PSFK Conference Speaker Interview: Ariel Waldman

PSFK Conference Speaker Interview: Ariel Waldman

The founder of previews her thoughts on crowdsourcing and collaborative problem solving in anticipation of PSFK's upcoming San Francisco conference.

Amelia Riley Swan
  • 14 september 2011

Ariel Waldman will be one of the speakers at our upcoming PSFK CONFERENCE SAN FRANCISCO 2011. Ariel is the creator of Science Hack Day SF and, a directory of ways to participate in space exploration. She is also an interaction designer and Research Affiliate at the Institute For The Future. Previously, she worked at NASA‘s CoLab program whose mission was to connect communities inside and outside NASA to help them collaborate with each other. In anticipation of her talk at the PSFK CONFERENCE SAN FRANCISCO 2011 titled ‘Hacking Space Exploration and Science’ in which she will discuss open source space exploration, we bring you a few thoughts from Ariel:

On October 6, you are going to talk about Hacking Space Exploration where you look at crowdsourcing to solve literally out of this world problems. Can you talk about one of the projects and the outcome?

There are a lot of great projects to talk about, so I’ll touch on one of the more recent ones. There was an open competition called ‘Mapping Dark Matter’ that asked for anyone to create algorithms that can measure dark matter better than the existing ones. Different types of people from around the world participated, but one of the best algorithms came from someone who applied the algorithms they use to study glaciers to detecting dark matter. That was definitely an unexpected result but it really underlines what great things can come out of simply getting different types of people together to see what they can create.

What is a key learning here for organizations outside the science community?

You don’t have to be part of the science community to actively contribute to science. I think there’s a tremendous amount of good that creative agencies have inspired in the technology industry that they could equally start providing to the science industry. Anything from building better data interfaces to wireframing a new platform for crowdsourcing to re-envisioning lab spaces.
For the organizations, internally, I think the key learning is to get different types of enthusiastic people together when brainstorming ideas. So, not just designers and copywriters, but pull in developers, accountants, project managers, marketers, etc. Even if an unexpected outcome doesn’t occur, often times you’ll get a better perspective on how to make your idea more accessible.

How do you see collaborative problem solving evolving?

I think given 10 years, it’s going to be something that a larger amount of people are fairly efficient at. Right now, in the science industry, you’re seeing massive amounts of people trying to collaborate — whether it be physicists on the Large Hadron Collider, citizen scientists generating data or NASA simply trying to work with engineers spread out around the world. For the time being, people are still navigating how to do this, so it’s a bit all over the place. But they don’t have a choice — they’re being thrown into the deep end of the collaboration pool and they’re going to have to learn how to swim whether they fail in the short-term or not.

Thanks, Ariel!
Science Hack Day SF
Ariel will be speaking at the PSFK CONFERENCE SAN FRANCISCO 2011. Come listen to like minds as they share their ideas to make things better on stage and off. Find out more about the full lineup of speakers at the PSFK CONFERENCE SAN FRANCISCO 2011 here.


Crash-Friendly Drone Made From LEGOs Is Completely Rebuildable

Culture Today

Messaging Add-On Helps You Correct Your Friends’ Bad Grammar

An iMessage sticker pack will help you copyedit text messages

Automotive Today

Mercedes-Benz Introduces A New Electric Mobility Brand

The separate entity aims to simplify the identification of Mercedes EV products to customers


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Mobile Today

Tinder’s New Feature Makes Swiping A Group Effort

The dating app wants to democratize its gestural interaction by buying in to the social polling trend pervasive among millennials

Syndicated Today

Autonomous Garbage Drone Prevents Trash From Reaching Deep Ocean

The solar-powered WasteShark collects refuse closer to the source: the harbor

Automotive Today

Aston Martin Reveals Its Own Luxury Powerboat

The sleek AM37 echoes styling elements from the British brand's sports cars

Advertising Today

An Escort Website Fights Violence Against Sex Workers

The advocacy campaign from McCann aims uncover the human toll of the exploitative industry


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Digital Design Expert: Mobile First Is Dead, Think Mobile Native

Brian Cooper, chief creative officer of OLIVER Group UK, explains how some brands are still playing catch-up to new technology

PSFK Labs Yesterday

The 10 Steps To Discover, Hire, Develop Your Next Leader

PSFK's Future of Work report outlines key steps in the employee development path to empower next-gen leaders

Culture Today

LIFE Magazine Relaunches In Pure VR

The general interest periodical, which ceased publication in 2000, has turned into a portal for virtual reality content

Mobile Today

Reorder This Detox Drink With A Simple Text Message

Dirty Lemon is streamlining its communication by letting customers place orders, ask product questions and request help exclusively through chat

Op-Ed Today

The Future Of The American Workforce Requires Unbundling College Education

President of JetBlue Technology Ventures: developing corporate education programs for non-traditional students

Retail Today

Gilt’s Pop-Up House Is The Kind Of Store You’ll Want To Live In

The New York City townhouse plays host to the latest in retail inspiration, curation, and lifestyle activation (and some libations, too)


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Mobile Today

Registering To Vote Is Now Just A Text Away

A new bot aims to mobilize underrepresented groups this election season through SMS and Facebook Messenger

Africa Today

Virtual Reality Game Gives Lessons About Emergency Birth Care

LIFE is a serious tool that takes advantage of new technology to help save lives

Luxury Today

Shoe Repair Has Moved Onto Your Phone

Cobbler Concierge is an on-demand service to get your footwear fixed online

No search results found.