PopTech 2013

By Matthew Scharpnick, Cofounder & Chief Strategy Officer

Every year brilliant innovators and leaders from a variety of disciplines descend on the beautiful town of Camden, Maine, just in time for the leaves to change. They arrive from around the world for PopTech, an event that brings together fascinating artists, musicians, doctors, entrepreneurs, academics, athletes, and so on, to spend an intimate few days together sharing ideas and inspiration. I was fortunate enough to attend for the last two years, and enjoyed nearly every part of it, both on and off stage.

PopTech does a great job of curating a cadre of presenters that build on one another’s work in fascinating ways. While none of the presenters were anything less than interesting, some stand out as needing special mention. I encourage everyone to check out the videos that PopTech posts – the first two on Rodney Mullen and Jim Olson were 2013 highlights – as well as the content they put out throughout the year. With that said, here are just a few of the fascinating people you may want to learn more about.

Rodney Mullen
One of the all-time greatest professional skateboarders, with a lot of life wisdom to share.

Jim Olson
Hearing about his work using scorpion venom to make tumors glow was a PopTech highlight.

Helen Marriage
Her work with Artichoke in the UK brings wonder to cities in a big way.

Ellen Langer
As a Harvard professor, she is doing fascinating work approaching mindfulness in innovative ways.

Adam Magyar
His work capturing movement and stillness in a subway platform is mesmerizing.

Olivia Chaney
Switching instruments and languages effortlessly, she was an amazing complement to the intellectual inspiration.

Zach Lieberman
With a couple of friends, they opened a school teaching ways to access the beauty and potential of technology.




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