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Steve Wozniak is a pioneer of the digital age, he was one of the three founders of Apple Computer, setting up in Steve Jobs' garage in 1976. Woz, as he is almost universally known, designed the hardware, circuit boards and operating system for the Apple I. After a plane crash in 1981, Wozniak played a reduced role at Apple, ending full time employment in 1987. Since then he's been a regular character on the technology scene, founding several tech companies working on remote controls, GPS technology, Lego robots and data storage among other things. He wrote his autobiography, iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon, in 2007 and continues to provide schools in his neighbourhood with funding, technical support and advice. Wozniak is a founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the recipient of the National Medal of Technology, the Heinz Award, and numerous honorary doctorate degrees.</p>
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Mitch Altman has been putting together electronic hardware in his own unique style for nearly thirty years. He was an early virtual reality pioneer at VPL with Jaron Lanier and one of the very first Silicon Valley start-up founders, establishing RAID controller company 3Ware in 1997. Altman's latest role has been as a founder of the San Francisco hackerspace Noisebridge, where he helps people learn how to solder and program microcontrollers. Altman was a leading light of Maker Faire and Make magazine, designing their most popular kit, Trip Glasses, parting ways with them earlier this year in protest at their acceptance of a DARPA grant. (He also left VPL when the company started winning military contracts). His coolest invention is the TV-B-Gone, a one button remote control for shutting off TVs in public places.
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Xavier Damman is the founder of Storify, an internet start up company that helps people curate their social media stream into coherent narratives. Xavier moved from Belgium to San Francisco in 2009 to work on a different company called Publitweet whose concept was that the marginal voices on social media channels deserve to make their way onto mainstream media. He's also the founder of HackDemocracy a meetup group which tries to think about the ways technology can impact democracy for the better. He's a firm believer in sharing, in spreading good ideas and in the power of technology to make the world a better place.
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Alexander D'Hooghe is associate professor in Architectural Urbanism at MIT. He conducts a research group called Platform for a Permanent Modernity. Alexander runs the Organisation for Permanent Modernity, an architecture and urban design firm seeking radical solutions to the crisis of urban sprawl by seeing a place for the monumental in urban design. To this end they've been working on a massive landfill project in South Korea and a masterplan for the conversion of Rekjavik airport. Amid all this big thinking is a series of smaller Scala domestic and civic architecture projects in Belgium, including Police Stations, private villas, Fire Stations and a park. In this time of political and economic uncertainty, and in the face of social turmoil across Europe a new and ambitious vision for the urban landscape is sorely needed
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Jesse Dylan is a film director whose talent is for explaining complex social and political ideas through storytelling. He's the founder and CEO of Wondros, a media production company which has been busy making films for Harvard University, Creative Commons, TED, the Council on Foreign Relations and The Getty Foundation, among many others. He started out making videos for Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and Lenny Kravitz and recently won an Emmy for a will.i.am video credited with boosting support for the Obama campaign. He's a TED member and fellow at Science Commons and has taken on the task of explaining the value of citizen in medicine. His latest venture, called Lybba, aims to be 'the National Geographic of health', communicating medical information in simple and understandable way through stories in film.
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Peter Gabriel was founder, lead vocalist and frontman for prog rock outfit Genesis. He was known for a flamboyant stage presence, outrageous costumes and wildly poetic song intros. Genesis became a world dominating band, with 150 million albums sold worldwide and numerous industry awards to their name. Gabriel left Genesis in 1975 and continued on to solo success with a series of albums and hit singles often using sampling techniques and novel sound engineering equipment. He is an arch-collaborator and has worked with Scorsese, Bowie, Radiohead, U2, Randy Newman and Joni Mitchell among many many others. He's been involved in digital music technology for decades, creating CDROM based content, co-founding a technology platform for downloadable music and agitating on behalf of musicians who want to make their music available on the internet. In addition to all this Gabriel is well-known as a human rights activist and has been recognised by a group of nobel laureates for his work promoting peace and reconciliation around the world.
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Greg Gage is a Neuroscientist and co-founder of Backyard Brains, an organisation teaching kids and amateurs neuroscience through hands-on experiments to see and hear brain signals from living neurons and also via robotic control of ordinary cockroaches. He's also a TED Fellow. The way he reveals neuroscience to school kids is through the SpikerBox, a small rig that helps kids understand the electrical impulses that control the nervous system. He's passionate about helping students understand how our brains and our neurons work, because as he says, we still know very little about how the brain works -- and we need to start inspiring kids early to want to know more. The inspiration for Greg's work as an educator came from a realisation that the advanced equipment he used as a PhD student could be made at home for a fraction of the price, in less than a day.
