Posts Tagged ‘Houston’

UP Alumni In The News 9.14.11

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Here we are, halfway through the week again and with more intriguing news from UP Experience alumni:

Mosquito nets like this one can prevent malaria - support an important cause and learn more about smart ways of working by purchasing the book End Malaria. Image courtesy of Flickr/Sheep "R" Us

UP 10 speaker, Kevin Kelly, featured the new book End Malaria as recommended reading on his blog this week. The book, which features advice from some of the world’s best thought leaders on how to work smarter, isn’t about malaria, but $20 from each sale will go to fight the disease. End Malaria features essays not just from Kelly but many past and future UP Experience speakers including: Brene Brown, Dan Pink, and Sir Ken Robinson.

Fellow UP 10 speaker Dan Buettner and his Blue Zones Project joined with Wellmark, Healthways and Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa to launch a new Blue Zones initiative in the state.

Right here in Houston, UP 11 speaker, Laura Spanjian our city’s Sustainability Director, was part of the “Houston Drives Electric” launch and announced that Houston residents can expect to have access to 250 public electric charging stations by the end of 2012.

And, Spanjian’s fellow UP 11 speaker Dan Pink shared one of his favorite, free new productivity tools.

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Houston’s Finest: Houston UP Close 2011

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

On Friday, we were so excited to share the news of our new speaker feature for UP 2011 – Houston UP Close. This new session in our speaker lineup will feature some incredible, talented experts from right here in Houston.

The speakers for our first ever Houston UP Close session will be:

Laura Spanjian. Spanjian joined the City of Houston in 2010 as Mayor Annise Parker’s Sustainability Director. In her position, Laura is responsible for directing and coordinating projects and initiatives that improve air, land, and water quality, and support and expand renewable energy, energy efficiency, green buildings, recycling and composting, alternative and clean transportation, local food production, and more livable and vibrant neighborhoods. Since embarking upon Houston, Laura has initiated a weekly farmer’s market outside City Hall, as well as the “Green Office Challenge,” which encourages businesses to compete with one another to reduce water and energy consumption. In addition, she is transforming Houston into an electric-car hub, a national leader in wind-power investment, and an advocate for energy efficiency.

Dr. Stephen Klineberg. Dr. Klineberg is a  Professor of Sociology at Rice University. Stephen is a graduate of Haverford College, with an M.A. from the University of Paris and a Ph.D. from Harvard. After teaching at Princeton, he joined Rice University’s Sociology Department in 1972. In 1982, he and his students initiated the annual “Houston Area Survey,” now in its 30th year of tracking the remarkable changes in the demographic patterns, economic outlooks, experiences, and beliefs of Harris County residents. The recipient of 10 major teaching awards at Rice, including the Lifetime Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Piper Professor Award, Stephen is writing a book on the Houston studies and serving as Co-director of Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research.

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Houston UP Close! A new segment at UP 2011

Friday, July 8th, 2011

This year, we’re adding a new twist The UP Experience. The day will now also include a “Houston UP Close” session, which will feature two local professionals who are making a real difference in our own community.

Image Courtesy of Houston TranStar/Flickr

Astounding change and innovation is happening all over the world, and that’s what The UP Experience likes to highlight. But amazing things are also happening in our own backyard, and we feel compelled to spread the word and bring you UP to speed on the fantastic accomplishments taking place right here in Houston.

Our first “Houston UP Close” presenter is someone who…

Drove a Smart Car from his or her home in San Francisco to lead a bold new initiative in Houston.

Is transforming Houston into an electric-car hub, a national leader in wind-power investment, and an advocate for energy efficiency.

Has a most ambitious goal of getting every Houstonian access to single-stream, curbside-pickup recycling,  trying to drastically improve our quality of life in Houston for many years to come.

Our second “Houston UP Close” presenter is someone who...

Is a professor at Rice University and has been the recipient of 10 major teaching awards, including the George R. Brown Lifetime Award for Excellence in Teaching.

With the help of Rice University students in 1982, initiated an annual survey that holds the distinction of being the longest-running study of any metropolitan area’s economy, population, life experiences, beliefs, and attitudes.

Is a catalyst to help Houston stay ahead of economic and demographic trends and understand the changing attitudes and concerns of the public.

Leave your guesses below and check back next Tuesday and learn who will be speaking during the “Houston UP Close” session at UP 2011.

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UP Alumni In the News 6.1.11

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Welcome to June! We are just five months away from UP 2011. The speaker lineup is almost set and we can’t wait to announce the rest of the amazing individuals that will take the stage on October 27th.

