A gathering of the leading innovators in media, technology, entertainment and education for three days of unrelenting inspiration.
Jo Montgomery and Chuck Johnson
Chuck: founded the Cascade Youth circus; worked as a stunt rigger for Spiderman; and returned to Seattle to co-found SANCA for teaching circus arts with...
Jo: lived in a mission hospital in KwaZulu at age 11; returned to Seattle and became a nurse practitioner serving low-income populations. When she and Chuck launched SANCA in 2004 it had 5 students. They now have over 850 students learning every form of circus acrobatics and gymnastics.
The Flying Karamazov Brothers
Vaudeville never died. It lives on, zombie like, in the form of the Karamazov Brothers. This is not your old man's wild-haired, flame-throwing, kilt-and-tutu-wearing, wise-cracking juggling troupe. If human hands can lift it, they have probably thrown it.
Red aka Hong Yi
Red grew up in Sabah on the beautiful tropical island of Borneo. She dreamt of becoming a cartoon animator and Lion King is still her favourite cartoon.
Red’s paintings of Yao Ming, painted with a basketball for a brush, and Jay Chou using coffee and a cup, were Youtube hits, giving her 15 seconds of fame on CNN, ABC, Gizmodo and other media around the world. Her previous work includes portraits of Ai Weiwei using 100,000 sunflower seeds and Justin Bieber using gochujang (Korean chilli paste). Red is currently experimenting with unconventional materials and exploring structural design principles for her next projects.
Red holds two degrees from the University of Melbourne (Architecture; and Planning and Design). She was awarded a Melbourne Abroad Scholarship to study at the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands, which broadened her perspective and exposure in the field of European architecture.
An Australian national finalist in the SONA Superstudio competition in 2009 and 2010, she was given Jury Special Mention and awarded the Elenberg Fraser Prize for Best Presentation in both years. She also received Special Mention for the AA Prize for Unbuilt Works 2010, and featured in the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of Architecture Australia Magazine.
She is currently working in the Shanghai offices of HASSELL, an established Australian architecture firm. She absolutely enjoys being an architect by day and an artist by twilight.
A favorite at EG, the dynamic duo of the piano, Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe, was born at Juilliard in 2000: and no pair has ever played the instrument with such originality & flair. The Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers of the keyboard.
One of the most prolific British directors, Michael thrilled us with James Bond (The World Is Not Enough), and tugged at our hearts (Coal Miner's Daughter; Amazing Grace), but his documentary 56 UP stands as a singular and tenacious achievement in the history of cinema.
Several years ago, Brian put everything he had into the photography of whales — the largest photographic prints of the largest animals on earth. You'll be amazed at his progress.
In 1972 Nolan Bushnell created an industry when he founded Atari and gave the world Pong, the first blockbuster video game. Today his design credo—that games should be “easy to learn and difficult to master”—is inspiring a new generation of developers. A prolific entrepreneur, Bushnell has started more than 20 companies, including Catalyst Technologies, the first Silicon Valley incubator, and Etak, the first in-car nav system—not to mention Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Time Theater. In the process, he pioneered many of the workplace innovations that have made the Silicon Valley a long-standing magnet for creative talent. Bushnell was the first and only man to hire Steve Jobs and wrote the 2013 bestseller Finding the Next Steve Jobs. With his latest startup, BrainRush, he is intent on fixing education with software that uses gamification principles to “addict” students to learning. A true icon of the digital revolution, Bushnell was named one of “50 People Who Changed America” by Newsweek. A biopic, tentatively titled Atari and slated to star Leonardo DiCaprio as Bushnell, is currently in pre-production.
Can't find your chent? Roz might know just where you stuck it. A prolific cartoonist, her wry take on daily life has graced the New Yorker (and other magazines) and filled a dozen books for more than three decades.
George Church, PhD is Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Wyss Institute, Director of the Center for Computational Genetics, Director of the NIH Center for Excellence in Genomic Science (on human genome engineering), founder of PGP and guinea PiG#1. He is a member of the NAS and NAE and Franklin Laureate for Achievement in Science.
Ben Davis runs two SF-based graphic design and communication firms - WPI and ISH. Ben has a passion for legacy projects - major civic and social projects that will create generational positive impact and he is the visionary of The Bay Lights and serves as Chair or Illuminate the Arts.
Catherine and Richard are a couple of Belgians who left their day jobs, bought a legendary Unimog expedition vehicle, and began rambling around the world. That was 16 years and dozens of countries ago. They're currently parked somewhere in Argentina. Or maybe Chile.
