PopTech Blog

Posts by Emily Qualey

This week in PopTech: Doctors, protesters and monkeys

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.

  • With yesterday's announcement of his new company, Sherpaa, Dr. Jay Parkinson (PopTech 2008) continues to re-imagine the patient/doctor experience by making a network of hand-picked health professionals chosen for quality, communication skills, personality, and mission accessible to those who are interested in a type of curated health care. 
  • Author of the Guardian’s weekly ”Bad Science” column and Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks, British physician Ben Goldacre (PopTech 2010) announced this week that he's taking to the stage for a run of live "nerd shows" called Uncaged Monkeys in December. 

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Image: Cindy B

This week in PopTech: Timelines, profiles and small fixes

Reach for the sun

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.

  • GOOD profiles 2011 Social Innovation Fellow Paul Needham who founded Simpa Networks, which sells high quality solar energy systems on a pay-as-you-go basis to underserved people in emerging markets.
  • Five years later, code-monkey turned singer-songwriter, Jonathan Coulton (PopTech 2006), reflects on "Summer’s Over", the last song he wrote for his Thing a Week project. 
  • Brilliance, a product of 2011 Social Innovation Fellow Krista Donaldson's organization, D-Rev, was featured in The New York Times "Small Fixes" section. 

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Image: Chalocuaz

This week in PopTech: Magic, genius and angels

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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Image: The Magic of Reality

This week in PopTech: Movies, magazines, books and more

I love your work

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.

  • The art show “Social Media,” featuring selected works by Jonathan Harris (PopTech 2007) opened on Thursday at the Pace Gallery in Chelsea, New York. The show also includes work by David Byrne, Miranda July, Harrell Fletcher, Christopher Baker, Penelope Umbrico, and others.
  • Congratulations to Laura Stachel (2010 Social Innovation Fellow, PopTech 2011), founder of WE CARE Solar, which designs suitcase sized solar powered systems that power lighting and communication equipment to provide emergency care for mothers and infants. She was just named a 2011 Tech Awards Laureate
  • Finally, great news from re:char, founded by 2009 PopTech Fellow Jason Aramburu. Now anyone can purchase re:char's award winning Climate Kiln, which allows you to make your own biochar at home from leaves, yard trimmings, wood scraps or even cardboard/paper waste. 

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Image: Jonathan Harris

This week in PopTech: Synthetic biology, improvised cello and 9/11 tribute

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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Image: Six Word Memoirs and Need to Know

This week in PopTech: Interviews galore!

EteRNA screenshot

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.

  • Adrien Treuille (2011 Science Fellow), an assistant professor of computer science and robotics at Carnegie Mellon University and creator of Foldit and EteRNA, computer games that challenge citizen scientists to design protein and RNA strands, tells Smart Planet that when it comes to protein folding problems, untrained online gamers are more talented than even the best computer programs. 
  • This week Smart Planet also interviews Jessika Trancik (2011 Science Fellow) an assistant professor in the Engineering Systems Division of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who wants to speed up the clean energy development process. Trancik explains how she seeks out the best technologies for mitigating climate change and finds ways to help them evolve even faster.
  • Stephanie Coontz, a professor of history and family studies and author of Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage, challenges the current state of feminism in an interviewed with Guernica this week, saying that a focus on empowering women is not enough and that maintaining a social safety net for all Americans is the root of the problem.

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Image: EteRNA

This week in PopTech: Stories of fact, fiction and future

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.

  • Cowbird is a new online storytelling project by Jonathan Harris (PopTech 2007). Harris talks to our friends at frog design about this new direction of digital storytelling. "Cowbird," he explains, "is basically a storytelling platform that people can use to tell stories online using photos, sound maps, timelines, videos, and casts of characters. It’s geared towards long-form narrative, so...it encourages introspection. But the second part of it is the interesting part, which is that when many different people tell stories, the system automatically finds connections between them and weaves them together into a kind of meta-story. In the long-term, it will hopefully become like a reference library for real-life experiences the same way we have public libraries for science, math, and historical fact." 
  • Pioneering epidemiologist Dr. Ian Lipkin (PopTech 2008) was a major scientific contributor and advisor on the production of the Warner Bros. movie “Contagion," which will be released at theaters on September 9, 2011. He was recently interviewed for a documentary that speaks to the subject of epidemic outbreaks and how such outbreaks would and could be managed. The footage is raw, but entirely fascinating. 
  • In an article on CNN's Global Public Square, 2011 PopTech presenter Jan Chipchase unpacks exactly what it will mean to be immediately identified by anyone with a camera phone via facial recognition technology. The revolution may not be televised, but it will be photographed, aggregated and searchable and, like it or not, it's here to stay.

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Image: Qiagen

This week in PopTech: Night lights, cool covers and mobilizing secrets

LA Light Still

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 his latest project, 2010 PopTech speaker Colin Rich sought to capture the electric radiance of Los Angeles at night. If you ask us, he totally succeeded
  • Collector of secrets, Frank Warren (PopTech 2008) has collaborated with Flavorpill to go mobile with PostSecret. The brand new PostSecret app will be released at an event at the Bell House in New York on August 29th.
  • OK Go (PopTech 2010) joins musicians Andrew Bird, Weezer, My Morning Jacket and others to contribute to "The Green Album," a new collection of Muppets covers. Listen to OK Go's version of the Muppet Show theme song and explore the rest of the album on NPR
  • Sinan Aral (2010 Science Fellow) has published "The Diversity-Bandwidth Tradeoff." The findings from he and his co-author Marchall W. Van Alstyne serve as "...‘proof-of-concept’ for using email content data to analyze relationships among information flows, networks and social capital." Want more? Download the paper and let Sinan know what you think!

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Image: Colin Rich

This week in PopTech: Healthy food, new music and old men

Carrots of many colors

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.

  • Founder and CEO of Growing Power, Will Allen (PopTech 2009), has received the James Beard Foundation Leadership Award for his work as a farmer and community activist dedicated to supporting low-income and small family farmers who bring healthy, affordable food to urban areas. 
  • Economist and MacArthur "genius award" winner Esther Duflo (PopTech 2009) is featured in Fast Company for using free lentils and flatware as incentives to encourage India's poor to immunize their children. 
  • This week professor of history and family studies, Stephanie Coontz (PopTech 2009, 2012) contributed to The New York Times' Room for Debate: Is America Ready for More Old Men? Coontz responded, "Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves."

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Image: Stephen Ausmus

This week in PopTech: Cartoons, music and digital culture

Howtoons Summer

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.

  • Interdisciplinary artist Hasan Elahi (PopTech 2006), whose work examines issues of surveillance, simulated time, transport systems, borders and frontiers, was named the new director of Digital Cultures and Creativity at the University of Maryland. 
  • We're young at heart, so we're loving Saul Griffith's (PopTech 2008) Howtoons, cartoons that teach kids how to build things, by combining instructions with storytelling. Summer just got a little more fun with this homemade underwater scope

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Image: Howtoons