Ignite Speaker line-up – Wednesday, October 23rd!

Get ready to be inspired, entertained, and ignited!

Wednesday, October 23rd at Brillobox, join us to listen, share, debate, and deliberate with the following inspiring speakers from the the City of Bridges:

Doors open: 7pm – Slideshow karaoke and fiercely friendly competition ensue
Speakers: 8pm – 9:30pm (Order may not be as follows)

PLEASE NOTE: This is an over 21 event – next time will be all ages!

Building a Data-Driven City
William Peduto, Member of City Council, Democratic nominee for Mayor

Pittsburgh has incredible tech resources but Pittsburgh city government has not created the partnerships that could allow all residents to benefit from them. Let’s work together to make Pittsburgh a data-driven city!

Designing with your eyes closed: Improving Accessibility for the Blind
Chris Maury, Founder, Conversant Labs

I am going to introduce the audience to the current state of technology available to the blind, and then talk about how we can do better!

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face; using Foresight to avoid the sucker punch
Jason Swanson, Professional Futurist

The talk is about the role of futures thinking to move beyond minimizing surprise and start using uncertainty as a resource so that we can really explore and create the future(s) we wish.

The Spiritual Spark of the City of Tomorrow
Acharya Adam Lobel, Master of Divinity, Senior Teacher – Shambhala Pittsburgh

What are the inner states of mind that support thriving communities, organizations, as well as social transformation, and genuine politics? Can we spark and cultivate these states of mind? These questions are increasingly at the front lines of organizational development, stress reduction, health care, education, and leadership training. Sometimes what ignites us is present in the silence and stillness.

Success = (Health + Happiness) x Hustle
Joe Vennare, Co-founder of Hybrid Athlete

There’s no secret to success. A high I.Q. is no guarantThe Fear Of Facing Your Fearsee and talent is overrated. In my opinion success is an equation; Success = (health + happiness) x hustle.

Anti-Drone-Warfare Coalition
Pete Shell, Co-coordinator, Pittsburgh Anti-Drone-Warfare Coalition

I will describe the newly formed Pittsburgh Anti-Drone-Warfare Coalition and the actions that we have taken and are planning to take to end drone warfare.

The Fear Of Facing Your Fears
Alexandra Sabina, Creator of TenMinuteVirtues.com (Podcast & Mentoring program)

We already know the answer to most of our so-called problems in life, and we also know how to get over our fears but, we choose not to acknowledge these answers for fear that we will then have to become “responsible” for the resolution of our problems and fears.

20 Year’s Time: While the Pirates were Losing, The World Was Winning
Brandon Blache-Cohen, Executive Director, Amizade Global Service-Learning

Weeks after the Pirates downfall began, a baseball team outside of the United States– the Toronto Blue Jays – won the World Series. Since then, east and west, north and south all seem to have become a bit fuzzier. Since 1992, the world has gotten faster, smaller, and significantly more connected. We’ve seen increases in global literacy, access to water, and life expectancy. We’ve experienced a communication revolution, a technology revolution, and more recently, a series of very powerful people-powered revolutions. The world is by many indicators actually a smarter, safer, and more loving place than it was when back then. It’s hardly the same planet as it was in 1992 – perhaps almost unrecognizable to those who’ve been hibernating in their Doug Drabek jerseys – and we’re better off for it.

Made Right Here
Bernie Lynch, President, Strategic Development Solutions LLC, Project Manager

We have a project consortium to build a system of support so that start-ups who are making products will do so locally or domestically. We have developed a supply chain network to help with organized labor and work primarily with CMU spin-off firms: usabuildsit.com.

Motivation vs. Power Generator
Alex Kuhn, Motivational Speaker & Peak Performance Coach

We think of ourselves as either being motivated or demotivated. But the truth is, we are all motivated all the time! What the CEO’s, professional athletes, and highest of achievers have built is not motivation, but their very own Power Generator.

