Archive for March, 2013

Twyla Tharp – Lifetime Achievement Award


Since graduating from Barnard College in 1963, Ms. Tharp has choreographed more than one hundred sixty works: one hundred twenty-nine dances, twelve television specials, five Hollywood movies, four full-length ballets, four Broadway shows and two figure skating routines.  She has also written three books.  She received one Tony Award, two Emmy Awards, nineteen honorary doctorates, […]

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City of Manchester – Manchester Prize for Urban Innovation


The City of Manchester is the powerhouse of the north of England.  Home to 2.6 million people and more than 90,000 businesses, the city’s economy is valued at £48 billion – 40% of GVA for the entire north west of England. Key industry sectors include: financial and professional services, manufacturing, low carbon, creative, digital and […]

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Norma Kamali


Norma Kamali is known for her innovative style and inventive approach to fashion.  She is known for directional, timeless concepts such as the sleeping bag coat, the high-heeled sneaker, clothing made from actual parachutes, influential swimwear, sweatshirt clothing as the forerunner of casual clothing and a collection of packable, wearable and multi-style clothing. Celebrities are […]

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Rus Yusupov


Rus Yusupov is a digital product designer and entrepreneur based in New York City.  His passion for the arts is grounded in his education at LaGuardia Arts High School and the School of Visual Arts, from which he holds a BFA in Graphic Design.  As a designer, he’s always been passionate about the creative process, […]

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Elise Andrew

Elise Andrew headshot

Elise is being honored for pushing social boundaries to reach a wider audience.  Her wildly successful yet slightly irreverently titled Facebook page, I Fucking Love Science has attracted a new audience of over 5 million young science lovers; her less irreverent mirror page, Science is Awesome, has attracted 300,000 users.  The use of culturally irreverent […]

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Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck Headshot

Glenn Beck, one of America’s leading multi-media personalities, is the founder and owner of TheBlaze, a 24/7 news, information and opinion network that is available on television and online. attracts 10 million unique visitors per month. Beck’s quick wit, candid opinions and engaging personality have made The Glenn Beck Program the third highest rated […]

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Troy Carter


Renowned music manager Troy Carter is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Atom Factory, a pioneering entertainment and music management company. Carter has established the careers of numerous recording artists, including multi-platinum Grammy-Award winner Lady Gaga. Carter began his career in Philadelphia working for Will Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook Entertainment, and joined Bad Boy […]

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Ben Kaufman

Ben Kaufman

Ben Kaufman is the 26-year-old founder and CEO of Quirky.  His entrepreneurial journey started during his senior year of high school with a second mortgage on his parent’s house and the founding of an iPod accessory company called mophie.  Shortly after mophie won “Best in Show” at MacWorld 2006, Ben discovered his passion for involving […]

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Nicolas Berggruen


Nicolas Berggruen is the Chairman of Berggruen Holdings, a private company, which is the direct investment vehicle of The Nicolas Berggruen Charitable Foundation. He is also the Chairman of the Berggruen Institute on Governance.  Berggruen Holdings has operations, real estate and financial investments worldwide. The firm and related entities have made over 100 direct investments […]

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Hamdi Ulukaya

Hamdi Ulukaya Headshot

Dubbed “the Steve Jobs of yogurt” by Forbes, Hamdi Ulukaya built a $1 billion business in just five years.  Hamdi grew up in Turkey working his family’s sheep farm. In 1994 he moved to the U.S. and founded Chobani in 2005.  Today, Chobani is the No. 1 selling yogurt brand in America, and has grown […]

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Peter Shapiro

Peter Shapiro image

Independent music and film entrepreneur Peter Shapiro’s eclectic and wholly individual career path has led to acclaimed and ground-breaking projects like the IMAX concert films U23D and All Access, the annual Jammy Awards show, America’s Largest Earth Day event, and the Green Apple Festival. He is a founding partner of the inaugural Great GoogaMooga food and drink festival, founder […]

