Laura Kurgan

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Laura Kurgan teaches architecture at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where she is Director of Visual Studies and Co-Director of the Spatial Information Design Lab. Her interest here lies also at the intersection of political and ethical reform with innovative design strategies. The maps of “Million Dollar Blocks” (2005 – present), for instance, show how and where the government is spending more than one million dollars to incarcerate prisoners who live within a single census block or neighborhood.
  • Speaker PopTech 2009

Archived blog posts

Visualizing Data to Drive Social Change

Several weeks ago, PopTech held a Chicago salon that focused on social mapping, and the ability to leverage networked technologies and old-fashioned communication alike to express local knowledge and perceptions as well as economic data and other figures that are often otherwise practically inaccessible to citizens.

Two of the featured speakers offered ideas about

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Recap of the PopTech Social Mapping Salon

Recap of the PopTech Social Mapping Salon

Yesterday, PopTech convened a salon and workshop in Chicago on social mapping and social change.

During the day, workshop participants—including leading thinkers in mobile, geolocative services, social good, and philanthropy—discussed how their respective systems of organizing information and intervening in their local communities might fit together.

The day began at

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Celebrating Ada Lovelace Day

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, an “international day of blogging to celebrate the achievements of women in technology and science,” named for Ada, as she is widely known—the first computer programmer.

There are many women in the PopTech network creating amazing work in science and technology, leading the way; we are highlighting three today:

Neri

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VIDEO: Balance of Systems: PopTech 2009's Nocera, Kurgan, and Kuepper

“You’ve got to start from the bottom and work up. And if you don’t, I guarantee it will always be too costly.” Dan Nocera, PopTech 2009

With global leaders in discussions about climate change, PopTech releases three talks this week from energy researchers approaching the problem from other angles. MIT chemist Dan Nocera shows how we can move

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Session Four: The Invisible Made Visible

Session Four: The Invisible Made Visible

Aviva Presser Aiden & Hugo Van Vuuren

2009 Poptech Fellows Aviva Presser Aiden and Hugo Van Vuuren are the creators of Lebone, a dirt-powered battery. The battery, which was created for the base of the pyramid population, uses microbial fuel cells to generate energy. The batteries can currently power an LED light, and the goal is to soon be able to also power

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