Redefining Sustainability
Jordan Romanus, Community Organizer

What makes a good restaurant? Organic? Locally-sourced? What about a living wage? In our booming restaurant industry, consumers want the best food & experience they can get. I’m going to show you how that’s possible.

Back to the Brillo in October + July Video Flashback!

Yep, we’ve got our Flux Capacitor warmed up and we’re ready to take it back to the Brillo, Brillobox that is, for the second Ignite Pittsburgh of 2013 on Wednesday, October 23rd!

Ignite Pittsburgh is organizing a local troupe of amazing speakers who are sure to inspire and get your dendrites firing up a frenzy! Speakers take over the stage at 8pm.

But wait, you can have your seconds of fame too! Brave audience members are invited to storm the stage for a round of slideshow karaoke – doors open at 7pm, karaoke begins soon after!

Flashback time! Check out this awesome visual overview of the July 2013 Ignite, lovingly created by our homegrown videographers of choice, Loose Cannon Creative!

Blazing through 2013! Ignite 2 scheduled – Ignite 1 recap

Scheduled for Wednesday, October 23rd!

Venue TBA

Yes, the second Ignite Pittsburgh of 2013 has been scheduled – just in time to keep the heat up into the fall season.

We think the crowd will be pleased to welcome our first confirmed speaker, Councilman Bill Peduto.

Interested in getting involved? Speak, Organize, Sponsor, Promote, Buy TicketsContact the Ignite Team to get involved!


Ignite Pittsburgh 2013 #1 Flashback!

Storm-defying: Despite tornado warnings and blustery winds, a stalwart crew of Pittsburghers hit the streets on July 10th and fired up the space at Brillobox in Garfield making Ignite Pittsburgh’s first event of 2013 a resounding success!

The duct tape challenge: We kicked off the night with a team challenge: build the sturdiest bridge with duct tape only….a few design flaws in the initial instructions did not dampen the enthusiasm with teams buzzing about debating protocol and conspiring…ultimately leading to Ignite hosts piling their own bodies atop the stellar duct tape constructions crafted by the resourceful and determined Ignite Pittsburgh crowd!

The proud winners – a hard call – were rewarded with honor and some great craft beer.

The heart of the evening: After some revelry, 10 inspired Pittsburghers hit the stage to share their lightning fast insights and passions with a supportive audience.

The Ignite speakers took us on a journey of thought and emotion, sharing their stories, passions, philosophies, and missions!

Video: Coming to a website near you soon! We will be posting video of the event, filmed and edited by Loose Cannon Creative – sponsors of Ignite Pittsburgh.

July 10th Speaker Line-up announced!

Get ready to be inspired, entertained, and ignited!

Wednesday, July 10th at Brillobox, join us to listen, share, debate, and deliberate with the following inspiring speakers from the the City of Bridges:

Doors open: 7pm – games and fiercely friendly competition ensue
Speakers: 8pm – 9:30pm (Order may not be as follows)

The Conversations We COULD Be Having: Thoughts on a New Paradigm for Race in America
J.G. Bocella, Musician, artist, social-change advocate, and speaker

After years of creating and implementing programs on race relations, musician and social-change advocate, J.G. Boccella, began to notice a phenomenon: a “hidden demographic” of people who really wanted to connect across lines of race — socially, professionally, and intellectually — but who didn’t have “a way in.”In his ongoing speaker series and forthcoming book, “The Conversation We COULD Be Having,” J.G. shares his insight about how a simple paradigm shift could have a profound effect on race relations.

Autism Support is a Verb
Mary Limbacher, Parents in Toto Autism Resource Center, Executive Director

Executive Director Mary Limbacher of Parents in Toto Autism Resource Center makes “living with autism” popular. By providing ideas, information and hope with family-friendly activities, young adult hangouts and a welcoming environment, her unique center just north of Cranberry Township is thriving.

