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Partner Event (MIT Enterprise Forum): Innovation Series Event: Big Ideas, Big Solutions
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When: March 13, 2013
From 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Where: MIT Stata Center, Room 32-123
32 Vassar Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts 
Contact: Chitra Dwarka

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Innovation Series Event:
Big Ideas, Big Solutions - How can we solve more big problems?
Remember when we dreamed of flying to the moon…and kids literally dreamed of becoming rocket scientists and politicians made policy that enabled innovation? Most of us don’t. Since Apollo 17’s flight in 1972, no humans have been back to the moon, or gone anywhere beyond low Earth orbit. Cars still travel on roads and robots are not quite cleaning houses (at least nothing like the robots in the Jetsons).
Optimism about technology and its powers, too, has basically faded with our glaciers. Sadly, for most of us, Facebook is the biggest thing to have happened in the past decade. We used to think that our "big problems” (hunger, poverty, malaria, climate change, cancer, and the diseases of old age), would be solved by now, but suddenly we seem more and more mired in their complexity. Rather than curing cancer—or even the common cold—the most innovative minds seem to be trying to figure out how to synthesize their thesis ideas into 140 characters or less. Surely, Twitter is "big,” but for some "bigger” is so much more…this event celebrates these modern day men and women who still believe in thinking big and making dreams reality.
For March’s panel, we will follow the lead of MIT Technology Review’s "Big Problems, Big Solutions” Issue, by having four speakers talk about their big ideas. We will lead off with comments from Jason Pontin, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of MIT Technology Review and Chairman of MIT Enterprise Forum. The discussion will be moderated by Brian Bergstein, Deputy Editor of MIT Technology Review. Panelists will run the gamut from trailblazers in cancer genomics and Alzheimer’s/Dementia to online education (of Harvard/MIT style) to self-assembly, "smart” components that can actually assemble themselves.
Each of the panelists still believe that changing the world is possible…and have committed their careers to Big Ideas and to Big Dreams. Although each story will be different, these speakers will challenge us all to think beyond 140 characters and to still believe that anything is possible.


Opening Comments:  Jason Pontin, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of MIT Technology Review and Chairman of MIT Enterprise Forum @jason_pontin
Moderator:  Brian Bergstein, Deputy Editor of MIT Technology Review @BrianBergstein
  • Anant Agarwal, CEO, edX, a joint partnership between MIT and Harvard University that offers free online learning @edXonline
  • Ilya Budik, CEO, NeuroQuest Gary Palmer, SVP, Medical Affairs, Foundation Medicine @DrGaryPalmer @FoundationATCG
  • Skylar Tibbits, a TED Fellow, is an artist and computational architect working on establishing the new Self-Assembly Lab at MIT @SkylarTibbits

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