PopTech 2014: A Decade of Documenting Rebel Lions

PopTech is a unique gathering of brainiacs, maniacs, rebels, spectacles, and indefinable superheroes. This year, the 18th annual conference was hosted by John Maeda, formerly of MIT and RISD, and truly a rebel in the zone of graphic design, computer science, art, education, and leadership. 

PopTech 18: Rebellion

 PHOTO by Michael Duarte

PHOTO by Michael Duarte

And, 2014 was Alphachimp's 10th year to capture ideas graphically.

Traditionally, Alphachimp's founder Peter Durand creates paintings and drawings for each speaker using acrylic, oil pastel, Sumi ink, brushes and charcoal.

For the 10-year anniversary, however, Durand went digital. He served as an electric scribe for each of the 20+ presenters and performers, working in real-time on a large Wacom Cintiq 22HD tablet (think of an iPad the size of a suitcase).

Peter describes his first PopTech experience:

When I was first invited to scribe in 2004, I was standing in Radio Shack, shopping for cutting edge mobile technology: a new Motorola Razor cellphone.

The guy on the phone was Andrew Zolli. I was busy and distracted, but the guy was so excited and convincing, so I said yes.

Before I arrived, I thought PopTech was going to be another typical business conference. I remember listening to the first few speakers and having the same reaction as any first-timer:

‘Whoa... this is waaaay more than I expected.’
Along with the excitement of traveling with PopTech to events in Kenya and Iceland, my greatest pleasure has been to be involved with the Fellows Programs, working with social entrepreneurs and scientists right at the tipping point of their careers.
Every year, to my great relief, I have been shocked and honored to be invited back to witness brilliant people bring ground-breaking ideas to life.
  View a 10-year visual catalog of PopTech Speaker Art  by Alphachimp on   Flickr  .

View a 10-year visual catalog of PopTech Speaker Art by Alphachimp on Flickr.