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Fast Company Recommended Events February 2010
Andrea Dezso
Andrea Dezso


01 02 03 04 05 06 07
08 09 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Week 1

mon, february 01
Opening of the Trump Soho Hotel

In her book The Trump Card, Ivanka Trump notes that most twentysomethings must endure "the growing pains and lowly paper-pushing assignments that come with earning your stripes." Not she. At 28, Trump is set to open this New York hotel, for which she did everything from helping secure the site to picking furniture. (She tells us via email that she so loved the Fendi Casa chaise in each guest room "that I ordered one for my apartment.") Paper pushers, she knows she's lucky. "Did I have an edge getting started in business? No question," she writes in her book. "Get over it." — JEFF CHU

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mon, february 01
National Condom Month

Unprotected sex can hurt your health — and the economy. According to the CDC, the U.S. spends up to $20 billion each year treating sexually transmitted infections. That doesn't factor in STI-induced sick days: Each case of syphilis costs an estimated $112 in lost productivity. But as health groups will be shouting all month long, there's a simple way to save you and that money — the condom. Our little/large (remove as applicable) latex friend is up to 95% effective at stopping HIV and slashes risk of STIs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. So cover up. — THEUNIS BATES

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tue, february 02
Designing for Children

"Investing in the Future" may sound like a personal-finance seminar, but at Toys "R" Us, it was one of the past year's top toy trends. Learning and exploration products delivered 4% of sales in the $21 billion sector. As that slice keeps growing, industry leaders will meet in Mumbai to discuss how to design products that help kids learn. (Those Legos? They foster architectural ability!) This pursuit is definitely not altruistic. "Parents are resisting the urge to splurge on themselves, but they're willing to make investments in their children's futures," says Bob Friedland of Toys "R" Us. Way to take the fun out of playtime. — STEPHANIE SCHOMER

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tue, february 02
International Symposium on Geo-information for Disaster Management

To cope with a natural disaster, you'll probably want food, shelter, and clothing. But what you really need, according to University of Georgia geographer Marguerite Madden, is ... geomatics? "For a long time, it was hard to explain what I do," says Madden, who cochairs the Gi4DM meeting in Torino, Italy. "Now I say, 'You know those spatial images you see on Google Earth? Well, I make them possible.' " After recent natural disasters — hurricanes, cyclones, quakes — satellite images have been crucial in helping rescue workers navigate stricken areas. At this year's conference, says Madden, much of the focus will be on forming "emergency coalitions." That way, when disaster strikes, one country can harness the satellite power of many. — DAN MACSAI

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fri, february 05
World Nutella Day

Is licking chocolate-hazelnut spread out of a jar on your agenda today? Well, it should be — and Sara Rosso wants you to chronicle the indulgent act online. In 2007, the smitten American digital strategist and food blogger, who lives in Milan, started World Nutella Day, on which fans all over the world eat and tell via Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and Facebook. The Italian treat, which is the No. 1 spread on the European table, already has more than 3 million Facebook fans, and Ferrero, its manufacturer, is no doubt grateful for the attention. This year's celebration comes as it makes a big U.S. push, with ad campaigns meant to help Nutella take a bigger bite of the nearly $5 billion sweet-spread market. — LILLIAN CUNNINGHAM

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sat, february 06
Teens in Tech Conference

Any parent seeking to make a kid feel inadequate need only point to 17-year-old Daniel Brusilovsky. The Californian is founder and CEO of Teens in Tech Networks (for young media producers), a TechCrunch writer, and a marketing manager for mobile-video startup Qik. The whiz kid, who's cochairing this San Francisco conference, says his generation has the power to lead technological innovation, citing Facebook as inspiration. Does he hope to be the next Mark Zuckerberg? "I'm the kind of person who doesn't look far ahead — I live in the moment," he says, channeling his inner adult. "But if I wasn't doing what I loved, I wouldn't be doing it." And then he put down his iPhone to go network at a conference. In Rome. Where he was a featured panelist. Again, he's 17. — SS

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sun, february 07
National Biodiesel Conference and Expo