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Garrett Camp

Garrett Camp_Headshot

Garrett is a serial entrepreneur and investor based in San Francisco. Garrett is Chairman & Co-founder of Uber, an on-demand car service available in 30 cities across North America and Europe. Garrett is also Chairman and Co-founder of StumbleUpon, a web discovery platform he grew to over 25 million registered users as its founding CEO. […]

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Jack Andraka

JackAndrak head shot

Jack Andraka is a 15-year-old Maryland high school student who has invented an inexpensive and sensitive dipstick-like sensor for the rapid and early detection of pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancers. He recently won the Gordon E. Moore top prize at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair as well as the Google Thinking Big Award for […]

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GE Focus Forward


GE and cinelan have collaborated to create short films by renowned documentary filmmakers that highlight innovative people who are reshaping the world through act or invention. GE Focus Forward – Short Films Big Ideas have established a new platform for storytelling with a global reach.   Beth Comstock, Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President […]

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Forbes Media


Forbes Media LLC, publisher of Forbes magazine and, is an authoritative source of news and information on business, investing, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership and affluent lifestyles., a leading business website, currently reaches 46 million monthly unique visitors, according to Omniture.  Forbes magazine, Forbes Asia and Forbes Europe attract a global audience of 5 million […]

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The African Robotics Network (AFRON)


Since it launched May 2012, AFRON has 300 members from 25 countries including Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Algeria, South Africa, Egypt, Tanzania, Cameroon, and Ethiopia, as well as affiliated members from the US, Switzerland, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, and Argentina.  With guidance from an esteemed Advisory Board, AFRON’s first project was the “$10 Robot” International […]

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Donald Katz

DonKatz (2)

Donald Katz is founder and CEO of Audible, Inc., the leading provider of premium digital spoken audio information and entertainment on the Internet. Prior to founding Audible, Katz was a journalist and author for twenty years; his work won a National Magazine Award, an Overseas Press Club Award, the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, […]

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Henry Jackson Initiative


The Henry Jackson Initiative (HJI) is a bi-partisan, transatlantic movement of business leaders, senior policy makers and academics focused on promoting a more Inclusive Capitalism.  The HJI calls for international collaboration from businesses and other organizations to encourage the widest possible adoption of programs that improve capitalism as a driver of wellbeing for society. The […]

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THINX – Change your Underwear


Miki Agrawal of WILD, Radha Agrawal of Super Sprowtz and Kym and Alexis McClay of NAVEN Accept the Joseph Lister Prize, Presented by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, for THINX The latest undertaking of entrepreneurial twins Radha and Miki Agrawal is THINX, a sustainable way for the 2 billion women around the world […]

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Kenzo Digital


Kenzo Digital is a director and artist based in New York City. His work is dedicated to synthesizing new narrative forms by unifying traditional storytelling with groundbreaking technology. Kenzo is best known for his collaborative work with Beyonce, including her video-driven 2011 Billboard Awards performance and the United Nations’ World Humanitarian Day 2012 project, “I […]

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Deborah Kenny

Debra Kenny

Deborah Kenny is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Harlem Village Academies, and is widely regarded as one of the most influential educational entrepreneurs in the country.  Under her leadership, HVA has become a national model for education reform.  Oprah Magazine named Kenny on its “Power List”, calling her a “visionary educator,” and Esquire […]

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STEM to STEAM Initiative


STEAM represents the economic progress and breakthrough innovation that comes from adding art and design to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and research: STEM + Art = STEAM. Access to ever-increasing data sets, complex scientific discovery, and always-on devices have left us oversaturated with information. The tools and methods of design offer new models […]

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Urban Dictionary


“I started Urban Dictionary as a freshman at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. I started it because I felt like traditional dictionaries weren’t keeping up with changes in language – in contrast, Urban Dictionary receives a new definition every 30 seconds.  I started it to parody the authority of the traditional dictionary. A traditional dictionary […]