Your Creativity Workout
Joe Cooper-Silvis, Designer, Artist and Creativity lobbyist, The Think Tank Group

Don’t think you’re creative? This talk will give you new insights into your creative brain and some tools to unleash your own creative spirit.

Once I Built a Startup In Pittsburgh
Josh Lucas, Crowdasaurus, Founder; Red Blue Voice, Founder; The Hardware Store (coworking space), Organizer.

Ever wonder what it feels like to build a startup in the City of Champions?  Well, I’m ’bout to dish. Hear the lurid tale of how we went from a disorganized gritty startup to, well, a less disorganized gritty startup.

How play makes cities better

Adam Nelson, Founder, Obscure Games

Adam’s talk will center around his work creating games and other playful experiences throughout the city, and the value of those experiences as social grease and spatial glue.

Changing Patterns of Civic Engagement
Katherine Chamberlain, Director of Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs

As reported in the Millenials’ Civic Health Index, volunteering has risen, and social media offer new opportunities for civic engagement, yet conventional group membership, attendance at meetings, working with neighbors, trusting others, reading the news, joining a union, religious participation and voting have declined for 18-29 yr olds since the 1970s.  To engage Millennials in addressing ongoing community concerns new strategies are needed that create pathways for individual engagement while strengthening communities on the whole.

Bringing the Collaborative Economy to Pittsburgh
Jaclyn Vesci, CMO, Spacefinity

While highlighting examples in the Pittsburgh area, Jaclyn will share her knowledge about companies, organizations, and consumers that use social and mobile technologies to share goods and services.

Creativity before Limitations
Tirzah DeCaria, Artist and advocate working with disability community

So have you ever seen that strange looking person on the sidewalk… you know the one in the wheelchair who talks funny… and thought – I wonder what’s going on in their brain? I wonder what that experience is like? Well, this talk is about how the arts can turn those moments of curiosity into teachable moments. The kind of moments that make you think and inspires you to spend a little more time getting to know folks who’s bodies and minds work differently than most of us.

3-D Hologram Imaging for Music
Rick Lichtenstein

Imagine Pgh is about producing 3-D Hologram Imaging for Music. You will not know what is real and what is being projected! Holograms will provide images of performances, either live or recorded. Digital sound is the same as a live concert. The audience can be in a different location from where the artists are performing. Lower ticket prices make performances more accessible – this goes beyond concerts and can be used for plays, art exhibits, video games, video conference calls, and even medical applications.

Optimizing for the important things.
Seth Vargo, Open Source. Chef. Ruby.

Optimizing for the important things: Twitter. Facebook. Netflix. Family. Friends. Board games. Gym. Sleep. Do your numbers make sense?

Ignite 2013 – Summer just got hotter!

Ignite Pittsburgh is ready to set the City of Bridges on fire with our first event of 2013 – Wednesday, July 10th in Bloomfield!

Speaker submissions being accepted until Monday, June 17th. 

  • When: Wednesday July, 10th
  • Time: 7-9:30 pm
  • Where: Brillobox, 4104 penn avenue, pittsburgh pa 15224
  • Why: Thought-provoking ideas, awesome people, great beer…and a surprise twist or two!

Stayed tuned for updates on the speaker line up.  We look forward to seeing you there!

What happens at Ignite? Check out the 2011 Ignite Pittsburgh line up:

This land is your land: What parks mean to “we the people” in tough times

Parks were made in tough times. Could they just as easily be destroyed in tough times? That is up to you. Learn from history, get inspired, or take an analytical look at the numbers – in all cases you will find a compelling case for taking an active role in your public lands.

Miranda Crotsley, Miranda Crotsley is the Program Coordinator at Jennings Environmental Education Center, a state park near Slippery Rock, PA. Miranda has previously worked as the Chief of Outdoor Recreation Programming for the Bureau of State Parks in Harrisburg, and as the Program Coordinator at Presque Isle State Park in Erie. She serves on the Governor’s Council for Physical Fitness and Sport, and was recently awarded Recreation Professional of the Year by the PA Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. She earned her degree in Environmental Studies from Allegheny College in Meadville, PA. In her spare time Miranda enjoys backpacking, camping and canoeing in public lands all over the country.

