Posts by Annie Leahy
We’re thrilled to unveil (almost all!) of the speakers, performers, artists and guests who will be joining us at PopTech 2010, convening October 20-23, in the picturesque New England town of Camden, Maine. The gathering will feature 50 remarkable presenters and performers, and bring together more than 600 visionary thinkers, leaders and doers in science, technology, design, the corporate and social sectors, entrepreneurship, education and the arts from around the world.
The theme of the 2010 gathering is Brilliant Accidents, Necessary Failures and Improbable Breakthroughs, and will explore the complex, sometimes contradictory paths innovations take along their path to impact.
An extremely limited number of tickets to conference remain. To request a registration, please go here.
2010 PRESENTERS AND PERFORMERS INCLUDE:
Kathryn Schulz, author of the bestselling book, Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error about the nature of failure
Kevin Dunbar, psychologist who studies the impact of failure on our brains
Siddhartha Mukherjee, cancer physician and researcher, author of The Emperor of All Maladies
Adrian Owen, one of the world’s preeminent neuroscientists and an expert on consciousness
OK Go, renowned indie band & video artists changing the way people think about music and the Internet
Deborah Kenny, founder of Harlem Village Academies, one of the world’s most innovative charter school networks
Donald Ingber, director of the Wyss Institute for Bioinspired Engineering at Harvard, and an expert on what we can learn from nature
Ben Goldacre, debunker of “bad science” quackery and the way science is abused in public discourse
Marcia McNutt, director, US Geological Survey, led the US scientific response to the BP Oil Spill
Elizabeth Dunn, psychologist who studies the surprising truth about what makes us happy
Stephanie Coontz, renowned expert on the past and future of marriage, and the author of Marriage, A History
Salman Khan, founder of the Khan Academy: Education for Everyone, and educator of hundreds of thousands of children worldwide
Laura Poitras, Oscar-nominated filmmaker of “The Oath,” which follows the life stories of two members of Al Quaeda
David Eagleman, neuroscientist and Author, of Sum: 40 Tales of the Afterlife
Kevin Starr, director of the Mulago Foundation, and an expert on what works (and doesn’t) in social innovation
Daryl Collins, director of Bankable Frontiers, and an expert on how people live on $2/day
April Smith and the Big Picture Show, Brooklyn based swing & country band
Tom Darden, builder of ultra-green homes in New Orleans
Susan Casey, author of The Wave, about colossal, ship-swallowing rogue waves and the surfers who seek them out
David de Rothschild, adventurer, ecologist and captain of the Plastiki Eco-Expedition
John Legend, Grammy-award-winning musician and education activist
Ned Breslin, CEO of Water for People, leader in water and sanitation programs worldwide
Alan Rabinowitz, the “Indiana Jones” of conservation and a leader in the protection of big cats.
Larry Smith, creator of the ‘Six Word Memoir’
Patrick Meier and Josh Nesbit, collaborators on the 4636 project in Haiti
Vijay Anand, Indian anticorruption crusader
Simon Hauger, Science teacher at West Philadelphia High
Nathan Eagle, mobile pioneer and leader in ‘AI for Development’
Riley Crane, winner of the DARPA Balloon Challenge
Orlaugh Obrien, design researcher on the aesthetics of human emotions
Dan Ariely, behavioral economist and bestselling author of The Upside of Irrationality
Eli Pariser, Founder of MoveOn and Internet personalization researcher
Jad Abumrad, journalist and host of RadioLab
Colin Rich, high-altitude balloon maker
Patrick Flanagan, creator of the Jazari percussion ensemble
Mike Blum, evolutionary biologist studying environmental impacts on Louisiana’s protective barrier islands
Chris Chabris, psychologist a who studies how our intuitive beliefs about the human mind can easily lead us astray.
Erika Wagner, head of the XPrize Laboratory at MIT
Lisa Gansky, entrepreneur and author of The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing
Brandon Kessler, founder of ChallengePost, a ‘marketplace of challenges’
Habib Dagher, director of the Advanced Structures & Composites Center at the University of Maine, and an expert on the future of wind power
Annemarie Ahearn, Owner & Chef at Saltwater Farms, Maine
Philippe Newlin, former Associate Editor and Tasting Director at Wine & Spirits
Rachel Wingfield, designer of environmentally responsive textiles and sustainable urban habitats
Mathias Gmachl, multidisciplinary artist and founding member of farmersmanual
Nigel Waller, founder & CEO of Movirtu – mobile for the next billion
Assaf Biderman, Associate Director of the SENSEable City Laboratory, MIT
Request a registration, or help us spread the news!
The PopTech team has been busy putting the final touches on the 2010 PopTech program and we’re simply so excited, we wanted to provide the PopTech community with a “sneak-peek” before our full program announcement next month!
Convening this Oct 20-23, PopTech 2010 will bring together a remarkable network of scientists, technologists, engineers, designers, social innovators, corporate leaders, educators and entrepreneurs for a robust conversation about what it takes to genuinely innovate and create lasting, intentional change. The theme this year, Brilliant Accidents, Necessary Failures and Improbable Breakthroughs, couldn’t be more timely.
