The Election’s Impact on Innovation with Gavin Newsom
Date/Time: November 15, 2016
Speaker: Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor of California
The 2016 election results will have major repercussions for the San Francisco Bay Area, the tech sector, the innovation economy, California, not to mention the nation and the world. One week after the election, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom analyzed what really happened, what opportunities have now opened up, and what the best strategies are going forward. At the November session of What’s Now: San Francisco, we drew a cross-section of leading innovators from many fields to pool insights and think through the implications of the 2016 election.
The Maker Movement and the Next Manufacturing Revolution
Date/Time: October 18, 2016
Speaker: Nick Pinkston, Founder & CEO, Plethora
The digital revolution has thoroughly transformed everything to do with information, and we’re now in the early stages of the digital revolution transforming the world of material things. Makers of today are like the hackers of the 1990s, who did the experimentation and early innovation that prefigured the information and media world we take for granted now. Today’s makers are roughing out innovative new processes that dramatically collapse the time it takes to manufacture goods, and open that process up to anybody who wants to make anything at any time. In our October What’s Now: San Francisco event, Nick Pinkston, co-founder of one of San Francisco’s most intriguing next-generation manufacturing firms, Plethora, explained what’s happening in this new industrial revolution and reflected on the coming repercussions.
Gaming Our Way to a Better Future
Date/Time: September 22, 2016
Speaker: Jane McGonigal, Director of Games Research & Development, Institute for the Future
At the fourth What’s Now gathering at Capgemini’s Applied Innovation Exchange, Jane McGonigal, world-renowned game designer and bestselling author, shared the latest in her ground-breaking body of work. Jane believes that Pokemon Go has created super-empowered hopeful individuals around physical activity and social interaction. She outlined the neurological research about the benefits of play, and discussed the success of Pokemon Go. Jane’s most recent project involves incorporating gaming into political action through a new form of social canvassing. This game, which launches October 10th, explores whether the same neuroscience that turns Pokemon Go players into super-empowered hopeful individuals can be replicated to draw out these traits in order to increase political engagement.
1,000 Cheeseburgers: A New Map of America’s Daily Energy Use
Date/Time: July 28, 2016
Speaker: Saul Griffith, Co-Founder & CEO, Otherlab
Saul Griffith, co-founder and CEO of Otherlab, presented for the first time an interactive wall-sized map detailing America’s daily energy use at the July gathering of What’s Now: San Francisco at Capgemini’s Applied Innovation Exchange. Saul and his Otherlab team aggregated data from a wide range of obscure databases and created a dynamic visualization that shows the flow of energy through the entire American economy and society.
Every day the average American uses the same amount of energy that he or she would get from eating 1,000 cheeseburgers. That’s the equivalent of all Americans consuming 320 billion burgers worth of energy every 24 hours.
The Inevitable: The Next 30 Years in Tech
Date/Time: June 16, 2016
Speaker: Kevin Kelly, Senior Maverick, WIRED
The second gathering of What’s Now: San Francisco was held at the Applied Innovation Exchange in San Francisco and featured Kevin Kelly, Senior Maverick at WIRED magazine. Kevin Kelly is one of the most original thinkers in the San Francisco Bay Area, and he has spent much of his life seeking out other cutting edge innovators in the region. He has written several influential books and found several influential ventures, from the Hackers Conference, to The Well, to Cool Tools. In his new book, The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future, Kevin gives early insight into many critical fields exploding in activity throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including two he has been particularly obsessed with – artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Kevin didn’t just want to use his What’s Now gathering to talk about his book and answer questions. Kevin wanted to “probe the hive mind” of all the innovative brains who gathered that night. We had technology on hand that allowed everyone to instantaneously answer Kevin’s questions and collectively learn from the group during this fun and informative evening.
From Startups to NewCos
Date/Time: May 16, 2016
Speaker: John Battelle, Co-Founder & CEO- NewCo.
John Battelle was the perfect featured speaker to kick off the What’s Now: San Francisco series. John was the founding managing editor of WIRED magazine, just a few blocks away from the San Francisco Exchange. As co-founder of the Web 2.0 Summit, he helped reboot the tech industry with a new narrative after the dotcom crash. John has launched half a dozen media startups, including his latest, NewCo Platform.
John laid out his ideas on the evolution of yesterday’s startups and spoke on the big-picture story of the Bay Area tech boom, while providing new insights into one of the region’s key drivers of innovation. John sees the tech story as receding in importance, he believes the defining features of tech startups are now moving into the broader economy and transforming business culture. The timing of this shift could not be more fortuitous, according to John, given mounting challenges ranging from inequality to climate change.
Click below to view highlights of John Battelle at What’s Now: San Francisco