Getting Ready for the Girl Effect

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.

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Awesome PopTech Acceleration Goodness

Like the crazy Rube Goldberg machine in this OK GO video, PopTech is a wonderful, eclectic mash-up of disperate moving part performing in orchestrated chaos to bring something wonderful to the world.

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.

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Pop!Tech 2009: America Reimagined

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.

Zoe Keating performs a unique, soulful "Amazing Grace" | Photo by Kris Klug

The speakers and performers at Pop!Tech this year are examining the questions: Is reinvention possible? What would it look like? Here’s the beginning of this conversation >>

Peter Durand illustrates in real-time a presentation using sumi ink, pastels and acrylic paint.

Alphachimp Studio is on-site in Camden for the 6th year to capture each speaker's vision of an America re-imagined.


The Reset Moment: Danny Ariely

View more PopTech art on Flickr >

Alphachimp @ Pop!Tech

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.


Pop!Tech 2007: Crutch Master

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.”

IFVP & Pop!Tech

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.

This year, the three-day big-ideas bonanza traverses "The Human Impact," digging deep into "some of the many ways human beings impact - and are impacted by - the world and each other." A rich and diverse group of speakers discusses each topic, from exploring the core source of ideas to the implementations and actual realization of ideas, and ultimately, how new and novel ideas and bottom-up thinking can and will change the world we live in.

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.

Photographer Chris Jordan Says "Stats Ain't Cutting It"

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Chris Jordan with an image depicting 8 million toothpicks, equal to the number of trees harvested in the US every month to make the paper for mail order catalogs.

Coming atcha from Pop!Tech. Catch it live -- hundreds of brainiacs eagerly consuming world-changing ideas over three days in Camden, Maine.

Seattle-based photographer and photographic artist Chris Jordan gave a great presentation today. He's vibrant, well-spoken and, despite saying all sorts of do-gooder stuff, still somehow comes across as cool. We think he rules and we've covered his stuff here and here, but let's give you a few highlights from his talk.

Or you can see his interview of the master of social probation--and candidate for president--Steven Cobert. see interview >>


Since 2004, I have had the privilege of being the Pop!Tech House Scribe, creating large paintings and drawings while lurking in the upper balcony of the Opera House in Camden, Maine.

[ see artwork from 2005 and 2006 ]

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.

Now you can see and hear these exciting and sobering presntations on-line. From Andrew Zolli, Chief Curator of the annual Pop!Tech conference:

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, 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

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: