Francisco Noguera

Breaking News: Pop!Tech Announces New Fellows Program

The morning sessions on day 2 at Pop!Tech is halfway through, with a major announcement just made by our host and curator Andrew Zolli: the Science and Public Leadership Fellows program which adds to the beyond-conference strategies Pop!Tech is implementing to fulfill its mission of accelerating the growth of world changing ideas and initiatives.

Andrew walked us through the rationale behind this initiative, aimed at helping scientists to overcome personal and institutional challenges they face in sharing their breakthroughs with the world. The structure of the program is different to that of the Social Innovations Fellows, consisting of a year-long support and a curriculum designed specifically around areas like communications and personal branding, which can expand the reach and impact of breakthrough discoveries.

Andrew’s announcement was made right on time, after a packed room at the Camden Opera House gave a standing ovation to Hayat Sindi, a scientist and co-founder of Diagnostics for All, a living example of how science and research is critical to produce solutions that make critical goods and services available for populations living in their absence at the base of the pyramid. I had an interview scheduled with Dr. Sindi, one of this year’s Social Innovation Fellows, after the morning session. However, not surprisingly, tens of people approached her after her presentation and Andrew’s announcement. I’ll do my best to sit down with her and share her words with you before traveling back on Sunday.

This is not the only announcement Andrew has made during the conference. Last night he also introduced the Pop!Tech Labs, through which members of the Pop!Tech community will collaborate on some of the critical issues discussed at the conference. The choice of “materials flow” for the first Labs year was timely after an afternoon full of innovations coming from MIT and shocking images shared by photographer Chris Jordan displaying the footprint of our plastic waste.

It sure looks like the Pop!Tech team has a busy year ahead. NextBillion applauds their commitment to making the impact of this convening more lasting and more focused on the needs of the underserved.