What’s Now: New York is an event series that each month features a remarkable person helping reinvent an important field that’s exploding in innovation in the New York region right now. Our speakers explain the key developments in their field that people outside the field should know about, developments which could help solve the major challenges of our time. They use the opportunity to talk about their current work, their latest thinking, the questions they are wrestling with at the moment.

The series is an expansion of the highly successful What’s Now: San Francisco series, produced by the media company Reinvent in partnership with Capgemini, the global technology consulting firm. That series has featured many top-tier innovators and intellectuals rooted in Silicon Valley who are trying to more fundamentally reinvent systems to deal with the mounting challenges in our 21st-century world. We are looking for comparable innovators in the New York region to start analogous conversations at Capgemini’s new Applied Innovation Exchange near Union Square in Manhattan.

Each month, our featured speaker addresses an invite-only crowd of innovators and intellectuals who are doing interesting work in their own right, including people our featured guest would like to engage. Some are from the field under discussion, but many come from other industries, professions and fields. Our featured guest starts the evening by laying out his or her ideas either in a presentation, or through an initial interview with the event’s host. This is followed by a deep, complex conversation with the members of the audience, who build on the ideas, challenge the concepts, or raise questions.

The entire 90-minute conversation is captured in high-quality video so that the exclusive physical gathering can be viewed by sophisticated audiences interested in the latest thinking from leading thought leaders. The best ideas to emerge are later developed into short videos and posts that can reach wider audiences through social media.

The entire series cross-connects leading innovators from diverse fields and builds a network of networks over time. A key filter for selecting the featured speakers and invited guests is whether they are interested in fundamental innovation, or what we call reinvention, and are looking for big, bold, positive ways forward to help solve the many challenges of our time. Those who attend enjoy good food, drinks and networking before the program and after, and many return as regulars.

The events are free but space in Capgemini’s Applied Innovation Exchange is limited. If you are interested in getting an invite, tell us more about yourself by emailing contact@reinvent.net. If you don’t live in New York, but know people in the area who you think might be interested in this series, you can use this form to provide their contact info.

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Recent Conversations

  • Completed: June 5, 2018 EST

    The New Technologies of Scent and the Future of Food & Health

    Of all our senses, the sense of smell is probably the least studied and appreciated. However, in recent years our scientific understanding of how we perceive scents and what they do to our brains and immune systems has deepened. It turns out that scent accounts for around 80% of the experience of flavor, a dominant force in the experience and enjoyment of eating. We also are learning how scents clearly and directly affect our emotions. Some scents (even when you hardly perceive them) will pick you up and give you energy while others will help calm you down or take you to a remembered experience. Our deepening understanding has reached the point where a new wave of technologies is being developed by a new crop of startup companies that promise to make an impact on a range of industries from food and restaurants to health and wellness.

    Participants: David Edwards
  • Completed: April 24, 2018 EDT

    Popping The Filter Bubble with Eli Pariser

    Way back in 2010, Eli Pariser came up with the term filter bubble, the idea that people on the Internet tend to see only information that agrees with them, and then he published his book The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You. Since that time, Facebook took off, viral marketing went nuts, fake news appeared, American politics polarized to the extreme, and now we’ve got a huge backlash to globalization and technology companies. Businesses increasingly are caught in between this polarization. If a brand takes a stand that pleases some stakeholders in one bubble, then it risks alienating other stakeholders in another one. The situation is getting untenable.

    Participants: Eli Pariser
  • Completed: March 15, 2018 EST

    A Facebook Co-Founder Rethinks How to Solve Economic Inequality

    Chris Hughes considers himself lucky—too lucky. Chris was born into a modest family in North Carolina before getting a scholarship to Harvard University, where he was the freshman roommate to a guy named Mark Zuckerberg. That led to him becoming one of the co-founders of Facebook, core to the startup in the early days, including being the spokesperson for the company. That alone made him a very lucky man, and a very, very wealthy one—too wealthy.

    Participants: Chris Hughes
  • Completed: February 20, 2018 EST

    The Moment of Digital Reckoning in Healthcare Has Finally Arrived

    We’re in an extraordinary moment in the healthcare industry—similar to where the web was in the mid-1990s. Just like the Netscape IPO marked the beginning of a boom in 1995, Fitbit recently going public marked a new era in digital health. People in the know can see how the whole industry could be transformed over the next five years.

    Participants: Unity Stoakes
  • Completed: January 30, 2018 EST

    Getting to the Next Successful Media Models

    June Cohen put TED Talks online and scaled their views to 100 million a year. Deron Triff then took TED Talks to 100 million views and listens a month—or 1 billion a year. The two of them are now co-founders of WaitWhat — the first-of-its-kind content incubator that develops and nurtures original media properties aimed at evoking positive emotions thought to be contagious. WaitWhat then turns its successes into diverse media experiences that reach an ever-expanding audience.

    Participants: June Cohen
  • Completed: December 18, 2017

    Preparing for the Third Digital Revolution: Fabrication

    We’re in the early stages of the Third Digital Revolution and few people understand what’s about to hit them. The first two digital revolutions – in computers and communications – transformed the world, but the next revolution in fabrication is poised to make an even bigger impact.

  • Completed: October 30, 2017

    Can the Innovation Hubs of New York and San Francisco Ramp Up a Reinvention of America?

    Few people understand innovation, and the peculiar kinds of innovation practiced in both New York and San Francisco, better than Steven Johnson. The best-selling author has written 10 books that essentially all deal with innovation, and he maintains a home in both places, shuttling his family between each.

    Participants: Steven Johnson