So many things suffered in 2009 — and you can add biodiesel to the list. Oil prices sank, taking biodiesel demand down with it; the EPA was late drafting its renewable-fuels standard, delaying federal mandates that were supposed to help biodiesel gain a foothold in the market; and the EU, the U.S. biodiesel industry's largest market, imposed tariffs on American biodiesel. And yet the tone at the 2010 National Biodiesel Conference in Grapevine, Texas, will be decidedly upbeat. That could, in part, be escapism — the agenda includes a golf tournament and a Super Bowl party. But it could also represent healthy realism, as exemplified by our favorite session: "Texas Hold 'Em: High Stakes in the Biodiesel Business." — ERICA WESTLY

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Week 2

mon, february 08
The Boy Scouts Turn 100

When publishing tycoon William D. Boyce started the Boy Scouts of America in 1910, he envisioned a program that would teach boys courage and self-reliance. As it prepares for its $4 million centennial celebration, the group needs a healthy dose of both. Membership has eroded since 1972, when it peaked at 6 million. Some supporters have yanked funding because the Boy Scouts still bars members who are gay or atheist. Now, the country's largest male-youth organization must rally the troops — GPS-boosted scavenger hunts and a 10,000-square-foot traveling "Adventure Base" are in the works — and fill budget gaps. If it can do so, we have the perfect birthday present for it: 100 wilderness-survival badges. — EW

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mon, february 08
50th Anniversary of the Hollywood Walk of Fame

An old Hollywood Chamber of Commerce press release says that the Walk of Fame began in 1960 to "maintain the glory of a community whose name means glamour and excitement in the four corners of the world." Really, it was a clever scheme to create a revenue source for the chamber. Nearly 2,400 stars now honor some of the world's most entertaining people, and while fans may nominate new honorees, they should be ready to foot the bill: Selection carries a $25,000 "sponsorship fee." (Liza Minnelli's fans held bake sales in 1991 to cover the then-$5,000 fee.) In Hollywood, of course, that's relative pocket change, and there's no shortage of stars wanting to cement their fame. In fact, as the Walk turns 50, there are enough for a yearlong celebration, beginning with today's ceremony to unveil a star for Ringo ... Starr. — SS

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mon, february 08
SuperReturn International

"What will private equity look like in five years?" To answer the most abstract question on the agenda for the world's leading private equity conference — in Berlin this year — we tried phoning a friend ("Huh?") and shaking a Magic 8-Ball ("It is certain"). Thankfully, Steven Kaplan, a finance professor at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, was also free to chat. He likens private equity in 2007 to venture capital in 2000: Both industries hit record highs in the U.S. right before a market crash. VC bounced back from the dotcom downfall within five years, and many people assume that private-equity commitments, which in 2008 plummeted 26% to $181 billion, will follow suit. "It will be a smaller industry," predicts Kaplan, "but not by much." — DM

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wed, february 10
FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference

NASA reported last fall that the inadequately funded U.S. space-flight program was on an "unsustainable trajectory." Perhaps commercial space travel will pick up the slack. Many regulatory issues remain unresolved — passenger safety and traffic control are on the agenda at this Arlington, Virginia, meeting — but Richard Branson and Elon Musk have invested in the sector, and civilians may soon be able to jet away for the weekend: Galactic Suite claims its Earth-orbiting "hotel" is on schedule to open in 2012. Price: $4.4 million for three nights. — EW

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thu, february 11
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

After 17 years, Bryant Park hosts its last New York Fashion Week. Come September, all those models will parade down runways at Lincoln Center, that bastion of high culture. If you think this is an attempt by the fashion biz to be seen less as a craft and more as an art, well, you'd be right. The move has some designers fretting — many Garment District studios are so close to Bryant Park that they can walk their collections over — but Steven Kolb, executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, says this "is a chance for Fashion Week to redefine and re-create itself. Lincoln Center is all art and culture, and we love the idea of fashion as an extension of that." Of course you do. — SS

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wed, february 10
Closets & Home Organization Conference

