At Novalia, Kate Stone and her team use ordinary printing presses to manufacture interactive electronics, which combine touch-sensitive ink technology and printed circuits into unique and cost-effective products.

Why you should listen

Born in Cheshire, England and the child of a continent-hopping engineer, Kate Stone was often left to her own devices among some of the world's most disparate cultures. Whether learning to cook rice from Gurkhas or spending time alongside a garageful of car repairmen in Borneo, Kate quickly learned that nontraditional problem-solving was often the very best kind.

At 20, Stone moved to Australia and eventually to the outback, where she was soon herding 22,000 sheep on a 120,000-acre farm. She then returned to England and began her studies in electronics at Salford University, before being recruited to do her PhD work in physics at Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory, where her focus on moving electrons eventually led to the creation of her groundbreaking company, Novalia.

At Novalia, Stone says: "The work of my team and myself is the realization of my childhood fascinations. We put electronics into paper, and paper is all around us." Stone sees herself as a “creative scientist,” blending art and science to create startling fusions of new and old technology. In addition to her work with Novalia, Stone is on the advisory board of Lifeboat, a think tank dedicated to solving the ethical challenges brought about by scientific advances.

What others say

“Dr. Stone says that paper, like ink, has an electronic future.” — New York Times, June 30, 2012

Kate Stone’s TED talk

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