PopTech Blog

Additional speakers announced for PopTech Camden - including first ever female Olympic gold medalist for middleweight boxing!

Claressa Shields stepped into the boxing ring at the London Olympics August 9th and fired off a series of sharp combinations that dumbfounded Russian Nadezda Torlopova and won her the first gold medal ever awarded for women's middleweight boxing. At just 17, and with an incredible tale of personal resilience, she has risen to the top of the women’s boxing world in two short years, and is now an international star and an inspiration to millions of people.

PopTech is thrilled to announce that Shields joins a new round of speakers just added to this year’s convening in Camden, Maine. Other newly announced presenters include a world-class adaptive snowboarder who is a double-amputee and an expert in in climate mitigation and adaptation who teaches “experiential” environmental law courses.

Meet the latest presenters to join the PopTech Camden speaker lineup:

Vicki Arroyo is the executive director of the Georgetown Climate Center of Georgetown University Law Center. She specializes in climate mitigation and adaptation at the state and federal level, and teaches “experiential” environmental law courses.

Claressa Shields won the first gold medal ever for women’s middleweight boxing in the Olympics in London this past summer, marking her meteoric rise to the very top of international boxing in just two years. “Many Boxers are very fast or very strong,” the New Yorker wrote about Shields last May. “Shields is both.” Shields grew up in Flint, Michigan amid boarded-up houses and abandoned car factories. Her father spent nearly a decade in prison, and Shields lived with her grandmother and then an aunt. She trained in the basement of Berston Field House, which didn’t even have a speed bag. Her reservoir of resilience, determination, smarts, and talent is hard to fathom.

Amy Purdy is a world-class adaptive snowboarder who has won three back-to-back Paralympic World Cup gold medals and is currently training for the Paralympic Games. She is an “adaptive” snowboarder because at age 19 doctors amputated both her legs below the knee following complications from bacterial meningitis.

Interested in joining us? There's still time! Secure your ticket here

This week in PopTech: Mythologies of the not yet, building with biology and why things bounce back

There's always something brewing in the PopTech community. From the world-changing people, projects and ideas in our network, a handful of this week's highlights follows.

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New speakers added to PopTech Camden lineup!

PopTech is thrilled to announce a new round of speakers added to this year’s convening in Camden, Maine. New presenters include a civil rights leader and public health advocate, an epidemiologist who studies how traumatic events alter population health, and a former bank-thief-turned-neuroscientist who has shown how to project patients' thoughts onto a screen in front of their eyes by implanting electrodes deep inside their brains.

Our focus this year is on resilience: How do we become more resilient as individuals? How do we become a more resilient nation? What makes one institution capable of handling disruption while others collapse in the face of crisis? Other speakers include a distinguished Harvard professor who was told she'd never read or write, an expert on the innate human ability to survive trauma who has turned her attention to education reform, and an ecologist who combines biomechanics and paleontology to bolster coral reef survival. Each of our speakers bring unique expertise and fresh perspective to this important conversation.  

You'll enjoy three days of riveting presentations as well as quality interactions with your fellow participants. From workshops to randomly assigned lunches, wine and cheese gatherings to structured meetups, you'll engage with a wide array of fascinating people. Nobel Laureates, social innovators, designers, business leaders, scientists, and researchers are just a few of the types of individuals you’ll meet.

This year’s convening will be held October 17-20 in Camden, Maine, recently voted by Down East magazine readers as Maine’s prettiest village. Watch this video for a glimpse of what to expect. Join us for a special experience at PopTech during a beautiful time of year when the leaves change from green to gold.  

Meet the latest presenters to join the PopTech Camden speaker lineup:

  • Ken Banks, founder of kiwanja.net, leverages mobile technology for positive social and environmental change in the developing world. His most recent project, Means of Exchange, uses everyday technology to promote the use of local resources. 
  • Moran Cerf is a neuroscientist who has shown how to project patients' thoughts onto a screen in front of their eyes by implanting electrodes deep inside their brains and reading the activity of cells. Oh, and he used to rob banks.
  • Jason Hackenwerth creates stunning, large-scale, vibrant installations made with latex balloons that sometimes look like a cross between a rainbow-colored space amoeba, a floating internal organ, and a psychedelic dream. 
  • Peter Kareiva is the chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Kareiva is often noted for his emphasis on nature’s resiliency rather than its impending doom.
  • Steve Lansing is a senior fellow at the Stockholm Resilience Centre. He is working to help preserve the Byzantine system for distributing water from a volcanic lake in Bali to over two hundred farming villages. 
  • Jennifer Leaning is a doctor who conducts research on human rights and international humanitarian law in crisis settings. 
  • Ann Masten studies resilience in human development and how to promote success in young people exposed to poverty, homelessness, migration, disaster and war. 
  • Aaron Shirley is a doctor and civil rights leader who in 1965 became the first African-American to take a pediatrics residency at the University of Mississippi. 
  • Jay Silver invents cool stuff. He invented Makey Makey, a kit that allows users to turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet, like creating a working piano out of bananas. Time magazine named one of his inventions “Top 15 Toys for Young Geniuses.”
  • Jer Thorp is a data artist in residence at the New York Times who explores the boundaries between science, data, art, and culture. His work making sense of the deluge of information we are inundated with has appeared in the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan.
  • Julia Watson is an Australian landscape architect who researches sacred ecology, biological mimicry and ecosystem adaptations of traditional and indigenous peoples. Along with PopTech presenter Steve Lansing, Watson is involved in an effort to preserve an ancient water distribution system in Bali.

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This week in PopTech: Synth hacks, life design and personal analytics reports

There's always something brewing in the PopTech community. From the world-changing people, projects and ideas in our network, a handful of this week's highlights follows.

If you'd like to receive a stream of these updates (and more) throughout the week in real time, follow us on TwitterTumblrFacebook, sign up for our newsletter, and subscribe to the PopTech blog.

Image: Wolfram Alpha

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