Updating My Digital Footprint: A Journey of Exploration and Growth

Hello, friends! I’m eager to bring you up to speed on my professional journey. As many of you know, I’ve been diving headfirst into the fascinating realm of AI and digital technology, an adventure that has been nothing short of extraordinary. As part of this exploration, I’ve been meticulously curating and updating my digital footprint across various platforms, including my LinkedIn profile.

Today, I wish to illuminate some of the diverse roles that have profoundly impacted my career but have not previously been explored in-depth online.

It’s about time I take you along my professional journey, highlighting fifteen roles that shaped my career. These experiences have deepened my understanding of technology, media, and community while enriching my perspective and cultivating my skills. Let’s begin our journey.

1. Founder, Kris Krüg Photography

As a seasoned photographer and digital pioneer, I stand at the intersection of art and technology, using my camera as a tool to challenge, explore, and redefine our understanding of the world. My work, featured in publications such as National Geographic, Rolling Stone, and The New Yorker, and in collaboration with industry titans like TED Talks, Microsoft, and the United Nations, is a testament to the power of the photographic medium as a form of postmodern expression.

With a portfolio of over 130,000 high-resolution photos, I’ve captured everything from the global spectacle of the 2008 Olympic Games to intimate portraits of icons like Barack Obama and Richard Branson. As a creator, I’m deeply aware of the role of the observer in shaping the observed, and I bring this consciousness to my work.

In this ever-evolving digital era, I am committed to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the realm of photography, continually redefining my craft in the face of new technological frontiers.

2. Community Manager, Future in Review

Future in Review Staff circa FIRE 2018

At Future in Review, I have been at the intersection of digital engagement and visual storytelling for over seven years. In my role as the Community Manager, I manage our social presence, create engaging content, and lead a team of social media professionals to further our mission.

As the lens behind our annual conferences, I capture the pivotal moments and influential figures that form our narrative. Embracing the dynamism of the digital landscape, I continuously adapt and innovate, ensuring our online community stays connected, engaged, and inspired.

3. Organizer, Northern Voice

Northern Voice founders and organizing committee – Travis, Kris, Lauren, Brian, Roland, Julie, Darren, Boris, James, Cyprien

As an organizer for seven out of eight years at the Northern Voice conference, my role was steeped in the commitment to the democratization of information. Northern Voice, Canada’s first-ever blogging and social media conference, served as a hub for the celebration of the open web, where diversity of thought could converge, unfettered by the typical barriers set by commercial platforms.

Kris Krüg leading a Digital Photography workshop at Northern Voice Blogging and Personal Publishing Conference

Spearheading initiatives that amplified active participation, diversity, and inclusivity, I fostered an environment that truly echoed the spirit of the open web. The conference created a platform where technologists, artists, academics, and everyday users could collaborate as equals, challenging and shaping the future of digital discourse.

My experience at Northern Voice underscored the transformative potential of shared knowledge and collaboration – values I continue to uphold amidst the growing commercialization of knowledge exchange.

4. Director, Creative Services, QRS Corporation

20 something year old me a my old Creative Services studio at QRS Corporation in Richmond, California.

At QRS Corporation, I served as the Director of Creative Services, where I was at the helm of managing a diverse team, all while ensuring the delivery of high-quality design outputs. My role was multifaceted, involving strategic oversight, team leadership, and creative direction. My keen eye for detail and aesthetics played a critical role in streamlining design processes, ensuring alignment of creative efforts with the company’s brand vision, and facilitating cross-departmental collaboration.

The experience honed my leadership abilities and deepened my understanding of integrating creativity and business strategy in a corporate setting. I also got my first taste of the fashion industry in this role, laying a solid groundwork for my later ventures into fashion photography. This role at QRS Corporation was a catalyst for my journey into the world of fashion, and my interest and involvement in this industry have persisted, shaping my professional journey in the most remarkable ways.

5. Professor, Entertainment Business Management, Vancouver Film School

Professor Kris Krug lecturing in classroom, Entertainment Business Management, Vancouver Film School

During my tenure at Vancouver Film School from 2007 to 2009, I had the privilege of serving as a professor in the Entertainment Business Management department. My courses included Internet Technologies and Digital Design. In these classes, I armed students with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively leverage digital tools in today’s constantly evolving technological landscape.

My teaching was shaped by my own professional experiences and industry insights, all shared with the intent of nurturing a new generation of digitally savvy media and entertainment professionals. By merging the theoretical with the practical, I sought to not just educate, but also to inspire, guiding students to uncover their own path in the digital world.