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PSY- Thumbs UP

The recent online obsession over PSY’s video for “Gangnam Style” has turned the Korean artist into a global phenomenon.  “Gangnam Style,” a hit single about the ideal hip/trendy man and woman, has received over 28 million YouTube views so far and has grabbed the attention of Robbie Williams, T Pain, and Josh Groban, as well […]

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Jose Antonio Vargas

Joe Vargas

Jose Antonio Vargas is the founder of Define American, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to elevating and reframing the immigration conversation. A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Vargas, in a June 2012 cover story for TIME magazine titled “WE ARE AMERICANS* (*Just not legally),” popularized the term “undocumented Americans” in describing the country’s population of 11.5 million […]

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Lifetime Achievement Award – Jack Dorsey, Co-Founder and Chairman of Twitter and Co-Founder and CEO of Square


Originally from St. Louis, Dorsey had an early fascination with mass-transit and how cities function, which led him to Manhattan and programming real-time messaging systems for couriers, taxis, and emergency vehicles. Through this work, Dorsey witnessed thousands of workers in the field constantly updating where they were and what they were doing; Twitter is a […]

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Lifetime Achievement Award – John Wood, Founder and Board Co-Chair of Room to Read


Wood’s organization focuses on improving literacy and gender equality in education in the developing world. Since 2000, they have established over 13,500 libraries, 1,600 schools and distributed over 10 million books, impacting over 6 million children in the developing world. Twitter: @johnwoodRTR Website:  Room to Read

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Perry Chen and Yancey Strickler, Co-Founders

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Dr. Patricia Bath, President, American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness – When Dr. Bath became the first person to demonstrate Laserphaco cataract surgery she also became the first African American woman to receive a medical patent. She recently published “ilaser,” an educational science App designed to inspire the next generation of inventors. Her next […]

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Kevin Carroll, MS, CP, FAAOP, Vice President of Prosthetics for Hanger Clinic & Dan Strzempka, CPO, Area Practice Manager for Hanger Clinic – Carroll and Strzempka worked with engineers to develop WintersGel™, a unique prosthetic liner that serves as the critical interface between delicate skin and prosthetic devices. First developed for a tail-less dolphin at Clearwater […]

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Alec Ross – Senior Advisor for Innovation, U.S. Department of State


Ross serves as Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, where he is tasked with maximizing the potential of technology and innovation in service of America’s diplomatic goals and stewarding Secretary of State Clinton’s 21st Century Statecraft agenda. In this role, Alec helps ensure America’s leadership and advances the State Department’s interests […]

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Dr. Steven A. Curley

Steven Curley

Steven A. Curley, Professor of Surgical Oncology, M. D., F.A.C.S. MD Anderson Cancer Center – Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation – Curley led the development of a promising, non-invasive nano-particle radio-wave cancer treatment that fries hyper-targeted cancer cells.

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Fonderie 47


Peter Thum, CEO & Co-Founder, Fonderie 47 – Fonderie 47 transforms AK47s from war zones in Africa into branded jewelry, watches and accessories with prices ranging from the thousands into hundreds of thousands. The sale of each piece of their jewelry funds the destruction of more weapons in Africa. To date, Fonderie 47 has funded […]

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Cheetah, developed by DARPA’s M3 (Maximum Mobility and Manipulation) program, Dr. Gill Pratt, Program Manager and Boston Dynamics, Dr. Marc Raibert, Project Manager – Robots hold great promise for improving both the safety and productivity of human beings. But, compared to humans present day robots have poor mobility. The goal of the Cheetah prototype, which […]

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Hummingbird, developed by DARPA’s Nano Air Vehicle (NAV) program, Dr. Gill Pratt, DARPA Program Manager and AeroVironment, Matt Keennon, Project Manager – The latest in nano-drone technology, the Hummingbird brings strategic surprise to a new level of realism. The life-size prototype uses flapping wings for propulsion and control. Carrying a video camera and downlink, it has […]

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Bre Pettis


Bre Pettis, Co-Founder & CEO, MakerBot Industries – With “The Replicator,” a desktop 3D printer that can make objects about the size of a loaf of bread, Bre Pettis has created an entire ecosystem for desktop 3D printing, a cutting-edge consumer brand, and a flourishing open source design community on MakerBot offers a simpler, more […]

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Thomas Suarez – Founder and Chief Engineer, CarrotCorp, Inc.

