EmTech MIT has ended
Throughout the year, Technology Review's editorial staff finds and explains the significance of the new technologies that are disrupting existing industries, creating entirely new markets, and changing society. EmTech MIT brings that editorial content to life. Our annual conference provides you with access to the most innovative people and companies that you should be following, all in a program that will challenge and inspire you.

This year's topics include new approaches to scaling alternative energy sources, the changes digital technologies are bringing to traditional education, the growing significance of personal genomics, the unprecedented impact of big data and social technology on everyday life, and more.

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EmTech Prism [clear filter]
Wednesday, October 24

9:00am EDT

EmTech Prism: Reigniting Innovation

Technology will be part of the solution to our greatest human problems, from fighting hunger and disease to alleviating traffic and the energy crisis. How can we encourage more purpose-driven innovation around these pressing global challenges? Meet some of the leaders attempting big solutions for our biggest problems.


  • Rodney Brooks, founder of Rethink Robotics, on his vision for incorporating robots into the global workforce
  • David Keith, Harvard professor of applied physics and public policy, on new thinking about using technology to combat climate change
  • Helmuth Ludwig, CEO, Siemens Industry North America on the global collaboration that led to the successful Curiosity landing on Mars this year


avatar for Rodney Brooks

Rodney Brooks

Founder, Chairman and CTO, Rethink Robotics
A mathematics undergraduate in his native Australia, Rodney received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford in 1981. From 1984 to 2010, he was on the MIT faculty, and completed his service as the Panasonic Professor of Robotics. He was also the founding Director of the Institute's... Read More →
avatar for David Keith

David Keith

and Professor, Harvard University, President, Carbon Engineering
David Keith has worked near the interface between climate science, energy technology and public policy for twenty years. He took first prize in Canada's national physics prize exam, won MIT's prize for excellence in experimental physics, and was listed as one of TIME magazine's Heroes... Read More →
avatar for Helmuth Ludwig

Helmuth Ludwig

CEO, Siemens Industry Sector
As chief executive officer of the Industry Sector in North America, Helmuth Ludwig is responsible for all business activity and executive management of the Siemens Industry Sector business in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Central America. In his 20 years with Siemens... Read More →

Wednesday October 24, 2012 9:00am - 10:30am EDT
MIT Media Lab (6th Floor Event Space) 75 Amherst Street, Cambridge, MA

11:35am EDT

Emerging Prism: The Personal Implications of Big Data

Emerging Technology Trend: The Personal Implications of Big Data

The impact that emerging technologies are having in our world will inevitably affect our personal lives. How is the convergence of big data and "social" technologies changing how we live and work? What are the implications?


  • Andrew Fiore and Eytan Bakshy, of Facebook, on the social implications of our growing connections online
  • Duncan Watts, of Microsoft, on using the web for experimental social science 
  • Shane Green, of Personal, on how individuals can take control of their personal data and realize the value it holds



avatar for Eytan Bakshy

Eytan Bakshy

Data Scientist, Facebook
Eytan Bakshy is a researcher on the Data Science team at Facebook.  His work broadly examines information diffusion and influence in online networks through the use of large-scale field experiments and observational studies.  His current interests include causality in social networks... Read More →
avatar for Andrew Fiore

Andrew Fiore

Data Scientist, Facebook
Andrew Fiore studies the social psychology of online communication as a data scientist at Facebook and a lecturer at the UC Berkeley School of Information, where he co-developed and co-teaches the graduate course on Computer-Mediated Communication. Previously, he was a visiting assistant... Read More →
avatar for Shane Green

Shane Green

President and CEO, Personal
Shane Green is President and CEO of Personal and has been building and leading startups since the early 1990s. In 2009, Shane co-founded Personal, a company that gives individuals the tools to create a private, personal network with trusted individuals, companies and organizations... Read More →
avatar for Duncan Watts

Duncan Watts

Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research
Duncan Watts is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research and a founding member of the MSR-NYC lab.  From 2000-2007, he was a professor of Sociology at Columbia University, and then, prior to joining Microsoft, a principal research scientist at Yahoo! Research, where he directed... Read More →

Wednesday October 24, 2012 11:35am - 12:30pm EDT
Main Stage

2:00pm EDT

EmTech Prism: Powering our Future

EmTech Prism: Powering our Future

The world will need new investing approaches and business models if emerging renewable energy sources are to reach grid scale. We'll examine some of the main issues.


  • William Banholzer, CTO, Dow Chemical Company 
  • Nathan Myhrvold, founder of Intellectual Ventures, on investing in scalable alternative energy sources
  • Chris Norris, CEO of Alta Devices, on the path to commercial success for renewable energy startups


avatar for William Banholzer

William Banholzer

CTO & EVP, Dow Chemical Company
William Banholzer is an Executive VP at Dow responsible for Venture Capital, New Business Development, Licensing and is the company’s Chief Technology Officer.  As CTO, he manages Dow’s $1.7 B per year global research and development portfolio.  He chairs Dow’s Innovation... Read More →
avatar for Nathan Myhrvold

Nathan Myhrvold

Founder and CEO, Intellectual Ventures
Nathan Myhrvold founded Intellectual Ventures after retiring from his position as chief strategist and chief technology officer of Microsoft Corporation. At Intellectual Ventures, Myhrvold is focused on a variety of business interests relating to the funding, creation and commercialization... Read More →
avatar for Christopher Norris

Christopher Norris

President and CEO, Alta Devices
Chris Norris is President and CEO at Alta Devices.  He joined the company in 2008 at its founding when he realized the potential of Alta’s technology to change the way energy is generated from the sun.  Since that time, Alta has raised over $100 million in financing and set world... Read More →

Wednesday October 24, 2012 2:00pm - 3:30pm EDT
Main Stage
Thursday, October 25

9:30am EDT

EmTech Prism: Healthcare is Getting Personal

Healthcare is Getting Personal

Emerging technology will allow personal quantification to scale.


