Last year’s PopTech! Conference featured an astounding line-up of great speakers: Tom Friedman, Brian Eno, Richard Dawkins, Thomas Barnett, and Juan Enriquez among them. All that cranium-cramming stuff was deliciously leavened with right-brain relief, from the likes of comedian and musician Reggie Watts, the Sinikithemba Choir, and my favorite, the Mexican thrash guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela. For those of us lucky enough to be in the room, it was a mind-bending event.
But here’s the problem with PopTech!: it’s held in the Opera House in Camden, a lovely little venue, but not exactly Madison Square Garden in terms of capacity. As word of this conference grows, and more and more people jockey for one of the 500 spaces, a growing number end up languishing on the waiting list. It’s gotten to be like scoring a ticket to a Stones concert. (and, at $3495 a seat, costs about as much) Can PopTech! scalpers be far behind?
But, taking a page from their concert-promoting brethren, PopTech! organizers are fielding a “Live at PopTech!” batch of videos so that those who didn’t make it to Maine in October can still have the pleasure of sampling the event. (The other alternative for this year: rent a room in a B&B in Camden during the conference. PopTech! broadcasts live on local access cable, so you could watch the whole thing from the comfort of your bed.)
Take a look – or, rather, a listen, to the whole range of delights – the PopTech! Popcasts — on the conference’s site. It’s all free! Load ‘em on your iPod. Share ‘em with your friends. Sign up for the RSS feed so you can get notice of new ones as soon as they’re posted.
Meanwhile, they’re already taking reservations for this year’s event, whose theme will be the impact human beings have on the world (and each other.) The organizers plan to take a deep look at where ideas come from, exploring startling new scientific insights into the mind and brain, and examining the origins of creativity, innovation, and the essence of human nature.
If you’re serious about going, you might want to sign up soon.