Stars of Pop!Tech

October 26, 2004

in Strategic Foresight

There are a few presenters I’d like to single out at Pop!Tech for sheer brilliance, something new, or just plain guts. I’ve noted a few links and for now you can access a few MP-3’s here on the web. Pop!tech’s overall format mentored by Bob Metcalfe comprised of two or three presenters per session, and then the usual expert panel questions moderated by Bob with a few limited questions from the audience.

Poptech 01_introduction.jpg

The best overall session in my book was the first one on day one. It’s what every conference wants. It set the stage with Joel Garreau, Malcolm Gladwell and Frans de Waal who introduced the art of chimpanzee politics, power and fairness. Malcolm Gladwell was also brilliant on “preferences”. I will pre-order his new book “Blink” (The Tipping Point was a favorite)and you can listen here.

Thomas Barnett: Put his blog on your read list. You can listen here. Ethan Zuckerman sums it up perfectly and made a brilliant presentation captured in more detail by David Weinberger .

I could go on. Here is a collection that links to all the graphic artwork created by Peter Durand. Richard Florida, Janine Benyus, Ben Saunders, Spencer Wells.

I really enjoyed Ben Saunders presentation. It was simply inspiring. Ben Saunders Alex Steffan from World Changing one of my favorite blogs— Listen here.

Where did Pop!Tech fall short on presenters? Janine Benyus was the only woman this year and I know the organizers know this. More foreigners would be appropriate. Coming out of the presentations a theme for India, China, Brazil, and Africa emerged that suggested conferences need new solutions for bringining in more foreign input. Dina Mehta made this point perfectly. I think there are some format changes that could help here. There’s no way that a US based researcher can tell the story with the impact of someone that lives there. I have a few ideas for Dina that I’ll post separately..

This criticism is a little unfortunate, for one of the real benefits of Pop!Tech was how it enable and brings together a great audience. Audiences make conferences. I’d guess 40% women, and while the average age was probably late 40’s the ushers where design students and there were many local people that had been coming and bringing their kids since Pop!Tech kicked off eight years ago. In that alone Pop!Tech has created a community. Add in the venue and you quickly understand why people go back year after year. I’m certainly hoping to go back next year.

For now like Scheherazade I am in a state of PopTech recovery.

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