Veronika Scott

Hosted at Batch Brewing Company

part of a series on Empathy

About the speaker

Founder of ‘The Empowerment Plan’, Veronika Scott, has built an organization that began around a single idea: to design a coat specifically for the homeless. The coat is self-heated, waterproof, and transforms into a sleeping bag at night. That idea has now transformed into a system of empowerment in which homeless women are paid to learn how to produce coats for people living on the streets, giving them an opportunity to earn money, find a place to live, and gain back their independence for themselves and their family. Veronika is the youngest recipient of the John F Kennedy New Frontier Award from the JFK Library Foundation and Harvard University. She has also received an IDEA Gold Award from the Industrial Design Society of America and is one of Crain’s Top Twenty in their Twenties. The Empowerment Plan story has been told all over the world and shared at events such as the Forbes 400 Philanthropy Summit with Oprah, Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett.

Local partners

Additional details

Creative people tend to desire three things: a good reason to get up in the morning, an inspiring community of peers, and of course, good coffee. CreativeMornings is a monthly breakfast lecture series that aims to provide those three things one day a month, for free, in over 115 cities across the globe. It started in New York City in 2008 when founder Tina Roth Eisenberg (also known as designer/blogger Swiss Miss) decided to create the kind of event that she always wanted to attend. It turns out she wasn’t alone, and now a community of nearly 100,000 people attend the events in each of its chapter cities.

The CreativeMornings global community has spread rapidly in part because local hosts, volunteers, and sponsors commit to making it happen every month. In 2012, Detroit was the 35th city to join CreativeMornings. It was founded by members of the Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3), who sponsored and organized the event fot its first two years. After a year of searching for new leaders to run the events, the series is re-launching in September with Bethany Betzler and Lisa Waud as hosts.

Bethany Betzler was the initial host of CreativeMornings/Detroit and stepped away when she left DC3 in 2013 to create her own business that provides strategic guidance and production for culture and media projects. She’s always loved the spirit of CreativeMornings, along with the challenge of how to make it resonate locally and globally. “I’m coming back to hosting CreativeMornings because I really believe in its ability to bring fun and inspiring people together, both in the speakers and in the attendees that it attracts. Detroit is a wildly creative city and I want to help showcase that globally.”

Lisa Waud was a regular at the initial CreativeMornings/Detroit events and made it a ritual to attend. When the opportunity to host came up, she was eager to get involved and add her own creative insight to the events. Lisa runs the floral design company pot & box, and is the creator of this fall’s highly anticipated Flower House project, where she and other floral designers from across the U.S. will adorn an abandoned Hamtramck house in flowers from floor to ceiling, and then will responsibly deconstruct the house to make way for a floral garden that will stock Lisa’s business.

“I’ve been known to call myself a sheepdog,” Lisa said about her new role as host of CreativeMornings. “I love gathering like-minded people into inspiring situations with good coffee, snacks, and conversations. CreativeMornings is all my favorite things. I’ve always enjoyed attending the events, and as the Detroit host, I can combine my interests of small business, the maker community, thoughtful design, and our amazing city. Plus, did I mention good coffee?”

September’s event at Batch Brewing Company takes place as part of the 2015 Detroit Design Festival with guest speaker Veronika Scott of The Empowerment Plan, who will speak about the role of empathy in design. The event is free, but attendees must register in advance. Registration begins Monday, September 21st.