Patrick Keenan

Generalist, The Movement
Toronto Ontario, Canada

About Patrick


I created a

locally focused application/organization which allows people to collaborate on projects and see activity formerly invisible, while I was at

The Bauhaus University in Weimar Germany, where I made new life-friends and learned a new langauge, which led to envisioning...

a non-linear language of interconnected concepts which would allow description through diagramming, and communication through navigation, which served as the backend database for...

a web tool which helps people select, prioritize, and understand federal political issues in canada, which led me to research, envision, and produce...

a tool which tracks communication through existing social networks and makes those chains of influence visible, then thought locally and physically through creating...

a site which allows people to connect with local farmers, see what food is in season and available, and collectively carpool food, while designing and teaching...

a course in interaction in the York University Bachelors of Design prorgam, after founding...

a design studio with a mandate to focus on socially beneficial work which tripled revenue each year, then destroyed three years later it to create...

a distributed company of intentional workers focused on betterment


English, German

TED Conference

TEDIndia 2009

Areas of Expertise

Design, Programming, Systemics, Social Media

An idea worth spreading

I am concerned. Concerned and excited. There is a real possibility, and a certainty, colliding. Never before have this many minds been connected. Never before have so many people spoken the same language. Never before have we been able to have such a long term effect on our own environment.

What I am so concerned about, and with, is the possibility we have, in this moment, to connect our efforts. These efforts, when de-coupled from the pursuit of separated profit might lead to a world we could not imagine; alone. Blocks remain, and remind us of the immense workload of such an undertaking. It is not a simple task, and may not even be a task of rewards felt by this generation. In this regard, we must seek our reward in the challenge. The very opportunity to approach this challenge has depended on millennia of building efforts.

I'm passionate about

Conversation & Understanding
Currency & Exchange
Enabling environments
Integrated into invisible systems(Historical, social, economic, long-natural)
Mass use and usefulness

Talk to me about

The difference technology makes, The Beautiful Everyday, Rapidly Test, Old wisdom of building
Nomadic life, Ethnographic Research, Pattern & Algorithm, Mass Immediate, People driven solutions

People don't know I'm good at

diagramming, listening, questioning, proposing possibility, learning, systems, lego, traveling, finding overlap, writing, visualization, tool building, javascript, actionscript

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

Patrick Keenan
Posted over 4 years ago
Dave Meslin: The antidote to apathy
Yes, but to be clear, Harry Potter was the son of two powerful wizards. I don't think this is off topic. Dave said you have to 'force' yourself, don't wait to be invited or to realize you're the chosen one. The classic hero's journey involves a call, then a rejection, then a final acceptance. Classic Potter. Heros aren't real, people are, and we are all people who have to force ourselves into the place we want to be. Nobody is chosen.
Patrick Keenan
Posted over 4 years ago
Ric Elias: 3 things I learned while my plane crashed
The lessons are pretty simple, and we all knew them. I guess because it was such a traumatic experience he can think back to the moment and remember 'why'. I always seem to forget that 'why' maybe I need a near death experience to appreciate my life more. Touching talk.
Patrick Keenan
Posted over 4 years ago it still worth the money ?
Advertising is the art of getting an keeping attention, which is essentially good story-telling. Its a shame that most of our story telling is done on behalf of large corporations, but is that really any better than telling stories for kings? There's more bad youtube videos than good, which means not everyone is good a story-telling. But the best paying jobs for good story-tellers are in Advertising. Its no wonder we have so many ads, humans love stories, but it blows my mind how much money is put behind fundamentally boring narratives.
Patrick Keenan
Posted over 4 years ago
There's a moment in this video where I thought, "damn, I'm going to feel horrible when this tugs at my heartstrings", and then it turned around. So many ads pull on our sense of guilt. So many NGOs paint a future and a present to be feared. The insight here is not that AIDs can be cured, but that the future can have more hope than sadness, more life than death. I think that tugs at a better part of me, it sure feels better.
Patrick Keenan
Posted over 4 years ago
William Gibson said "The future is here, it's just not evenly distributed yet." What futures have you seen that are here, but unrecognized?
The future is visual. I've seen a lot of graphic facilitation, and I believe its not just a niche trick for long talks: With more information, more complexity, and a scarcity of attention, visual communication is a must. Not only that, but the tools to communicate visually are only getting people. Its just a matter of time until this comment is a sketch instead. Until then its reserved for the people with whiteboards ;)
Patrick Keenan
Posted over 6 years ago
Jacek Utko: Can design save newspapers?
We're seeing a definite split between a designer of newspapers to an individual like Jacek. He touches content, strategy, business, and art. I don't know that he is a designer any more, maybe something like a design thinker. Its clear many art directors worry simply about the appearance, and see their canvas as the whitespace between the columns, Jacek sees a wider canvas. His approach comes from research, experience, passion, and like he said: ego. I wonder how much of the success cam from his will, and how much of it has to do with a crumbling industry in need of answers.