Robot Self-Reflection

Robot Self-Reflection : Heather Knight and her aspiring-actor friend Data the Robot will lead you on a crash course through some of the best robot videos of all time. What does the current state of robotics innovation look like through a robot’s very own eyes?

Heather Knight, Heather Knight runs Marilyn Monrobot and has founded the world’s first Robot Film Festival. She is conducting her doctoral research at CMU’s Robotics Institute, investigating the intersection of Robotics and Entertainment. Past work includes: NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Syynlabs, Aldebaran Robotics, and MIT Media Lab. She is also an NSF Graduate Fellow.

Assemble PGH

assemble, a new venue in the Penn Ave Arts District, is a place where one can engage their intrigue through hands on activities about art and technology. Physical and nonphysical social and creative connections are fostered through film screenings, happenings, workshops, lectures, and community activities. assemble will activate the community with the contributions and presence of the audience and makers. With specific times for young and old makers alike, learning or making does not have to end when the work or school bell rings, it can become integrated into every aspect of life and time in the day. Founded on the concepts of sustainability, community, science, architecture, new media, and lowtech/hightech art, assemble is a place for CREATION! Our goal is to empower he current and future makers of Pittsburgh to think and ask-“Someone made up everything in the world around you, you could too. How would you redesign the world? What is holding you back?”

Nina Marie Barbuto, Co-founder of the I Made It! Market, Nina Marie Barbuto is the executive director of assemble, a community space for arts and technology. Her own media projects includes architecture, film, sound, and art installation often with the idea of recycling noise into the system or elevating the vernacular spectacular.

Solid-Liquid-Gas: Three States That Matter

People are educated to become solid forms—to become whole, composed, and defined by a very specific set of boundaries. Throughout life, family, mentors, and peers carefully control the temperature and pressure of your environment until you finally become a cute little solid. The conditions that have solidified you become familiar and comfortable. Solids, however, often go out into the world on their own to find that there are many situations they cannot fit into. Solids are often too rigid to adapt.

In this presentation, I focus on the other states of existence worth being—the liquid and the gas. I also discuss the possibility of state transition—of becoming a liquid or becoming a gas. Finally, I map the states of matter onto a theory of happiness and well-being that aims to delight, entertain, and inspire. By the end, you may find yourself getting a little melt-y.

Laura Scott, Laura Scott is a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon’s School of Design and is currently working as an information designer and project manager at a firm in Pittsburgh. Laura lives to find patterns and she enjoys using metaphors and analogies to make helpful life frameworks. A perfect day for her includes time to daydream, make something, eat pizza, write a list, and hear a good story.

Animal-Inspired Defensive Dresses

Playful, cocktail party-camouflaged dresses with hidden talents depict ways humans could benefit from and appropriate animal defensive behaviors into their clothing. My three wearable art pieces are designed to react when the wearer is intimidated and can then either inflate like a blowfish, imitate the defensive quill-erecting behavior of porcupines, or mimic the ability to self-amputate a limb like a lizard.

Amisha Gadani, Amisha Gadani is an artist interested in curious creatures and their unique adaptations from swarming behaviors and elegant defense mechanisms, to superorganisms and animals of the deep sea. Through her drawings, videos, and kinetic wearables, she aims to inspire curiosity in her hand-picked wonders of the world. She currently works at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at CMU here in Pittsburgh, and previously worked at the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco.


An overview of Pyrotopia, Pittsburgh’s First Annual Festival of Fire Arts. Pyrotopia will be staged on Friday October 7th and Saturday October 8th, 2011 at UnSmoke ArtSpace in Braddock, PA, the first festival on the East Coast dedicated to visual and performing art using fire as a medium, presenting fire’s diversity in unexpected applications, and celebrating humankind’s primal fascination with this medium.

