Spigit Summit Speaker recommendations

1: Bertrand Piccard

Bertrand Piccard, Initiator, Pilot and Chairman of Solar Impulse
  • Psychiatrist, Balloonist, UN Goodwill Ambassador, Motivational Speaker
  • First to pilot a plane around the world without fuel (40,000km)
  • http://bertrandpiccard.com/
So the question is, how can you carry a pilot around the world with an airplane that uses the same amount of energy as a big Christmas tree? People will tell you it's impossible, and that's exactly why we try to do it.

2: Sheila Nirenberg

Sheila Nirenberg, Computational Neuroscientist
  • Built a prosthetic to restore normal vision to the blind, without surgery.
  • 2013 Macarthur Genius, two time TEDMED speaker.
  • Good example of innovation pipeline from basic scientific research leading to commercial industry.
  • In October 2016, announced strategic partnership with Ford Motors to develop machine vision for autonomous vehicles (launching 2021).

3: Jason Dunn

Jason Dunn, Co-Founder & CTO
  • First to create a Zero-G 3D printer on the ISS, reducing the need to ship materials (tools, large booms, etc.) from Earth.
  • Originally contracted by NASA, in Jan 2017 announced first partnership for commercial space station.
  • In 2017, will turn to manufacturing fiber optic cable in space by 2020. Cable produced in microgravity presumed to have the potential to disrupt the broadband communications industry.

#Laugh is a global collaborative art project that will result in the first piece of art to be created in space, when it’s printed on a zero-gravity 3D-printer aboard the International Space Station. Conceived by Israeli artist, Eyal Gever, people from all around the world can record themselves laughing, visualize it via an #Laugh app and share it with their friends. The laughter with the most likes after one month will be sent to the International Space Station to be 3D-printed and then released into orbit.

‘What would you do if you could create art in zero gravity?’ If humanity is one day soon to thrive in space then creating art and culture in space, is equally as important as sending out people and the technology to support them.

4: John Hanke

  • Most viral and profitable game in mobile history. Achieved $500mm within 4 months of launch.
  • Coming soon to Apple Watch
  • Advanced understanding of world-building that influences behavior.
  • Good choice for innovation/re-invention talk. How do you know if it's a fad or the "tip of the iceberg" of something bigger?
. “If you want to predict the future, you can look at the past. A lot of what we’re doing with Pokémon, we learned through three years of hard work with Ingress and building up that community around the world, maturing that technology, the social aspect of it, the group gameplay, and the events for Ingress are really the lifeblood of that game,” Hanke said. “I think you can expect to see things like that in Pokémon Go.”

5: Damien Kulash

Damien Kalush, lead singer OKGO, music innovator
  • 2016 Smithsonian winners of the American Ingenuity Awards
  • Created the second video to ever go viral on YouTube, early innovators in marketing direct through social media
  • Printed an album in DNA
  • Bonus fact: Damien's grandfather was the inventor of the fish stick
  • Links here to his thoughts on the tension between creativity and business metrics, and the need to constantly stay ahead of the changing media landscape.

There are 318 events (54 colored salt bursts behind Tim, 23 exploding paint buckets, 128 gold water balloons, etc.) that were synchronized to the music before the breakdown. After that there are only 9 digitally triggered events. Complete background notes here.

The whole point of the video is to explore a time scale that we can’t normally experience, but because it’s so inaccessible to us, our tools for dealing with it are indirect. The only way we can really communicate with that realm is through math.


Kronos Quartet & Trevor Paglen "Sight Machine"

This Artist Wants To Show You How Machines “See” Music


Paglen’s A.I. mapping system uses programmed code, akin to surveillance A.I. His algorithms project machine-generated images of the musicians and the audiences reactions behind them in real time. The audience gets to experience the “images of what a particular algorithm is ‘seeing."

Chip Kidd

Chip Kidd, Book Designer and Batman Aficianado
  • Wonderful humorous storyteller
  • Batman is, arguably, the greatest inventor since Ben Franklin.


  • Jose Miguel Sokoloff, Colombian Ad exec's campaign to reconcile guerillas to return home.
  • Alternatives include New Yorker writer Jill Lepore, on debunking the myth of the self-made man, starting with Ben Franklin.
  • Tim Urban, one of the most popular writers on the web, Wait but Why, is also a very polished speaker. Often talks about AI, evolution, behavior and the creative process. Did a book on Elon Musk (at Elon's request.)

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