Recent Event: The Edge of What We Know

Tue, Nov 16, 2010 @ 3:30 | Cal Academy of Sciences | After party at RedDevil Lounge

Photos from the event: "Why do you do what you do?"

wdydwyd? is a social-media meme that you can do in your community. Learn more.
Photos by Collaborating Artists: Scott R. Kline, Nick Sholley & Tony Deifell.

Event Program:

3:30 Cal Academy Doors Open
4:00 Jason Johnson/Welcome
4:02 Christine McCaull/The Edge of What We Know
4:05 Juan Enriquez/Strange Tales of Chiapas
4:23 Dr. Alex Filippenko/Dark Energy and the Runaway Universe
4:42 Dr. Brian Fisher/Outnumbered
5:03 TED Video: David Gallo on the Underwater World
5:09 Colin Wiel/ EcoReserve
5:18 Tony Deifell/ Seeing Beyond Sight
5:26 Jaron Lanier/ You Are Not a Gadget
5:45 Kevin Kelly/What Technology Wants
6:04 Molly Fisk/Poet
6:37 Youth Rocks the Rebuild
6:43 Curt Smith/ Into the Deep and Over the Edge
7:02 Julia Query/ 10 Ten Cold Minutes on the Edge of Reality
7:21 Dr. Ed Moses/ Synthetic Stars- the Future of Energy
7:40 John Kohler/ Moving Money: The New Coin
8:03 Ozomatli/At the Edge of Urban Identity + Music
8:25 END
After Party RedDevil Lounge with grammy award winning Ozomatli



Curt Smith
Lead Singer, Tears for Fears

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 Filippenko
Professor of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley

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 Kohler
Executive Fellow – Center for Science, Technology and Society

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.

Juan Enriquez
Managing Director, Excel Venture Management

Juan’s Talk: Strange Tales from Chiapas

Mr. Enriquez is an experienced business leader, author, and academic who is recognized as a leading authority on the economic and political impacts of life sciences. He is a Managing Director in Excel Venture Management, a venture capital firm that invests in life science companies. He was the founding director of Harvard Business School’s Life Sciences Project. He then founded Biotechonomy LLC, a life sciences research and investment firm. In 2005, he co-founded Synthetic Genomics, Inc., a synthetic biology company. He is the author of the best-selling As the Future Catches You, an analysis of the impact of genomics on business and society. His latest book Untied States explores why, as technology advances, some countries are successful while others disappear.

Julia Query
Writer & Psychotherapist

Julia’s Talk: Ten Cold Minutes on the Edge of Reality

Julia is a writer and psychotherapist in SF. She used to be a comic and filmmaker. She produced, wrote and co-directed Live Nude Girls Unite! a documentary about the successful unionization effort by the workers at the Lusty Lady peep show. Live Nude Girls Unite! won multiple awards—including the San Francisco International Film Festival Audience Award for Best Feature. After theatrical release it was broadcast on Cinemax and the Independent Film Channel in the United States. It was aired in Australia, France, Spain and other countries. It is currently being made into a Hollywood film by Reason Pictures. Julia is now editing an anthology called Death, Taxes and Puddle Jumping; inspired by Pema Chodron. This talk is from a chapter in an untitled book she plans to complete in 2011.

Tony Deifell
Managing Director, Q Media Labs

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 (, 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?” ( that has challenged over one million people to answer, “Why do you do what you do?”

Ozomatli with Josh Kun
Multi-Racial Los Angeles Band

Ozomatli’s Talk: At the Edge of Urban Identity

The motto of multi-racial Los Angeles band Ozomatli used to be “We take you around the world by taking you around L.A.” In a session hosted and narrated by scholar and author Josh Kun, the band will mix story and sound to explore the challenges and promises of musical identities in a global age defined by extremes of scarcity and abundance, from the streets of L.A. to the orphanages of Nepal and Burma to the levees of New Orleans. How can music preserve traditions while inventing new ones, healing wounds while imagining new spaces of hope? From backyard Mexican rancheras to Arabic funk, from flamenco dancehall tocumbias for the dead, this will be a sonic trip to the global edges of contemporary urban identity.

Dr. Brian Fisher
World Changing Entymologist

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.

Molly Fisk
Poet and Essayist

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

Dr. Edward Moses
Principal Associate Director at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Edward Moses’ Talk: Synthetic Stars and the Future of Energy

Dr. Moses is internationally recognized in laser and optical sciences. He received a B.S. in 1972 and Ph.D. in 1977, both in Electrical Engineering, from Cornell University. He holds several patents in laser technology, fusion and fission energy, and computational physics. He has received many honors, including the Fusion Power Associates 2008 Leadership Award, the National Nuclear Security Administration Defense Programs Award of Excellence, the Memorial D.S. Rozhdestvensky Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Lasers and Optical Sciences, and the R&D100 Award for the Peregrine radiation therapy program. Dr. Moses is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of SPIE and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Kevin Kelly
Co-Founder of Wired Magazine

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 Lanier
Computer Scientist, Composer, Visual Artist, and Author

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.

Event Sponsors:

BNY Mellon

Warburg Pincus

California Academy of Sciences

St. Regis



Productions for Humanity