Pyrotopia will entertain, enchant, and educate attendees in the use of fire and related media such as electricity and light. My presentation will explain and illustrate activities at Pyrotopia including:

  • fire dancing, spinning, hooping, swallowing
  • interactive fire sculptures and games
  • fire-related demonstrations
  • gallery show of fire-inspired imagery, sculpture, video
  • workshops and lectures on fire science, history, & safety

Susan Englert, Susan Englert is an architect, visual artist, event producer and community development specialist. She has completed more than ten commissioned art installations in the past four years, produced five successful cultural events with dancers, musicians and artists, and received numerous grants and residencies. She is a lead organizer of Pyrotopia.

That’s So Meta!

What social significance does the “meta” movement in filmmaking have? Documentaries like “I’m Still Here” and “Exit Through the Gift Shop” as well as narrative films like “Synecdoche New York” and “The Fountain” challenge us to relate to films not just as stories, but as constructs, by reflecting the story’s emotional content in the film’s stylistic approach. How does these films reflect tensions in our scientific, economic and ecological crises today? This presentation will explore the relationship between social changes and cinema innovations, and relate them to a provocative experimental documentary that is happening in Pittsburgh right now.

Director/co-producer, Caroline Savery has been an avid filmmaker-activist since 2000. She has produced dozens of creative short videos, winning awards for both film and academic achievement. As a long-time community activist in Pittsburgh, PA, she has always been passionate for merging social issues with compelling cinema.

Float and the Planes

Float will be a documentary exploring the competitive international subculture of indoor, free-flight duration aircraft.

Benjamin Saks, is the co-creator and producer of Float. He is in his second decade with indoor free-flight aircraft and has competed in national and world championships. As a member of this community, Ben brings knowledge and intimacy of the sport, as well as extensive management experience to the creation of Float. He has managed large design projects and clients for Taktl LLC and WET Design. He holds a Bachelors of Architecture with Honors from Carnegie-Mellon University. His work has been displayed and published internationally.

Demystifying Depression

Demystifying Depression is a safe haven for stories of trials + triumphs with mental illness. Specifically focused on the liberation that each person discovers for themselves, the goals of the blog are twofold: 1) provide hope for others who suffer in silence, shrouded in stigma + stereotypes; and 2) establish common language to build open dialog in our communities to break down the walls that keep many people in bondage to this very manageable aspect of the human condition. By capturing first person accounts of where individuals have been, how they have coped and how they successfully manage today, Demystifying Depression ‘breaks the silence to dispel the myths + misconceptions of mental illness.’

Stephanie Rexroth Mission: Change the world, one story at a time. Passion: Writing to give voice to causes that empower people & inspire change. Stephanie Rexroth is principal of On The Vine Creative, a Pittsburgh-based consultancy specializing in advocacy writing; supplemented by design, social media marketing and event coordination.

Storytelling and Chronic Illness

Already more than 90 million Americans live with one or more chronic illnesses . At some point, nearly everyone will encounter a chronic illness either directly or through a family member or close acquaintance. Through my Carnegie Mellon graduate design thesis, I found that storytelling is incredibly important in coping with illness, and social communities are being used as a platform for sharing these narratives. Sharing one’s personal story is linked with improved health and chronic illness control, in part because “stories help break down that denial by engaging the listener, often through some degree of identification with the storyteller or one of the characters.” It is a crucial aspect of peer support, as it is sharing knowledge and experiences with an illness. With Pittsburgh being such a technology and health-focused community, if we can design spaces to share our stories, we can create a shift in how we view illness and remove stigma that instead fosters healing.

