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.
Rinku Sen, president and executive director of the Applied Research Center, is devoted to creating a more inclusive America. If we’re willing to be explicit about the ways racism works around us, Sen says, we can create the society we all want to live in. Sen also publishes the ColorLines, a magazine on race and politics.
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.
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.
Way to hold your own, Em!
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
Emily Pilloton wants to create things that aren't just well designed, but have a positive social impact.
Oh, did we mention the airstream trailer-slash-design gallery?
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.
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 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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sculptor Reuben Margolin works in the medium of motion. 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.