Richard and Catherine Desomme
Catherine and Richard are a couple of Belgians who left their day jobs, bought a legendary Unimog expedition vehicle, and began rambling around the world. That was 16 years and dozens of countries ago. They're currently parked somewhere in Argentina. Or maybe Chile.
A singular talent, nobody wields the carver's gouges like David. Picking up where the baroque genius Grinling Gibbons left off, David's incredibly detailed limewood carvings are unique in their richness and complexity — but so is the way he found his calling, and mastered his art.
A uniquely inventive talent, Bran has been solving incredible problems across the entertainment industry for nearly forty years. His most recent thrust, Applied Minds, may be one of the world's most remarkable invention studios.
Canadian artist Brandy Gale loves to paint on-location in the Greater Outdoors. She eschews studio work and enthusiastically travels, snowshoes, swims, and hikes to a variety of climes - local and abroad - to paint landscape from life. There is power, joy, and physical challenge in painting outdoors alla prima, especially for a full spectrum synesthete like Brandy, whose visions from her 5 fully-crossed senses are transmitted to others through the polychromatic intensity of her plein air work.
A biography might be short if you're not yet a teenager, but Umi already has a pianistic rap sheet as long as your arm. At 8: Ellen DeGeneres Show. At 9: debut with the Wuhan Symphony (Mozart). At 10, won International Chopin Competition & played at Carnegie Hall. At 11, performed at the Assisi nel Mondo Festival. Featured on "From The Top" she performed with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops. She speaks English and Japanese, and loves to draw, visit museums, and travel.
A bright young pianistic star, Umi has already won more than a dozen piano competitions and made numerous concert appearances around the world, both as a solo recitalist and with orchestras from Boston to Wuhan.
Alison is a Professor of Psychology and Philosophy at Berkeley, and one of the most prominent researchers in the effects of language on thought. She is renowned for her work on cognitive development in babies.
26-year-old Kina Grannis is half Japanese, and half Euro-mutt. Despite that, her first trip to Europe was in 2011. Since then, she's been four times and sold out two dozen shows including four in London alone, followed by shows in the Pacific Northwest and southeast Asia. She designs most of her artwork, ad materials, and shirts. Her songs and albums have become hits, and her song In Your Arms was developed as a stop-frame animation using 288,000 jelly beans. It took two years to complete, but the video was seen more than a million times within the first three days.
Kina started RUN TEAM KINA not only to encourage and support healthier lifestyles, but to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (which nominated Kina for Woman of the Year). She's running a half marathon for RUN TEAM KINA this June.
From her woodsy studio near the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz, Sheba sculpts using CAD software and 3d printing technology to render pieces in bronze and stainless steel, or laser-etching curious patterns or mathematical oddities into glass.
Creative Director @ BBC's redoubtable Natural History Unit, Mike has led some of the most jaw-dropping nature productions in the past 25 years, including LIFE (2009); Madagascar (2011); and AFRICA (2013). Working cheek-by-jowl with Sir David Attenborough, Mike and his teams bring Nature's astounding insights into the living rooms of billions of viewers.
Scott's expeditions drive advanced technologies at extreme frontiers — from the summit of Everest to the depths of the oceans. A lifelong passion for unsolved mysteries has racked up over 500 nights in the field — far from his work on Wall Street as a financial wizard. Recently, Scott's teams have been restoring eyesight to villagers in the high Himalayas.
One time when Matt Harding was traveling in Vietnam, his friend told him to stand over by the curb and do his stupid dance. Now he is famous on the internet as that guy who does that stupid dance all over the world. It's his job. Things worked out pretty well for Matt. Matt is a 32-year-old deadbeat from Connecticut who used to think that all he ever wanted to do in life was make and play videogames. Matt achieved this goal pretty early and enjoyed it for a while, but eventually realized there might be other stuff he was missing out on. In February of 2003, he quit his job in Brisbane, Australia and used the money he'd saved to wander around Asia until it ran out. He made this site so he could keep his family and friends updated about where he is. In 2006, Matt took a 6 month trip through 39 countries on all 7 continents. In that time, he danced a great deal. The second video made Matt even more quasi-famous. In fact, for a brief period in July, he was semi-famous. Things settled down again, and then in 2007 Matt went back to Stride with another idea. He realized his bad dancing wasn't actually all that interesting, and that other people were much better at being bad at it. He showed them his inbox, which, as a result of his semi-famousness, was overflowing with emails from all over the planet. He told them he wanted to travel around the world one more time and invite the people who'd written him to come out and dance too.
A Professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke, Brian is Director of the Duke Canine Cognition Center, co-author of The Genius Of Dogs, and co-founder of Dognition.
