I just got back from two very intense weeks of conferences and thought I’d pass along some notable insights.
I was honored to be selected as a speaker at the 2010 Aspen Ideas Festival, held by the Aspen Institute. I have to say that conference was the best I’ve been to in a number of years. The quality of discourse was very very high. There was an odd sense that I had somehow stumbled into the annual meeting of the secret cabal of people who are secretly (well not always so secretly) behind the workings of the world.
My talk was on what Nature can teach us about computing and Biomimicry in a Trillion Node World. I’m hoping to have an executive cut of that presentation posted in the next few weeks. While you wait, Nassim Nicholas Taleb has an amusing and frightening take on what nature can teach us about economics.
After the talk I was asked about how “the cloud” fit into this story and James Fallows, a very smart writer I’ve always enjoyed from The Atlantic, happened to capture it here.
One of the best conversations from the Aspen Ideas Festival was between Roland Fryer Jr. and Geoffrey Canada. Take the time to watch if you care at all about children and learning (I don’t of course, I think children are devilish creatures that have escaped from some tear in the fabric of the universe between our dimension and one in which they rule with those big eyes and little hands and high pitched voices). Um, yeah, glad I didn’t say that part out loud.
I’ll leave you to explore other videos from the festival, there were definitely some amazing conversations. Ruth Bader Ginsburg on woman’s rights and her experiences on the Supreme Court, Murray Gell-Mann and David Agus talked about a new approach to cancer, General Casey talked about the 21st century military, and David Rockwell talked a bit about his imagination playground product and an effort to build a different kind of playground in New York.
Even the setting of the conference was stunning, the room I stayed in was part of a building designed by Herbert Bayer of Bauhaus fame, that was part of a conference and resort complex that was beautiful.
The second conference I attended was TEDGlobal in Oxford England. We had a film there last year so this was my second trip. I’ll just post one or two highlights from this conference. Everyone knows enough about TED at this point so I don’t think I need to elaborate too much on an overview.
Tan Le showed off a headset that learns how you think about things and then gives you the ability to interact by thinking… before you run out and drop $300 bucks maybe read this review.
Elif Shafak gave a perfect and impassioned talk about the politics of fiction that is definitely worth your time. I picked up her book entitled The Forty Rules of Love, about the famous poet Rumi and enjoyed the read.
Ok, on to the links…
1. Quick CG holograms done right (could be cool as floor tiles to cover a room.. or just crazy annoying.
2. Only 14 hours left… Hmm, I think by the time you read this it may be over…
3. A recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the No. 1 “leadership competency” of the future. From an article in Newsweek called, The Creativity Crisis.