PopTech Blog

Posts by Emily Qualey

This week in PopTech: Live shows and the lives of brains

Incognito

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 live in Miami or Salt Lake City, tickets are on sale now for a live showing of Radio Lab, whose co-host Jad Abumrad shared examples of how sound has been used to make scientific strides at PopTech 2010. If you want RadioLab to come to your town, be sure to let them know. 

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: Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain

This week in PopTech: Fortune, genomes and tons of data

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.

  • When PopTech volunteer Brent Danley prompted his 12-year-old daughter Skye to choose one PopTech speaker who she'd like to meet, she picked 2010 presenter and 2009 Science Fellow Sarah Fortune. Danley, who met Fortune at those two previous PopTech conferences, scheduled a family field trip to Fortunes' lab at Harvard. Read more about their trip here
  • Erik Hersman (PopTech 2011) wrote a guest blog post on PBS' Idea Lab blog, explaining SwiftRiver, a free and open source intelligence platform that helps people curate and make sense of large amounts of information in a short period of time
  • Designer Nicholas Felton (PopTech 2009) was recently interviewed by Substratum and divulged how he became a designer/artist, how working in a community influences approach and how his design goals have changed over time. Previous interviews feature PopTech speakers Heather Knight (PopTech 2010) and Zach Lieberman (PopTech 2009). 
  • Using genomes as an archeological record, PopTech 2011 Science Fellow Pardis Sabeti studies the patterns of natural selection. Sabeti is currently leading development of a new massive scientific data-mining tool. 

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: SwiftRiver/Ushahidi

This week in PopTech: Stories of health, language and living

Dualingo

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.

  • PopTech 2009 speaker Luis von Ahn invented ReCaptcha, a program that uses squiggly characters that humans easily decipher but blocks spambots – and helped digitize millions of old texts. The CMU professor has also made games like Duolingo, that let you learn a language for free, while simultaneously translating the Web. To learn French or Spanish sign up for the private beta, which just recently opened to the public.
  • If you're in New York, check out this very special production of PopTech 2011 Social Innovation Fellow Bryan Doerries' Theater of War with Tuesday's Children this Sunday, December 10th. 
  • What happens when ambitious and talented data scientists are connected with social organizations rife with data but lacking resources to do anything with it? PopTech 2011 Social Innovation Fellow Jake Porway’s Data Without Borders helps bring these two groups together, using data in the service of humanity to design transformative visualizations and decision-making tools. This week FastCo Exist examined a few examples of Data Without Borders at work.
  • Jonathan Harris (PopTech 2007) has announced the launch of Cowbird, a community of storytellers, focused on deeper, longer-lasting, more personal storytelling than you're likely to find anywhere else on the Web. Listen to Harris discuss Cowbird in this interview on PRI. 

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: Dualingo

This week in PopTech: Cloud forests, think tanks and live performances

Lifeboat

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.

  • In last week's T MagazineAnthony Doerr (PopTech 2009) ventures to Ecuador to explore a cloud forest. For a ten minute vacation, click on through

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: Lifeboat


This week in PopTech: Bad science, DNA sequencing and the Toaster Project's Colbert Report debut

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.

  • 2011 Social Innovation Fellow Krista Donaldson runs D-Rev: Design Revolution, which creates world class products designed for the developing world. Donaldson talks to Next Billion about what it takes to design for impact
  • This week we posted an interview with Jonathan Rothberg (PopTech 2011), inventor of high-speed DNA sequencing. Among other things, he explains how much it actually costs to sequence a genome. 
  • In 2010 David de Rothschild (PopTech 2010) built the Plastiki, a boat made from 12,000 plastic bottles. In it, he and his crew of nautical nomads sailed halfway around the world to alert the public about this ecological crisis and the need to reuse discarded plastics. Plastiki & The Material of The Future is a new documentary that takes a closer look at the adventure.

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This week in PopTech: Quotable and notable

eL Seed PopTech 2011

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.

