• How Pittsburgh is the Most Authentic Authenti-City

    When we said that Thrival’s innovation programming would knock your socks off thanks to Kenny Chen, we said it with the knowledge of Thrivals past, the program descriptions, and our interviews with Bobby Zappala, Dan Law, and Kenny. While we had no way of predicting Thrival 2016’s exact outcome, we waited with excitement for the seminars to start – just like one would on Christmas morning. But, what we couldn’t calibrate was just how inspirational and formative the innovation portion of Thrival would be.

    And, we are all literally barefoot (hyperbole) after Day 2.

    Wednesday’s theme was “AuthentiCity,” a play on the ways in which Pittsburgh continues to be a competitively innovative city. Wednesday’s programming looked at Pittsburgh’s future in respect to culture, identity, and authenticity.

    Like Zappala said at Tuesday’s opening remarks, “The reason we do Thrival is because Pittsburgh has an immense amount of momentum.” But in order to take advantage of that energy, our thinkers and doers must capitalize on the momentum. Such with Newton’s First Law, an object in motion must stay in motion, Pittsburgh’s startup, technology, and educational communities are that object. And, they are always improving.

    Today we focused on the future of Pittsburgh transportation and urban mobility. We heard about the impact of self-driving Ubers, Port Authority busing, our light rail, expansive city biking plans, and the ways in which our 110,000 Downtown workers (including Nova Place) get to work. We heard from two speakers on the state of public education in America, and how its future depends on starting to prototype new paradigms for learning that look little like the ones we are used to. The speakers didn’t stop there – as we sat in the Alloy 26 auditorium, an old Woolworths store, we listened to the story of how Nova Place came to be and how it transformed the North Side back into a city of innovation.

    From city planning strategies and healthy-living tactics, to Pittsburgh’s food and drink culture, all panels this afternoon set us up for tonight’s keynote “Who Are We, And Where Are We Going,” which is now FREE!
    We’ve been #thriving and #surviving for two days. But we still don’t have our fill of innovation, hands-on activities, food trucks, happy hours, keynote speakers, and after parties. We’re thankful to take part in the final day of Thrival Innovation – tomorrow, Thursday, September 22, 2016. Check out the schedule below.
    8:00am
    Breakfast of Champions: Griddle Masterpieces LIMITED
    9:00am
    Winning Formulas: Sports Analytics, Performance, and Gaining the Competitive Edge LIMITED
    10:15am
    #Hashtag: Crossing the Lines LIMITED
    11:00am
    Precision Medicine: Health Care as Unique as You
    12:10pm
    Modular Synthesis & Music: An ‘Old’ Technology Inspires a New Generation of Music Creators
    1:00pm
    How to Build an Art Town: Supporting & Sustaining Arts Communities in Post-Industrial America LIMITED & Free Yoga w/ 1.1 Yoga
    2:05pm
    Machine Learning: Should Health Care “Tay” Away?
    3:15pm
    How to Build a Music Town LIMITED
    4:30pm
    The Hero Box: Service, Street Medicine, and the Growth of a Movement LIMITED
    5:45pm
    Virtual Reality’s New Look: From Megatrends to the New Digital Realm
    6:30pm
    After Party – Mattress Factory
    7:00pm
    KEYNOTE: Straight Outta My Parent’s Basement: How to Be a “Differentist” + Rust Belt Resurgent: Creative Placemaking and the Future of the Startup Ecosystem LIMITED