Lauren Chapman, Lauren Chapman is a Graduate Design student at Carnegie Mellon University, soon to be employed at [will insert company here soon!]. She is a Pittsburgh native that did most of her growing up in San Diego, California but faithfully returned for cold Christmas’, humid summers, and graduate school. She has worked within print design, journalism, and business consulting focused around conversation and human centered design methodologies She is passionate about design that positively impacts the world—specifically around healthcare.


Nucleus is a project to create a new world-class center in Pittsburgh at the junction of art, technology and fabrication. This tion tools for artists and technologists; teach classes in art, technology, fabrication, hybrid subjects and techniques; and serve as a central meeting, lecturing and congregating space for artists and technologists.

Nucleus will occupy a large warehouse space within Pittsburgh (preliminarily estimated at about 15,000 s.f.). The plan is to open the space within two years from now.

In addition to serving its primary mission as outlined, Nucleus has the potential to incubate and spawn entrepreneurial ventures, attract and retain talent to the Pittsburgh region, revitalize its surrounding neighborhood and support Pittsburgh businesses and institutions through teaching, fabrication and rapid prototyping capabilities.

Eric Singer, Eric Singer is a musician, artist, engineer and programmer and the Founder of LEMUR: League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots. He holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon, Berklee College of Music and New York University. He has over 20 years of experience in electronic musical instruments, interactive systems, robotics and pyrotechnics.


Fear of snakes is hardwired into the human psyche. In this Ignite Pittsburgh presentation, Jonny Goldstein will explore his own fear of serpents, using his own hand drawn illustrations to accentuate the viperous coils of his personal snake-o-phobia.

Jonny Goldstein, is a graphic facilitator, artist, and writer who recently moved to Pittsburgh. He helps companies solve problems and seize opportunities through visual visual notes at meetings and at conferences. Jonny lives in Pittsburgh and teaches workshops in the Masters of Industrial Design (MID) program at University of the Arts in Philadelphia. More Jonny info at envizualize.com.

Childhood Education and handwork.

Learn about how Waldorf Schools use handwork in childhood education.

Roberta (Bobbi) Konefal-Shaer, Mrs. Konefal-Shaer is the handwork teacher at the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh. She earned her B.S. in biology and her master’s in education of the deaf from the University of Pittsburgh. She spent 20 years teaching and supervising programs in special education in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. While on a break from teaching to raise her two young daughters, she found a group of like-minded mothers at a playgroup at the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh. She began her Waldorf teaching experience leading the playgroup at the school. Later, Mrs. Konefal-Shaer became the director of legal compliance, and in 1998 she began teaching handwork while substituting during another teacher’s sabbatical. She received her Waldorf handwork training in applied arts at Sunbridge College in New York in 2003. Her two daughters are alumnae of the school.

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Thanks to everyone who came out!

We did it!

The debut of Ignite Pittsburgh was a blast! We raised $260, which we are donating to Grow Pittsburgh.

Thanks to our 12 presenters for their ideas and their bravery.

And thanks to the volunteers who made it happen:

Scott Kiesling on Pittsburghese

Scott Kiesling gives the lowdown on Pittsburghese.

Jonny Goldstein woos the crowd

Jonny Goldstein woos the crowd.

What a good crowd!

And what a great crowd it was!

photo credit: Casey West | See more photos on Flickr

Here’s the line up!


    Creative concepts for Pittsburgh and beyond to decrease greenhouse gas and dependance on oil, share wisdom, make friends, balance world budgets, and save time so we can all dance dance dance while making music and living our dreams.

    Ethan Clay, owner of Oh Yeah! Ice Cream & Coffee Co., is a dubstep loving Jedi barista carpenter economist building coffeeshops, miniature golf holes, and databases, while dreaming of chicken farming, living underground and following bees. I love antiques and diesel engines almost as much as I love Jesus.

    Happiness is a Warm Pun

    The word rhetoric summons thoughts of argument, persuasion, and debate. But, we often forget to consider a vital rhetorical approach rising in significance: humor.