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Eri Gentry is a founder of Bio Curious, a garage biology movement and meetup group pushing the boundaries of how bio-science is done, where it takes place and most importantly who does it. The inexorable democratisation of technology, in place for the last 300 years or so, has reached its latest frontier. By taking the tools of production out of university hands, and loosening the grip of giant Pharma on bio-science Gentry has created a disruptive environment for creative exploration. Gentry is a mentor at the Singularity University, a blogger at MAKE magazine, organiser of the Bay Area Quantified Self meetup and most recently Director of Business Development at Scanadu.
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Pediatrician and father of four, Dr. Alan Greene completed his pediatric residency program at Children's Hospital Medical Center of Northern California and served there as Chief Resident. In 1995, while at ABC Pediatrics in San Mateo, California, he launched DrGreene.com, cited by the AMA as "the pioneer physician Web site". He is the author of Feeding Baby Green, Raising Baby Green and, From First Kicks to First Steps.
He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the TODAY Show, the Dr. Oz Show, Good Morning America, Fox and Friends, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time Magazine. In 2010, Dr. Greene founded the WhiteOut Now movement aimed at changing how babies are fed starting with their first bite of solid food. In 2012 he launched a worldwide campaign aimed at changing the practice of Immediate Cord Camping To Optimal Cord Clamping or TICC TICC. Dr. Greene received the Healthy Child award for Prevention and was named the Children's Health Hero of the Internet by Intel.
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Jeremy Howard is the president and chief scientist at Kaggle, a technology company which manages to crowd source accurate predictive modelling from submitted data. Companies and researchers submit their data and Kaggle runs a competition for anyone to create the best model. Over 33,000 people worldwide have responded to the challenge of tackling problems for NASA, Wikipedia and Deloitte. Some astonishing results have contributed to such varied fields as HIV research, traffic forecasting and gesture recognition. Kaggle is in a period of rapid expansion, attracting funding and some key technology world supporters.
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Tito Jankowski is a synthetic biologist who works from home, sequencing and manipulating mailorder DNA using over-the-counter equipment in his garage. He founded the San Francisco chapter of DIYBio, a Boston originating national movement, in 2008. The group's experiments include extracting DNA from saliva and designing organisms that glow in the presence of heavy metals. This mash up of biological experimentation, laboratory work, hacker principles, and punk DIY methods is gaining rapid traction and Jankowski is one of the early West Coast founders. He organises Bio Curious meetings and speaks regularly at meetings and conferences about DIY biology and the garage DNA revolution. He invented a A DIY copier machine for DNA: A fast, computer controlled PCR machine that uses normal PCR tubes and can be built with off the shelf parts and free plans.
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Peter Jansen is a maker and a research scientist. His area of expertise is Cognitive Artificial Intelligence, he teaches computers how to learn language like babies. He's also worked in astrophysics, Computational Linguistics and … making stuff. He started putting together things like homemade 3D printers and a reciprocating laser saw, made of ultra low cost materials, and all schematics and details posted online for free. Peter's most impressive achievement is four generations of the scientific Tricorder. Based on Star Trek's famous sensor device he managed to make a Tricorder that measures atmospheric pressure, electromagnetism, temperature and humidity among many other metrics, and that has GPS, and an ultrasonic distance sensor on-board. Peter designed everything, he sourced all the components, soldered the control boards, made the casings and programmed the chips, a true polymath
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Rudi Pauwels is a pharmacologist and biotech start up founder. He founded both Tibotec, a pharmaceutical company specialising in retrovirals for the treatment of HIV, and Virco which became the leading lab in the world for matching HIV mutations to specific patient DNA profiles. Rudi is also the founder of Biocartis SA which aims to transform the global diagnostics market by making personalised medicine an everyday reality. Biocartis will do this by matching novel, broadly applicable molecular diagnostics and immunodiagnostics solutions to both patients and diseases, broadening access to technologies and suggesting treatments to rapidly emerging biomarkers rather than on physiological symptoms.
