Intentional Serendipity: Corey Ford
Corey Ford on “Intentional Serendipity.”
Corey Ford is the CEO of Matter Ventures, a $2.5 million incubator and start-up accelerator launched by Public Radio Exchange (PRX) and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to spur innovation in public media. He most recently built Runway, a pre-team, pre-idea incubator for entrepreneurs at Innovation Endeavors, Google chairman Eric Schmidt‘s venture capital fund. Prior to that, he taught design thinking innovation at the Institute of Design at Stanford University. Corey began his career in public broadcasting managing the production of 17 films for the PBS/WGBH series FRONTLINE, earning an Emmy and a duPont-Columbia Gold Baton Award. He earned an MBA at Stanford and was a Morehead Scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill where he majored in Journalism and International Studies.
If You Don’t Try, You Never Know: Ding Ding
The Obsolete Know-It-All: Ken Jennings
Ken Jennings was an anonymous computer programmer in 2004 when his 75-game streak on the quiz show Jeopardy! Made him into a geek folk icon almost overnight. Today, Jennings is freelance writer who celebrates, in the words of Time magazine, “the world of triva…a place where minutiae have paradoxical grandeur and no fact is meaningless.”
Stewart Brand: The dawn of de-extinction. Are you ready?
Throughout humankind’s history, we’ve driven species after species extinct: the passenger pigeon, the Eastern cougar, the dodo … But now, says Stewart Brand, we have the technology (and the biology) to bring back species that humanity wiped out. So — should we? Which ones? He asks a big question whose answer is closer than you may think.
Since the counterculture ’60s, Stewart Brand has been creating our internet-worked world. Now, with biotech accelerating four times faster than digital technology, Stewart Brand has a bold new plan.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM?
With biotech accelerating four times faster than digital technology, the revival of extinct species is becoming possible. Stewart Brand plans to not only bring species back but restore them to the wild.
Brand is already a legend in the tech industry for things he’s created: the Whole Earth Catalog, The WELL, the Global Business Network, the Long Now Foundation, and the notion that “information wants to be free.” Now Brand, a lifelong environmentalist, wants to re-create — or “de-extinct” — a few animals that’ve disappeared from the planet.
Granted, resurrecting the woolly mammoth using ancient DNA may sound like mad science. But Brand’s Revive and Restore project has an entirely rational goal: to learn what causes extinctions so we can protect currently endangered species, preserve genetic and biological diversity, repair depleted ecosystems, and essentially “undo harm that humans have caused in the past.”
Afra Raymond: Three myths about corruption
Trinidad and Tobago amassed great wealth in the 1970s thanks to oil. But in 1982, a shocking fact was revealed — that 2 out of every 3 dollars earmarked for development had been wasted or stolen. This has haunted Afra Raymond for 30 years. Shining a flashlight on a continued history of government corruption, Raymond gives us a reframing of financial crime.
A leading expert in the fields of property valuation and project management, Afra Raymond is battling the government corruption rampant in his country, Trinidad and Tobago.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM?
Afra Raymond calls out government corruption, demanding more transparency and accountability from the leaders of Trinidad and Tobago. His work in recent years has focused on the CL Financial collapse of 2009 and subsequent government bailout, which Raymond says operated “with different laws of physics” than bailouts of financial institutions in other countries. Writing on topics like white-collar crime, good governance and national development, Raymond shows that corruption shouldn’t be a given. He wrote the column “Property Matters” in The Business Guardian from 2004 through 2012. Now, he writes on his own website, AfraRaymond.com.
Raymond looks at corruption through his lens as an expert in the fields of property valuation, project appraisal, development planning and management. He is a Chartered Surveyor and Managing Director of Raymond & Pierre Limited and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in January 2011. He has served on a number of Boards in various positions including Executive Member of the Federation of Black Housing Organizations (FBHO) in London, Board member of the Trinidad Building & Loan Association (TBLA), Director of EPL Properties Limited (EPL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eastern Credit Union (ECU) and Immediate Past-President of the Institute of Surveyors of Trinidad & Tobago (ISTT).
“Afra Raymond is a Trinidad and Tobago journalist whose effective work on the CL Financial scandal has continually exposed the unethical and illegal actions of many of the main players in the financial debacle. ” Barbados Free Press
Amanda Palmer: The art of asking
Don’t make people pay for music, says Amanda Palmer: Let them. In a passionate talk that begins in her days as a street performer (drop a dollar in the hat for the Eight-Foot Bride!), she examines the new relationship between artist and fan.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HER?
Amanda Palmer commands attention. The singer-songwriter-blogger-provocateur, known for pushing boundaries in both her art and her lifestyle, made international headlines this year when she raised nearly $1.2 million via Kickstarter (she’d asked for $100k) from nearly 25,000 fans who pre-ordered her new album, Theatre Is Evil.
But the former street performer, then Dresden Dolls frontwoman, now solo artist hit a bump the week her world tour kicked off. She revealed plans to crowdsource additional local backup musicians in each tour stop, offering to pay them in hugs, merchandise and beer per her custom. Bitter and angry criticism ensued (she eventually promised to pay her local collaborators in cash). And it’s interesting to consider why. As Laurie Coots suggests: “The idea was heckled because we didn’t understand the value exchange — the whole idea of asking the crowd for what you need when you need it and not asking for more or less.”
Summing up her business model, in which she views her recorded music as the digital equivalent of street performing, she says: “I firmly believe in music being as free as possible. Unlocked. Shared and spread. In order for artists to survive and create, their audiences need to step up and directly support them.”