    Humor research is an interdisciplinary academic field that has grown exponentially in the past decade but started off way back in Ancient Greece. Though it’s been making its rounds as a preferred rhetorical device as of late, only a few resources on “design humor” exist (mostly about graphic design, wit, and funny fonts). No collaborative work explores the individual depths humor research and design research have explored individually. It really blows.

    But it won’t for long. Find out about humor research, design research, and how these two influential fields will create beautiful hybrid babies that empower the world’s citizens to have better, more positive lives.

    Chelsey Delaney is a Design graduate student at CMU and a wily Texan. In Austin she did design work for comedy theaters and publications and grew inspired by her nutso comedian pals. She considered her CMU Design thesis an opportunity to explore the curiosity she developed surrounding humor + design, and now she’s obsessed.

    An Introduction to Posthuman Factors

    As humans become increasingly non-human (robotic, virtual, cyborg) beings, “designing for humans” is increasingly irrelevant. This presentation introduces the field of “posthuman factors” as a strategic approach to the design of safe and sustainable technological future. The implications of this approach both reframe and challenge many of the underlying assumptions of contemporary scientific practice to more adequately address dangerous hypothetical interactions between human, virtual, and robo/cyborg “posthumans.”

    Haakon Faste is a visiting assistant professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, where his research focuses on augmented experiences and design creativity. He has a PhD in perceptual robotics and has worked for 15 years in the fields of visual art, interaction design and virtual reality. As a former leader of the Software Experiences practice at IDEO in San Francisco, he has led strategic design innovation projects for some of the world’s most innovative corporations.

    Jóvenes SIN Nombres, Jóvenes Con Sueños/Youths WITHOUT Names, Youths WITH Dreams

    Jóvenes Sin Nombres (Youths Without Names) was sparked by the desire of Latino youths, supported by local artists, activists and academics, to draw attention to an emergent community largely unrecognized by the wider Pittsburgh community and elicit dialogue and new ways of thinking about issues and misconceptions that are at the heart of urgent national (and more recently local) debates on immigration, citizenship and the border. The group which now includes young people from multiple backgrounds and ethnicities, came together to create Pittsburgh’s first Latino mural “Pintando Para un Sueño” (“Painting for a Dream”). Through the mural and other projects, “Jóvenes Sin Nombres” aspires to‘create visibility for these issues and recover’ Pittsburgh’s historical legacy as a “city of immigrants” by demonstrating the valuable contributions of young immigrants to our city. As one JSN member recently remarked: “We may not have names or straight-forward one dimensional identities, but we all have dreams.”

    Michal Friedman is the co-founder and director of Jovenes Sin Nombres. She is a native of Israel and immigrated to the United States when she was fourteen. She has spent extensive periods of time studying and living in Spain and Mexico. She worked on her doctoral dissertation on the construction of Modern Spanish identity in relation to its multicultural past at Columbia University in New York City. She is currently an Adjunct Lecturer at the Department of History at Carnegie Mellon University where she teaches courses on Spain, Jewish history and Latin America.

    The Ultimate Interface: New Interfaces For Tombstones.

    A feel good presentation about death.

    Jonny Goldstein is an information visualizer, teacher, and hands-on visual conversationalist who recently moved to Pittsburgh. He creates large scale visual notes at strategic planning meetings and at conferences and teaches workshops at the Masters of Industrial Design (MID) program at UArts in Philly. More Jonny info at envizualize.com.

    Tommy Wright The III: An Internet Rap-Mystery

    Who is Tommy Wright the III? The self titled “One Man Gang” is a highly skilled rapper and producer from Memphis who put out a number tapes around the mid 90s, but has seen little to no recognition in popular music circles. Intrigued by this mystery, I began an internet-research project. Through this I have discovered rapper beefs, rumors of mob connections, and fake MTV cribs episodes. Join me as we attempt enter the psyche of this man, and undercover what makes this man tick, where he came from and how he fell off.

