Welcome to PopTech

October 18, 2010

PopTech-Logo---whiteThis week, PopTech, is hosting its annual conference in Camden, Maine from October 20-23. This year’s conference, centered around the theme of failure, is titled “Brilliant Accidents, Necessary Failures, and Improbable Breakthroughs.” As PopTech says, “In a complex and messy world, solutions to big challenges frequently follow unobvious paths to success.”

PopTech is bringing together “a network of visionary thinkers, leaders and doers in science, technology, design, the corporate and social sectors, entrepreneurship, education and the arts for a three-day, boundary-defying conversation about the nature of creative change.”

Speakers will include Lisa Gansky, author of “The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing,” Grammy award winning musician and education activist John Legend, CEO of Water For People Ned Breslin, Laura Poitras, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, and many more.

We have created a PopTech page on Reuters.com in order to showcase our interviews with the guest speakers and PopTech fellows, bring you live blogging from the conference, and have a place to upload video and photos of the event.

In the meantime, we will be posting stories and other video running up to the start of the conference on Thursday morning so please stay tuned throughout the week!

Here is a preview of the ideas that will be explored:

The Power of Failure:
In areas as widespread as education, business and government, what has to die so that the right things might live?

Innovation Mashups:
What do radically different disciplines – and ways of thinking – have to teach each other?

The Psychogeography of Ideas:
How does ‘cultural software’ – from our media to the built environment – shape our thinking?

The Exponent Effect:
Why do some ideas only work at a grand scale, and others only locally?

Complex Interventions:
How do we decide where to intervene in a complex system? How do we intervene in multiple places simutaneously?

The Power of Simplicity:
How do we get to what’s essential?

Strange Loops:
How do we deal with feedback loops and unintended consequences created by our efforts?

Architectures of Choice:

How can small changes to our ‘default’ options lead to breakthroughs?

The Heretic’s Path:
Every visionary starts as a heretic. How do ideas – and their champions – move from the edge to the center?


Try this “pop” idea! Come up with measures to stop institutionalize discrimination and prejudices, and maybe civilization will seize mono-limbed cornucopia endeavors, and break free of myopia and dearth truly innovative concepts. The world is persistently and pathetically Eurocentric in perspective. And conceptualizations are almost always immersed with these definitions. Why can’t we try new unconventional and unusual approaches that can allow each local to address their issues employing locally developed solutions? Far from any exponential innovativeness, this is the single largest inherent waste of resource in our collective endeavors!

Again, come up with a permanent measure to combat institutionalized prejudices, this is our most damaging force to conceptualization!

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