Posts by Ollie Wilder
Nominations are now open for the 2013 PopTech Social Innovation Fellows program, so it's time to put on your thinking caps.
Do you know somebody who has a big idea, has started to demonstrate significant positive impact and has a smart strategy for reaching scale? That's who we're looking for, and we need you to help us find them.
The strongest candidates are great leaders and collaborators working in critical fields such as energy, green technology, climate change resilience, healthcare, the environment, performing arts, water, education and other areas with significant beneficial impacts. Those chosen as Fellows will participate in a five-day training and the PopTech conference this October, and will gain new skills, visibility and connections to help accelerate their path to greater impact.
Check out the call for nominations for more details, and have a look at our past Fellows — such as the class of 2012 —for some inspiring examples. Then head on over to the nomination form where you can nominate someone else, or (be bold!) yourself.
We're grateful to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, National Geographic, Omidyar Network, the Rita Allen Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for their generous support of the Social Innovation Fellows program.
Nominations will be open through April 2, and you can email fellows [at] poptech [dot] org with any questions about the program or the nomination process.
Photo by Agaton Strom for PopTech
The Bellagio/PopTech Fellows program will bring together four to six individuals from diverse backgrounds for a two-week immersion residency at the Rockefeller Foundation’s renowned Bellagio Center on the shores of Lake Como, Italy.
This year’s program will focus on building community resilience through the use of data science, visualization, and distributed information technologies. Fellows will explore the extent to which big data and related technology can be used to enhance psychological, social and systemic resilience worldwide. This effort will be creative, interdisciplinary and collaborative – providing an environment where emerging tools, approaches and solutions are viewed as an art as much as a science.
The program is seeking candidates from the fields of data and data visualization, technology, design, art, social and natural sciences, resilience research, and other social domains. A diverse cohort of Fellows will be chosen for their technical and creative excellence and their demonstrated ability to work and think across disciplines.
Candidates may self-nominate or be nominated by someone else. Eligibility details are available on the call for nominations web page.
Know someone who might be a good fit? Nominations will be accepted through March 1, 2013, and can be submitted via the online nomination form.
A highlight of PopTech’s fall conference is when each PopTech Social Innovation and Science Fellow takes the stage in Camden to showcase his or her own work. The raw ingenuity is on full display: reducing malaria by rendering mosquitos infertile, storing digital data in DNA, untangling the evolutionary tree of life, dispatching drones to deliver medicine, and creating nimble new companies with millions of employees but zero managers.
Those presentations are now available online.
Regardless of the caliber of these eye-popping breakthroughs, it is a huge leap to move a fledgling effort into a program that might help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges. And these kinds of visionaries too often labor in relative isolation, without the benefit of a network of experts and supporters who can help equip an innovator with the skills and connections critical for making that great leap.
PopTech’s Fellows programs provide multifaceted training from a network of established leaders with broad experience ranging from building effective organizations to fundraising to communications — the very skills required to launch innovations to the next level. The nucleus of the Fellows program is the unique opportunity to connect with like-minded peers and enjoy one-on-one access to experienced mentors.
Enjoy their Camden presentations and keep an eye on PopTech as we follow their adventures.
How can we better understand ocean ecosystems, encourage human cooperation, build resilience in the face of climate change, prevent malaria and make mental health care a global priority? The 2012 PopTech Science Fellows are bringing strong leadership to these challenges and many more, and we are proud to introduce them today.
The PopTech Science Fellows program is a unique leadership development opportunity designed to help high potential working scientists become more effective communicators, collaborators and leaders both within and beyond the traditional bounds of academia. Fellows learn key skills from a faculty of experts, form an extensive network of mutual support, and play a highly visible role within the PopTech global community of innovators.
Meet the Science Fellows Class of 2012:
- Kelly Benoit-Bird, an oceanographer at Oregon State University, applies acoustics to the study of ecosystems in the open ocean.
- Flaminia Catteruccia is a molecular entomologist at the Harvard School of Public Health, specializing in the reproductive biology of Anopheles mosquitoes, the only mosquitoes capable of transmitting human malaria.
- Sriram Kosuri is a biological engineer at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University, developing next-generation DNA synthesis technologies.
- Thaddeus Pace is a biological psychologist at Emory University, exploring how compassion meditation and other complementary practices may improve the health and well-being of children and adults in challenging circumstances.
- David Rand is a behavioral scientist at Yale University, using a deeply interdisciplinary approach to understand human cooperation, generosity and altruism.
- Giuseppe “Bepi” Raviola is a psychiatrist with Partners In Health, Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, working to integrate mental health services into global health care efforts.
- John Rinn is a biologist at Harvard and the Broad Institute, researching how “junk genes” actually play key regulatory roles in human health and disease.
- Leila Takayama is a research scientist with Willow Garage, focused on understanding how humans interact with robots.
