Bran Ferren

Bran Ferren

Bran Ferren is the former president of research and development and creative technology for Walt Disney, as well as a designer and technologist working at the intersection of entertainment, product development, engineering, architecture, and the sciences. Once known for entertaining millions by creating special effects for Hollywood, theme parks, and Broadway, Ferren is now co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Applied Minds, where he focuses on solving impossible technology challenges with previously unimaginable inventions. He was named one of the "100 Most Creative People in Business" by Fast Company. After dropping out of MIT in 1970, Ferren became a designer and engineer for theater, touring rock bands, and movies, including Altered States and Little Shop of Horrors, before joining Disney as a lead Imagineer, then becoming president of R&D for the Walt Disney Company. His design career has included special visual effects, lighting and sound design for many Hollywood films, Broadway shows, and World's Fairs. In 2000, Ferren and partner Danny Hillis left Disney to found Applied Minds, a playful design and invention firm dedicated to distilling game-changing inventions from an eclectic stew of the brightest creative minds culled from every imaginable discipline. He serves on several government science, technology and management advisory boards. He has held positions as National Security Agency Advisory Board, National Reconnaissance Office Technical Advisory Group, Defense Science Board, Army Science Board, Department of Homeland Security Technology Advisory Group, Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel, FCC Technical Advisory Committee, Security and Exchange Commission Technical Advisory Group, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Technical Advisory Group, US Strategic Command Advisory Board, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Advisory Group.

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