Nuance (noun): a subtle distinction or variation; a sensibility to, awareness of, or ability to express delicate shadings (Merriam-Webster). A pathway, an affirmation, a learned approach to “Finding Balance in an Imbalanced World” (PopTech).
In PopTech’s spirit of community gathering, we’re scaling back to make more room for vibrant interactions and conversations in the intimacy of The REACH at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Attendance is limited to 150, so don’t delay your registration!
Our 2023 campus
Convening in dynamic, iconic spaces is a signature of PopTech and the REACH is no exception. Set on the campus of The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and along the Potomac River, The REACH provides a tranquil space that promotes collaboration and experimentation consistent with President Kennedy’s vision for a new frontier in the arts and diplomacy.
This event is an external rental presented in coordination with the Kennedy Center Campus Rentals Office and is not produced by the Kennedy Center.
We focus on contrarian thinkers, not those on the typical conference circuit. PopTech has a reputation for spotting early talent who then become globally known. This year is no exception.
Randomized lunches and after-hours
The most beloved part of the PopTech experience is the randomized lunch. We provide delicious food, a seating chart, and a fantastic lunch host. You will make great connections! In the evening we’ll point you to a few fun spots and leave the rest to you. After-hours meet-ups are always a blast.
Field trips and small group sessions
Learn by doing! We’re planning field trips to unique spots around DC, taking advantage of the great outdoors, and partnering with best-in-class facilitators and guides to bring the talks you hear to life.
Expanding world views
When the world gets polarized, it’s time for a good debate. The best way to explore and dissect a topic is by hearing all viewpoints. Don’t worry, we’re committed to politely agreeing to disagree.
“I come to PopTech for a sneak preview of our best possible future.”
– Yohan Perera, Participant
“The difference here is the community, Every time I come I get out of here with a few extra friends.”
– Dan Ariely, Speaker
“PopTech opened the doors to new clients, and more importantly, set the stage for collaborative endeavors with those we met.”
– Christine Congdon, Partner
“The breadth and diversity of expertise we were introduced to was unsurpassed.”
– Lorrie Vogel, Partner
Topics we're exploring
At PopTech, curation is a team sport guided by a generous group of trendspotters captivated by intersectionality and the thrill of new frontiers. Here’s a sampling of topics we’ll be exploring under the guise of Nuance:
AI: Promise or peril • Creativity: Pragmatism • Climate: Rights of nature • Access: Intersectionality • Well-Being: Outdoors • Work: A vibrant hybrid reality • Loneliness: Epidemic of despair • Resuscitate: Nuanced thinking
And that’s not all! We love to surprise you. We don’t announce all of our topics and speakers at once. We do it on a rolling basis because the world is always changing. You’ll find regular updates here on our website, in the PopTech newsletter, and via our social media channels.
From scientists and artists to humanitarians and explorers of galaxies, PopTech has a refreshing curatorial sensibility that gives voice to today’s most catalytic movement-makers. From scientists and artists to humanitarians and explorers of galaxies, PopTech has a refreshing curatorial sensibility that gives voice to today’s most catalytic movement-makers.
2023 Speakers, Moderators & Guides
Speakers are updated regularly leading up to the conference! Subscribe to our newsletter and stay informed.
Field trips, immersives, and workshops
We find value in creating immersive experiences that bring talks to life and open doors to new experiences, fostering lifelong connections along the way. Here’s a snapshot of what’s in store so far. We’ll be adding to the list in the weeks to come.
Connecting the human brain to digital devices is now a reality. Moran Cerf will lead a visit to The Brain Computer Interface Exhibit at the AAAS Gallery.
A walk in the wild. Immersion in the natural world fundamentally changes how we interact with it and makes us healthier, smarter, and more content. Join a guided hike in one of DC’s National Parks.
Up for birding? From patches of grasslands to forests and rivers, the city’s parks offer a wide range of habitats for resident and migratory birds all year long. Don’t forget binoculars and the Merlin app.
Reimagine, reinterpret, and reclaim the past and present for a more empowering future for Black Americans with an immersive visit to the Afrofuturism Exhibit at the National Museum of African American History & Culture.
Looking for innovative solutions to hard problems? Check out MITRE’s Innovation Toolkit to help you do exactly that. This interactive session is a guided speed-run through several tools, with applications ranging from ideation to analysis to strategy. The MITRE team is sending you home with goodies to support your teams back home.
There is a lot to learn from failure! Take in the Early Flight exhibit at the Air and Space Museum guided by Dan Ward of MITRE. You’ll also get an autographed copy of Dan’s book LIFT which is full of lively stories of failed aviation experiments and practical innovation lessons we can use today.
Tour one of the world's most dynamic research epicenters at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Explore Building 201, their Research and Exploratory Development Department (REDD) - a powerhouse of multidisciplinary thinkers ever focused on groundbreaking discoveries, led by Steve Blair, CannonDesign and Sam Leckrone, REDD team.
Partnership makes PopTech possible
Each year, PopTech invites a small number of value-aligned corporations, foundations, and agencies to lend support to the conference, uniting a diverse expertise pool to share knowledge, inspire new ways of thinking, and generate new insights. We are grateful for their generosity and support.
Kimberley Gardiner • Raj Gollamudi • Jackie & Paul Schaeffer Foundation • Leetha Filderman
Interested in partnering with PopTech?
We have a few amazing opportunities available for 2023. We look forward to exploring options with you!
Things to know
It’s easy, you can register online. The registration fee is $1600, of which $600 represents a tax-deductible contribution. Registrations are non-refundable but can be transferred should you be unable to attend. Sharing a registration is not permissible. For student, NGO, or group rates please drop us a note at [email protected]. We’re happy to help!
Registration includes access to all conference activities, including talks and immersive activities, the opening cocktail party on 10/24, and lunch on each of the program days, 10/25-26.
PopTech is noted for its authenticity and its “take action” ethos. Calling it a conference misses the mark – it’s the annual gathering of a diverse and curious community committed to provocation, inspiration, and the greater good. Forbes has called PopTech “A mix between Burning Man, summer camp, and the Manhattan Project.”
Getting to DC
DC is served by all major airlines with the closest airport being DCA, located 20 minutes from The REACH by cab, ride-share, or the Metro. For those traveling within the northeast corridor, AmTrak is a great option, with arrivals at DC’s Union Station also a short cab or Metro ride from The REACH.
The REACH is located at the junction of the West End and Georgetown neighborhoods of DC. The following properties are within a 5-15 minute walk of The REACH: Yours Truly, River Inn, Hotel Hive, Arc Hotel, Hyatt Place West End, Hilton Garden Inn Georgetown, Ritz-Carlton West End, and The Watergate Hotel. October is a busy month in DC, so we encourage you to reserve lodging well in advance. PopTech does not have preferred rate arrangements with lodging establishments.
Getting around DC
DC is a walkable city with lovely neighborhoods. There is excellent access to ride-share services, Capital Bike Share, the Metro, and municipal buses. There is Metro service to and from DCA and Union Station with the closest Metro stop to The REACH being Foggy Bottom/GWU. If you choose to drive, there is paid parking available at The REACH.
The REACH at The Kennedy Center strives to make its facilities accessible to all and is built in compliance with ADA accessibility standards. If you have specific questions or needs, please reach out to us via CONTACT at the bottom of this page. We are committed to making your PopTech experience comfortable and accessible.
For everything else
Please be in touch via CONTACT. We are here to help!
We look forward to hearing from you.
P.O. Box 1405
Camden, Maine 04843
You can tweet at us (@poptech).
Or, you can fill out the contact form below.