from PopTech:

The education of John Legend

October 25, 2010

For someone who was home-schooled for a number of years, it's interesting that singer and six-time Grammy award winner John Legend spends what spare time he has reforming America's public schools. He is especially devoted to Deborah Kenny's Harlem Village Academies, a group of three charter schools in Harlem, New York.

from PopTech:

Leila Janah on Samasource

October 25, 2010

By Leila Janah, the founder of Samasource.

Over one billion people live in extreme poverty, subsisting on $1.25 a day or less. Among the Millennium Development Goals determined by world leaders in 2000 is a target to achieve “full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people.” Despite up to 90% literacy rates and increasing levels of per capita income being spent on higher education in developing countries, employment opportunities remain scarce, even in urban areas.

from PopTech:

Making it right in New Orleans

October 25, 2010

PopTech speaker Tom Darden is the executive director of the Make It Right Foundation, the organization started by Brad Pitt to rebuild affordable, green homes in New Orleans' lower ninth ward. Make It Right has already built 50 homes and are in the midst of construction for another 30. Their initial goal is to build a total of 150.

from PopTech:

The invisible gorilla in the room

October 23, 2010

How well do we pay attention, asks psychology professor at Union College and co-author of "The Invisible Gorilla" Christopher Chabris.

from PopTech:

David de Rothschild rethinks plastic

October 23, 2010

Plastic is everywhere. It is a pervasive part of our everyday lives. It's a huge source of waste and most of it is not even biodegradable. Worst of all, much of the plastic we throw out is designed to be used only once. So what can we do about a product that we use just one time and then never goes away?

from PopTech:

A ‘frozen mouth’ finds a voice in the jungle

October 22, 2010

As a child, Alan Rabinowitz had a severe stutter. So severe that he doesn't remember speaking his first sentence until he was 19 years old. He tried everything to get rid of what he called his "frozen mouth," including shock therapy at one point. Although he struggled to communicate with humans, Alan felt a poignant connection with big, wild cats.

from PopTech:

A new technology to monitor water

October 21, 2010

A new technology is being unveiled today that monitors water quality. FLOW, as it is known, is the brainchild of Ned Breslin, the CEO of Water For People, a non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of water and sanitation in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

from PopTech:

Does our economy make us happy?

October 19, 2010

FRANCE/

By Lisa Gansky

The opinions expressed are her own.

Does our economy make us happy?

The crash-and-burn of the financial system, a prolonged recession, and high unemployment obviously cause us enormous distress. We are forced to ask ourselves, “What can we afford now?”

from The Great Debate:

Does America need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission for torture?

By Reuters Staff
November 24, 2009

Paul van Zyl is the former executive secretary of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In this presentation to the Poptech conference, he argues that America must confront its own legacy of torture:

from Commodity Corner:

Michael Pollan: “What’s in the beef?”

November 12, 2009

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Photo by Kris Krüg

Where does your burger come from? Journalist and food writer Michael Pollan has traced back the source of much of what we eat, and says that the ultimate answer is oil. Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma, argues that it takes massive amounts of petroleum-derived fertilizers and pesticides to run industrial farms and feed lots, with dire consequences for human health and the Earth's climate.