In partnership with Reinvent, each speaker will explain the key developments in their field that people outside the field should know about, developments which could help solve the major challenges of our time.

For more on Capgemini’s What’s Now: New York speaker series and how to attend, please visit the Reinvent website.

This series is an expansion of the highly successful What’s Now: San Francisco series that has featured many top-tier innovators and intellectuals rooted in Silicon Valley who are trying to more fundamentally reinvent systems to deal with the mounting challenges in our 21st-century world.

Recent Conversations:

The New Technologies of Scent and the Future of Food & Health

Date: June 5, 2018

Time: 6.30 PM EDT

Speaker: David Edwards – Inventor, and Harvard University Professor of the Practice of Idea Translation in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Of all our senses, the sense of smell is probably the least studied and appreciated. However, in recent years our scientific understanding of how we perceive scents and what they do to our brains and immune systems has deepened.  It turns out that scent accounts for around 80% of the experience of flavor, a dominant force in the experience and enjoyment of eating. We also are learning how scents clearly and directly affect our emotions. Some scents (even when you hardly perceive them) will pick you up and give you energy while others will help calm you down or take you to a remembered experience. Our deepening understanding has reached the point where a new wave of technologies is being developed by a new crop of startup companies that promise to make an impact on a range of industries from food and restaurants to health and wellness.

David Edwards is an inventor and entrepreneur with no less than three startups in this new space and he will anchor our next What’s Now: New York event where he will talk about this new frontier of sensory experience and the wave of innovation that it is starting to drive.

Popping the Filter Bubble

Date: April 24, 2018

Time: 5.30 PM EDT

Way back in 2010, Eli Pariser came up with the term filter bubble, the idea that people on the Internet tend to see only information that agrees with them, and then he published his book The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You.

As filter bubbles become a more central problem in online discourse, Eli’s been on the hunt for potential solutions. Join us at the next What’s Now: New York, produced in collaboration with the Applied innovation Exchange, where Eli will share what he’s learned about how to pop the filter bubble and begin to knit the internet, the economy, and America, back together again. He has some ideas, but far from all the answers, and he wants to use the event to gather innovators from other fields to help figure this out.


A Facebook Co-Founder Rethinks How to Solve Economic Inequality

Date: March 15, 2018

Time: 5.30 PM EST

Speaker: Chris Hughes

Chris Hughes, one of the co-founders of Facebook believes income inequality has become one of the biggest challenges of our time and has dedicated himself to rethinking the fundamentals of our economy. As co-founder of the Economic Security Project, Chris champions the economic policy innovation of Universal Basic Income, or UBI.

Join us at the next What’s Now: New York for one of the first events following the publication of his latest book Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn. Chris will anchor a conversation that will go deep into the ideas of the book with those gathered (everyone in attendance will get a free book).

He left Facebook to become one of the core team members of Obama’s legendary digital team in Chicago during the 2008 election, which changed political campaigns forever. He then bought the New Republic magazine and tried to remake it into a digital media company and help transform the media world, with, he admits, less than stellar results. Our conversation can be expected to range from his thoughts on the backlash against Facebook and tech platforms, to the chaos in media around fake news, to how the economy could get fundamentally rebalanced and American politics could be renewed. Come for a stimulating conversation as well as free food and drink, and meet a growing network of innovators from many fields.

If you are interested in attending, please email If you can’t attend in person, this event will be streamed live from our website.

The Moment of Digital Reckoning in Healthcare Has Finally Arrived

Date: February 20, 2018

Time: 6.30 PM EST

Speaker: Unity Stoakes

We’re in an extraordinary moment in the healthcare industry—similar to where the web was in the mid-1990s. Just like the Netscape IPO marked the beginning of a boom in 1995, Fitbit recently going public marked a new era in digital health. People in the know can see how the whole industry could be transformed over the next five years. The $1000 sequencing of a person’s full genome will soon drop to $100. Watches and phones are embedding clinical-grade medical sensors. Prosthetics are already being produced on 3D printers at home. Consumers even have access to new diagnostics and data to get much better clarity on how they may ultimately die. The more these developments, and the next ones to emerge, scale to larger numbers of people, the more the whole industry will change.

This is how Unity Stoakes and his company StartUp Health sees the new world of health. Unity is a seasoned entrepreneur from the mid-1990s era of the Internet who waded into the healthcare world in 2005 with his long-time business partner Steven Krein. Together they co-founded StartUp Health in 2011. StartUp Health is what they describe as a health moonshot factory – an unusual blend of venture capital firm (with investments in no fewer than 215 companies in the health space), academy for entrepreneurs (an accelerator that maintains long-term relationships to their companies), and media platform. StartUp Health is trying to create the community of startups that its founders wished they had found when they first tried to navigate the complex world of health.