Michael Hawley is an educator, computer scientist, musician and photographer who serves as impresario of EG. Educated at Yale and MIT, he held industrial positions at Bell Labs, IRCAM in Paris, Lucasfilm in San Rafael, and NeXT in Palo Alto. For many years, Michael was the Alex Dreyfoos Professor of Media Technology at MIT. He plays the piano (won the Van Cliburn amateur competition in 2002) and has a passion for photography (produced a notable photographic book on Bhutan). Michael lives in an old church in Cambridge where his family includes a quirky HImalayan mastiff (Tashi), an adopted Bhutanese daughter (Choki) and his beloved bride Nina You.
The managing director for BBC Earth, Amanda is the Chief Brands Officer for the BBC and has produced innovative thrusts across all platforms — for television, theatrical release, live events, and exhibits.
A.J. Jacobs is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, including The Year of Living Biblically. He is editor at large at Esquire and a contributor to NPR.
Who put the "J" in DFJ? A top venture man, around Silicon Valley, he's like a kid in a candy store, transforming science fiction into fact with such enterprises as NeoPhotonics, SpaceX, and Synthetic Genomics. Steve was the first kid on his block to own a Tesla Model S electric car. Actually, he was the first one in the world: he's on Tesla's board, too. Favorite hobby? Rocketry.
Ravynn Karet-Coxen is Founder Chairman of the Nginn Karet Foundation for Cambodia (NKFC).
MacArthur Laureate, Stanford Professor of Computer Science, innovator in machine learning, Daphne is co-founder and co-CEO of Coursera in Mountain View, CA.
Whelped of Swiss/Czech/Swedish stock, Eric grew up an Air Force brat on bases in Houston, Biloxi, Tampa, Tucson, Chicago and El Paso. Once he discovered perspective drawing at age 7, there was no turning back. From his studio in Clerkenwell, he designs not just buildings, but entire cities, wrestling with the defining problem of our age: re-imagining earth's intensely urban future, creating great civic spaces, in ways that are culturally enriching, communally uplifting, yet human scale.
James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler says he wrote “The Geography of Nowhere” “because I believe a lot of people share my feelings about the tragic landscape of highway strips, parking lots, housing tracts, mega-malls, junked cities, and ravaged countryside that makes up the everyday environment where most Americans live and work.” His other books include “Home From Nowhere,” “The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition,” “World Made by Hand,” “The Long Emergency,” among others.
The world's pre-eminent wildlife photographer, Frans was born in Rotterdam, emigrated to the U.S., found his bride Chris Eckstrom — and made the world's wildest and farthest places into his studio, with the most charismatic creatures as his models. A Knight in the Royal Order of the Golden Ark, his images are iconic, lyrical, unforgettable, breathtaking.
Actor/Impressionist Jim Meskimen has been a professional actor for almost thirty years, but has made his biggest mark as a vocal impressionist, providing celebrity voices for viral Jibjab shorts, for late night TV, for films by Ron Howard and Michael Bay, and now on YouTube, where his recent Shakespeare in Celebrity Voices topped three quarters of a million views last year. The son of TV icon Marion Ross, Jim has been a professional audiobook director, cartoon character designer (he created characters for the 80's hit cartoon Thundercats) and fine artist, but he finds that what really defines him, ironically, is his uncanny ability to take on the personalities of others. His one-man show, JIMPRESSIONS now running in Hollywood, was created to be an inspiring journey across time and sound, through told through a wide variety of celebrity impressions, and true stories from Meskimen's unusual career.
MacArthur laureate Michael Moschen is considered to be the supreme juggling virtuoso of our time, and likely of all time. His creations have been seen on stage, screen and television as well as in leading theatre and dance festivals all over the world. For the past five years Michael has researched the historic commonalities of mathematics, physics and music. He is readying his first physical skill-based activity/game to be distributed worldwide.
Nicholas Negroponte is an American architect best known as the founder and
Chairman Emeritus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab, and also known as the founder of the One Laptop per Child Association (OLPC).
Native of Dallas, graduate of UT Austin, Dean earned his M.D. from Baylor and is one of the leading progenitors of the lifestyle-driven approach to the control of chronic diseases like coronary artery disease. Through clinical research studies, he proved that comprehensive lifestyle changes could not only stop the progression of heart disease, but reverse it — and indeed, un-do a great deal of underlying system damage to restore wellness. The author or co-author of more than a dozen books and recipient of numerous major awards and accolades, Dean is a major force in transforming healthcare via patient-centered, integrative approaches.