Thomas Suarez

Thomas Suarez, Founder and Chief Engineer of CarrotCorp, Inc., App Creator, TEDx speaker – Suarez is hardly an average sixth-grader. The 12-year-old app developer has started a movement for app clubs for schools. Thomas’ inspirational TEDx talk has attracted nearly 2 million online views. Twitter: @tomthecarrot

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OpenCourseWare & MITx


From school clubs to online education, the traditional classroom is no longer the only venue for education. In 2001, MIT created MIT Open Course Ware. They made MIT lectures, notes and materials of more than 2,100 courses free and available to the world. Since that time, more than 125 million people have logged-on. Now MITx […]

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Stanford University Office of Technology Licensing


Stanford University Office of Technology Licensing (accepted on Stanford’s behalf by Katharine Ku, Director, Technology Licensing & Luis Mejia, Senior Licensing Associate) – For more than 40 years, OTL’s goal has been to successfully transfer Stanford cutting edge technology to industry via both start-ups and existing companies. Notable Stanford licenses include the exclusive license to […]

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Small Enterprise Economic Development (SEED) Program


SEED, University at Albany, SUNY, SEFCU and the Empire State Development Corporation – SEED links faculty, staff and graduate students from the UAlbany School of Social Welfare, the UAlbany School of Business and its Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to local entrepreneurs. It has $2.5 million in financial support from SEFCU and $96,700 from ESD. […]

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Street Bump App


Nigel Jacob & Chris Osgood, Co-Chairs, Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, Street Bump App – City of Boston’s newest mobile phone app designed to help Boston residents improve their neighborhoods. Taking advantage of the sensors on smart phones, Street Bump will provide the City with a near-real time picture of Boston’s road conditions and […]

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Marci Harris


Marci Harris, Founder & CEO, POPVOX – Harris introduced an innovative, distributed solution for online, grassroots advocacy. The platform organizes citizens around important issue, disrupting the traditional lobbying industry. Twitter: @POPVOX

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Rachael Chong


Rachael Chong, Founder & CEO, Catchafire Inc – Chong created an online matching service for social entrepreneurs and non-profits in need of pro-bono professional services, engaging a network of professionals seeking worthy projects for the public good. Twitter: @CatchafireCEO

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Jaqueline Novogratz

Jacqueline Novogratz

Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO, Acumen Fund – Novogratz created a new philanthropic business model for patient, disciplined investment in disruptive innovations in emerging markets. Acumen Fund’s mission is to create a world beyond poverty by investing in social enterprises, emerging leaders, and breakthrough ideas. It invests patient capital to identify, strengthen and scale business models that […]

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Yvette J. Alberdingk Thijm, Executive Director, WITNESS – Co-founded in 1992 by advocate and musician Peter Gabriel, WITNESS was created in the aftermath of the Rodney King incident, in which a bystander recorded police brutality. Its founding vision sought to amplify grassroots voices through stories and transform them into powerful agents of change. Today—20 years […]

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Jason Kottke


Jason Kottke, Designer & Blogger, – A pioneering blogger since 1998, Kottke used crowd funding to keep his blog running and has created one of the most influential voices on the Internet through consistent yet eclectic curation. Twitter: @jkottke

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Tiffany Shlain


Tiffany Shlain, director of acclaimed documentary Connected: An Autoblogography about Love, Death & Technology – Shlain is an award-winning filmmaker and founder of The Webby Awards. She created disruptive innovation both in the way she made Connected and the way she is using the social media itself to further the conversation about its subject: “connectedness” […]

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James P. Steyer

James Steyer

James P. Steyer, Founder and CEO, Common Sense Media – Steyer created and runs Common Sense Media, the nation’s leading advocacy organization for kids and media. He is also a founding board member of the Center for the Next Generation, a nonpartisan organization supporting programs and policies that benefit the next generation of young Americans, […]

