I learned to drive stick during a thunderstorm on a dirt road in rural Brazil. I discussed the future of the Castro regime while drinking rum on the back porch rocking chairs of the home of a Cuban couple who took me in like family for two weeks. I probably would not have had any of these experiences if I wasn’t traveling alone, allowing myself to be open to people and places in a way that brought companionship precludes.
Danna Klein uses spreadsheets to keep track of almost everything. Her current obsessions are national parks, Michelin starred restaurants, Cascade hiking, and complaining about the people who moved to Seattle after her. She works at Mixpo, an ad tech startup, as a product marketer.
Earlier this year Norman decided to work on his work ethic and started an experiment he called Operation: Honest Day’s Work. Over the course of 80 days, Norman made some surprising discoveries that have helped him engage at work, and improve his work ethic, productivity and peace of mind. He’s excited to share his findings with you.
Norman Bell is an award-winning public speaker, performer, presentation coach, and expert communicator who has used his communication skills to help Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and AT&T, as well as PBS travel show host Rick Steves. As an actor, he played opposite Academy Award-winner Christian Bale in “The Machinist” and wrote, co-produced and starred in the popular solo show, “SUBPRIME!” As a speaker coach, Norman has worked with social entrepreneurs competing in the Social Venture Partners Fast Pitch.
From Kevin –
Growing up in a developing country, I tended to worry about my future. I had this idea in my head that if I joined college in the US, that not only will my dreams come true but life would be easy and worry free. Coming to the US taught me that regardless where you live in the world, stress and worry can be part of normal life and a great motivator to accomplish your dreams.
Kevin Obbayi in his own words:
I am a business analyst working for a Seattle based digital agency. I love working in web and mobile development industry. I enjoy good espresso and meaningful music. And when its not raining I longboard… oh, and I love to travel whenever I get the chance.
With the speech translation tech in Skype Translator, people can now have real-time automatically translated conversations in English, Spanish, Italian and Chinese.
But speech translation tech is far from a perfect science. This talk is about what we learn from watching first-time users experience Skype Translator for the first time, and what are the biggest (and rather unexpected) problems we face while bringing Star Trek’s Universal Translator to life.
Tania Surti in her own words:
I am a Program Manager at Microsoft Research where I work on translation tech that lets people have automatically translated voice conversations over Skype.
I also like writing code, playing the piano, launching into feminist rants and taking long naps.
Video game industry veteran talks about the time he tried to make video games not fun on purpose, and ended up accidentally irritating all of Japan in the process.
Matthew Lee Johnston is a game industry veteran, entrepreneur, inventor, musician, and skatepark advocate. He also occasionally succeeds at parenting.
A comparison between who you are and who you want to be. Then again, who are we really but people always chasing a better version of ourselves? Perhaps in a different place, you can be someone different. Someone better.
Phillip Cook in his own words:
30 year old boring CPA doing his best to remove the “boring”.
A new Seattleite found an unusual way to survive the dreary Seattle winter with vitamin D supplements.
In Julia’s own words:
My cousin once told a friend of hers that “I’ve had some interesting life experiences” after I thoroughly confused her friend by making a comment on chainsawing. I’m doing my best to make sure these experiences continue.