    Greg Johnson is a Biomedical Engineering student at CMU, from Los Angeles area. I like warm weather, beer, music and robots.

    Why Yinz Have Pittsburghese N’at

    Many cities have ways of speaking associated with them. New York, New Orleans, Boston, you name it—we can hear where people are from. But Pittsburgh is special, because our ‘Pittsburghese’ is represented everywhere, even in the name of the ‘typical’ Pittsburgher—the ‘yinzer.’ Few other places are so invested in their unique way of speaking. Why is Pittsburgh so different? I’ll explain how history and demography have conspired to make us a city of ‘nebby jagoffs.’

    Scott Kiesling is associate professor of Linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh. He studies why people talk the way they do, why they don’t all speak the same, and especially how people use language to signal social categories and attitudes. He is best known for his work on the address term ‘dude.’

    Nature is depraved!

    In this talk I will expose Nature for the wanton hussy she is! As moral upstanding American citizens we need to take action to stop this depravity that is poisoning the hearts and minds of our young.

    Matty Lau is a post-doctorate researcher at an unnamed local institution in the field of Science Education. Note: University of Pittsburgh in no way funds, supports, endorses, nor knows about the messages of this talk.

    Morning, Noon and Night: Pittsburgh Food Done Right

    Whether visiting or living in Pittsburgh, there’s many foodie hot spots you might miss. We’ll take you on a tour of our favorites featuring what we think they do best: breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and midnight snacks.

    Tom McGraw is a Pennsylvania native who moved to Pittsburgh 5 years ago. He has been documenting his food journey purely for his own enjoyment and to make recommendations when friends and co-workers think they know more than he does.

    Sarah Sudar is a Pittsburgh native who has been blogging about Pittsburgh food for EatPgh.com since its beginning 1 1/2 years ago. Despite conquering all that the city has to offer, she much prefers beef jerky, soft pretzels and cupcakes.

    Biosphere 2 + Future Symbiosis

    Patrick will discuss his work in photography, sound and new media that addresses the changing relationship that human beings have with their surroundings. Technological change and advance has created an atmosphere of rapid change and flux. We are living in a time when organs can be grown in laboratories, bodies are being cryogenically preserved for later reanimation, stem cells can be inserted in vivo, nanobots will soon enter into our bodies to perform biologic tasks, robots are becoming largely embedded in our lives, digital bodies can be used to go to virtual worlds, and technology is becoming embodied to a greater degree in our bodies and biosphere.

    With an emphasis on his work in progress from a 2010 artist in residency at Biosphere 2, Patrick will provide an overview of past, present and future projects that navigate the coming 21st century.

    Patrick Millard is an artist originates from the small western Michigan town of Lamont and now lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His work in photography, new media, addresses ideas about media, digital culture, technology and the interactions that human beings have within their own synthetic environment.

    Kiva Pittsburgh

    Kiva empowers people through microfinance lending, (loans as small as $25) to help give others the support they need to start a business for the improvement of their communities and families. The Kiva Pittsburgh team wants to spread awareness of this program to give Pittsburghers a chance to combat world poverty.

    Megan Riggs is a member of Kiva Team Pittsburgh, a group of diverse but like-minded group of Pittsburgh natives and transplants who believe in connecting our peers here with entrepreneurs in developing nations.

    Tangled in a Web of Things

    In January of 2010, Apple announced that there is room for a device between a laptop and a smart phone. A few months later, Apple released the iPad and successfully added another tier of things to our daily lives. Technology is becoming pervasive and will soon be inseparable from daily habits and routines. How do we go from a fragmented present to a connected future? And more importantly, how do we stop the machines from taking over?

    In this talk, Hans Scharler will discuss the emerging Internet of Things, pitfalls, trends, and applications. Hans will share what he thinks an interconnected world may look like.

    Hans Scharler is the co-founder of ioBridge and a contributor to ThingSpeak, an open source Internet of Things platform. In his spare time, Hans plays and designs board games.

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