Born in 1949 in Hoboken, New Jersey, Ken is a self-taught artist who painted his first pictures during the Summer of Love in 1967, having discovered an uncanny ability to intuitively grasp the aesthetic and technical aspects of the Old Masters. A series of fateful events resulted in what was to become a thirty-year career as a professional art forger. Today he operates his own studio in Madeira Beach, Florida.
Ken recently published his memoir — Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger. Ten years ago, an FBI investigation in conjunction with the US Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York was about to expose a scandal in the art world that would have been front-page news in New York and London. After a trail of fake paintings of astonishing quality led federal agents to art dealers, renowned experts, and the major auction houses, the investigation inexplicably ended, despite an abundance of evidence collected. The case was closed and the FBI file was marked “exempt from public disclosure.”
Now that the statute of limitations on these crimes has expired and the case appears hermetically sealed shut by the FBI, this book, Caveat Emptor, is Ken Perenyi’s confession. It is the story, in detail, of how he pulled it all off.
Apollo Robbins is a unique combination of performer, speaker and consultant. He first made national news as the man who pick-pocketed the Secret Service while entertaining the former President.
Apollo’s performances utilize pick-pocketing and sleight-of-hand to demonstrate proximity manipulation, diversion techniques and attention control. This unique set of skills has led to several national television appearances as well as both corporate and academic speaking engagements.
Apollo’s live show is a dynamic blend of Pick-pocketing, Sleight-of-hand and Con Games. Known as “The Gentleman Thief” he handles his participants in a non-intrusive way, without embarrassing them, often giving his audience a behind-the-scenes view. Apollo’s trademark is his unique ability to tell his “target” that he is about to steal from them, before he does it, right under their nose.
In addition to relieving the Secret Service of their watches, wallets, & confidential itinerary, Apollo was hired by the Phoenix Suns to steal Charles Barkley’s personal items. The producers of Alias had Apollo “borrow” Jennifer Garner’s engagement ring (given to her by Ben Affleck). Apollo switched Troy Aikman’s and Jerome Bettis’ drivers licenses. Tiffany & Co. had Apollo load their new private collection on their top VIP’s.
Elizabeth Joy Roe was named one of the classical music world's "Six on the Rise: Young Artists to Watch" by Symphony Magazine. The recipient of the prestigious William Petschek Piano Debut Recital Award, she has appeared as recitalist, orchestral soloist, and collaborative musician at major venues and festivals around the world, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the 92nd Street Y (New York); the Kennedy Center (Washington, DC); Salle Cortot (Paris); the Ravinia Festival (Chicago); the Seoul Arts Center (Korea); Teatro Argentino (Buenos Aires); the Banff Centre (Canada); and the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany).
Linda Ronstadt is arguably the most versatile vocalist of the modern era, and has forged a four-decade career establishing her as one of the very important artists in one of the most creative periods in the history of modern music. She has broadened the latitudes of the pop singer, expanding the vocalist’s canvas to include country, rock and roll, big band, jazz, opera, Broadway standards, Mexican and Afro-Cuban influences, leaving no stone unturned in the pursuit of the ultimate song. With worldwide album sales of over 50 million, at least 31 gold and platinum records, and 11 Grammy Awards to her credit, Linda is the consummate American artist.
While Linda was a student at the University of Arizona, she met guitarist Bob Kimmel. The duo moved to Los Angeles, where they were joined by guitarist/songwriter Kenny Edwards. Calling themselves the Stone Poneys, the group became a leading attraction on California's folk circuit, recording their self-titled first album The Stone Poneys in 1967. The band's second album, Evergreen, Vol. 2, featured the Top 20 hit "Different Drum," which was written by Michael Nesmith. After recording one more album with the group, Linda left for a solo career at the end of 1968.
The rest, as they say, is history — colored with songs that most of us know by heart. Most recently, and perhaps most importantly, Linda has used her voice for the betterment of national arts and music programs. Few musicians have been as thoughtful or outspoken about the importance of growing up in an environment that nurtures healthy music making and artistic opportunities.
Philip Sheppard is a composer specializing in film and television soundtracks. He is also a solo cellist and professor at the Royal Academy of Music.
Physician and pianist Christopher Shih has been hailed by The New York Times as "an intelligent and thoughtful musician." He has performed in over a dozen countries around the globe and has soloed with numerous orchestras, including repeated engagements with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC. He regularly collaborates with world-class artists and ensembles across the nation, from concertmasters of major orchestras to the Grammy-winning Pacifica Quartet. He is the grand prize winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs, the Concours International de Grands Amateurs de Piano, the Boston International Piano Competition for Exceptional Amateurs, and the Washington International Piano Amateurs Competition. He received his B.A. from Harvard University and his M.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and he currently works as a gastroenterologist with Regional Gastroenterology Associates of Lancaster.
