Central Minnesota
    St. Cloud, MN
  • Hyperakt Lunch Talk
    Brooklyn NY
  • What If the Conference 2015
    Cancun Mexico
  • 2014
  • Lamar University
    Dishman Museum of Art

    Beaumont TX
  • World Usability Day
    Cleveland OH
  • UHeart Digital Media Conference
    Toledo OH
  • AIGA Cleveland
    Cleveland, OH
  • What If the Conference
    Phoenix AZ
  • Hike Conference
    Chicago IL
  • UX Akron Meetup
    Akron, OH
  • 2013
  • Escula de Comunicación Mónica Herrera
    El Salvador
  • AIGA Pittsburgh
    Pittsburgh, PA
  • Design Exchange Boston
    Boston, MA
  • AIGA Philadelphia,
    Moore College of Art + Design

    Philadelphia, PA
  • AIGA Richmond
    Richmond, VA
  • The Half and Half
    Columbia, SC
  • AIGA New Orleans
    New Orleans, LA
  • AIGA Phoenix
  • UC Berkeley
    Innovation Design

    Berkeley, CA
  • AIGA Seattle
    Seattle, WA
  • AIGA Nebraska
    Omaha, NE
  • Belly Card, Inc
    Chicago, IL
  • What If the Conference
    Bali Indonesia
  • What If the Conference
    Dominican Republic
  • Title Case w/ Jessica Hische
    SanFrancisco, CA
  • AIGA Central PA
    York, PA
  • AIGA Iowa
    DesMoines, IA
  • AIGA Blue Ridge
    Frederick, MD
  • AIGA Vermont
    Burlington, VT
  • Corcoran College of Art + Design
    Washington, DC
  • AIGA Triad NC
    Winston Salem, NC
  • AIGA Nashville
    Nashville, TN
  • Houston Design Week
    AIGA Houston

    Houston, TX
  • UP Global
    Seattle, WA
  • AIGA Colorado
    Denver, CO
  • AIGA Kansas City
    Kansas, MO
  • AIGA Indianapolis
    Indianapolis, IN
  • University of Cincinnati
    Cincinnati, OH
  • Kent State University
    Kent, OH
  • 2012
  • University of Central Oklahoma
  • Shawnee State University
    Portsmouth, OH
  • SND Cleveland
    Cleveland, OH
  • Thought @ Work Conference RIT
    Rochester, NY
  • AIGA Oklahoma City
    Oklahoma, OK

Hire Us. We’ll make you better at what you do.