I can offer some news about the agIdeas conference. I was there for several talks, as a first time audience member, although didn't see as many talks as I would have liked. It is a luxury to sit in an auditorium and have a series of speakers describe the way they channel their creative energy into life.
It's comfortable, well organised, and as a creative person you are unusually passive ... so you soak it all in and store it in a place that it can reappear when you are doing your own thing.
I missed Ken Miki from Japan, but he was great on all reports. Beautiful designer, that all book designer's, I think, can easily relate to. Toko's rep. speaker was great, Wout de Vringer from the Netherlands gave a generous history lesson on dutch design forgetting to leave time to show his own companies beautiful work. Each speaker only gets 20 mins.
My personal highlight was hearing Matthew Harding speak, an Australian sculptor. Well worth googling if you don't already know his work. A person completely immersed in observing and creating since a child, inspired by his builder (?) father, who has seemed to keep an unbroken focus since. He called it his work ethic 'absurd' or 'ridiculous', something like that. Very inspiring work, really beautiful.