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Jourdan Urbach


Jourdan Urbach, Executive Director, Concerts for a Cure Executive Director, International Coalition of College Philanthropists Goodwill Ambassador and Artist-in-Residence, UN Arts for Peace – Urbach is a 20-year-old, award-winning, Juilliard-trained violin virtuoso, a composer/film scorer, a Yale University senior and Founder/Executive Director of Concerts for a Cure. He stands alone as the only young, classical music […]

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Playing for Change


Mark Johnson, Co-Director & Producer and Whitney Kroenke, Executive Director, Playing for Change – Johnson and Kroenke created a multimedia phenomenon uniting musicians, stars and unknowns from around the world demolishing the notion of time and space in bone-tingling renditions of our most cherished music, captured on film on a shoestring budget. Upon completion of […]

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Pat Metheny & Linda Manzer

Pat Metheny and Linda Manzer – Legendary jazz guitarist Metheny and pioneering designer Manzer have had a three-decade collaboration, which began with the creation of the 42-string Pikasso guitar in 1984. It has a special feature known as “The Wedge,” a tapered body shape that makes the side closest to the player thinner than the […]

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Rick Rubin – Founder, Def Jam Records

photo courtesy of Annabel Mehran

                          Rick Rubin, Def Jam Records – One of the world’s most influential record producers, Rick Rubin has worked with artists as diverse as the Beastie Boys, Adele, Jay-Z, and Johnny Cash. Rubin co-founded Def Jam Records in his NYU dorm room in 1982, […]

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Nimble TV


Anand Subramanian, Founder and CEO

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Ed Burns


Ed Burns – Writer, Director, Actor – Newlyweds – When a feature film can be shot on a micro-budget of $9,000 with no fixed sets, in live environments and on a small HD camera, watch out. Burns’ Newlyweds is a case in point. Shot in the neighborhood of Tribeca, it was the Closing Night film […]

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Justin Bieber, Global Superstar and Scooter Braun, Music Manager and Entrepreneur

Justin Bieber, Global Superstar, and Scooter Braun, Music Manager and Entrepreneur –  In the first major discovery of an artist on YouTube, videos posted by Bieber and seen by Braun on YouTube led to an unprecedented success story that disrupted the traditional gatekeepers of the music industry. Bieber has sold more than 15 million albums […]

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Lifetime Achievement Award – Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales

Jimmy Wales

With only 50 employees and 450 million users, Wikipedia has changed the face of the world of collaborative information sharing.

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Special Recognition Award – the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

Ken Gabriel

Dr. Ken Gabriel, Deputy Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).  DARPA is honored for its role in creating, founding and funding of the Internet.  

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Katharina Hayes, Designer 3D Systems

Maslow’s Silver Hammer Award for additive manufacturing (3D printing).  Advances in alloys and printing technologies represent one of the most promising advances that have the potential to change the entire economic landscape.

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Keith Richards and Manager, Jane Rose

Jane Rose

Open G Tuning –  Instead of six strings in standard guitar tuning, in the late 60’s Keith Richards created a disruptive innovation by playing chords and riffs on five-string open G banjo tuning on his electric guitar. “It changed my life,” said Richards. This innovative use of Open G tuning embodied the hallmark sound of […]

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Xtranormal – Best Video of the Year


For pioneering text-to-video animation technology. Graham Sharp, President Sylvio Drouin, CTO Bruno Langlais, VP of Marketing  

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YouTube Play at The Guggenheim

Nancy Spector

Nancy Spector, Deputy Director and Chief Curator,  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum –  In this collaboration by the Guggenheim Museum and YouTube, the Guggenheim used an open Internet call for entries and selected 20 videos from 23,000 submissions, exhibiting them at its museums in October 2010 and making the videos available worldwide via YouTube.

