For the second year in a row, we were invited to attend the WIRED Business Conference sponsored by our parent company, MDC Partners. Disruptive by Design is a conference that gathers select companies and thought leaders, each known for innovation and a willingness to disrupt the status quo, for presentations and to engage in conversations around this year’s topics. Last year there was an excellent panel of speakers including Howard Schultz and Mark Pincus, so we were really looking forward to this year’s lineup of speakers.
We’re in good company. See if you can find Hello on the steps among all the MDC agencies.
It was great to see Bill Gates in person, the first speaker at the conference. He addressed the future of energy in solving problems on a greater scale and compared his interest in nuclear power to other options such as solar power.
Johnny Chung Lee, a key contributor to the development of the Xbox Kinect, presented a series of videos on how the Kinect’s system became an open source platform 10 days after its release for people to create their own developments, like printing 3D models of themselves and full body scanning. We’re excited to play with the Kinect camera and expand its capabilities as well.
Mick Mountz, founder of Kiva Systems, shared how robots think through a heat map of a warehouse powered by hundreds of autonomous mobile robots and sophisticated control software. We were most fascinated with how the Kiva Systems robots disrupted the traditional warehouse model of people handling the picking, receiving and shipping of products to having robots handle the system. The robots are smart and change the packaging system dynamically so the most popular items to be shipped move to the front of the line, while the less popular items migrate to the middle.
Chris Anderson talks with Carl Bass, President and CEO of Autodesk, about the new industrial revolution. Check out the 3D cardboard model Carl Bass made of Chris Anderson’s head.
Martha Stewart shared the future of media in tablets and what’s to come from her team in that space. We also enjoyed Martha’s advice to not go to jail.
We were pleased to see Salman Khan receive the MDC Humanitarian Award for $100,000 towards developing his nonprofit, the Khan Academy. We’re fascinated by how Salman Khan changed the ways kids learn with his YouTube tutorials. Watch his interview on Charlie Rose to learn more.
For those of you who are interested in watching the conference, you can access the videos here.