Archive for October, 2007

Tech Laureate Venture Network Showcase – 7 November 2007

The Tech Museum Awards is an international Awards program that honors innovators from around the world who are applying technology to benefit humanity.

For the first year since its inception in 2001, I will miss the Tech Laureate Venture Network (TLVN) Showcase – an opportunity for individuals, philanthropists, businesses and nonprofit leaders to meet the 25 Tech Laureates chosen each year for having developed successful ways to use technology to benefit people around the world.  The awards are given to five winners in each of the following categories:  Economic Development, Education, Equality, Environment, and Health.  Some are individuals, like our friends Brij Kothari (who founded PlanetRead and BookBox) and Ashok Gadgil (who founded waterhealth and with whom Mark and I worked on fuel-efficient cookstoves in Darfur), others are nonprofits, like Benetech (a two-time winner), Video Volunteers and Institute for OneWorld Health, and still others are for-profit corporations, like MBA Polymers, SELCO Solar Light Pvt. Ltd., and Seawater Greenhouse Ltd.

The TLVN will be held this year on November 7, from 8:30am to 11:00am at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center (not the Tech Museum, where it has been held in the past), 150 West San Carlos Street.  There is no fee but admission is by invitation only.  If you’d like to go, email Amanda Reilly: areilly at thetech dot org by October 31.

If you can’t make it, you might want to check out this year’s winners here:

Fall in Vancouver

Fall Colors
Fall Colors in Jericho Beach Park
English Bay
English Bay at sunset as seen from Locarno Beach
Vancouver Yacht Club
Masts at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club
Totem & Hunter’s Moon
Totem & Hunter’s Moon

Vancouver Top 10

Downtown Vancouver
View of downtown Vancouver from Jerricho Park

10. Proximity to Whistler/Blackcomb

9. Terra Breads

8. Transylvania Bread – peasant and rye breads

7. Neighborhood community centers

6. Bald eagles

5. Stanley Park

4. Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia

3. Student Clinic at the Vancouver School of Bodywork & Massage

2. Tojo’s

1. Xiao long bao

Xiao Long Bao

UN Day Burma Freedom March & Rally – 24 October 2007, San Francisco

 According to Dr. Tint Swe, a National League for Democracy (NLD) Member of Parliament in exile in India, the military junta killed over 200 monks and citizens at large and detained over 6,000 people in the latest brutal crackdown to suppress peaceful pro-democracy protests throughout Burma. (The government reports that only 13 people were killed.) Reports filtering out of Burma claim that the military continues its night-time raids, rounding up monks, activists, and anyone else suspected of having anything to do with protesters, protests and rallies, including families of suspected activists and returning Burmese who may have participated in actions overseas!

If you are in San Francisco, please join the rally tomorrow – UN Day and sign the petition listed below:

Wed Oct 24, San Francisco
4:00p – 5:00p — Rally & Meditation at the Chinese Consulate, 1450 Laguna (@ Geary)
5:00p – 5:40p — Peace March to United Nations Plaza, Market St (between 7th & 8th )
6:00p – 8:00p — Multi-faith Prayer Service and Rally at United Nations Plaza

Wear maroon (or red) in honor of the Burmese monks.

Sign the petition..
“The United Nations is Failing Burma!”

Please sign before Wednesday.

Live (Free) Webcast of Pop!Tech – 17-20 October 2007

Pop!Tech is the annual thought leadership summit convening next week in Camden Maine from October 17 to 20, 2007.

“Each year, this four day summit explores the deep forces shaping our collective future, the social impact of new scientific insights and emerging technologies, and the new approaches humanity is taking to address national and global problems. It draws together world-leading speakers and 550 attendees that include some of the highest ranks of science, technology, business, the arts, culture, law and the press; the participants include Nobel Prize winners, MacArthur ‘genius’ award winners, and uncategorizable thought leaders who come together to look collectively at the future of the world.” Andrew Zolli, Curator of Pop!Tech

This year, the entire Pop!Tech conference will be webcast LIVE AND FOR FREE at between 9am and 6.30pm, October 17-20, 2007. You can even submit questions to the stage live by emailing The 2007 Pop!Tech program and speakers are online.