The Next Big Media Reinvention and its Importance to the World

Date: January 30, 2018

Time: 6:30pm EST

Speaker: June Cohen (CEO & Cofounder of WaitWhat)

“June Cohen invented TED Talks and scaled their views to 100 million a year. Deron Triff then took TED Talks to 100 million views a month and 1 billion views a year. The two of them are now co-founders in a first-of-its-kind content incubator in New York that’s all about inventing new forms of media, launching them into the world and bringing the audiences to scale—like what they did at TED. The media world is certainly overdue for another round of invention. The industry has never been so fractured and once again is under mounting stress—in many ways mirroring what surrounds it, both in America and the world at large. June and Deron think that any innovation in the media world that finds better ways to connect with people and bring them together would be good for the world at large too. In other words, media innovation is not just about media, but also about changing the world for the better.

This month’s What’s Now: New York session will focus on innovation in media, one of the region’s most influential industries. June and Deron are the perfect people to start the conversation with other media folks in the room as well as innovators from other fields. They see much of the remaining legacy media, like cable television, as working from top-down models that replicate and amplify bad news. June and Deron champion more bottom-up approaches that appeal to the Better Angels of Ourselves and foster curiosity, wonder, mastery, and awe. That is the kind of content that people really connect to and share. At What’s Now, June and Deron will talk about some of the new projects they are working on in their company WaitWhat, like their Masters of Scale podcast, hosted by LinkedIn Co-founder Reid Hoffman, which is now morphing into different media forms. They also want to talk about how the changing form and role of media could help lead the country forward and out of these difficult times. Given New York’s centrality in the media world, we expect a spirited discussion among those who attend.”

Preparing for the Third Digital Revolution: Fabrication

Date: December 18, 2017

  • Neil Gershenfeld, Director of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms
  • Alan Gershenfeld, President and Co-Founder of E-line Media
  • Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, Professor at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University

We’re in the early stages of the Third Digital Revolution and few people understand what’s about to hit them. The first two digital revolutions – in computers and communications – transformed the world, but the next revolution in fabrication is poised to make an even bigger impact. Neil Gershenfeld, Alan Gershenfeld, and Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld are using December’s What’s Now: New York as the official New York launch party for their new book Designing Reality: How to Survive and Thrive in the Third Digital Revolution.

In 2003, just 15 years ago, Neil kicked off the fab lab movement, in which individuals generate an impressive array of objects through community access to tools for design and fabrication. Since that time, the number of fab labs has doubled every year and half. The Gershenfeld brothers argue that a world where local communities can make most materials and objects is not science fiction, but a near-term reality that will disrupt many current manufacturing businesses and remake the world in unforeseen ways. For example, many current notions of globalization and planetary supply chains might need fundamental rethinking. Neil believes that digital fabrication could soon lead to a billion-fold gain in performance and end up altering the very construction of core materials. Alan and Joel, who have backgrounds in the social sciences and digital media for learning and social impact, have thought through the implications of that world, both in terms of its possibilities and potential dangers. Could this Third Digital Revolution play a critical role in solving climate change? Will it mitigate or exacerbate wealth inequalities?


Can the Innovation Hubs of New York and San Francisco Ramp Up a Reinvention of America?

Date: October 30, 2017
Speaker: Steven Johnson, Bestselling Author & host of the PBS series “How We Got to Now”

Few people understand innovation, and the peculiar kinds of innovation practiced in both New York and San Francisco, better than Steven Johnson. The best-selling author has written 10 books that essentially all deal with innovation, and he maintains a home in both places, shuttling his family between each. Steven is the perfect person to launch our inaugural event in our new What’s Now: New York series. He’s also the perfect person to lead a conversation on how these two dynamic regions could complement each other in driving more widespread and fundamental innovation through America’s business, economy, society, and politics in the coming decade. Many Americans are close to despair about the state of the country’s paralyzed politics, mounting inequality, and increasing climate change. That despair has also led to an increasing backlash against the role of Big Tech in our lives and in our politics—a debate that Steven has been engaged with in several books and articles that he has published over the past few years.

Join Steven and a group of innovators and intellectuals from different fields for a what promises to be an important discussion and an enjoyable evening. Steven led a conversation in our What’s Now: San Francisco series at the beginning of this year where those gathered helped him think through what’s needed to improve long-term decision-making, the subject of his upcoming book. This What’s Now: New York event coincides with the launch of the paperback version of his last book: Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World, which looks at the role that a childlike curiosity plays in innovation, with examples rooted in both New York and San Francisco. Everyone who attends will get a signed copy.