Give back to the world at least what you’ve received.

—French-Tunisian artist eL Seed’s thoughtful and fitting work of graffiti and Arabic calligraphy, produced during the PopTech 2011 conference, aptly expresses our shared commitment to positive action in support of world-changing people, projects and ideas.

When you do things on a small scale, you have to understand every part of the process. The smaller the scale you want to work on, the further back in time you have to go. There is such a lot of effort and intelligence and history that go into something as simple as a toaster.

Thomas Thwaites at PopTech 2011. If you enjoyed his PopTech talk, you'll love his new book entitled, The Toaster Project

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This week in PopTech: PopTech-ers making news

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.

  • Sarah Fortune's (2010 Science Fellow) collaboration with Crowdflower, a company that facilitates crowdsourcing small data tasks for people to solve, was featured in FastCo Exist for the success they've had with a protocol that is able to identify TB bacteria via crowdsourcing. Fortune says, "I consider it a workhorse tool for my research, and I personally conceive of it as a workhorse tool for biology in general." 
  • In more crowdsourcing science news, Adrien Treuille (2011 Science Fellow) was interviewed by Forbes about the games he builds to solve biochemistry problems. 
  • The Daily Beast profiled 2009 Social Innovation Fellow Hayat Sindi who launched i2, the Institute for Imagination and Ingenuity, at PopTech 2011. Dr. Sindi created the institute to bridge the gap between education and opportunity in the Middle East.
  • A new study that examines how fossils, climate records and DNA reveal the unpredictability of Ice Age die-offs was published in Nature and written by evolutionary biologist Beth Shapiro (2010 Science Fellow). The results from Shapiro and her colleagues have taken the science news media by storm with stories appearing everywhere from ABC Science Online to USA Today
  • CNN was in Camden for PopTech 2011 and chose a handful of speakers that they deemed the "5 most fascinating people you've never heard of." The list includes the "real life batman," a game designer, a connector and advocate for 'maker' culture, and the locust whisperer. Curious to find out more? Click through for the complete list and more, including video. 

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: FastCo Exist

PopTech 2011 through your eyes

More than ever, technology allows us to easily share our experiences, and the photographic documentation of PopTech 2011 was no exception. We've taken a peek at Flickr, Twitter, Instagram and in our email boxes and we're excited to reveal the best of PopTech, through your eyes. 

Camden at dawn

Camden harbor at dawn by Maria Popova

Camden Opera House by Brent Danley

Camden Opera House by Brent Danley

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If you missed it: PopTech 2011 interstitial videos

The World Rebalancing, by M ss ng P eces 

During the PopTech conference last week, we showed an interstitial video prior to each session to segue into a new group of talks. If you saw a video onstage or during the Livestream that you'd like to see again, we've compiled them here for your viewing pleasure!

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This week in PopTech: It's conference time

Next week our annual showcase of world-changing people, projects and ideas commences in Camden, ME. Whether you're joining us in Camden or watching the livestream at home, a handful of ways to maximize your PopTech 2011 experience follows.

  • We've compiled a cohesive PopTech 2011 Twitter list that includes PopTech staff, speakers, performers, Fellows and participants. If you're attending PopTech 2011, have a Twitter account, and you'd like to be added, let us know!
  • The official hashtag for this year's conference is #PopTech2011.
  • Carpool to PopTech 2011 by connecting on Twitter with the hashtag #PopTechCarpool or on this Facebook thread.
  • If you are a Foursquare user, subscribe to our #PopTech2011 list for tips on where to find Wifi, a great cup of coffee or good eats. 
  • We are proud to present the PopTech Film Series—an evening of screenings and discussions to explore the power of film to tell stories and generate lasting social change. This event is free and open to the public. The PopTech Film Series takes place on Friday October 21 at 7:30 pm at the Camden Opera House, 29 Elm Street.

Image: PopTech Instagram