Intro to PopTech 2010: Brilliant Accidents, Improbable Breakthroughs


Photo: Poptech

Yesterday, I traveled up to the ordinarily sleepy, but beautiful town of Camden, Maine to attend one of the most consistently exciting conferences of the year. Poptech brings together technology innovators, scientists, thought leaders, writers, and designers for a three-day event that focuses on the intersection of technology, culture, and sustainability. It's an event that's all about big ideas. This year, the theme is 'Brilliant Accidents, Necessary Failures, and Improbable Breakthroughs' -- suiting, to a year that has seen plenty of each (though maybe too many of the second). Here's a preview of what's in store:If you're so inclined, you can tune into the conference via streaming video at the Poptech website. I'll be sending off dispatches as the event proceeds as well -- there's plenty of cool non-conference stuff around too; I test drove the plug-in electric Prius yesterday -- but if you're following along at home with an interest in sustainability and green issues, these struck me as the standout talks to keep an eye out for (here's Poptech's standard non-green guide to watching the conference as well):

'Noise in the System' -- The first event greens should tune into, about the capacity for change in pre-established systems, just so happens to feature a discussion featuring TreeHugger founder Graham Hill.

'The Edge of Exploration' -- This talk ill feature, among other things, a recounting of the tale of the Plastiki voyage -- the boat built out of 12,000 plastic bottles that David de Rothschild and co. sailed across the Pacific Ocean.

'Collaborations for Change' -- Pretty self explanatory: I expect it shall tackle organizing various modes of cooperative action to achieve what we'd otherwise be unable to alone.

'Gulf Stories' -- I'm really looking forward to this conference in particular, having already written more about the BP Gulf spill this year than anyone should ever have to write about anything ever -- it will be interesting to get the Poptech take on it, and to find out what exactly the indie band OK Go is doing on the panel.

I'll be watching two intriguing talks on the last day of PopTech -- 'Corruption: Deception & Perception', 'Midshifts' -- with an eye to their relevance on climate change perceptions.

Poptech always provides plenty fodder for thought -- follow along I'll be reporting back with more, and grabbing interviews with notable folks whenever possible.

More on Poptech
Test Driving the 2012 Plug-in Electric Prius
Video: Thomas Friedman on "Green" at Pop!Tech
Pop!Tech Pop Quiz: Chris Page of Yahoo! (Video)
PopTech Turns Scientists into Rock Stars with New Fellows Program

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