A Who’s Who of Breakthrough Ideas: Photos from the Xconomy Forum

3/30/10Follow @gthuang

More than 200 people gathered yesterday at the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington to talk about changing the world. We had a stunning lineup of speakers across different disciplines—including Nick Hanauer of Second Avenue Partners, Nathan Myhrvold of Intellectual Ventures, and Lee Hood from the Institute for Systems Biology—and an equally diverse crowd of entrepreneurs, investors, executives, researchers, students, and service providers. Huge thanks to our event host—the UW computer science and engineering department—as well as to all of our event sponsors, partners, underwriters, and venture capital members, for making this event possible.

I hope to follow up soon with my takeaways from the conference. In the meantime, TechFlash has posted detailed writeups of the keynote speakers here and here. And we’ve also put together a slide show of the participants, the audience, and some of their potentially game-changing ideas (photos courtesy of Tracy Cutchlow and Robert Wade):

space CLICK HERE FOR SLIDE SHOW (22 images)

You can also check out more pictures of the event from Seattle photographer Robert Wade (includes some good shots of attendees that I missed).

A few things jumped out at me from the discussions. One, a relatively small proportion of the audience (maybe 10-15 percent) thought the Apple iPad should be considered a “breakthrough” idea. Two, the things that turn out to have huge impact (e.g., the Internet) are usually not thought to be breakthroughs when they first emerge. Three, if you think you have a breakthrough idea, don’t listen to your critics. And four, nobody knows the future. Stay tuned for more deep thoughts.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

By posting a comment, you agree to our terms and conditions.