This week some of our 2011 speakers and UP alumni highlighted the biggest stories making headlines.

David Eagleman is in the news again, this time for the U.S. launch of his latest book Incognito. Congratulations go out to David, this morning his book was already at #10 on Amazon’s best seller list. Visit NPR.com for a great story on his work and the new book.

Chef Jeff Henderson, who we announced as part of the UP 2011 speaker lineup earlier this month, made a preview appearance in Houston at a luncheon benefiting the Living Forward Alliance, highlighting how he turned around his own life to become a renowned chef.

UP 08 speaker Craig Kielburger‘s latest project Me to We is honoring socially conscious youth, adults and educators for their work to better their communities and the world. See the amazing nominees and vote here.

Image Courtesy of NASA http://www.flickr.com/photos/oursolarsystem/5199475364/

David Pogue, who amazed us with the latest technology at UP 10, reported for CBS News this week on the end of NASA’s shuttle program. While his fellow UP 10 speaker, Richard Florida, examined the changing geography and dynamics of NBA dominance as the league heads into its final games of the season.

And, Kevin Kelly, who also took the UP stage in 2010, shared the challenges of publishing an ebook. Good lessons for us all as technology continues to change our daily lives.

Enjoy!

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UP Alumni In The News 5.4.11

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Image courtesy of larryjthorson/flickr

Happy first Wednesday in May! We hope you caught yesterday’s latest speaker announcement – we are particularly proud to be bringing Dr. Anthony Atala to Houston.

As always, UP speakers past and present continue to make news. Below are some of this week’s biggest stories.

With gas prizes on the rise and summer vacations looming, U.S. News took a look at “Why $4 Gas Makes Consumers Freak Out” and cited a fantastic New York Times op-ed from way back in 2008 authored by UP 09 speaker Dan Ariely that is suddenly very timely again.

UP 08 speaker Malcolm Gladwell explained to The Atlantic why he is almost always 24 hours behind the news cycle. It was also announced that Gladwell’s work will be featured in a new sports and pop culture website being launched by ESPN’s The Sports Guy, aka Bill Simmons.

Also from The Atlantic, they’ve announced thatUP 10 speaker Richard Florida’s position as a senior editor there is expanding. Atlantic Media is now launching a website based on his work and vision, and if you’re in the job market, they’re looking for an editor.

UP 10 speaker David Pogue closed out the news cycle on Apple’s “Locationgate” in a write up on his blog.

Luis Von Ahn, another UP 10 speaker and inventor of reCAPTCHA has announced his next venture. A new site called Duolingo that will work on translations and help users learn new languages.

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It’s everyone’s favorite time – UP alumni in the news!

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Before we dive into this weeks links we want to say thank you to everyone who joined us for last night’s Mini UP. Ankit Fadia and Matthew Knowles each brought a unique perspective to the stage. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Photos and highlights will be posted here and on our Facebook page soon.

And, very importantly, we announced our very first speaker for UP 2011 last night, drumroll please . . . . Dan Pink! Pink is the highly acclaimed author of several books, the most recent of which is Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Pink focuses on businesses, technology and helping us make the most of ourselves in our day-to-day lives. We are so excited to bring him to UP this year.

Here are this week’s UP alumni making headlines:

Two big announcements for all of our Houston readers!

David Eagleman has won a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. The Houston Chronicle says this is the first time a professor at Baylor College of Medicine has received the award.

And TONIGHT UP 09 speaker Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson will be giving a free lecture at the University of Houston. Let us know if you attend.

UP 08 speaker Ray Kurzweil is in the news again. The much talked about futurist is nominated for the 2011 TIME magazine TIME 100 list. Voting closes April 14 so vote now!

Another inaugural UP Experience speaker, Steve Wozniak, was in the news this week when he said he would consider returning to a larger role at Apple if they asked him.

For the social media users out there, are you suffering from FOMO? That is “Fear of Missing Out?” The New York Times detailed the phenomenon in an article referring to UP 09 Dan Ariely’s work.

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UP Alumni In the News 2.23.11

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Good morning and happy Wednesday to all!

One of our favorite things about The UP Experience is that it allows us to uncover new fields of study, new practices and new passions that stick with us long after the speakers have left the stage. It has also introduced us to a community of people in Houston and around the world who are constantly innovating and announcing new ideas that generate recognition in places around the world.

We do our best to keep up with past speakers to stay on top of their new research, business ventures and publications. Starting today, we’ll be posting weekly updates of notable UP Alumni in the news. Check back each Wednesday to see the latest.

And don’t forget, The UP Experience is about discussion and we love to hear your feedback. If you find a news story you’d like to share please post it as a comment, and let us know what your thoughts are on the stories posted here.

