3/7/12 Innovation in American Politics

Is the internet destroying the current leadership models? How is innovation affecting politics? And what effect do politics have on innovation? The disconnect between the innovation community and policy makers is a serious issue. Most would agree that our livelihoods depend on a healthy, dynamic and innovative economy. What opportunities are there for the innovation community to inform the political process?

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Inspiration, Open Source and Sun SPOTs

Roger Meike
Director of Operations, Sun Labs
Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Embedded computers are all around us. There are many more embedded computers than there are people on the planet. The implications of the growth of these devices is staggering. While the internet has more than a billion computers connected to it, there are several times that number of cell phones connected to the internet. Sun has created an open source technology called Sun SPOT to help create the “internet of things.” The mission is to inspire a community of developers to invent the next generation of connected devices using Sun’s technology. Roger will discuss strategies and tactics employed as well as the results of Sun’s activities so far in this area.

Roger Meike is Senior Director, Area 51 and Director of Operations, Sun Microsystems Laboratories. His background is in cognitive science and his career has led him back and forth between new start companies and large research organizations. While his background is mostly in software, he also enjoys consorting with hardware folks. He has been accused of being many things including photo enthusiast, sailor, ham radio operator, musician and techno-geek/nerd.
Bring your curiosity and see you there!

Pandora: Radio from the Music Genome Project

What do you know of Pandora Radio? Do you have questions about this innovative radio’s creation or functionality? Then come ask Tim Westergren founder of Pandora Radio at this event.

Tim Westergren, Founder

Meet, hear and speak openly with Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora – “a new kind of radio — stations that play only music you like.” Pandora celebrates “insatiable curiosity” by helping you find and discover new music you will love. Pandora is powered by the Music Genome Project — “a crazy project to capture the complex musical DNA of songs”. Pandora is hugely popular at 8 million listeners and counting. Still, like many innovations, Pandora struggles to hit upon just the right business model to sustain its mission.

Tim’s inviting style is a great fit for our interactive gatherings: “Ask any questions you have about the company. The more we can talk to each other, the better.” So bring your thoughts, questions, ideas — and also your best wishes for Pandora, for “at the bottom of Pandora’s Box was Hope”.