The second day of Brooklyn Beta 2012 started with a talk by Corey Booker, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. He’s known for being very active in social media and is founder of waywire, a video social network dedicated to giving young people a voice about the issues that matter most.
Corey is a professional speaker and it shows. He talked about so many issues, used so many one-liners, it was difficult to keep up. Some highlights:
- “A lack of education is a threat to our economy”
- “It’s cheaper to pay for education than ignorance”
- “Bad people are elected when good people don’t vote.”
- “Prisons are the publicly funded warehouses of human potential.”
- “You can accept things as they are or take responsibility for changing them!”
It was very entertaining to hear him talk, especially when he took questions from the audience and answered them all using examples of his own experiences as a politician, as politicians do.
Next up was Scott Belsky from Behance, a showcase for creative professionals across industries. He talked about starting the network with almost no money, selling stationary to be able to survive. When they googled “behance” it asked: “Do you mean enhance?” Some highlight: Behance’s is mission driven, not medium driven. Gain confidence from doubt. If everybody tells you that you are crazy, you are either crazy, or you are really on to something.
We saw demo-video’s of The Nounproject, a platform empowering the community to build a global visual language that everyone can understand. And Superhuman, a service enabling people to be superhuman (vague, I know, but it’s kinda like a task and errand service).
Cameron Moll came on stage to present the progress of his newest artwork entitled “The Great Bridge”, referencing a book about building the Brooklyn Bridge. He has made a similiar piece in 2010: The Colloseum, a letterpressed poster handcrafted character by character over the course of roughly 250 hours.
This time he brought his Pantone guide to capture the right colors of the bridge. He’s still working on it, but hopefully it’s available by the end of the year.
Jay Parkinson started a medical practice in 2007 where patients could visit his site, choose when they want an appointment, input their symptoms and Jay would make a house call. The patients would pay via paypal and they would follow up by emial, IM, videochat or in person. He had about 10% overhead, where normal doctor practices have about 75% overhead.
This concept grew into Hello Health, so other doctors could practice this way. Hello Health is a mixture of secure social network and electronic medical record that enables doctors and patients to connect both in their office and online via email, IM, and video chat.
He recently launched Sherpaa, a health service in NYC in February 2012. Sherpaa connects employees to our group of doctors via email and phone 24/7 to solve health problems. Where traditional hospitals are designed like a factory that produce anything (inefficcient) they create a service that has less overhead and is smarter, giving patients a better experience.
Ted Nelson was next. He’s an American sociologist, philosopher, and pioneer of IT. He coined the terms “hypertext” and “hypermedia” in 1963 and published them in 1965. A genuine old-school internet geek. His excentric way of speaking reminded me a little of Doc Brown.
He started with “I am going to talk about when the world was young, you could invent anything and there we’re no computers cheaper than $100,000” and “Software design is like movies: it’s events on a screen that have consequences. Steve Jobs was a horrible human being, but a great movie director. Software design is like movie making, it touches the heart and the mind of the user.” I could follow him until he started talking about Xanadu, ZigZag and Smorphing (swooping + morphing). His best remarks: “Computers that simulate paper is like ripping of the wings of a 747 and driving it around on a highway like a bus” and “What catches on catches on. But virtue, cleverness, elegance and beauty have pole position”.
Heather Payne was next. She spent most of her first year post-graduation living in China and working towards a Masters in International Relations. That’s also where she first learned to build a self-hosted WordPress site (a blog about fitness, which she sold after a year). Upon her return to Toronto, she excelled in a corporate marketing role before her desire to join a startup became too strong to ignore.
In July 2011, Heather joined a Toronto-based, three-person tech startup building on the Facebook platform. Her experience there (in a non-technical role) has made her even more determined to learn to program – so that she can contribute to building something of her own one day. This all led up to her founding Ladies Learning Code, a not-for-profit organization working to empower everyone to learn basic, beginner-level programming and other technical skills. Highlight: “We need to help kids graduate without debt, that’s why I’ve been able to do what I’ve done”.
Stay tuned for part 3. More pictures of Brooklyn Beta 2012.
Looking for part 1?