Massoud Amin: Smart Energy

Energy, Form, Motion: Massoud Amin

Dr. Amin has a vision for the future of energy infrastructure in North America – smarter, sustainable, more resilient and secure. We’ve learned a great deal in the last 15 years about complex “lifeline” infrastructures – not just powerlines, but anything that absolutely, positively needs to survive failure.

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Nick Bilton, Lead Technology Reporter for The New York Times “Bits” blog, says that digital media has resulted in a "new form of storytelling." Bilton, who is also a designer and user interface specialist, is co-founder of NYC Resistor, a hacker collective in Brooklyn, and is current book is titled, I Live in the Future: & Here’s How It Works.

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Reihan Salam: New Conservatism

Challenging Conversations: Reihan Salam

Reihan Salam, a New America Foundation fellow, writes on politics, culture, and technology. At PopTech 2009, Salam argues that America’s growing diversity, divided by massive inequalities, will lead the country to increasing social conservatism. Salam also co-authored Grand New Party: How Conservatives Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream.

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Interview with Peter Durand of Alphachimp Studio at PopTech 2009

Interview with Peter Durand of Alphachimp Studio at PopTech 2009 from Jerry A. Smith, Ph.D. on Vimeo.

Peter Durand is the co-founder of Alphachimp, a firm that specializes making your ideas visual - they make the strategic decision-making process a bit easier, faster, more engaging, more productive and alive. This interview was filmed live on location at PopTech 2009.

Filmed with the Canon EOS 7D with internal audio.

Pop!Tech Social Innovation Fellow Emily Pilloton on Colbert

Way to hold your own, Em!

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Emily Pilloton
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Economy

Emily Pilloton wants to create things that aren't just well designed, but have a positive social impact.

Learn more about Project H and the Design Revolution Road Show taking social innovation to schools across the US.

Oh, did we mention the airstream trailer-slash-design gallery?

Reuben Margolin : On Kinetic Art

First inspired by the mysterious and mathematical qualities of a caterpillar’s crawl, artist Reuben Margolin creates large-scale kinetic sculptures that use pulleys and motors to create the complex movements and structures we see in nature. Margolin takes to the PopTech stage to share some of his extraordinary mechanical installations.

Reuben Margolin: On Kinetic Art from PopTech on Vimeo.

As a child, he started playing with stilts and was enamored with math. After going in a few different directions in school, he set out with a typewriter strapped to the back of a motorcycle to write poetry as he traveled across the country. This resulted in the creation of a mobile, which he drove for five months in order to have deep, meaningful conversations with people he met along the way.

Soon after, on a hike, he saw a transparent caterpillar that inspired him to try and replicate it as a machine. Although the finished product didn’t move as elegantly as a caterpillar in nature, it fueled his interest in examining movement in the natural world. Still seeking a way to perfectly capture the wave of a caterpillar’s motion, he demonstrated on the PopTech stage a much sleeker machine made of wood, thin rope and metal that did indeed undulate like caterpillar creeping. He’s now exploring applying this principal to giant circles, wooden frames and other forms.

Margolin ended his presentation by revealing a gorgeous, sparkling sculpture suspended from the Opera House Ceiling, which swung gently above the crowd as though wind was blowing through a giant, gilded glass net.

Margolin noted that there are two ways of looking at things: one is at the sparkle and the dawns and the beauty of the world, and one is at the structure and the meat and the math. His art brings both of these elements together in a way that is both aesthetically pleasing and intellectually interesting. 



Robert Guest : The Power of AMerica to Attract Talent

Challenging Conversations: Robert Guest

Robert Guest writes the Lexington column in the Economist. “I’m going to talk,” he says, “about America and why I think it is uniquely positioned to be not merely the current superpower but the next superpower. I’m going to focus on one very narrow aspect of this. America’s greatest strength, in my view, is that people want to live here. That’s something that the people who already do live here take for granted” — maybe because we haven’t visited the other countries of the world and seen how much they suck?

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Alec Ross: Statecraft 3.0

ReMixed Messages: Alec Ross on Statecraft 3.0

Senior Advisor on Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Alec Ross, says it’s time to reboot US diplomatic efforts abroad. Ross calls for 21st century statecraft based on the innovative use of new media. Previously, Ross co-founded One Economy, a nonprofit devoted to closing the digital divide, and brought his expertise to then Senator Obama’s presidential campaign.

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Erica Williams : The Millennial Era of Politics

American Stories: Erica Williams

Erica Williams is a Washington DC-based activist who works to get under-represented communities to take part in the political process. She asked the PopTech crowd to put aside any pre-conceived notions about her generation (the Millennials, born in 1978-2000). Williams was raised by two pastors and defines her childhood by two things:faith and church.

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Will Allen : Growing Power in the Urban Food Desert

Edible Future: Will Allen

Will Allen is co-founder and director of Growing Power, Inc., an organization that is transforming the production and delivery of healthy foods to underserved, urban populations. Growing Power operates as an urban farm and education center in Milwaukee, WI, and more recently, Chicago, teaching urban youth how to produce low-cost healthy foods for their communities.

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Michael Pollan : The Gospel of Sustainable Food

Edible Future: Michael Pollan

Author and activist Michael Pollan is a passionate advocate for sustainable food. In his compelling talk at PopTech, he explores how our industrial food system is keeping us overly dependent on fossil fuels, destroying our environment, and making us sick. Breaking this cycle requires fundamentally changing our relationship to food - and eating more meals together.

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Gideon Obarzanek : Chunky Move Creature Part Choreography

A Keen Sense: Gideon

Australian choreographer Gideon Obarzanek of Chunky Move showed a brief sequence of his choreography, which included dances that looked like giant spiders scuttling across the stage, the illusion of rose petals blowing across prone dancers and intertwined bodies bathed in pulsating, monochromatic shards and shafts of light.  

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John Fetterman : The Invested Mayor

American Stories: John Fetterman

John Fetterman is the hulking, tattooed and impassioned mayor of Braddock, PA, a tiny town ten miles from downtown Pittsburgh. Braddock was built around the steel industry: vintage pictures show a thriving downtown area boasting 30 tailors, 5 banks, 51 barbers in their community. Over the last few decades, the town has imploded and now none a single one of those businesses remain.

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