poptech 2011 = inspiration

poptech 2011 = inspiration

Today, Poptech posted videos from all of the talks from their 2011 conference in Camden, ME. I had the amazing fortune of being in attendance, courtesy of my friend Dan Barasch, Poptech’s Vice President of Strategic Partnerships.(Thank you, Dan.)

If you’re looking for a little inspiration, check out the full roster. Meanwhile, these are the talks that inspired me:

  • Stephanie Coontz rattles off shocking stats with the best of them. I’m a sucker for historical context (the recognition that the lens through which we see things is unique to our time—my favorite course in college was “The History of Childhood”) so it was inevitable that Coontz was going to draw me in.
  • I am also a sucker for bringing unlikely pairings of people together to make things happen (and I’ve worked with a number of organizations fighting the TB pandemic), so I loved the tale of the union between Sarah Fortune (Harvard School of Public Health) and Lukas Biewald (Crowdflower). So simple. So perfect. So potentially transformative.
  • I love Adriane Herman’s work. I loved her talk. I love lists. I love Adriane Herman. I love that PopTech discovered her because she was posting her work on the coffee shop two doors down from the entrance to the Camden Opera House, PopTech’s home for a long weekend every year.
  • The New York Times didn’t give them such a great review, but I found Gideon Obarzanek and Reuben Margolin infectious, driven by a desire to collaborate with no preconceived notions of what their union would create. That’s brave. And kinda beautiful.
  • The notion of exploring new ideas via your body is something I can’t relate to at all, but would love to say I could. Tony Orrico is a marvel to watch. On top of that, in the TSA line at the Portland airport, Tony reminded me not to leave behind my laptop in the bin, so he’s also my technological guardian angel. I am now a life long fan.

Check out the other videos if you get the chance. And maybe I’ll see you in Camden next year.

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