Jill Sobule is a Denver-born singer, songwriter, guitarist and gypsy. Over five albums and a decade of recording, her hit songs included I Kissed a Girl and Supermodel. Jill inducted Neil Diamond into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. She’s performed with Neil Young, Billy Bragg and Warren Zevon and has been a political troubador for NPR stations across America. She’s an American original.
Adam D. Steltzner is an Engineering Fellow at Jet Propulsion Laboratory and is leading the development of the Sampling System for the Mars2020 project. Most recently he was the Manager of the Entry, Descent and Landing phase of the Mars Science Laboratory project. Adam received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from UC Davis 1990, he earned his MS in Applied Mechanics from Caltech, where he was the Hellwig Fellow in structural engineering, in 1991 and his Ph.D. in Engineering Physics, from UW Madison in 1999. Adam joined the JPL in 1991 and has worked on various projects including Galileo, Cassini, Mars Pathfinder, Champollion, and Comet Nucleus Sample Return, Mars Exploration Rovers and the Mars Science Laboratory. His research interests include, structural dynamics, input force determination, mechanical design, systems engineering, and leadership of high performance teams. He most recently led the team that developed the Curiosity Rover’s landing system. He is increasingly aware of the importance of team culture and dynamics in delivering a team’s final product.
How do you become a cyber illusionist? Marco Tempest combines tech and trickery to create amazing deceptions, a feat that has earned him the title. He began his career as a stage magician and manipulator, but his interest in computer-generated imagery led him to incorporate video and digital technology in his work. The result is a new form of contemporary illusion. Tempest is a keen advocate of the open source community, working with artists, writers, and technologists to create new experiences and research the practical uses of illusionary tech. He is a Director’s Fellow at MIT Media, and he continues to perform around the world.
Josiah "Tink" Thompson
Thompson took degrees in Philosophy from Yale, with two years in between as a Navy frogman working on underwater explosives. After finishing his PhD at Yale, Tink became Professor Thompson of Haverford College for several decades. But for the last thirty years, he has made his living as an investigator.
His cases run the gamut from auto accidents to high-visibility criminal prosecutions — from a $100m arson case in France, to a $100m coffee fraud in Colombia. The work has included hundreds of murder cases, including several that garnered national news (e.g., proving the innocence of Chol Soo Lee; investigations on the retrial of the Billionaire Boys Club; and defense of William and Emily Harris on charges of kidnapping Patty Hearst).
His book Gumshoe chronicles his life as a private-eye, and his highly acclaimed book Six Seconds in Dallas analyzed the JFK assassination. Along the way, he noticed — and resolved — such enigmas as the infamous "umbrella man."
Progenitor of the vaunted self-driving car, Thrun led a double life as Prof. of Computer Science at Stanford, and VP & Fellow at Google. What could be an even greater boon for our world than cars that drive themselves? The answer may be his new venture. After ditching tenure at Stanford to join Google, just last year Sebastian cofounded a new online educational organization: Udacity.
One of the most prolific character actors working today, Stephen is ubiquitous. He has appeared in over 200 films and at least as many television projects, in roles ranging from Ned Ryerson (Groundhog Day) to Buttcrack Plumber. His best role? Probably storyteller. His book, The Dangerous Animals Club, issued last fall.
Sprouted from the woods of Pennsylvania, Underkoffler spent more than a decade at MIT. After three degrees and acquiring a practical knowledge of holography, Underkoffler became one of Hollywood's principal science advisors, designing futuristic worlds for films like Minority Report. Oblong Industries, his LA-based company, has been inventing gesturally-rich information environments since 2006.
We are the first generation of humans to radically engineer new life forms. When historians of the future look back, they may find monuments to Ting & George who embody the scientific insight and engineering craft that is at the nexus of this new movement.
Chris Young is a chef-scientist known for applying science and technology to create culinary experiences that earlier generations would never have imagined. As a coauthor of “Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking,” he has created a book that explores how a deeper understanding of science and technology will help chefs achieve greater feats of creativity and innovation in their kitchen.
FROM EG3: Adam Savage Obsesses Over Recreating Dodo Skeleton
About this conference
This year at EG, Everything is Learning - and Learning is Everything. Many of the leading inventors, explorers, educators, entertainers, artists and entrepreneurs are joining us to probe these frontiers.
EG is the premiere gathering of and for innovators in media, technology, entertainment and education. The conference explores our most creative enterprises, by engaging a gifted mix of people — from rising stars to
living national treasures, the people who attend EG are among the most industrious and iconoclastic talents of our time.