Keynote Speakers

Dr. Hayat Sindi   |   Angelo Vermeulen

Dr. Hayat Sindi

Keynote Speaker
Saturday, October 18

Founder and CEO of i2, Dr. Hayat Sindi was born in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. As a child she was inspired by great scientists who changed the world. She became the first female from the Gulf to earn a PhD in biotechnology, studying at King’s College London, Cambridge University, MIT and Harvard.

Visiting Scholar at Harvard University for 5 years, she is one of the world’s leading biotechnologists and the co-founder of Diagnostics For All, which offers cost-effective point-of-care diagnostic tools enabling the treatment of 60% of the people living beyond the reach of medical infrastructures.

She was the first PopTech fellow to be awarded a Science Fellowship for two consecutive years and the only person to have been awarded the Harvard Business School’s Business Plan Contest and the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition in the same year.

She was named a 2011 Emerging Explorer by the National Geographic Society. In 2012, she was named one of Newsweek's "150 Women Who Shake the World". On October 1, 2012, Sindi was appointed by UNESCO head Irina Bokova as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for her efforts in promoting science education in the Middle East, especially for girls.

Angelo Vermeulen

Keynote Speaker
Monday, October 20

Angelo Vermeulen is an artist, biologist, space systems researcher, and community organizer. In his work he ties together technological, ecological, and social systems through group engagement and collaboration. Biomodd is one of his most well-known art projects, which consists of a worldwide series of interactive art installations in which computers and ecosystems coexist. In 2009 he launched SEAD (Space Ecologies Art and Design), a platform for artistic research on architectures and ethics of space colonization. Seeker is one of the resulting projects involving co-created starship sculptures that evolve over time. From 2011-2012 he was a member of the European Space Agency Topical Team Arts & Science (ETTAS), and in 2013 he was crew commander of the NASA-funded HI-SEAS Mars mission simulation in Hawai'i. His space-related work led him to start a new PhD at Delft University of Technology, developing paradigm-shifting concepts for evolvable starships.

He co-authored the book Baudelaire in Cyberspace: Dialogues on Art, Science and Digital Culture with philosopher Antoon Van den Braembussche, and gives talks about his work around the world. In 2012 he was a Michael Kalil Endowment for Smart Design Fellow at Parsons in New York. Currently, Vermeulen is a 2013-2014 TED Senior Fellow, and holds positions at LUCA School of Visual Arts in Ghent, Belgium, and Die Angewandte in Vienna, Austria.