Irene van Peer
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Pig Chase is a computer game designed to be played by pigs. The Playing with Pigs project is researching the complex relationship we have with domesticated pigs by designing a game. Designing new forms of human-pig interaction can create the opportunity for consumers and pigs to forge new relations as well as to experience the cognitive capabilities of each other. Led by Irene van Peer, a researcher and teacher at HKU in Utrecht, Pig Chase is the latest in a long line of projects that engage non-human actors in play scenarios. What makes Pig Chase a bit different is that it has therapeutic value for the pigs and it takes advantage of new technology to make the game available on touch screens and tablets. The main discovery Irene and her team have made is pigs respond more readily to light, colour and shape than to haptic stimulus. Pig Chase provides the pigs with a giant touch screen panel on which they can interact with a series of moving shapes.
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Andrew Keen is a British born entrepreneur and author. His book The Cult of the Amateur sets out his views of user-generated content websites such as YouTube and Wikipedia. Keen's view is that by worshipping the amateur individual - bedroom filmmaker or prolific blogger, part time Flickr photographer or war tourist tweeter - we're losing sight of carefully considered media production techniques that have evolved over decades, along with the intelligent professionals who operate in far flung places to bring us the news. Keen reckons Wikipedia is the online home of inaccuracy and crowdsourced content can never be as reliable as pre-digital information channels. He argues fluently for media literacy, challenging the mantra of the digital generation, the user is not king.
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Neelie Kroes is a Dutch politician and is currently the European Commissioner for Digital Agenda. She's been active in local, national and international politics for over 40 years. She's also been an active board member at many multinational corporations including McDonald's Netherlands and Nedlloyd. She became well known in technology circles when she presided over the EU competition probe into Microsoft which resulted in a €497milllion fine for the software giant. Kroes is a passionate believer in the opportunities offered by the digital world and in broadening access to technology. She has been at the forefront of attempts to bring ultra fast broadband and a wider social engagement with digital technology across Europe.
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Jeroen Raes is a bionaut, he researches the human microbiome. What he's discovered in his lab at the Flanders Institute of Biology could herald a major breakthrough not just in gastro-intestinal medicine, but in our fundamental knowledge of the human biology. It turns out that there are only three different types of gut bacteria and, just like blood groups, the three types are totally independent of race, sex, age or diet. Such a baffling finding leads to more research of course and Raes is currently testing his idea on a larger group . The implications for Crohn's Disease or obesity could be dramatic.
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Aaron Rowe is a molecular chemistry researcher and prolific blogger about life sciences, technology and science education. He writes product reviews for Wired and has developed a low cost medical instrument as part of his studies at the University of California. Most recently Aaron has become a senior biomedical engineer at Scanadu where he's lending his considerable scientific knowledge to the search for the medical Tricorder. He wants to make a significant contribution to health care and use his skills to make innovative changes both to scientific method and to life science results.
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Scala is an all-female choir from the Flemish town of Aarschot in Belgium. They hit the headlines in 2010 when, with the Kolacny brothers, they featured on the trailer to The Social Network, the massively successful hollywood movie all about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. For the film they sang a version of Radiohead's 'Creep' that resonated around the world as the wired generation discovered the personality behind Facebook and its billions of users. Long before that however, Scala were enjoying local success winning the award for Belgian Choir of the Year in 2000, releasing their first album, Scala on the Rocks in 2002. The formula of rendering current rock classics in pure choral tones has proved incredibly popular, Scala performs all over the world continually adding to its hard rock repertoire.
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Dale Stephens is a 20 year old education hactivist and Thiel Fellow. Started by Peter Thiel, the idea is that Fellows of the programme each receive $100,000 not to go to college (which Thiel believes is a waste of time and money). Dale Stephens is the leader of UnCollege a social movement which intends to challenge the notion that a college degree is the only path to business or career success. He points to the fact that self-directed learners consistently out perform traditional students, 22% of young college grads work at jobs that have no requirement for a college degree, and 70% of learning comes from real-world experiences. Dale is regularly invited to speak about his vision and has appeared on CNN, ABC, NPR, CBS, Fox, and TechCrunch. His work has been covered by the New York Times and New York Magazine toFast Company and Forbes.
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Bruno Zamborlin is a technologist, researcher, musician and designer. He's been working on a joint PhD in computational technologies between Paris and London, exploring new methods for gestural interaction and its applications in performing arts and the creation of new musical instruments. Bruno is interested in the topic of Interactive Machine Learning and the possibility of allowing the artist to interact with the entire supervised learning process and the creation and design of his own gesture vocabulary. The early results of this research is Mogees, which uses contact microphones to turn any touchable surface into a musical instrument. Bruno made a video illustrating Mogees that's had over 80,000 views, furthering his mission to open up gestural vocabulary to impromptu actions and personalisation.
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