September 22, 2014

BBC Future Assembles Top Minds for the World-Changing Ideas Summit on October 21st in New York City

Ezekiel Emanuel, Julius Genachowski, Alexis Ohanian and Alfred Spector Among Prestigious Speaker Line-up

New York, NY – BBC Future, the feature section on devoted to cutting-edge innovations and issues in science, technology and health, today announced the first-ever World-Changing Ideas Summit to be held at Apella in New York City on October 21, 2014.

The World-Changing Ideas Summit will showcase the power of forward-thinking leaders coming together to build a better tomorrow. These leaders, including Ezekiel Emanuel, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania, Julius Genachowski, Managing Director, The Carlyle Group and former Chairman, FCC, Alexis Ohanian, Partner Y Combinator and Co-founder of reddit, and Alfred Spector, Vice President of Research, Google will present their big ideas, debate major challenges, and discuss how to overcome our biggest barriers.

This premier event will assemble a diverse community of thought leaders to push the boundaries of what is possible, through lightning talks, panel discussions and one-on-one interviews on topics such as:

  • Why We Need to Live On Other Planets
  • Attacking Hacks Before They Attack
  • Robots Everywhere! Can’t Live with Them, Can’t Kill Them
  • Everyone Needs a Drone
  • Can Technology Create a New and Better Renaissance?
  • Empowering the Next Generation of World-Changing Idea Makers
  • The Internet: How Free Can It Be?

Other confirmed speakers include:

  • Lawrence D. Burns, Ph.D., Professor of Engineering Practice, University of Michigan
  • Professor Mary “Missy” Cummings, Director of Humans and Autonomy, Duke University
  • Kate Darling, Research Specialist, MIT Media Lab
  • Dr. Jeffrey A. Hoffman, Professor of Aerospace Engineering, MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and retired NASA Astronaut
  • Ben Ebel, Leader, Michelin Challenge Design
  • Deborah Estrin, Professor of Computer Science, Cornell Tech
  • Yvonne MacPherson, Director, BBC Media Action
  • Nonny de la Pena, Fellow, USC School of Cinematic Arts
  • Christopher Soghoian, Ph.D., Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, American Civil Liberties Union
  • Catherine Mulligan, Senior Vice President, Specialty E&O, Zurich North America
  • Andrea Thomas, Associate Professor of Interactive Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology

“BBC Future’s first-ever World-Changing Ideas Summit will give attendees the unique chance to hear from a hand-picked group of passionate thought leaders, visionaries and innovators addressing topics that will have a huge impact on the next generation,” said Simon Frantz, Editor of BBC Future. “We want this summit to spur thoughtful dialogue and debate, and cultivate the big ideas needed to spark change and develop solutions for the future.”

Additional topics to include How Much Can Media Can Change Our Lives, What Is Stopping Us From Having Sustainable Vehicles On Our Streets, and How A Digital Social Pulse Could Save Lives. Prominent BBC News journalists/contributors including Jon Sopel, North America Editor,, Jack Stewart, BBC Reporter – Science in Action and Laura Trevelyan, BBC World News America Anchor and Correspondent will be contributing to the event as well.

Zurich North America is the platinum sponsor of World-Changing Ideas Summit.

For more information or to register, visit  Join the conversation leading up to and during the World-Changing Ideas Summit on social media using the hashtag #WCIS2014.