A conversation about the many fields exploding in innovation across the region

What’s Now: New York is an event series that consistently features a remarkable person helping reinvent an important field that’s exploding in innovation in the New York region right now. These world class thought leaders often present or are interviewed about their latest work before holding a conversation with an invite-only crowd of innovators and intellectuals from many different fields who are doing interesting work in their own right. The entire 90-minute conversation is captured in high-quality video and livestreamed so that the exclusive physical gathering can be viewed by sophisticated audiences interested in the latest thinking about what’s coming in the near future and how we could more fundamentally reinvent our world.

This series, produced by Reinvent in partnership with Capgemini, has been running since the fall of 2017 and is based on the highly successful What’s Now: San Francisco series now in its 4th year. 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.

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Recent Conversations

  • Completed: July 18, 2019 EST

    The Many Ways We Will Soon Be Talking to Robots

    What if in the near future the must-have gift for a one-year-old was a robot Teddy Bear that could be playmate, teacher, security guard – all in one? Would it be lauded as the wonder tool of early childhood development and childcare? Or would it be feared as way too creepy? And who would program what the robot said every day in every situation to that young mind – parents or some engineer? These are the kinds of questions that David Ewing Duncan explores in his new book Talking to Robots, Tales from Our Human-Robot Futures, and that he will lay out in conversation as our featured guest at our next What’s Next: New York.

    Participants: David Ewing Duncan
  • Completed: May 16, 2019 EST

    How the World of Hardware Will Soon Transform Like Software

    Hardware is the new software – or will be soon. Working in the world of software today is relatively easy and fluid compared to a decade or two ago. Many basic software components are modular, are freely shared through open source, and can make use of standardized interfaces and APIs that allow easy interoperability. That is not the case in the world of hardware today. Tools in the manufacturing process do not link together like software. Companies actually work to prevent others from quickly and easily building off their hardware tools and products. Yet that may soon change. That’s the message of Nick Pinkston, the young founder of two successful startups that applied advanced software to accelerate the manufacturing of hardware, and who will be our featured guest of the next What’s Now: New York event.

    Participants: Nick Pinkston
  • Completed: January 16, 2019 PST

    Fixing our Broken Online Advertising Ecosystem from Facebook to Amazon

    America’s got a fundamental problem with how information flows through its  economy and society. Encouraged by a light touch regulatory framework, early internet business models – from Amazon to Facebook –  have metastasized, in the process creating an information architecture that’s proven toxic to our society. As John Battelle, our guest at the January What’s Now: New York event, sees it, the problem comes down to who controls the flow of information in our increasingly interconnected world. But to understand that flow, we first have to visualize it, then we must imagine alternatives.

    Participants: John Battelle
  • Completed: December 6, 2018 EST

    The Future of Mass Consumer Desires Via Millennial Hipsters Today

    Almost all businesses – from early stage investors to small firms to multinational corporations – wrestle with some form of trying to figure out what leading consumers really want now, and what the bulk of consumers will obviously want tomorrow. Soraya Darabi, our next guest at What’s Now: New York, is a bonafide expert in figuring out what’s cool now that’s coming next. The relatively young entrepreneur co-founded a couple highly successful venture-backed businesses, the retail startup Zady, one of Fast Company’s top 10 most innovative retail companies in 2014, and the Foodspotting app, acquired by OpenTable.

    Participants: Soraya Darabi
  • Completed: September 24, 2018 EST

    From Today’s Traffic Congestion to the Future of Urban Mobility

    Traffic congestion in New York City is bad, but it soon could be much better. Really. Take it from Robin Chase, the co-founder of Zipcar who now leads NUMo, the New Urban Mobility Alliance, our featured guest at September’s What’s Now: New York. One way to understand the current urban mobility problem in New York City and many cities around the world is to see our transportation system trapped between two paradigms. The old paradigm was organized for the last century around personal cars, while the new paradigm that’s emerging will be based on shared modalities, newly easy and convenient because of  technology.

    Participants: Robin Chase
  • Completed: August 7, 2018 EST

    How Machine Learning Will Accelerate Innovation in New Ways

    First the good news: the world is going through an explosion of knowledge in pretty much every industry and field. Every day 10,000 new scientific papers are published, just in English, to give just one example. Now the bad news: No human being in any field can possibly keep up with all that new knowledge production. Most authors are aware of less than 1 percent of information related to their topic. Here’s the even worse news: Most innovation comes from connecting up insights across multiple fields. But now for the really good news: Artificial Intelligence has arrived just in time to augment our human brains and help us master that explosion of knowledge and consequently accelerate innovation in every industry and every field.

    Participants: Brian Sager
  • Completed: July 12, 2018 EST

    What’s a Nice Tech Investor Doing in Muskegon, Michigan?

    What’s a nice tech investor like Esther Dyson doing in Muskegon, Michigan? Dyson was an early tech guru, impresario of the highly influential conference PC Forum and newsletter Release 1.0, friendly with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Yet now she’s regularly flying from her base in Manhattan into a handful of small communities in America’s heartland, trying to spread the same message of long-term thinking and learning through trial and error that pervades Silicon Valley. The problems she’s addressing have a lot to do with time. At July’s What’s Now: New York event, presented in partnership with Capgemini at their Applied Innovation Exchange, Dyson will lead a conversation about how we need to rethink private and public behavior by shifting from short-term to longer-term horizons.

    Participants: Esther Dyson
  • 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