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The World in 2050

Business Leadership Forum


For decades, Hollywood has looked to science for inspiration; now IBM researchers are looking to Hollywood for new ideas. At a kickoff event at the USC School of Cinematic Arts on April 30, 2008, five of IBM's top scientists met with students and alumni of the school, along with other invitees from the entertainment industry, to "Imagine the World in 2050." The event was the first phase of a new collaboration between IBM and USC to explore how combining creative vision and insight with science and technology trends might fuel novel solutions to the most pressing problems and opportunities of our time.

The event was also aimed at giving filmmakers access to IBM scientists for new ideas about the trajectories of science and technology as they create new films and for IBM to tap into the ideas of Hollywood's current and future creative minds.

"We've long realized that radical innovation can be accelerated by tapping into the most creative talent we can find," said Don Eigler, Fellow, IBM Research. "Working with the USC School of Cinematic Arts is likely to give us a glimpse of the future that we never would have on our own. I expect sparks to fly."

IBM has a history of opening the doors of its Research labs to work directly with clients on their toughest problems, and in the past five years has accelerated its approach to innovation by tapping into the collective brainpower of: clients, partners, universities, IBM employees and even their family members. This model has accelerated IBM's ability to collaborate on new ideas and create new market opportunities.

  • Dr. Bill Pulleyblank

    Moderator: Dr. Bill Pulleyblank, mathematician, computer scientist and predictive analysis expert

  • Don Eigler

    Don Eigler, IBM Fellow, first ever to precisely manipulate individual atoms

  • Jeff Jonas

    Jeff Jonas, IBM Distinguished Engineer, expert in security and privacy, created much of the tech capturing criminals in Vegas casinos

  • Sharon Nunes, Head of Energy and Environment business in IBM and research expert in materials science, systems and biology

  • Ajay Royyuru

    Ajay Royyuru, Leads IBM Research's computational biology team, IBM's liaison to the National Geographic Genographic project

About IBM Research: IBM Research is the world's most prolific and far reaching commercial lab, with five Nobel Prize winners and 15 years of US patent leadership. IBM Research is engaged with many public and private researchers around the world to better understand and address some of the biggest issues of our time.


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