The Tribeca Film Festival, in association with renowned Harvard Business School Professor Clay Christensen and the Disruptor Foundation, is proud to announce the recipients of the third annual Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards, hosted by NYU Stern School of Business, on April 27.
All honorees will each receive the famed Maslow’s Silver Hammer Award, in honor of noted psychologist, Abe Maslow. The 2012 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award recipients are as follows:
Lifetime Achievement Award – Jack Dorsey, Co-Founder and Chairman, Twitter & Co-Founder, CEO, 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 constrained simplification designed for general usage and extended by the millions of people who make it their own every day. As part of Dorsey’s continued devotion to simplifying the complex and making technology accessible to everyone, everywhere, he co-founded Square in 2009. Square enables anyone to accept credit card payments on their mobile device and has empowered more than 1 million individuals and merchants in the U.S. to start and grow a business.
Lifetime Achievement Award – John Wood, Founder and Board Co-Chair, 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.
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 mission: “to help the blind see.”
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 worldwide to date and has amassed more than 2.7 billion video views on YouTube, plus more than 41 million Facebook fans and more than 18 million Twitter followers. The Bieber phenomenon shows that emerging talent can now be sourced online, flattening the hierarchical structure and the barriers to entry.
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 at the 2011 TFF and was later acquired and released by distribution label Tribeca Film. Newlyweds shows how disruptive innovation for independent filmmakers has arrived and is challenging the economics of the more traditional business model.
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 Marine Aquarium (and dramatized in 2011 hit movie Dolphin Tale), WintersGel has since been adapted for human use, providing comfort and gentle adhesion to thousands of amputees nationwide.
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.
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.
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.
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 a wingspan of 16 cm (9.5 in) and weighs just 19 grams (0.66 oz). It can hover for 8 minutes, remaining stable in gusts up to 5 mph, and reach up to 11 mph in forward flight.
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 recently broke the speed record for legged robots, is to develop and test technologies that will enable future robots to assist humans in missions (e.g. scouting, search and rescue) where the robot must travel across rough terrain at high speed with high energentic efficiency.
Jason Kottke, Designer & Blogger, Kottke.org – 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.
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 the location of its potholes.
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 Thingiverse.com. MakerBot offers a simpler, more affordable, 3D desktop printer, giving consumers access to 3D printing for under $2,000.
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 side that rests on the player’s knee. That design makes the top lean back toward the player for a more aerial view of the strings.
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 is taking online learning at step further. MITx will offer a portfolio of actual MIT courses that will include student-to-student and student-to-professor interaction. Online students who demonstrate mastery of the class content will be able to earn certification from MITx.
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 effectively serve the poor. And it champions the spread of this approach as a complement to traditional aid, which can create dependence, or pure market approaches, which can bypass the actual needs of the poor.
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 a second Playing For Change film, Playing For Change: Peace Through Music, the team decided to create the Playing For Change Foundation, which aims to create positive change through music and arts education.
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 on a range of issues from Internet Freedom to disaster response to responding to regional conflicts.
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, and, by fusing rock with hip hop, he broke the rules and a niche market became mainstream – proving that disruptive, innovative ideas and taste can create empires.
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. It is designed to stimulate the creation and growth of small businesses in New York’s Capital Region.
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” in the 21st century.
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 Google and the 440 nonexclusive licenses to the basic gene-splicing patents. To date, OTL has received over 8,900 inventions that resulted in 3000 licenses and $1.4B in royalty revenue.
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, and author of Talking Back to Facebook. Published this year by Scribner, the book is a timely look at how digital media is affecting our children’s social, emotional and cognitive development.
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.
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 the destruction of over 12,000 assault weapons in Africa. Peter also founded Ethos Water, which has provided water and sanitation access to more than 420,000 people around the world.
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 star who has ever devoted himself to touring the country for the express purpose of performing Concerts for a Cure, raising $5 million to date to fight pediatric and neurological disease.
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 later—WITNESS has partnered with more than 300 human rights groups in over 80 countries, trained over 3,000 human rights defenders and citizen activists, and supported the inclusion of video in over 100 campaigns, increasing their visibility and impact globally. With grassroots partners, it changes laws, reverses policies, holds perpetrators accountable, and improves the lives of the vulnerable and oppressed among us. WITNESS engages millions of ordinary citizens in the struggles for human rights taking place every day all over the world.
Book of the Year – Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. Princeton University’s Kahneman is a renowned psychologist who won the Nobel Prize for Economics. Our understanding of the world is formed by two modalities of thought: System 1 is the fast, intuitive, emotional, unconscious processing of data and information for decision making; System 2 is rational, deep thought, reflective and studied. Making good decisions consistently–micro or macro–cannot rely on solely on System 1 or System 2. Most people are prone to either System 1 or System 2 with different biases, strengths and weaknesses; understanding this insight will help shape the conversation how to merge these two styles into one brain and get the best of both worlds.
A luncheon will follow the Awards, with breakout sessions to follow until 4 p.m. A limited number of tickets will be made available. Visit tribecafilm.com/disruptive and click the REGISTER box in the right sidebar to apply for your spot.