DATE: Wednesday, October 22, 2014
TIME: 6:30 PM-8:00 PM
VENUE: New-York Historical Society
MODERATOR: John Hockenberry
PARTICIPANTS: Walter Isaacson, Jennifer Lawton, Kathryn Minshew

Some of the world’s greatest innovations were accidents. Some were based on mistakes. Few of them were the work of solitary geniuses or individual inventors; not the light bulb, not the telephone, not the printing press, and definitely not the computer. Innovations like the computer and the internet are far more likely to result from collaboration. And that is the story chronicled by Walter Isaacson in The Innovators.

Few writers can capture the essence of scientific and technological genius as compellingly as Walter Isaacson. Following his award-winning best sellers on Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs, Isaacson has now authored the best seller The Innovators, a history of the digital revolution and the men and women, many of them largely unknown, who led it. Spanning three centuries, these are the stories of pioneers and visionaries.

The World Science Festival, in collaboration with the New-York Historical Society, invites you to join acclaimed journalist John Hockenberry, author Walter Isaacson, and some of today’s leading digital entrepreneurs and innovators including Jenny Lawton of MakerBot® and Kathryn Minshew from for a fascinating conversation about creativity, success and failure.

A book signing will follow the program.

World Science Festival’s “Science and Story” series gathers the world’s foremost writers and thinkers to discuss how they craft stories that bring the vitality and wonder of science to life.


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John Hockenberry

Three-time Peabody Award winner, four-time Emmy Award winner, and Dateline NBC correspondent John Hockenberry has broad experience as a journalist and commentator for more than two decades. Hockenberry is the anchor of the public radio show The Takeaway on WNYC and PRI. He has reported from all over the world, in virtually every medium, having anchored programs for network, cable, and radio. Hockenberry is a noted presenter and moderator at conferences such as TED, Aspen Ideas, and the World Science Festival.


Walter Isaacson_200px
Author, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute

Walter Isaacson is the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute based in Washington, DC. He has been the chairman and CEO of CNN and the editor of TIME magazine. Isaacson’s most recent book, The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution (2014) is a biographical tale of the people who invented the computer, Internet and the other great innovations of the digital age. He is the author of Steve Jobs (2011), Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007), Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003), and Kissinger: A Biography (1992), and coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (1986). Isaacson is a graduate of Harvard College and of Pembroke College of Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He is chair emeritus of Teach for America, which recruits recent college graduates to teach in underserved communities. From 2005-2007 he was the vice-chair of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, which oversaw the rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. Isaacson was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate to serve as the chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a position he held from 2009 to 2012. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and serves on the board of United Airlines, Tulane University, the Overseers of Harvard University, the New Orleans Tricentennial Commission, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Society of American Historians, the Carnegie Institution for Science, and My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.

Chief Executive Officer of MakerBot®

Jennifer Lawton is the chief executive officer of MakerBot® and has been responsible for the overall strategy and growth of the company. Through the years, Lawton has worked closely with MakerBot® founder and former CEO Bre Pettis in developing the company into a global leader in the desktop 3D printing industry and leading the next Industrial Revolution. In addition to her work with MakerBot®, she is a respected company builder, technologist, and advocate for fostering entrepreneurship. Lawton previously co-founded Net Daemons Associates (NDA), an information technology-consulting firm. With Lawton as CEO, NDA was recognized on the Inc. 500 list of the fastest growing privately held U.S. companies, and on the Deloitte and Touche Fast 50 and Fast 500 lists. Lawton also previously worked as COO for Rockin’ Water and RAM Scientific, and SVP Operations for Mercury Solar Systems. She is currently a board member of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.

CEO and Founder of

Kathryn Minshew is the CEO & Founder of, a career platform and job discovery tool helping 15+ million people find inspiring careers at thoughtful companies. She’s spoken at MIT and Harvard, appeared on The TODAY Show and CNN, and contributes on career and entrepreneurship in the Wall Street Journal and the Harvard Business Review. She’s been named in both INC’s, “35 Under 35” and Forbes’, “30 Under 30” lists for two years in a row. Before, Minshew worked on vaccine introduction in Rwanda and Malawi with the Clinton Health Access Initiative.