November 17, 2011

“Where’s the Innovation?” Grow, Howard Greenstein, Wharton School Supernova Forum

Experimenting with Youtube’s new features, I came across these videos:

An two part interview with Howard Greenstein (awesome guy), during the Wharton School produced Supernova Forum in 2007.




This was held during my time as the Executive Director of the Hip-Hop Association. In brief, our mission was to facilitate social justice, education reform, cross-cultural unity and civic engagement, while preserving Hip-Hop culture for scholarship and future generations. Such a great time! I had the pleasure of combining my love for culture & technology, work online with people from several countries, travel, learn and have a lot of fun! Thank goodness for Martha Diaz (Founder & President of the Hip-Hop Association).

The Supernova Forum explores the transformation of computing, communications, business, and society in the Network Age. Held since 2002, Supernova events bring together several hundred leading executives, entrepreneurs, intellectuals, government officials, and business practitioners to make connections, discuss emerging trends, and discover innovative new ideas and companies.

Briefly, I was invited to travel to forum in San Francisco and speak. However, due to having just produced the highly successful and well attended H2O [Hip-Hop Odyssey] International Film Festival in NYC, I decided that I couldn’t make it in person. Howard welcomed me to join via live stream. These videos are a recording of that stream.

The talk was themed “Where’s the Innovation?” 

Watching this interview reminded me: I began clearly sharing my thinking regarding Technology & Culture as far back as 2007. It seems like it was so many years ago. I’m actually shocked that it was only four. I guess in technology years, it feels more like 8 years.

Howard was a great listener, and he asked good questions.

He summarized my work as: “using the power of what’s being created to amplify my own community.”

I really appreciate Howard’s insight here. I plan on using this language more often from this point forward, as I remain rooted in much of what I shared with him at that time. I still love music, I still love culture, still teach and organize, and I still find new tools and share them intentionally with people that are doing good work.

The search for innovative ways to add this type of value still informs much of the work I do. I’m a bit more entrepreneurial in my efforts, but overall I remain committed and interested in this work. I guess I’ve also grown up a bit, have four more years of technical and life experience to boot, and live with a broader experience of what culture and technology is.

I imagine my work now extends beyond what was then a rich, deeply lived understanding about the transformative power & potential of Hip-Hop, into a clarity about how we can use technological innovations to amplify how we go about transforming our society. We’ve seen so much evidence of this potential over the last four years.

Humanities relationship with technology is transforming. Note, 2007 to 2011: a lot has changed. To be more specific, not the launch of the iPhone in 2007 to the mass use of web based applications and mobile devices to engage millions of people in social justice efforts world wide (i.e. 2011 Egyptian Revolution; recent #OccupyTogether movements, etc.).

Personally, I look to contribute. I want to invest my time and skills in ways that push this transforming towards our experiencing more love than fear, more space to imagine and experience joy, and even more room for people like us to actively express and inspire leadership.

At the very least, outside of the hopes that this quick rant inspires something, I am glad to share the interview with you. 

It’s another direct look into my life.

The interview is about 14mins total.
Two parts, 7mins each.

Please, let me know what you think about them.

Thanks Howard!

Rolando Brown Featured at Supernova – “Where’s the Innovation?”

Part One
Here, a brief explanation of my work in Hip-Hop in 2007.

Part Two
Here, I really go into my use of technology, and some my views on it. Also, a funny story about how the Wufoo founders told me that named their company by mashing together the names of their favorite groups (Wu-Tang Clan + Foo Fighters = Wufoo!) Just awesome.

P.S. Check the Hip-Hop Education Center (H2ED Center) at the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education at New York University. They just published a groundbreaking report and national scan of Hip-Hop educational programs: Re-Imagining Teaching and Learning: A Snapshot of Hip-Hop Education.

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