- Tiffani Williams is a computer scientist at Texas A&M University, creating algorithmic tools to reconstruct the Tree of Life, which depicts the evolutionary connections among the world's species.
- Benjamin Zaitchik is a climate scientist at Johns Hopkins University, researching ways to understand, manage and cope with climatic and hydrologic variability.
The Fellows will join us in Maine in mid-October for a three-day intensive training session, and then go on to introduce their work on stage at PopTech 2012, giving their work greater visibility and finding new opportunities for collaboration and to engage the public in science.
PopTech is delighted to announce the Social Innovation Fellows Class of 2012!
The members of this year’s class are addressing major global challenges by connecting health workers, bringing clean water to children, building farmers’ incomes, using unmanned aerial vehicles for remote deliveries of medical supplies, fighting for Internet privacy, and much more. Their work has impacted lives around the world, in places like Kenya, China, Ghana, Liberia and Haiti, as well as throughout the United States.
Meet this year’s inspiring Fellows:
- Jamila Abass is CEO of MFarm, which uses mobile technology to help farmers increase their incomes.
- Lukas Biewald is CEO and founder of CrowdFlower, a crowdsourcing internet company that breaks large digital projects into small microtasks and distributes them to workers around the world.
- Rachel Brown founded Sisi ni Amani - Kenya to pioneer the use of mobile technology to get the right communication capacity into the hands of local peacebuilders, enabling communities to participate in democratic processes and prevent violence.
- Bryan Doerries is the founder of Theater of War, a project that presents readings of ancient Greek plays to service members, veterans, caregivers and families to help them start talking about the challenges faced by military communities today.
- Touré McCluskey is the founder of OkCopay, a unique search engine for medical procedures that helps Americans with inadequate insurance find affordable local health care.
- Nicholas Merrill created the Calyx Institute to educate the public regarding the lack of privacy in telecommunications and to develop the infrastructure to implement secure mobile phone and Internet services in a way that has not been done before.
- Jacobo Quintanilla works with Internews supporting local media in enabling people in the midst of disasters to access the information they need and to take an active role in their own survival and recovery.
- Andreas Raptopoulos is the founder and CEO of Matternet, building a network of unmanned aerial vehicles to transport medicine and goods in places with poor road infrastructure.
- Aishwarya Ratan is director of the Global Financial Inclusion Initiative at Yale University and Innovations for Poverty Action, with a goal of ensuring that the financial products, services and tools available to the poor to manage and grow their money are affordable, efficient, secure and welfare-enhancing.
- Eric Stowe believes that every child has a right to clean water; to act on that belief, he founded A Child’s Right (soon to be Splash), which cleans water for over 200,000 children in schools, orphanages, street shelters, hospitals, and rescue homes in Asia and East Africa.
- Eric Woods is the CEO and founder of Switchboard, which uses mobile phones to create nationwide networks of health workers in developing countries.
- Daniel Zoughbie created Microclinic International to leverage the power of social network relationships to spread healthy behaviors throughout under-resourced communities.
The Fellows will participate in an intensive five-day training just prior to this year’s Oct. 17-20 PopTech conference, and present their ideas on stage to conference participants and viewers of the worldwide webcast, helping them build new skills, contacts and visibility.
The Social Innovation Fellows program is generously supported by the Rita Allen Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and National Geographic.
We are delighted to have these extraordinary leaders joining the PopTech network, and look forward to accompanying them on their journey as the impact of their work grows and spreads.
Nominations for the PopTech Social Innovation Fellows program opened earlier this month. Whether you’re nominating yourself or someone else, how can you best make the case?
Based on past years’ most compelling nominations, here are some helpful tips:
- Give specific examples of the nominee’s leadership and collaborative success.
- Describe clearly the central innovation and how it has begun to prove its impact. Why is this a breakthrough idea? What demonstrates that it really works?
- Indicate the most promising path and potential timeframe for reaching scale and sustainability. How many people could be reached, how, and when?
- Include a personal highlight or two to help reveal the nominee’s passion, dedication and other key qualities.
We need your help identifying the strongest candidates for this year’s class of Fellows. Please have a look at the call for nominations and submit your nominations any time between now and April 3, 2012.
How do we encourage resilience in the face of the world’s many challenges? PopTech’s major focus in 2012 centers on that very question. And some of the best new solutions we’ve seen have come directly from social innovators, visionaries on the front lines of social change. Now is your chance to help speed up their impact, by nominating candidates for the PopTech Social Innovation Fellows program.
Fellows are invited to Maine in October for a five-day training, immediately followed by an opportunity to attend and present at the PopTech conference. They gain new skills and broad exposure, and benefit by connecting with the program’s faculty and the larger PopTech network. Our primary goal with the Fellows program: to enable these emerging leaders to reach real, wide, sustainable impact as quickly as possible.