Pop!Tech is a nonprofit with the mission to accelerate the impact of world-changing people and ideas. They’ve invested *heavily* to give their content away to the world for free – please “tune” in and spread the word.

The partial list of confirmed speakers is amazing:

* Ted Ames, the Macarthur-Award-Winning ecologist and Maine lobsterman, will share his work creating sustainable approaches to our management of the oceans.

* Tom Barnett, the geopolitical and military strategist and best-selling author, who will explore America’s strategic challenges in the next 25 years.

* Sam Barondes, the renowned neuropsychiatrist who will discuss the essence of human personality – what it is, where it comes from, and how it makes us who we are.

* Robert Boroffice, head of Nigeria’s space agency, NASRDA, who will speak about how satellite technology can connect Africa.

* Adrian Bowyer, creator of low-cost, open-source fabrication technologies will speak about how this breakthrough technology can be used to empower ordinary citizens around the world.

* Louann Brizendine, neuropsychiatrist and expert on gender differences in the brain, will share her provocative work on how men and women truly do think differently.

* Mustapha Ceric, Grand Mufti of Bosnia and leading Islamic thinker, will speak about global peace.

* Caleb Chung, legendary toy designer and inventor of the Furby, will share his latest “artificially alive,” animatronic creation.

* Krista Dong, MD, a front-lines AIDS worker in South Africa, will speak about an inspiring new initiative to help HIV+ people in the poorest communities.

* Alan Dugatkin, an expert in animal behavior will share his insights into the biological underpinnings of human goodness.

* Nathan Eagle, the mobility expert from the MIT Media Lab, will share his research on the use of mobiles as a tool for social development.

* John Esposito, the preeminent Islamic-studies scholar, will lead a discussion on the history and future of Islam.

* Jeff Fisher, the healthcare psychologist will share his work on a promising new software tool in the fight in the fight against HIV.

* Cary Fowler, the world’s seed banker and director of the Global Seed Diversity Trust, will share his efforts to create a “global seed vault” deep in a mountain in Norway.

* Vanessa German, the urban slam poet will inspire us.

* Dan Gilbert, the psychologist and best-selling author, will discuss human happiness and why we rarely hold on to it.

* Jessica Hagy, superbly comic blogger will share her hilarious illustrations.

* Victoria Hale, founder of the world’s first non-profit drug company, will share her work on fighting malaria and other illnesses.

* Jonathan Harris, the mind-blowing interactive design star, will share his breathtaking work.

* Carl Honoré, celebrated journalist and chronicler of the Slow Food movement, will speak about the new dynamics of human culture.

* Nina Jablonski, the renowned anthropologist, will share her work studying the biology and meaning of human skin.

* Jessica Jackley Flannery, Internet microfinance pioneer, will discuss the future of ‘bottom up’ solutions to poverty.

* Van Jones, inner-city eco-activist, will speak about his work on a new “green collar” revolution in America’s inner cities.

* Chris Jordan, the celebrated photographer, will share his breathtaking photographs which document of the human impact.

* Sarah Joseph, the founder of Emel magazine, Britain’s leading Muslim lifestyle publication, will discuss emerging dialogues within the Islamic community.

* Jay Keasling, one of the founding fathers of synthetic biology, will share his path-breaking work on new health and energy technologies.

* Zoë Keating, the mesmerizing techno-cellist, will perform for us.

* Sheila Kennedy, the architect and product designer, will relate her work on breakthrough new lighting technologies designed for the developing world.

* Daoud Kuttab, the pioneering Palestinian journalist and new media expert, will share his thoughts on the impact of new media in the Middle East.

* John Legend, the Grammy Award-winning R&B artist, will perform and share his work on global poverty alleviation.

* Joe McCarthy, global mobility researcher, will share his insights into how mobile devices are empowering people around the world.

* Christian Nold, a technology artist, will demonstrate his work on “emotional mapping” technologies that show how people react to places.

