Recent Event: The Edge of What We Know


Curt’s Talk: Into The Deep And Over The Edge

Curt Smith is best known as a musician, singer and songwriter who co-founded the seminal music group Tears For Fears, with which he continues to tour worldwide. He also produces and hosts the live music web series “Stripped Down Live With Curt Smith” and pursues his own solo music career. His most recent release, “Perfectly…Still (featuring Universal Hall Pass)” is the second song of an album-length project on which Smith is collaborating with artists he meets or discovers via social media. Smith is also currently at work on songs that he’s been commissioned to write for film and television.

Alex’s Talk: Dark Energy and the Runaway Universe

Alex Filippenko received his Ph.D. in Astronomy from Caltech in 1984 and joined the University of California, Berkeley faculty in 1986, where he is currently the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Physical Sciences. An observational astronomer who makes frequent use of the Hubble Space Telescope and the Keck 10-meter telescopes, his primary areas of research are supernovae, active galaxies, black holes, gamma-ray bursts, and the expansion of the Universe. Elected to the National Academy of Sciences and one of the world’s most highly cited astronomers, he has coauthored more than 640 scientific publications and is the recipient of numerous prizes for his research. He was a member of both teams that discovered the accelerating expansion of the Universe, propelled by mysterious “dark energy.”

John’s Talk: Moving Money: The New Coin

For the past several years, John has been a mentor to Social Entrepreneurs at the Global Social Benefit Incubator and now also serves as an Executive Fellow at Santa Clara’s Center for Science, Technology and Society. He was recently named to the Center’s Board of Advisors. Outside of this, John manages technology investments through Redleaf Venture Management. He has been heavily involved in technology product formation and has been concentrating on Internet and Life Science startups since 1994. John’s background includes twenty years of executive level positions in sales operations, product division general management and worldwide customer support at technology corporations including Hewlett Packard, Silicon Graphics and Convergent Technologies/Unisys. He was one of the founding executives at Netscape Communications and original founder of Redleaf Group.

Tony’s Talk: Seeing Beyond Sight: How what we see and don’t see changes the world

Tony Deifell heads Q Media Labs, which tackles questions about how the future of media, technology and business will shape society. Recent work includes The Big Thaw: Charting a New Future for Journalism (TheBigThaw.com), The Future of Green Building and studies about Mother Jones, AlterNet, Sierra Club and Brightcove’s online strategies. He also runs leadership trainings for companies such as Google. Tony created the social-media meme “wdydwyd?” (wdydwyd.com) that has challenged over one million people to answer, “Why do you do what you do?”

Brian Fisher’s Talk: Outnumbered

Often found hip-deep in Madagascar mud, Dr. Brian Fisher is a modern day explorer who has devoted his life to the study and conservation of ants and biodiversity around the world. His research sends him through the last remote rainforests and deserts of Madagascar and Africa in search of ants. Although his subjects may be small in stature, they make a huge impact on their ecosystems. And what they lack in size, they more than make up for in numbers. By documenting the species diversity and distribution of this “invisible majority,” Dr. Fisher is helping to establish conservation priorities for Madagascar, identifying areas that should be set aside to protect the highest number of species.

Poet Molly Fisk

Poet and essayist Molly Fisk lives in the Yuba River watershed of California’s Sierra Nevada foothills, where she teaches poets, cancer patients, and women of all ages how to be more deeply themselves through writing. She’s the author of the poetry collections The More Difficult Beauty and Listening to Winter, and the radio commentary CDs Blow-Drying a Chicken and Using Your Turn Signal Promotes World Peace, and runs the popular on-line workshop Poetry Boot Camp. Widely published and anthologized, Fisk has won a National Endowment for the Arts grant and been nominated for Poet Laureate of California. “The More Difficult Beauty returns emotion to the American poem with its supple lines. . .” — Molly Peacock “Fearless, clear-eyed work.” — John Updike

Kevin’s Talk: What Technology Wants

Kevin Kelly is Senior Maverick at Wired magazine. He co-founded Wired in 1993, and served as its Executive Editor from its inception until 1999. He has just finished a book for Viking/Penguin called “What Technology Wants,” published October 18, 2010. He is also editor and publisher of the Cool Tools website, which gets half a million unique visitors per month. From 1984-1990 Kelly was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Review, a journal of unorthodox technical news. He co-founded the ongoing Hackers’ Conference, and was involved with the launch of the WELL, a pioneering online service started in 1985. He authored the best-selling New Rules for the New Economy and the classic book on decentralized emergent systems, Out of Control.

Jaron’s Talk: You are not a Gadget

Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2010.  His book “You are not a gadget” was released in early 2010 by Knopf in the USA and Penguin in the UK.   He writes and speaks on numerous topics, including high-technology business, the social impact of technological practices, the philosophy of consciousness and information, Internet politics, and the future of humanism.  His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Discover (where he has been a columnist), The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Harpers Magazine, The Sciences, Wired Magazine (where he was a founding contributing editor), and Scientific American. He has edited special “future” issues of SPIN and Civilization magazines. He is one of the 100 “remarkable people” of the Global Business Network.  In 2005 Lanier was selected as one of the top one hundred public intellectuals in the world by readers of Prospect and Foreign Policy magazines