Scott Barry Kaufman: Creative Brains

Scott Barry Kaufman is a cognitive psychologist specializing in the development of intelligence and creativity.

He applies a variety of perspectives to come to a richer understanding and appreciation of all kinds of minds and ways of achieving greatness.

Kaufman is an adjunct assistant professor of psychology at New York University, where he teaches courses on cognitive psychology and human intelligence.

He is also author of “Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined,” co-founder of The Creativity Post, and he writes the popular blog “Beautiful Minds” at Scientific American Mind.


Eric Klinenberg: Living Single

Eric Klinenberg is a professor of sociology and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University.

He's also editor of the journal Public Culture and research director for the federal government's Rebuild by Design Competition, as well as an acclaimed writer.

With eye-opening statistics, original data, and vivid portraits of people who live alone, renowned sociologist Eric Klinenberg upends conventional wisdom to deliver the definitive take on how the rise of going solo is transforming the American experience.

Ellen Langer: Mindfulness Over Matter

Ellen Langer is an artist and Harvard psychology professor who received her doctorate from Yale.

She has authored 11 books and over 200 research articles on the illusion of control, perceived control, successful aging and decision-making.

Each of these is examined through the lens of her theory of mindfulness.

Her research has demonstrated that by actively noticing new things — the essence of mindfulness — health, well being, and competence follow.

Helen Marriage: Art Interventions

Helen Marriage

Helen Marriage is a co-director of Artichoke, a creative company, which she founded with Nicky Webb in 2005. In seven years the company has become renowned for its large-scale city-wide events. Artichoke works with artists to invade public spaces and create extraordinary and ambitious moments that live in the memory forever.Through its ephemeral transformation of familiar landscapes, Artichoke aims to leave an indelible mark on the cities and societies where it works.

Jim Olson: Tumor Paint

Jim Olson

Jim Olson is a physician scientist who cares for children with brain tumors and discovers/develops new cancer therapies. His lab's work led to five national clinical trials, of which he leads a Phase III trial. He authored the most widely used pharmacology review book. Olson is the founder of Presage Biosciences and Blaze Bioscience: The Tumor Paint Company.

LISTEN: NPR Radio "Doctors Test Tumor Paint in People" by Joe Palca (April 8, 2015) 

Rajesh Panjabi and Josh Nesbit: Making an Impact

Last Mile Health

After surviving Liberia’s civil conflict, Raj Panjabi co-founded Last Mile Health to tackle the triple threat facing health care in post-war countries: a battered public sector, workforce shortages and rampant poverty. Pioneering a community-based health system, Last Mile Health serves as a scalable, public sector model for achieving equity in health, now on the front lines of the ebola crisis.

Having pioneered the use of mobile phones for healthcare in a remote region of Malawi, Josh Nesbit co-founded Medic Mobile to bring these innovations to the rest of the world. The model features a central clinic laptop running FrontlineSMS software, enabling community health workers to use mobile phones to coordinate patient care.

David Robertson: Creative Constraint

David Robertson

David Robertson uses LEGO’s tumultuous business history to describe the delicate balance between creativity and constraints.

“By putting focus and direction around innovation, that is how you turn sparks of brilliance into profitable innovation.”

David Robertson is a professor of practice at the Wharton School in Philadelphia. He teaches innovation and product development in Wharton’s undergraduate, master’s, and executive education programs.

From 2002 through 2010, Robertson was the LEGO Professor of Innovation and Technology Management at Switzerland’s Institute for Management Development (IMD).

Todd Reichert and Cameron Robertson: First in Flight


Todd Reichert and Cameron Robertson led the team that designed and built the Snowbird Human-Powered Ornithopter.

On Aug. 2, 2010, the Snowbird became the world’s first human-powered flapping-wing aircraft to sustain flight, the realization of an ancient aeronautical dream.

In 2012, Reichert and Robertson established AeroVelo Inc., a company dedicated to increasing the public’s awareness of sustainable solutions to society’s most pressing technological challenges.

Dan Schulman: Data Bank

Dan Schulman is group president, Enterprise Growth, for American Express, where he is responsible for the company’s global strategy to expand alternative mobile and online payment services, form new partnerships and build revenue streams beyond the traditional card and travel businesses. 

Prior to joining American Express in 2010, Schulman was CEO of Virgin Mobile and Priceline. Dan is trying to expand the brand to serve non-affluent customers who he says are paying too much for existing financial services. 

More: HBR article

Kevin Slavin: Debunking Luck

Kevin Slavin

Pioneering gamer Kevin Slavin takes the PopTech audience on a colorful tour of the history of luck in America, games of chance, gambling and mathematical formulas.

“That’s amazing, the idea that anything that seems to be built out of chance or instinct or luck can yield to a computational assault.”

As an entrepreneur, Slavin has successfully integrated digital media, game development, technology and design.

He is a pioneer in rethinking game design and development around new technologies (like GPS) and new platforms (like Facebook).

Nicole Stubbs: Lending Data

Nicole Stubbs

Nicole Stubbs is CEO of First Access, which aims to reduce lending and borrowing costs across the developing world.

Using patent-pending cloud technology, First Access interacts with consumers and organizations via SMS and web in real-time, aggregating big data and producing customized, highly predictive recommendations about products and loan sizes. Better information translates to faster and more affordable financial services for more people.