* Claire Nouvian, the noted deep-sea conservationist, will share some of her breathtaking work documents the deepest layers of the biosphere.

* Kelly Joe Phelps, the mesmerizing blues guitarist, will perform.

* Dan Pink, the noted journalist will share his thoughts on the rise of the creative economy.

* Steven Pinker, the preeminent cognitive scientist and New York Times-best-selling author will speak on the nature and essence of human thought.

* Paul Polak, founding father of market-based solutions to poverty and development, will speak about his efforts to built ultra-low-cost products for the bottom of the global pyramid.

* Davy Rothbart, the founder of Found magazine, will share some his hilarious findings.

* Enric Sala, the rising star of marine ecology, will share his work documenting the human impact on the oceans.

* Zainab Salbi, the founder of Women for Women International, will share lessons from her efforts helping women in post-conflict regions.

* Bill Shannon, the indescribably talented street dancer will speak and perform.

* John Shearer, technology entrepreneur, will share his potentially breakthrough ways of distributing electricity.

* Paul Shuper, psychologist and HIV behavioral researcher, will share his work on a promising new software tool in the fight in the fight against HIV.

* Elizabeth Streb, the award-winning choreographer will share her visions.

* Charles Swift, the Navy lawyer charged with defending terrorists at Guantanamo, will share lessons on balancing human rights with security in the post 9/11 world.

* Zinhle Thabethe, the front-line AIDS worker from KwaZulu Natal province, South Africa, will return to Pop!Tech to announce a significant new initiative to fight the epidemic in her home country.

* Katrin Verclas, mobile activism researcher, will share her research on the many ways mobiles are being used a tool for social change.

Celebrate Young Environmental Leaders: Brower Youth Awards – 24 October 2007

You’ll laugh…you’ll cry, you’ll be educated…you’ll be amazed, you’ll be proud…you’ll be inspired – go and be!

I’m sorry to be missing this year’s celebration of six young (ages 14 to 23) environmental activists who are making our world safer and cleaner.  The Brower Youth Awards is usually one of the highlights of my year and an amazing night of inspiration.  This year, it is being held at the Herbst Theatre and Green Room at the War Memorial Veterans Building in San Francisco (the ceremony is moving up in the world – last year it was at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the year before that, at a college auditorium in Oakland), and hosted by Adrienne Maree Brown of the Ruckus Society.

The program starts at 7:30pm (doors open at 7pm), and will be followed by a dessert reception where you can meet the honorees.

The awards ceremony and reception are free, but you need to RSVP.

If you go, do let me know how you enjoyed it.

Kiran Ahluwalia Tangents Party – 12 October 2007, San Francisco

Kiran Ahluwalia


“A stunning singer and rising international star” Village Voice

“Her voice is as supple and rich an instrument as anything man or nature has yet devised, turning from scorchingly seductive to playful at the drop of a sari. Eye Magazine

“Her crystal clear voice arched superbly above rhythms that coursed through the audience…an evening of fascinating, newly revealed music.” Los Angeles Times

Indo-Canadian ghazal singer Kiran Ahluwalia performs her first San Francisco concert Friday night, October 12 at Saint Gregory’s Church (500 De Haro, Potrero Hill). This is the perfect setting for Kiran’s five piece ensemble which in addition to Kiran’s remarkable voice includes tabla, harmonium, guitar and bass.

Ghazal is a sensual poetic form that Kiran lovingly describes as a “highly literate pick up line”. It originated in Persia 1000 years ago and reached the Indian sub-continent 400 years later. This was a time when princes and kings employed court musicians to put music to poetry. Kiran is a bridge to this colorful past. She takes the ghazal song form into the 21st century soaking in other influences especially Portuguese fado on her new recording: “Wanderlust”.

Date: October 12 (Friday) 8:30p Concert. Two 50 minute sets.

7p doors open with potluck dinner. Q & A with Kiran after the concert.