  • David Icke, CEO of MC10, on developing ultrathin, high-performance electronics that conform to the body, providing for superior biofeedback for the everyday athlete
  • Tony Stubblebine, CEO & cofounder of Lift, on a new application that aims to improve health through habit tracking and community-based support



avatar for David Icke

David Icke

Dave Icke joined mc10 as CEO in March 2009. Before joining mc10, Dave spent almost twenty years in the semiconductor industry in marketing, process and product development, applications, and general management roles with Cypress Semiconductor, KLA-Tencor, and Teradyne. While... Read More →
avatar for Tony Stubblebine

Tony Stubblebine

CEO and Cofounder, Lift
Tony co-founded Lift on the idea that positive reinforcement and community support could be deployed universally to help people achieve their goals. In it's first month after launch, Lift has helped 100,000 people achieve 10,000 different goals.

Thursday October 25, 2012 9:30am - 10:00am EDT
MIT Media Lab (6th Floor Event Space) 75 Amherst Street, Cambridge, MA

10:30am EDT

EmTech Prism: Beyond Gene Sequencing

Beyond Gene Sequencing — Decoding the Data

More widespread use of gene sequencing technologies is redefining medicine by making personal genomics medicine a reality.

  • Alexis Borisy, Cofounder of Foundation Medicine and a partner at Third Rock Ventures, on the remarkable pace of progress that genomic information is making possible in treating diseases such as cancer
  • Heidi Rehm, Scientific Advisory Board for Knome, on creating software that translates raw geonomic data into usable reports for doctors


avatar for Alexis Borisy

Alexis Borisy

Chairman and Cofounder, Foundation Medicine
Alexis Borisy is a successful biotechnology entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience building and operating innovative science-based organizations. Mr. Borisy joined the life sciences venture capital firm Third Rock Ventures in 2009 to focus on the formation of new companies... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Heidi Rehm

Dr. Heidi Rehm

Director, Laboratory for Molecular Medicine, Partners Healthcare Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine, Knome
Heidi Rehm, Ph.D. was recruited in 2001 to build the Laboratory for Molecular Medicine at PCPGM and serves as its Laboratory Director. She is a board-certified clinical molecular geneticist and Assistant Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School with appointments at BWH... Read More →

Thursday October 25, 2012 10:30am - 11:00am EDT
MIT Media Lab (6th Floor Event Space) 75 Amherst Street, Cambridge, MA

2:15pm EDT

EmTech Prism: Education and Learning

Emerging technologies are democratizing education and rapidly expanding the availability and affordability of education around the globe.  

  • Nicholas Negroponte, Founder of One Laptop per Child, on his latest experiment with the democratization of education - can children teach themselves to read?  
  • Idit Harel Caperton, Founder and President of the World Wide Workshop, on how social learning networks and communal coding of videogames can break down barriers to success for underprivileged youth worldwide  
  • Brian Waniewski, Managing Director of Institute of Play, on incorporating gaming technology to completely revamp middle school curricula
  • Anant Agarwal, President of edX, on the MIT's new online learning initiative with Harvard and the implications of free online access to an Ivy League-caliber education


avatar for Anant Agarwal

Anant Agarwal

President, edX
Anant Agarwal is the President of edX, an online learning initiative of Harvard and MIT. He has served as the director of CSAIL, MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and is a professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. Agarwal holds... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Idit Harel Caperton

Dr. Idit Harel Caperton

Founder and President, World Wide Workshop
Dr. Idit Harel Caperton is an Israeli-American entrepreneur, innovator and futurist of global learning systems. She is founder and president of the World Wide Workshop, building visionary global platforms for learning. The Workshop’s flagship product, Globaloria, teaches students digital literacies, STEM & Computing knowledge and global citizenship through game design.  As a student at Harvard Graduate School of Education & MIT Media Lab, Idit... Read More →
avatar for Nicholas Negroponte

Nicholas Negroponte

Founder and Chairman, One Laptop per Child
Nicholas Negroponte is founder and chairman of the One Laptop per Child non-profit association. He was co-founder and director of the MIT Media Lab, and the Jerome B. Wiesner Professor of Media Technology. A graduate of MIT, Negroponte was a pioneer in the field of computer-aided... Read More →
avatar for Brian Waniewski

Brian Waniewski

Managing Director, Institute of Play
Brian is Managing Director at Institute of Play, where he is responsible structuring operations and for the cultivation of key strategic relationships. For over fifteen years, as a futurist and strategy, communications and management consultant, Brian has helped top organizations... Read More →

Thursday October 25, 2012 2:15pm - 3:45pm EDT
MIT Media Lab (6th Floor Event Space) 75 Amherst Street, Cambridge, MA