The 2010 lineup hasn’t been fully revealed yet, but here’s a sample of the more than 40 remarkable presenters:
- Adrian Owen, the neuroscientist who has pioneered a new way to communicate with vegetative patients.
- Marcia McNutt, the Director of the US Geological Survey, who led the US scientific response to the BP Oil Spill.
- Kevin Dunbar, a psychologist who studies the neuroscience of failure.
- Laura Poitras, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker of “The Oath,” which follows the revealing life stories of two members of Al Quaeda.
- Alan Rabinowitz, the “Indiana Jones” of conservation and a leader in the conservation of big cats.
- Kathryn Schulz, the bestselling author of “Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error.”
- Elizabeth Dunn, the psychologist who studies the surprising truths about what makes us happy.
This isn’t your usual schmoozefest. It’s visionary people. A beautiful, intimate setting. Authentic dialogue. Deep inspiration. A real community. Ideas that will change your perspective, and maybe your life. And most importantly, connections that lead to real outcomes and real action.
Tickets are $3000, and supply is scarce – sign up today at http://poptech.org/poptech_2010.
Between releasing their latest video, performing at Bonnaro, taking a trip to Art Basel and participating in a rather impressive staring contest with a Muppet, our friends at OK Go have been pretty darn busy.
Bass player Tim Nordwind was kind enough to take a break and answer a few questions (thanks Tim!) about our conference theme, happy accidents, and of course, their thoughts on lobster rolls. We can’t wait to see what they have in store for PopTech 2010.
The theme of PopTech 2010 is Brilliant Accidents, Necessary Failures and Improbable Breakthroughs. Which do you most identify with?
Between Brilliant Accidents, Necessary Failures, and Improbable Breakthroughs, it’s hard to pick just one that we most identify with. They all sound pretty right on to me. Might I also add to this list Unavoidable Distractions? Our band finds inspiration in a million different ways; whether it’s about being in the wrong place at the right time, the right time at the wrong place, it’s that moment when you see something, hear something, feel something and get an uncontrollable interest and excitement in an idea. From there, for us, it is absolutely about coming up with rules and parameters to push against, and it’s not always what works that is going to be most exciting about the idea. It is oftentimes the accidents, the failures, and pushing an idea so far that it breaks into something you had never thought about that ends up being the inspiration you weren’t even looking for that drives your idea home. That’s an exciting place to be.
Okay…now tell us about your biggest failure.
Our happiest accident was choreographing a dance routine to do live at the end of our shows, and making a rehearsal tape of us doing the dance in our singer Damian’s back yard. Upon playback we recognized an immediate charm in watching four dudes who can’t dance, dance. So we dubbed the music, a song called A Million Ways To Be Cruel onto the clip, and sent a link to friends to watch. We thought of it as a rehearsal tape. It was our friends who suggested that the rehearsal tape should be the video for that song. We weren’t quite sure what to think about that at first. It surely wouldn’t fit on MTV’s rigid format of glossy videos where the band shows up like a shiny new Audi car, advertising their brand new record. And because it wouldn’t fit on MTV our label obviously wasn’t going to like it. But, within weeks we started hearing that friends of friends of friends had seen the video, people we didn’t know, and that it was starting to go viral. Before we knew it industry magazines like Entertainment Weekly were writing about it, Good Morning America wanted to talk about it, a festival in Moscow where our record wasn’t even out wanted to book us, and somehow that had become the dawn of viral music videos.
Your insanely viral hit video “Here It Goes Again” was shot on a borrowed video camera. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory helped produce your most recent “This Too Shall Pass” video. That is quite a technological leap. How’d it happen?
The leap in technology was never really the propelling force behind working with the fine people at Synn Labs many of whom work at NASA and JPL. We were interested in making a Rube Goldberg machine that could be synchronized and dance to the music. Damian, wrote a job description that he posted to a couple of technology blogs. We were hoping to find one or two people who could help us build this Rube Goldberg machine. What we got in response was an impressive proposal from a group of about twelve scientists and technologists, Synn Labs. We couldn’t really afford to hire twelve people, but they told us to not worry, and we’d figure it out. From there we spent the next two months in the conceptual stages, and then spent the following four months building the machine in a three story warehouse in Echo Park, CA. We wanted the technology in the video to actually be quite simple and beautiful, hoping to avoid the machine looking too slick or magical. It was important to us for the machine’s process to be transparent in the spirit of capturing the true excitement of the live event.
What can we expect to see and hear from you at the PopTech this year?
We will probably look and sound like friendly robots on a goodwill mission demonstrating ways in which we are helpful and make for good friends. I mean you know, if I were to guess. To be honest, I know you probably can’t tell by my convincing reply, but we haven’t quite figured out what we will be doing at PopTech. But, we’re psyched to work it out.
Lastly, lobster rolls. Yeah or Nay?
Hellz to the mothertruckin’ YEAH!