Location: Saint Gregory’s Church, San Francisco
500 De Haro St. at Mariposa St. in Potrero Hill (ample parking)

Tickets: $25 adv/$27.50 door

Info: 415 584-4367

Hosted by Dore Stein, “Tangents” producer (Sat. 8-mid, 91.7fm,

Kiran media link for artist info:

Kiran media link for articles/interviews:

Never been to a Tangents party? Don’t miss this opportunity – this is only the second time in the history of Tangents that the party has been opened up to the general public. Usually, Tangents parties are intimate affairs in people’s homes (Mark and I have hosted several parties in two of our former homes in San Francisco) where an amazing group of people gather for food, community, and live, “tangential” music. Because of the limited capacity of these gatherings, tickets usually sell out immediately to those on Dore Stein‘s Tangents email list. (To get on the list, email tangentsradio at gmail dot com.)

I (and the indomitable Hester Lox) will be doing “door” duty, so please come and say hello. And don’t forget a delectable savory dish or dessert to share with the “tangential” community. (Prizes – CDs – for the best, home-made delectables in each category.)

If you can’t make it to the party, join the Tangents community by listening to Dore’s show on KALW (91.7 FM) Saturdays from 8pm to midnight. If you are located outside of the SF Bay Area, you can stream it live. (Mark and I have enjoyed many a show from Pondicherry, India!)

The Situation in Burma – What Can We Do?

Those of you following the situation in Burma know that the military junta has cut off access to the Internet; is confiscating video and cell phone cameras; and is now in the process of hunting down and jailing individual protesters based on photographs.  No one knows the status of thousands of monks who were rounded up and taken from their monasteries.  Human rights organizations fear that the death toll is far higher than the 10 officially listed by the military junta.

What can we do?

  • Add your signature to a petition on calling on China and the U.N. security council to oppose the violent crackdown on the demonstrators and to support reconciliation and democracy.
  • Post a message of support to the brave people of Burma on the Ethical Traveler site.
  • Join prayer vigils, peace marches, and protests in a location near you.  For those in the San Francisco Bay Area, join the Burmese American Democratic Alliance this Friday, 5 October, for a rally at the Chinese Consulate from 2-5pm, a peace march from the Chinese Consulate to UN Plaza from 5-6pm, and a prayer vigil at UN Plaza from 6-8pm. For others, 6 October is a Global Day of Action. has a full list of calls to action around the world.
  • Donate to a group of young people living in Thailand who can get funds to the protesters in Burma.  For tax deductible donations, visit the Youth Solidarity of Burma site set up by Mad Nomad (our good friend Gregg Butensky).  If you don’t care about tax deductions, you can PayPal or wire the money through Give To Burma.
  • Stay informed.  News portals: The Irrawaddy and Mizzima News.  Human Rights Watch, Burma. Facebook: Voices of Burma, and many others…

Gandhi Jayanti

October 2 is the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi – a national holiday in India. The day has also been declared an International Day of Non-Violence by the United Nations General Assembly. Here are some ways in which Gandhi Jayanti is being celebrated:

  • An art action by OraWorldMandala connecting the children of Ahmedabad, India with the children of Mexico as part of its first experiment: Education for a Culture of Peace.
  • Candlelight vigils throughout India and other parts of the world to highlight the agrarian crisis and farmer suicides taking place all over India, and particularly in Vidarbha. In Bombay, join Peace Mumbai and Vidarbha Jan Aandolan Samiti (VJAS) at 7pm at Marine Drive. AID India is also organizing candlelight vigils in these locations.
  • “Janadesh 2007” – a non-violent march by 25,000 people for land and livelihood rights for the marginalized – organized by Ekta Parishad.  The march will begin on 2 October from the Mela Ground in Gwalior and follow the National Highway to New Delhi, reaching on 29 October.
  • Premiere of “SHE Creates” – 5 films made by 25 girls from diverse backgrounds, trained by Mam Movies. Time: 5:30pm to 9:30pm. Venue: Manik Sabhagraha, Opp. Lilavati Hospital, Bandra Reclamation, Bandra (W), Mumbai 400 050.
  • 24 hours of prayer, song, movie and discussions on the philosophy of non-violence in Hiroshima, Japan.


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