UP Alumni in the news this week:

UP 2009 speaker Brené Brown was interviewed by Martha Rosenberg at The Huffington Post about the findings in her latest book The Gifts of Imperfection

The victory of IBM’s Watson computer on Jeopardy last week has prompted lots of comments on the development of artificial intelligence. Watch here as UP 2009 speakers Michio Kaku and Peter Diamandis discuss AI and Web 4.0

UP 2008 speaker Shawn Achor’s book The Happiness Advantage continues to get recognition around the world for rewriting the long held truth that success brings happiness. Read Shawn’s Harvard Business Review article here on how to make stress work for you.

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The Difference an Idea Makes

Friday, February 4th, 2011

The UP Experience is based on our belief in the power of ideas. In the power of one idea to light a spark that leads to a fire and becomes the next great business idea, the next incredible partnership that will change the way we do everything from communicating with friends and family, learning new skills, selecting food for the dinner table and sleeping.

We started The UP Experience in 2008 as a way to help our friends and families improve their lives by learning about the ideas that may seem shocking and revolutionary today, but will be the everyday topics of conversation tomorrow. In 2008 and still today, we are busy people, and are simply trying to learn about our world and make our lives the best that they can be, for ourselves and our family.

Out of that desire we had developed a never ending stack of books on our nightstand that we intended to read, but never had the time to. So, we decided to start traveling to conferences to hear experts speak directly about their ideas, from the nascent science of happiness to the next evolution of the internet.

We wanted to be actively soaking up the cutting edge knowledge of our society – and then came our spark. Why travel to learn these ideas?

Why not in Houston?

And so after meeting with countless friends and colleagues to test the idea, The UP Experience was born. One day of remarkable new ideas that we hope is helping people advance their businesses and their lives. After UP, people are changing their daily routines to make themselves happier and more productive, testing new business concepts they hadn’t thought possible and thinking differently about the world around them. It truly has become an incredible amazing thing in our lives.

And, it has become more than one day. Through The UP Experience we’ve uncovered this amazing community of Houstonians who are truly changing the world. These people have included the many speakers who live in work and Houston – people like David Eagleman, Brene Brown and Rich Baraniuk – and many attendees for whom UP has become a personal and professional development tool.

In the coming year, we hope to use this blog to tell you more about how The UP Experience comes together each year and to share the stories of the incredible people involved in this community. If you are new to this event, please explore this site, watch videos of the incredible talks and the attendee reactions and join us this October. If you’ve already been, please feel free to make this space yours and tell us why you’ve attended, why you come back and why you’ve chosen to make The UP Experience a part of your life.

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Health Care Choices and Gen Y at the Mini-UP

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Ernie and Sheryl Rapp hosted the first Mini-UP of the season on Wednesday in the newly-purposed community room at Humana‘s Houston offices in Greenway Plaza. Frankly, I expected to run right home and write something for this blog that evening. However, the two talks we heard that afternoon have continued to linger in my mind, opening up more questions, further possibilities for personal action, and a curiosity about how I can use that information in my business and daily life. I should know by now, that’s what happens when you tap into The UP Experience.

Thomas Goetz, author of The Decision Tree, spoke about how technological advances in information sharing and iPhone apps can radically improve outcomes in health care.  The added revelation is that the improvement is not just general — it is very specific and personalized, positively improving outcomes in the management of MY health and YOUR health.  Peter Sheahan, author of Generation Y and Flip, spoke about the challenges and advantages for businesses as they incorporate a younger generation into the workforce.

The contrast between the two speakers was invigorating and complementary, each at home and completely in command of the subject matter that is their passion.  I was struck by the common thread uniting the two talks, and indeed, all of The UP Experience.  That thread?  ENGAGEMENT.

That thread was also the moral of both stories.  People who are engaged in their lives, in their work, in their health, and in their experiences DO BETTER OVERALL than people who are not.  Thomas Goetz spoke of the famous Whitehall study from the UK, where class differences predicted the likelihood of heart disease.  It turns out that having some autonomy and the ability to shape one’s own destiny and the environment around you is actually healthier than being stuck in a low-level job with no ability to make a difference.  Peter Sheahan has shown, time and again, that the young people now joining businesses and corporations EXPECT to make a difference.  Otherwise, what’s the point?  Attention, engagement, and effective action make all the difference in the outcomes, whether by qualitative or quantitative measures.  THAT is powerful information!

And that is why The UP Experience makes a difference.  Making connections between people, between ideas, to create value here and now,  today and into the future.

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