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Marc Alt is President of Marc Alt + Partners, a design, research and brand strategy agency dedicated to sustainable innovation. Marc Alt + Partners provides consulting services, strategy and insight to clients from a diverse range of industry verticals including automotive, advertising, fashion, finance, venture/private equity, design and brand strategy, consumer electronics, luxury and travel. Alt is active in initiatives that are helping design and product innovation teams share knowledge and accelerate understanding of sustainable design principles. Alt is a board member of The Designers Accord and is founding co-chair of the AIGA Center for Sustainable Design.

In this economic downturn, name one thing you have done to weather the tough times. Maintaining a focus on optimism and identifying solutions. Connecting with and drawing inspiration from likeminded people and personal heroes.

If you weren't a designer, what would you be? An oceanographer/adventurer (think Cousteau).

If you could spend 15 minutes talking to any person, living or dead, who would it be and why? I'd spend it with my son.

If you could work for anyone, a client or on a project, what would it be? I'd like to be the U.S. Ambassador to Sweden or Tokyo. There are a lot of green infrastructure advancements in both countries that I'd like to bring to the U.S. If those two countries were unavailable, I'd settle for Monte Carlo.


Buckminster Fuller, Dr. Clare Graves, Michael Pollan, Paul Theroux.

I don't have cable. I bought the DVDs of Playboy After Dark, the 1960's CBS show where Hugh Hefner entertained legendary jazz musicians like Ella Fitzgerald in his penthouse apartment in Chicago. I was born in the wrong era.

One favorite is "The Thomas Crown Affair" (the original one with Steve McQueen). "On Any Sunday," another McQueen flick. There must be a word for nostalgia for a time that exists only in imagination, before you were born.

I saw Santogold live this year in NYC and she kicks ass. Marian Bantjes gave me a couple of albums of Ray LaMontagne and I've been digging them a lot. Nina Simone. Scandinavian death metal. I also listen to a lot of Hawaiian music which brings me back to my roots.

Honestly, I'd classify myself these days as more of a design thinker/strategist. Marti Guixe the Spanish designer calls himself an "ex-designer". I can identify with that. My weakness is apparently not being able to answer the question that was asked.

I don't make resolutions but in 2009 I'm looking forward to promoting world-changing ideas in the design and business communities and providing venues, mediums and networks for people to connect and rapidly accelerate a transition to sustainable design, business and living.

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