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The Met: Live in HD


Peter Gelb, Executive Director, The Metropolitan Opera –  The challenge of finding new audiences while keeping traditional opera lovers satisfied was solved by the Met through high definition simulcasts, which now reach up to 1,500 movie theatres in 46 countries and an estimated audience to date of 7 million.

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The Digital Disruption

The Digital Disruption: Connectivity and the Diffusion of Power, by Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, was published in Foreign Affairs magazine in October 2010 and eerily presages the events in the Middle East that started to unfold in December 2010. Cohen is adjunct fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and director of Google Ideas […]

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Warden Byron Garcia


In order to improve conditions at a prison where violence and despair was commonplace, Garcia instituted a mandatory program of dance and music for his 1500 inmates. In addition to creating a positive environment, and ending gang activity in the prison, the resulting dances (such as one set to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”) became enormous YouTube […]

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Chris Andersen, Chief Curator of TED and Lara Stein, Director of TEDx This radical innovation expanded the TED audience making it more accessible and affordable, while tapping into a treasure trove of new sources of content through a licensing model of the traditional TED Conference. This risky decision has paid off and has enabled the […]

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Charter Cities

Paul Romer - Charter Cities

Paul Romer, Professor of Economics, NYU Stern School of Business, entrepreneur and Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.  The theory behind Charter Cities: sometimes it is easier to start over than to fix legacy issues and get bogged down by politics, legal hurdles and special interests.

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Espresso Book Machine

Espresso Book Machine

Legendary publisher Jason Epstein and CEO Dane Neller have created a print-on-demand machine that eventually will allow users to choose from an enormous digital library of books, and print them on site.

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Representative Edward Markey – BP Spillcam

Ed Markey

Markey’s relentless efforts provided the public with a live feed “spillcam,” revealing the devastation occurring on the ocean floor.

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Ashton Kutcher – Twitter

We would like to honor Ashton for his leadership role in identifying, utilizing and popularizing the power of connecting technologies and social media.  His efforts have disrupted traditional business platforms and helped create and raise the awareness of a new model for the distribution of entertainment, media and information.

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Eric Steven Raymond – The Cathedral & The Bazaar

We would like to recognize the importance of Eric’s essay and subsequent book, The Cathedral and the Bazaar, as a powerful metaphor and clear articulation for the open source movement.  We believe CatB has many applications and is extremely relevant to other domains beyond the creation of computer code; the Cathedral and the Bazaar offers […]

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Clifford Ross – R1 Camera

Born in New York City, Ross earned a BA in Art and Art History from Yale University in 1974. Following an early career in painting and sculpture, Ross began his photographic work in 1994. A major milestone in his work was the Hurricane series, begun in 1996. The large-scale black and white images depict dramatic […]

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Alfred Taubman – Threshold Resistance

Alfred’s theory of “Threshold Resistance” provides a very deep and powerful insight into innovation theory in general and offers a fascinating perspective that can help influence the application of Professor Christensen’s Disruptive Innovation Theory across many disciplines, domains and contexts and how to break down emotional, psychological, political and economic barriers. We would like to […]

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Michiko Kakutani – The New York Times

We would like to recognize Michiko for her New York Times article entitled “Text Without Context” regarding artistic appropriation and dilution. Her work represents a major contribution to the field of innovation theory that cogently highlights the inherent risks as well as the opportunities stemming from new paradigms of expression particularly through disruptive technologies and […]

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Disruptive Innovators to Watch: Urban Compass


Urban Compass is helping people connect with the world around them by combining transparent online search with local expertise. By merging technology with real-world knowledge they add personal insight to the decisions people make every day, starting with where to live in New York City. This is their first chapter. Stay tuned and check them […]

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Thomas Suarez – TDIA’s Chief Technology Officer

Thomas Suarez

Thomas Suarez’  fascination with technology began at an early age.  He taught himself how to program which led him to develop apps for the App Store. He published his first app, “Earth Fortune”, and this was quickly followed by his most famous app, “Bustin Jieber”, a Justin Bieber whack-a-mole.  At 12, Thomas gave a TEDx […]

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