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Social psychologist Amy Cuddy's pioneering research shows that subtle manipulations in posture can actually change our hormone levels and dramatically alter the way we feel and are perceived by the people around us. Just two minutes in one of Cuddy's power poses lowered cortisol levels and actually changed the performance of research participants in stressful situations. She channeled these findings into empowerment training tips. Check out her PopTech presentation to find out how you can use your body language to win in the boardroom, your next job, interview or public performance.

Pop!Tech Social Innovation Fellows 2011

David and I were recently announced as PopTech Social Innovation Fellows for the class of 2011. Following in the footsteps of several of our peers from Ushahidi, Praekelt Foundation and others, it is with wonder, pride and excitement that we enter this year’s classroom.

Many fine and smart folks have stepped through these halls before us, and we’re sure that the process will leave us bruised with knowledge and insight, all the more equipped to face the immense challenges Refugees United stand before.

As we “speak,” David is in Camden, Maine, damn well near cut off from the connected grid, ironic as that is, while a dream-team of intellectual surfers take him and the rest of the class through the swells of driving an organization to scale and navigate the treacherous waters that surround any venture moving beyond safe harbors in search of a perfect storm. I believe, as I’m sure most of our partners in crime do, that any organization seeking to grow extreme impact through technology must pass through this rite of passage: the pummeling. We have been warned this is exactly what PopTech is about J

In the class of 2011 there are ventures such as Data Without Borders and Local Orbit, ideas that are all brilliant and burning to shine. To say we’re humbled and honored to be joining not only this team, but also the PopTech family at large, would be an understatement.

This is chapter one of two, as I’m jealously following the battle of Camden, Maine from the sidelines, awaiting to be infected by the contagious inspiration David is bound to return with. He will later update you all on the measures and motions they had to pass through in their quest to excel at what we do.



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eL Seed: The Art of Calligraffiti  

eL Seed is a French artist who creates large-scale works of art combining the vernacular of street art with Arabic calligraphy. What he calls “Calligraffiti” is his response to both his role as an Arabic artist in a Western-dominated art world as well as his role as an artist of the “streets.” 

Here we get a glimpse of how his life growing up in Paris and how his socialization or lack there of, doesn’t not allow him to fully identify himself as French.

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13-year old Aidan Dwyer (PopTech 2011) designed a more efficient model for solar power by studying Fibonacci sequences. Today, his divides his time between junior high and collaborations with research organizations like the University of Madison’s Resilience Research Center.

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Amy Cuddy: Power Poses

"Give back to the world at least what you’ve received." - Albert Einstein

French-Tunisian artist eL Seed’s thoughtful and fitting work of graffiti and Arabic calligraphy, produced during the PopTech 2011 conference, aptly expresses our shared commitment to positive action in support of world-changing people, projects and ideas.

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"They call me the real life batman. My claim to fame is that I click," explains Daniel Kish. His organization, World Access for the Blind, trains the visually impaired to achieve greater freedom through echolocation, a technique that simulates a bat’s night vision of perceiving the environment through sound. In this video shot during PopTech 2011, he hops on a bicycle to show us echolocation in action.

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Energy shop talk: Science Fellow Jessika Trancik wants to pick up the pace

This week, we’ll be highlighting a few people within the PopTech network who are working on the forefront of disruptive energy innovations, utilizing new technologies, models and scientific discoveries.

In 2011 Science Fellow Jessika Trancik's labthey’re hard at work to quicken the pace of energy solutions for transportation, heat, and electricity that won’t emit the copious amounts of fossil fuel-based carbon dioxide, which have caused global climate change problems. Trancik explained in her PopTech talk that we have about 50 years to alter our energy consumption so we need to act with intelligent haste.

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I’m the only 13-year-old in the world to have venture capitalists friend me on Facebook.
—  Aidan Dwyer, age 13, was one of twelve students to receive the 2011 Young Naturalist Award from the American Museum of Natural History in New York for creating an innovative approach to collecting sunlight in photovoltaic arrays. Dwyer’s investigation into the mathematical relationship of the arrangement of branches and leaves in deciduous trees led to his discovery that these species utilized the Fibonacci Sequence in their branch and leaf design.