Jay Silver spoke at PopTech 2012 about Makey Makey, an invention that turns everyday objects like bananas into a computer keyboard. He is featured in a new CNN piece.
Clear the rest of your afternoon, because we’ve launched our third Edition!
Each PopTech Edition explores an emerging theme at the edge of change from the perspective of some of the remarkable innovators shaping it. In this Edition, we examine evolving techniques to accurately gauge the real impact of initiatives and programs designed to do social good.
Features in Edition III include:
- Ned Breslin weighs in on why it is sometimes necessary to monitor work for very long periods of time.
- In an interview, Dean Karlan discusses the importance of conducting field trials to evaluate efforts — and describes when it is not a good idea.
- Jenny Stefanotti explains to readers how to ask the appropriate questions when trying to measure results.
- In his piece, Jaspal S. Sandhu writes about building feedback into the design process to maximize the chance of success.
- Aishwarya Lakshmi Ratan shares how to properly design a clinical trial to evaluate outcomes.
- PopTech’s own Andrew Zolli explores some common mistakes to look out for when trying to gauge impact.
This publication will fill a much-needed gap in the social innovation/social entrepreneurship market, one which is currently dominated by books which - often at no fault of their own - give the impression that meaningful change is only possible if you’re an MBA, or a geek, or have money or influence, or a carefully laid out five-year master plan, or all five. By highlighting the stories of ten ordinary yet remarkable individuals, and the impact their work is collectively having on hundreds of millions of people around the world, “Rise of the Reluctant Innovator” will show us that anything is possible, planning isn’t everything, and that anyone anywhere can change their world for the better.
A moss-covered table that harnesses electricity from photosynthesis to power small electronics (called “photovoltaics”) and a fiber-optic chandelier that shines through petri dishes of customizable bacterial cultures from this awesome New York Times article on science and design in the home. Don’t miss the slideshow.
By Ken Banks (PopTech 2012)
Yes, we should provide local entrepreneurs and grassroots nonprofits with tools—and where appropriate and requested, expertise—but we shouldn’t develop solutions to problems we don’t understand. We shouldn’t take ownership of a problem that isn’t ours, and we certainly shouldn’t build “solutions” from thousands of miles away and then jump on a plane in search of a home for them.
Development is at a watershed moment, powered by accessible and affordable liberating technologies and an emerging army of determined, local talent. This local talent is gradually acquiring the skills, resources, and support it needs to take back ownership of many of its problems—problems of which it never took original ownership because those skills and resources were not available. Well, now they are.
Equations and Sketches by Richard Feynman, a reminder that discovery often comes when we expand our mind beyond the simple figures and equations, and into the imagination.
Science is an inherent contradiction — systematic wonder — applied to the natural world. In its mundane form, the methodical instinct prevails and the result, an orderly procession of papers, advances the perimeter of knowledge, step by laborious step. Great scientific minds partake of that daily discipline and can also suspend it, yielding to the sheer love of allowing the mental engine to spin free. And then Einstein imagines himself riding a light beam, Kekule formulates the structure of benzene in a dream, and Fleming’s eye travels past the annoying mold on his glassware to the clear ring surrounding it — a lucid halo in a dish otherwise opaque with bacteria — and penicillin is born. Who knows how many scientific revolutions have been missed because their potential inaugurators disregarded the whimsical, the incidental, the inconvenient inside the laboratory?
Self-taught African Teen Wows M.I.T. (by thnkrtv)
15-Year-Old Kelvin Doe is an engineering whiz living in Sierra Leone who scours the trash bins for spare parts, which he uses to build batteries, generators and transmitters. Completely self-taught, Kelvin has created his own radio station where he broadcasts news and plays music under the moniker, DJ Focus.