About PopTech

We’re a global community of innovators, working together to expand the edge of change.

We live in an era in which humanity’s capabilities—and our challenges—are progressing faster than most of us can comprehend. As we confront the major issues of our century, we’ve never had better tools at our disposal, or a more pressing need to use them wisely.

Yet most efforts to create positive change remain locked in ‘silos of excellence’: public health experts talk (mostly) to other public health experts; designers talk to other designers; technologists talk to other technologists, and so on. This approach slows the spread of innovation from field to field, limits our awareness of what tools are even available, and throttles the pace of change.

The genius in the whitespaces

PopTech takes a different approach. We bring innovators together from many different fields—science, technology, design, corporate and civic leadership, public health, social and ecological innovation, and the arts and humanities, among others—in a network that complements the silos.

We convene this community in intimate, peer-level gatherings where participants can share their most provocative questions and their most promising new ideas, and begin to work together on new approaches to some of the world’s toughest challenges. In so doing, we constantly seek out the ‘genius in the white spaces,’—insights that can only be discovered when people from very diverse disciplines come together, and concepts from one field are ‘mashed up’ with those from another.

By design, all of our PopTech programs—from our Labs that investigate new domains with disruptive potential to one of our renowned annual conferences—share this eclectic and visionary spirit.

Creating real outcomes, together

While uncovering and sharing ideas is important, we believe only outcomes count. To create them, PopTech has built platforms for deep curated collaboration, focused on implementing the best ideas that emerge from our network. When we find a genuinely disruptive, unconventional approach that fits our criteria, we work comprehensively to implement it—bringing together carefully chosen, diverse teams of partners, securing resources where needed, facilitating the work and maintaining its spirit and integrity.

You can see this ethic of collaboration reflected in the many collaborative social innovation projects and initiatives we undertake around the world—from South Africa to Chicago.

Uncovering unusual suspects

Disruptive change is a talent business, and these kinds of collaborative approaches to innovation require attention. PopTech has developed a strong reputation for finding ‘unusual suspects’—innovators with extraordinary character and potential—and training them to become more effective leaders, communicators and collaborators.

This is what we do in our renowned Fellows programs for social innovators and working scientists.

Together, all of our programs form an end-to-end platform for bringing together remarkable people, uncovering breakthrough ideas from a wide variety of sources, training next-generation innovators, and converting the intelligence and capacity of a network of remarkable people into enduring and positive change. It’s a community that’s having real impact in the world. We invite you to join us!