PopTech Announces 2009 Social Innovation Fellows

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Written by

Paula Tesch

The world is full of visionary minds, whose ideas are lost simply because they lack the resources to foster their growth. Each year, PopTech selects a group of these individuals, and supplies them with not only access to a supportive network of peers with whom they can collaborate, but the technology and training they need to amplify their message.

“Like PopTech itself, each Social Innovation Fellow is committed to turning great ideas into action. The program will give them the skills, network and exposure to accelerate their impact.”

–Andrew Zolli, futurist, curator and executive director of PopTech

PopTech recently announced the Social Innovation Fellows of 2009. This year, just as in years past, the group is made up of an extremely bright, forward-thinking group who are seeking to change the world from the ground up–literally.

For example, Jason Aramburu, of re:char, is working to to fight climate change, while improving the quality of our degraded soil. And Nigel Waller of movirtu, has discovered a way to offer low cost access to cell phone service to residents of impoverished countries, which enables them to establish micro-enterprises, access healthcare, and better support their families and themselves.

Aside from the prestigious title, this lucky group participates in an intensive training program, taught by experts in skills that are critical to success, including branding, media relations, finance, and design.

This year, the program will be led by iconoclastic social innovators and world-class category leaders, including James L. Koch (founding director of the Center for Science, Technology and Society, director of the Global Social Benefit incubator), Robert Fabricant (executive creative director of Frog Design), and Nancy Duarte (principal of Duarte Design), among others.

During the multi-day program, Nancy Duarte will help the Fellows transform their ideas into stories that resonate with audiences and inspire action. Also, Nancy will teach them to adapt content for utilization across valuable social media platforms, such as slideshare.

Armed with their new skills, Fellows are given the opportunity to present their ideas at PopTech’s famous annual conference. The theme of this year’s conference is America Reimagined, and the ideas the Fellows are presenting fit in perfectly with this solution-oriented theme. In addition to the two I highlighted above, the topics include wildlife conservation, agriculture, global healthcare, and economic development, among others.

In addition to the Fellows,  the conference will feature many revolutionary speakers, including Michael Pollan, Alec Ross, and George Church.

It is extremely exciting to have the chance to offer training to some of the world’s newest visionaries, and help them increase the impact of their innovative ideas. We’ll keep you posted on our involvement the conference, and hopefully have lots of great news to share come October.