Closet wars! Companies like California Closets have long fed America's appetite for ever more elaborate storage spaces. Enter cabinet makers. "When the housing market was overheated, the cabinet market was too," says Rich Christianson, director of this Long Beach, California, conference. Now, cabinet companies "are developing national programs for closets" to seek new revenue. He isn't too worried: "It's a very protectionist market." In other words, door's closed. — ZACHARY WILSON

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sat, february 13

There may be some concern about whether Rio de Janeiro can get it together to host the 2016 Olympics, but at least we know it can throw a fine party. Carnaval is the world's biggest pre-Lenten bash — four days of debauchery, 700,000-plus tourists, and more than $500 million in spending. While the clothing may be skimpy, the preparations certainly aren't: Top samba schools typically shell out $1.4 million each for props and costumes. Which is just great for the feathered-bikini industry. — LC

SUN, FEBRUARY 14: The Brief But Impactful History of YouTube

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Week 3

mon, february 15
Outsourcing World Summit

Outsourcing means jobs go overseas, right? Not always. At this Orlando summit, Monty Hamilton, CEO of Atlanta-based Rural Sourcing, will explain how U.S. firms can save by moving work to the South. Rural Sourcing has centers in Arkansas and North Carolina handling IT for firms such as GlaxoSmithKline and Reynolds. It charges $50 an hour for programming work — only $15 more than a typical outfit in India. "There are no language barriers," Hamilton says, "and we're not 11 time zones away, so we can collaborate with a client in normal business hours." — TB

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tue, february 16
DICE Summit 2010

"In the early days, a game lived and died on two minutes of entertainment," says Joseph Olin, president of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, which puts on the annual DICE (Design Innovate Communicate Entertain) Summit in Las Vegas for video-game developers. Then games evolved from shooting asteroids to long, immersive experiences like Final Fantasy. But now that every device with a screen is a casual gaming platform, the pick-up-and-play market has reopened for developers. "That explains why online games like Farmville and Mafia Wars have been so successful," says Olin. "They're short gaming experiences with bragging rights and the ability to share with friends." — ZW

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thu, february 18
Mom 2.0 Summit

Mommy bloggers are traditionally seen as the Web's most honest citizens. But their collective rep has been tarnished by a few of them who have gotten — and not disclosed — payments and freebies from companies seeking favorable reviews. That's a problem — 43% of women regularly visit blogs for honest recommendations, not ads. So the Federal Trade Commission ruled that all bloggers must be transparent about payments. That decision will be much discussed at this Houston gathering of marketers and mom bloggers. "Most women agree with it 100%. They want to maintain the integrity of the community," says Laura Mayes, a summit co-organizer. "This is simply progress." — TB

FRI, FEBRUARY 19: Scorsese and DiCaprio's Movie Gold

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Week 4

thu, february 25
Sewing and Stitchery Expo

You might not know it from surfing this Puyallup, Washington, expo's Web site, which proudly touts such cutting-edge features as a blog and an e-newsletter, but the sewing industry is rapidly turning tech savvy. Last year, Brother released the Quattro 6000D — the iPhone 3GS of sewing machines — which touts a Sharp HD display, embedded runway lighting, built-in digital tutorials, three USB ports, and an "InnovEye" camera that gives sewing fiends a close-up view of the needle. And sewing businesses are using the Atom, Intel's smallest processor, to mass-produce specialty patterns and logos they've downloaded onto their industrial sewing machines. Great. Now where's the app store? — DM

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sun, february 28
The 75th Birthday of Nylon

On February 28, 1935, DuPont chemist Wallace Carothers created nylon, one of the most versatile and profitable materials ever invented. At first, the new polymer was plagued by bad press (the Washington News reported erroneously that nylon was made from dead bodies). But when DuPont's nylon stockings hit stores in 1940, they were an instant success, with sales totaling $9 million (about $135 mil-lion in 2009 dollars) in their first year. During World War II, DuPont switched production from hosiery to parachutes. When nylons went back on the market in 1945, demand was so high that riots broke out in some cities. Eventually, DuPont sold its textile division (to Koch Industries in 2004), but continues to use nylon in everything from car airbags to medical devices. — EW

A version of this article appeared in the February 2010 issue of Fast Company magazine.