Silja Ómarsdóttir was one of 25 people tapped to rewrite Iceland’s constitution after the country’s financial meltdown in 2008. Ómarsdóttir explains the constitution creation process and what it meant to overhaul the constitution, with considerable public input, in four months.
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.
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.
Practicing “identity correction” – the Yes Men target large corporations that put profits ahead of everything else. Getting inside the system, and impersonating business leaders, they smuggle stories out to the world to expose big business wrong-doing.
Renowned global health expert Laurie Garrett gave a powerful and frightening talk at PopTech 2008 on how countries deal - both effectively and ineffectively - with pandemics. Examining China's response to SARS, she asked: what if this happened here?