Mon Feb 7, 02022, 12:30PM UTC
David Colby Reed, Ye Tao, Sudeep Agarwala, Katherine Ouellete, and Anastasia Ostrowski
Flash Talks: A New Lens on the Future
The 4th annual Long FLASH TALKS introduced five remarkable researchers and entrepreneurs to our conversation series: Katherine Ouellette (MIT Open Learning); David Colby Reed (Space Enabled Lab at MIT); Ye Tao (MEER); Sudeep Agarwala (Gingko Bioworks); and Anastasia Ostrowski (Personal Robots Group at MIT).
The 4th annual Long Now Boston FLASH TALKS introduced five remarkable researchers and entrepreneurs to our conversation series: Katherine Ouellette (MIT Open Learning); David Colby Reed (Space Enabled Lab at MIT Media lab); Ye Tao, (MEER climate moderation Framework); Sudeep Agarwala (Program Director at Gingko Bioworks); and Anastasia Ostrowski (Personal Robots Group at MIT Media Lab).
David Colby Reed is a PhD student at the MIT Media Lab, where he is a member of the Space Enabled research group and cofounder of the Space Governance Collaborative. His research focuses on designing participation, voice, and equity into the architectures of complex systems like law, economies, and technologies.
David Colby Reed
Dr. Ye Tao developed the MEER Framework (Mirrors for Earth’s Energy Rebalance) while serving as a Principal Investigator at the Rowland Institute at Harvard between 2016 and 2021. Dr. Tao is currently on a European lecture tour, after presenting at COP26, to widely disseminate information foundational to the survival and future prosperity of the human animal.
Dr. Sudeep Agarwala is a synthetic biologist at Ginkgo Bioworks. He is fascinated by how microbes can be engineered to produce different compounds to address issues around resource limitation and climate change. Sudeep is passionate about science communication and public engagement around genetic engineering and biotechnology. His writings have appeared in the Washington Post and Grow Magazine. He is currently under contract with Harvard University Press.
Katherine Ouellete is a writer, communications specialist, and open learning advocate at MIT Open Learning. She is interested in transforming teaching and learning through the innovative use of digital technologies. Katherine creates content on several cutting edge technologies for the MIT Open Learning newsletter and is also a freelance contributor for WBUR.
Anastasia is a PhD student and design researcher at the MIT Media Lab. Her work focuses on equitable design of robots, including co-design and participatory design approaches.
The 4th Annual Long Now Boston FLASH TALKS provided an inspiring set of talks of very diverse research and development areas. Katherine led the event with a passionate overview of the practice and benefits of Open Learning - Using digital technology to provide access to education. David followed with a thought-provoking discussion on the goals of “Space Enabled” – an effort to lay an equitable foundation fo the future of space exploratioin and development. Ye Tao reviewed the technology of reflective arrays for management of solar radiation on buildings and soils and its potential role in climate mitigation. Sudeep discussed the significant developments in synthetic biology and the benefits these technologies can offer. Anastasia challenged the robotic industry to bring ethics and equality to the very center of the design process, rather than as an afterthought.
The five then joined in a panel, and quickly began a fast-paced and remarkable interchange on their work and the common themes they feel need to be addressed. The questions of equity and ethics dominated the exchanges, and the consensus was that, while difficult, reforms in the scientific and technological research and development process are needed. Diversity, equity, mutual respect and honesty are the hallmarks of good science and good people, and they need to be be valued and institutionalized.
For the full impact of these issues, please see the video recording of the event.