6. Keynote Speaker at the UN Global Youth Summit

Kris Krüg Keynote UN Global Youth Summit on HIV Bamako, Mali, Africa
Kris Krüg Keynote UN Global Youth Summit on HIV Bamako, Mali, Africa

I was invited to keynote the United Nations Global Youth Summit on HIV, a landmark event that gathered more than 150 young HIV activists from around the world in Bamako, Mali. I had the honor of presenting alongside the likes of Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway. My talk was titled ‘Open Everything,’ in which I drew parallels between the HIV/AIDs movement and the green movement, highlighting the transformative power of networks.

In my keynote, I incorporated case studies from organizations including Reel Youth, The Fresh Air Media Centre, and DeSmog Blog to demonstrate the vital role of young people as the present and future leaders in the AIDS response. Reel Youth, for instance, is a not-for-profit, media empowerment program supporting young people to create and distribute films about their visions for a more just and sustainable world. This invaluable experience at the UN Summit profoundly deepened my commitment to promoting knowledge sharing, open source principles, and the power of networks to drive critical social issues forward.

7. Founding Member and Board Director at W2

Me & Dave Olson (Uncleweed) talking to local media about the True North Media House and indy media leading up to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

Passionate about making a difference through community empowerment, I served as a Founding Member and Board Director at W2, a world-class community media arts centre located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. In this dynamic role, I was instrumental in securing funding, operationalizing the facility, and launching impactful programs such as the True North Media House. This initiative provided a hub for bloggers, citizen journalists, and independent media during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

W2 offers an array of services including a 150-capacity performance space, a community TV studio, an FM radio station, a gallery, a social enterprise café, a letterpress studio, and numerous telepresence and mobile media programs. My tenure at W2 deeply enriched my understanding of the intersection of community, media, and social change. The diverse services we provided there, from performance spaces to traditional and new media outlets, underscored my belief in the power of media to foster connection, dialogue, and transformation in communities.

8. TEDx Vancouver Board of Advisors

Serving on the Board of Advisors for TEDx Vancouver, I played a pivotal role in media, photography, community relations, and more, diving deep into community engagement, media documentation, and fostering an environment for groundbreaking ideas.

9. President of Raincity Studios

Raincity Studios at SXSW: Eric, Scales, Krüg and Uncleweed – Photo by Jay West

As President of Raincity Studios from 2007 to 2010, I led a diverse team of innovators and technologists, thriving on our shared passion for ‘open source/open business’ and people-powered web communities. We not only built innovative solutions for major clients like Warner Brother Records, but we also wholeheartedly immersed ourselves in the open-source ethos. We catalyzed un-conferences, taught at colleges, presented at workshops, and collaborated with numerous NGOs/NPOs to harness the power of digital technology for social good. Our most noteworthy project during this time was constructing a network of band websites based on Drupal, including the iconic Grateful Dead’s website, Dead.net.

This enriching journey extended beyond business, leading us to create grassroots art and media at events across the globe from our HQ in Vancouver, Canada. Through our involvement in global communities and the creation of digital spaces, we pushed the boundaries of what was possible with open source technologies and empowered people to tell their stories online. In this role, I truly learned the art of intertwining business acumen with technological innovation and community engagement. The Raincity Studios experience honed my leadership skills, deepened my understanding of the open source philosophy, and fueled my passion for leveraging digital tools to foster community connection and social change.

10. Founder and President of Bryght

Bryght Wall of Love

In 2004, I co-founded Bryght, which held the distinction of being the world’s first Drupal development company. This was more than just a business venture; it was a manifestation of my belief in the power and potential of open-source technologies. Our team was dedicated to customizing and optimizing Drupal, a then-emerging, highly flexible content management system, for the diverse needs of businesses.

Kris Krug, President, Bryght

As President of Bryght, I wore many hats, from shaping the strategic vision to building a high-performing team and fostering key partnerships. But perhaps most importantly, I played a role in educating our clients about the value of open-source technologies, and how Drupal, specifically, could help them build a dynamic, scalable online presence. In a significant milestone for us, Bryght was acquired by Raincity Studios in 2007. Reflecting on this journey, I’m proud of the strides we made in advancing the cause of open-source technology and the impact we had in the early days of Drupal’s growth. This experience not only reaffirmed my belief in the potential of open-source, but also continues to influence my work in the tech field.

11. Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Photographer and Photo Editor

During my tenure at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), I served as a Photographer and Photo Editor in the Marketing and Media department, reporting directly to the VP of Marketing and Patient Experience. My primary role was to visually document the diverse facets of the SCCA, from the construction of new facilities to the pioneering work of our doctors. I created portraits for nearly 300 oncologists and other cancer specialists, and captured the spirit of community events such as Swim for America and Seattle Pride.

Beyond my primary duties, I took the initiative to develop social media content marketing plans, using engaging photos with captions and tags on Instagram and Facebook to foster dialogue with our community. I also coached the marketing team and doctors on leveraging social media and the internet to build community. In an industry where traditional marketing can seem inappropriate, I worked with my colleagues to pioneer unique and novel ways of telling our story using visual storytelling and the internet. This included leading ‘lunch and learn’ workshops for doctors, helping them find their online voice, connect with their patients, and share the story of their work.

12. SXSW Advisory Board

As an integral part of the South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) community for over two decades, I’ve had the privilege of experiencing the event from multiple perspectives – as an attendee, keynote speaker, exhibitor, panelist, and for over a decade, as an Advisory Board member. My primary role on the SXSWi Advisory Board was to adjudicate the ‘Greater Good’ panel track, a role that allowed me to delve into social issues, mental health, diversity, inclusion, non-profit work, and environmentalism.

Each year, I sifted through hundreds of proposals via the Panel Picker, meticulously reviewing and ranking each one to identify the most impactful and relevant talks, keynotes, panels, and workshops for the event. This role not only allowed me to shape the narrative of SXSWi but also deepened my commitment to using technology as a tool for social good.

13. Instructor, Emily Carr University of Art and Design

As an Instructor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design from 2010 to 2011, I had the privilege of teaching “Photography for the Social Web” and “Community Building Through Photography”. These classes, part of the Social + Interactive Media Centre’s curriculum, allowed me to share my deep knowledge of digital photography and its interplay with social and interactive media.

I was able to empower students to leverage photography for community building, helping them understand the nuances of digital storytelling and the role it plays in creating meaningful social connections. My tenure at Emily Carr University strengthened my commitment to education and underscored the importance of adaptability and innovation in our increasingly digital world.

14. Board of Directors at Eco Fashion Week

During my tenure as a member of the Board of Directors at Eco Fashion Week from 2010 to 2011, I blended my expertise in media, digital strategy, and photography to promote sustainability in the fashion industry. I was responsible for managing our digital footprint, documenting events through evocative photography, and designing compelling communications and promotional campaigns.

Moreover, I took an active role in fostering community relations, which was integral to our mission of transforming fashion into a force for good. This invaluable experience helped refine my skills in digital strategy and community engagement, while underscoring the potential of digital media to drive positive change in the realm of sustainable fashion.

15. Editor-in-Chief at *spark-online.com

As the Editor-in-Chief of spark-online, an innovative online magazine exploring “electronic consciousness” during the early days of the internet, I led a passionate and talented team in reshaping the digital media landscape. Embracing cutting-edge web design and original content, we garnered recognition with numerous design awards and cultivated a thriving community of readers and contributors.

My role in spearheading the magazine’s vision and fostering a culture of exploration and innovation allowed me to share our insights at Columbia University’s Masters of Journalism conference on the Future of Arts Journalism. This journey with spark-online continues to inspire my pursuits in the digital world, as I remain committed to fostering creativity and pushing the boundaries of new media.

16. Director of Marketing at netVMG

As Director of Marketing at netVmg from Feb 2000 – Feb 2002, I played a pivotal role in shaping the company’s brand and product interface. I had the exciting opportunity to build the company’s first website, designing a digital platform that effectively communicated our brand and product offerings. Beyond visual design, I was part of the strategic decision-making process that led to the renaming of the company, contributing to defining its identity in a highly competitive industry.

Additionally, I developed user interfaces for our backend, creating a more seamless and intuitive experience for our users. My responsibilities also extended to building out the marketing department from the ground up, establishing systems, processes, and teams necessary for effective marketing strategy and execution. Overall, my role at netVmg was a blend of strategic marketing, brand development, and UI design. I am proud to have been a part of the company’s journey that culminated in its acquisition by Internap Network Services Corporation in 2003.

I look forward to sharing more updates about my journey, exploring exciting new frontiers in technology, media, and community. Stay tuned for more adventures as I continue to navigate this ever-evolving digital landscape!