The Week in Innovation: Aug. 6-12

Debating Lincoln’s sanity, priming the next generation for NASA, and what else to expect in the next 144 hours
  • Thisweekininnovation


Material Lab at the Museum of Modern Art | Through Aug. 31 | New York Budding entrepreneurs, creatives, and engineers can explore this interactive space, which encourages visitors to experiment with a range of mediums and objects reflected in the museum’s collection. There are “discovery boxes” with surprise materials; Cornell boxes, filled with found objects in the spirit of artist Joseph Cornell; and a new digital painting program from Microsoft.

Fringe Festival | Through Aug. 27 | Edinburgh The largest arts festival in the world continues in Scotland’s capital city. With thousands of performers in theater, comedy, dance, and opera, the gathering defines open innovation. Read more about how the Fringe tackles issues surrounding leadership and creativity here.

Cities: Crucibles of Change | Aug. 10 | London London House Global Futures, a series of debates moderated by Mayor Boris Johnson to attract businesses and innovators to London, will hold its last one on Friday. The topic: the role of cities in shaping the global economy and technology. The mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, will be there to represent the 2016 Olympic host.

Nassir Ghaemi | Aug. 9 | New York The director of the Mood Disorders Program at Tufts University Medical Center will discuss his book, A First-Rate Madness, in which he asserts that there’s a link between mental illness and achievement. Citing leaders like Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr., Ghaemi claims that “for abnormal challenges, abnormal leaders are needed.”

New York Tech Meetup | Aug. 7 | New York Founded in 2004, New York Tech Meetup is a community of more than 25,000 technologists who gather every month to share new ideas and discuss leading-edge technology. Join 750 fellow enthusiasts for an evening of live demos. Past presenters include outsourcing marketplace TaskRabbit, URL-shortening service, and 3D-printing community Shapeways. If you can’t get tickets to the live show, watch the simulcast at New Work City.


Mars landing NASA’s Curiosity rover has touched down on Mars. And while the landing itself was an extraordinary feat of engineering, NASA scientists seemed even more excited about the public’s reaction to their promotional video, “Seven Minutes of Terror,” which has received 1.3 million views since its release last month on YouTube. Following years of criticism that the program has struggled to produce big innovations or excite younger generations about space exploration, “Seven Minutes” seems to demonstrate NASA’s understanding that a large part of its role as an innovator is to inspire and galvanize others around a common mission.

FROM the greenhouse