In the days before the annual PopTech Conference the Alphachimp team worked with the scientists and social innovators as part of the PopTech Fellows Program.
Ever since I met Erik Hersman, I have dreamed of traveling to Nairobi to work with him. So now, my dream has come true. Last week, I traveled with my daughter and mother back to the country where I was born, Kenya.
In early February, Alphachimp's Creative Director, Peter Durand, will be traveling to Kenya to participate in the PopTech Climate Resilience Lab.
For many of the world’s poorest communities, the adverse effects of climate change are no longer a future possibility; they are a present reality. The poverty, dislocation, health crises, resource conflicts, food scarcity and economic harm that climate change engenders threaten to undo many of the humanitarian gains of the past 30 years.
Was that a stretch?
Irregardless, the PopTech team and vast network of volunteers, sponsors and partners have pulled together amazing gatherings, projects, conversations and programs that extend throughout the year.
Alphachimp Studio is proud to play a small part at these many gatherings, big and small. Most recently, we participated in the Ecomaterials Lab Innovation Lab at Harvard Medical School in Boston.
America stands at a complex crossroads, economically, technologically, socially and geopolitically. Major forces are reshaping the idea of America, its government’s contract with its citizens, its brand, and its role in the world. And there is not a single global challenge that can be addressed without it.
Alphachimp Studio is on-site in Camden for the 6th year to capture each speaker's vision of an America re-imagined.
Peter Durand from Alphachimp @ Pop!Tech from Poptech on Vimeo. Peter Durand from Alphachimp illustrates Stephen Badylak's lecture on regenerative medicine. From Pop!Tech Blogger Michelle Riggen-Ransom:
If you’re with us in Maine, you’ve probably noticed the colorful illustrations hanging on the walls of the third floor break room. If you’re not, you can take a look at them here.
These illustrations are the work of artist Peter Durand of Alphachimp Studio. Peter has set up an easel on the balcony of the Opera House, where he busily creates illustrations that capture the key elements of each presentation.
Peter let me peek over his shoulder while he illustrated a session. It happened to be Stephen Badylak’s talk on The Edge of Medicine. While images of exploded horse faces and dismembered fingers flashed on the screen, Peter managed to turn Badylak’s fascinating lecture on regenerative medicine into the illustration above. Watch a short video of his process here and see how language becomes visual art.
Bill Shannon | Shannon Arts
Here’s a partial list of attributes you must possess to be Bill Shannon: a sense of wonder, a curiosity about what it means to be human, a skateboard, an interest in furthering the dialectic of art in performance, several hundred thousand YouTube hits, discipline, rocker-bottom crutches, a hip-hop soundtrack, and the remnants of Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease. Bill’s work is based on street performance, club culture, and the fine arts. His performance and video work have been presented nationally and internationally over the past ten years at numerous venues, festivals, and events. He has exhibited at the Tate Liverpool Museum and has choreographed specific elements of Cirque du Soleil’s production of Varekai. Bill’s work can be described as part break dancing, part social experiment. “I create performances that stand in for real life,” he says. “I need to do this because in real life, I often experience genuine acts of Good Samaritanism as obstacles.”
There is a whole lot of stuff going on this week in the realm of sharing big ideas and visual learning.
First, the International Forum of Visual Practitioners is gathered in Santa Fe, New Mexico to share insight, technology and techniques of graphic recording and facilitation.
So a big shout out to members of our network who are in attendance!
Second, there is a lots of mindblowing stuff being presented in Camden, Maine at Pop!Tech.
Topics include the health of the world's oceans, mapping emotions, the pursuit of happiness, plus remarkable social innovations in lighting, health care and sustainable cities (in China!).
As "house artist", I am perched in the box seat (stage left) working in a mobile painting studio, and producing a painting for each presenter. You can see a Flickr slideshow fo the behind the scenes action here.
Most interesting, you can see real-time videos uploaded by participants using Nokia video phones here. Inclduing a tour of the secret Alphachimp Mobile Paint Studio set up in the Camden Opera House. see video >>
You can peruse all the videos being uploaded by the intriguing characters who make up the sudience and speakers at this incredible event here.
By far, the best on-line capture is being done by bloggers like Ethan Zuckerman.
From PopTech 2004, Malcolm Gladwell takes the lessons of psychology and sociology and applies them to business in ways we’ve never thought of before. Here, he deep-dives into the world of office chair invention and soft drink taste tests to answer the question, “Can we believe what people tell us?”
See more Pop!Casts >>
Exposure to the people and ideas that appear both on the Pop!Tech stage and in the audience have changed the course of my life. In this forum, groundshifting concepts on energy, demographics, technology, design and society are shared, and only months--or years!--later do they end up arriving as front page news announcing that a new worldview has arrived.
Pop!Tech, the extraordinary thought leadership forum and social innovation network that I'm involved with, has just released it's first twenty-two Pop!Casts -- free, online video and audio presentations that you can watch online or download to your iPod!
Available at www.poptech.org/popcasts, and on iTunes, the Pop!Casts feature provocative and engaging presentations from leading and emerging thinkers from many different fields -- and we'll be releasing new ones ever two weeks throughout the rest of the year!
The initial batch includes fantastic presentations by such renowned folks as:
Thomas Friedman — Pulitzer Prize winning author and New York Times Columnist.
Serena Koenig — Global health leader and Director of Haiti Programs for Partners in Health
Brian Eno — One of the world's leading pop musicians
Richard Dawkins — World renowned biologist and evolutionary theorist
Zinhle Thabethe — Renowned AIDS activist from South Africa
Chris Anderson — Editor in Chief of Wired magazine and author of "The Long Tail"
Sinikithemba Choir Performance — South African Choir of Zulu men and women who provide support to persons with HIV/AIDS
Bunker Roy — Founder of the Barefoot College in Tilonia, India
Carolyn Porco — Chief Imaging Scientist on the Cassini Mission to Saturn
Erin McKean —Editor-in-chief of U.S. Dictionaries for Oxford University Press and self-proclaimed "word geek"
Juan Enriquez — Leading futurist and bestselling writer on the future of nations
Neil Gershenfeld — Director of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms
Jonathan Coulton — Singer/Songwriter and the official Pop!Tech Balladeer
Thomas Barnett — Strategist and expert on national security and best-selling author
Jesse Sullivan and Todd Kuiken —Jesse Sullivan and his doctor, Todd Kuiken, work together to make Jesse the world’s first bionic man
Martin Marty — One of the most prominent interpreters of religion and culture
Theo Jansen — Dutch "kinetic sculptor" who creates wind-powered robotic "animals"
Marcia McNutt — Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute director
Reggie Watts - Human Beat-Box Polymath Musician and Comedian
Marian Weems — Artistic director of the new media theater ensemble The Builders Association
Homaro Cantu —Inventor, entrepreneur and molecular gastronomist
Lester Brown — Preeminent environmentalist and head of the Earth Policy Institute
Kent Nichols — Co-Creator of the wildly popular website and podcast AskaNinja.com
These Pop!Casts are brimming with ground-breaking ideas, and are being made available to the world with the help of our friends at Lexus, with production support from Yahoo! To encourage their distribution, we're releasing all of these as open-source, non-commercial Creative-Commons licensed content.
You can also subscribe to Pop!Casts within iTunes -- available by going here: