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Ahead in the Clouds

Re: Learning

More from Less
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More from Less
October 1–2, 2009
sey City, New Jersey

field trip
Stevens Institute of

September 30

  Mike Hawley and Deborah Estrin preview the conference
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overview agenda

Topics include:
• Linking physical and digital worlds
• Smart infrastructures
• Resource usage
• Data, data from everywhere
• Predictive modeling
• Measurement and control
• Participatory sensing
• IT & health systems
• Efficient cities

conference overview
More and more, we're being told we live in a world of less and less. So many resources that once seemed so abundant—ecological supplies, human talent, economic energy, time, wisdom—seem to be so much more finite than we thought. Why do we know this? Frankly, it's because the saturation (abundance? concentration?) of computational networks and global digital media make it possible to sense and measure just about everything. Maybe for the first time we're becoming more acutely aware of our limits and constraints. In so many ways, we need to cope much more intelligently with and within our limits. We need to do more with less.

The deployment of pervasive sensors and its accompanying software are exactly the tools we’ll need for optimized systems. More-from-less innovations will often involve pushing connected digital infrastructures into the nooks and crannies of our physical world, and then monitoring and directing demand in smart, quantitatively informed ways. We clearly need smart grids for water and energy, and breakthroughs in these areas are largely being driven by digital networks. In transportation systems, instrumentation of vehicles and infrastructure, in addition to the people themselves, promises efficiencies that could dramatically reduce dependence on costly, limited energy sources and greatly streamline travel. Or eliminate it when virtual travel or video conferencing suffices. Design and production, on-demand and just-in-time, will amplify our product and service flows.

With more measurement, communications, and information capture and analysis, we can tune resource usage to meet specific needs. For example, could data from personal devices and real-time community health indicators be used to construct sophisticated health models that predict, explain, and alert individuals and communities about risks, vulnerabilities, and interventions? No doubt they can; our costly health systems can no longer afford to be without crucial instruments like these.

What opportunities, technologies, creative ideas, and potential pitfalls will we encounter on the road to optimized and responsive systems? Which areas are ripe for development now, and which await fundamental breakthroughs in sensors, modeling, or market and social acceptability? The answers will enable institutions and industries to function economically at every scale and every level.

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Partial list of speakers

Dr. Alexandre Bayen, Assistant Professor, Systems Engineering, UC Berkeley
Mr. Eric Dishman, Chief Strategist and Global Director of Product Research, Innovation, and Policy, Intel Digital Health Group
Dr. Usama Fayyad, CEO, Open Insights
Dr. Craig Feied, M.D., General Manager, Microsoft Enterprise Health Solutions Group
Mr. John Geraci, Founder, DIYcity
Mr. James Heywood, Co-Founder and Chairman, PatientsLikeMe
Mr. Dean Kamen, Founder and President, DEKA Research & Development
Ms. Alyssa Newman, Manager, Corporate Sustainability, SunPower
Mr. Thomas Scaramellino, Chief Executive Officer, Efficiency 2.0
Mr. Rick Smolan, Co-Founder, America 24/7 and Day in the Life photography series
DR. Vanessa Timmer, Co-Founder and Director, One Earth Initiative
Dr. Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Chairman Emeritus, IBM Academy of Technology

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