Check out the Call for Nominations to help spark your thinking. Our alumni from the classes of 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 also offer great examples of changemakers putting new ideas into action: a mushroom-based alternative to Styrofoam™, peer-to-peer education loans, a platform for sustainable food distribution, and solar systems sold like mobile phone minutes, among others.
If you or someone you know is a great fit, head to poptech.org/nominate and submit a nomination. Get it done soon: nominations close this year on April 3, 2012.
The Social Innovation Fellows program is supported by the Rita Allen Foundation, the Nike Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, PwC and American Express.
Among the most exciting PopTech conference moments are when the Fellows each give a glimpse into their compelling work and how it might change the world. The Fellows’ 2011 presentations are now available online so you can revisit those you savored and catch up with others you might have missed.
And learn about the ambitious initiatives of the 2011 Social Innovation Fellows ranging from local food networks to pay-as-you-go solar energy, and from keeping girls in school to building community through music and architecture.
Check out the Fellows’ big ideas and keep an eye out as their promising efforts continue to make great progress.
PopTech is proud to announce the Social Innovation Fellows Class of 2011!
This year’s Fellows are spearheading a compelling set of solutions to global challenges. They are reconnecting refugee families, helping people become “makers” of their own technology, improving local food production and distribution, and getting to the heart of measuring true impact. They are helping girls access education and healthcare, building community through music and architecture, and using a combination of high-tech and good business to get clean water, sustainable energy and appropriate medical devices to those who most need them.
Meet this year’s Fellows:
- Erika Block created Local Orbit’s online tools to make local and regional food distribution more efficient, transparent and sustainable, support local economies and make healthy, locally produced food widely available and easy to buy.
- Krista Donaldson runs D-Rev: Design Revolution, which works with local partners to bring state-of-the-art, user-centric products to empower the lives of the four billion people living on less than four dollars a day.
- Rose Goslinga leads the Syngenta Foundation’s Kilimo Salama, helping increase farm productivity and food security through the first micro-insurance product available to smallholder Kenyan farmers.
- Sameer Kalwani helps provide clean drinking water to those without access through Sarvajal, a technology-enabled franchise business rapidly expanding in India.
- Christopher Marianetti and Found Sound Nation work with youth and communities to create original music projects that unlock creative potential and build bridges between cultures.
- David and Christopher Troensegaard Mikkelsen founded Refugees United to streamline the process of reconnecting refugee families through web and mobile technologies.
- Megan White Mukuria founded ZanaAfrica to address root causes of gender inequality across Africa and enhance girls' educational attainment through sustainable African-led innovations, beginning with the delivery of sanitary pads and related health information.
- Dominic Muren’s design lab, the Humblefactory, and design-sharing platform, Alchematter, help make object design and fabrication truly open and collaborative for communities around the world.
- Michael Murphy co-founded MASS Design Group to create well-built environments that help break the cycle of poverty through appropriate design, local investment and innovation.
- Paul Needham co-founded Simpa Networks, which sells high-quality solar energy systems on a pay-as-you-go basis to underserved people in emerging markets.
- Jake Porway launched Data Without Borders to match nonprofits with pro bono data scientists to solve problems using data collection, management, and analysis in the service of humanity.
- Nithya Ramanathan’s Nexleaf Analytics leverages the power of affordable mobile technology for health and environmental impact studies, facilitating quicker feedback and more effective solutions.
- Mohammed Rabah Salem provides locally built wind turbines and small-scale solar technologies to both Palestine and Israel, knitting together common needs in an otherwise deeply divided setting.
- Amy Sun created Fab Folk to extend MIT’s Fab Lab program, building local technical capacity that gives people the tools to innovate and turn design ideas into real objects.
We look forward to connecting these inspiring leaders with the PopTech network and helping to accelerate their work!
At the PopTech Science and Public Leadership Fellows retreat at National Geographic headquarters earlier this month, the program’s faculty provided key insights to help equip the 2011 Fellows with enhanced leadership, collaboration and communication skills.
- Storytelling tips from people like Lisa Witter of Fenton, Jad Abumrad of Radiolab, Joe Palca of NPR and Jeff Nesbit of Climate Nexus;
- A view into science policy-making through the eyes of Thomas A. Kalil of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy;
- Peter Lee of Microsoft Research on how idealism and diversity drive scientific discovery;
- The ten rules of collaboration from Philip E. Bourne of UCSD; and more.
PopTech is very grateful to the faculty for generously donating their time to benefit the Fellows, and to our partners, Microsoft Research, National Geographic, the Rita Allen Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, for supporting this program.
Stay tuned for PopTech 2011, where you’ll have a chance to see the Fellows in action when they present from the PopTech stage.
Images: Peter Durand