Brain Power: From Neurons to Networks
USA - San Francisco, CA | Oct 25 2012 | (22:48:25 - EDT)
Tiffany Shlain, groundbreaking filmmaker and Internet pioneer, will premiere a new short film and TED Book, Brain Power: From Neurons to Networks, on November 8 at The California Academy of Science in San Francisco. The film and book will also be available worldwide via the web on the same date.
The 10-minute Brain Power film explores the parallels between the development of a child’s brain and the development of the global brain of the Internet.
The new questions the film asks are:
What can new research about how to best nurture children’s brains teach us about how to best develop the global brain of the Internet?
Can the lessons learned in observing the former, affect how we nurture the growth of the latter?
And what can we do, every day, to strengthen both?
Created through a new global participatory filmmaking process that Shlain and her team at The Moxie Institute call Cloud Filmmaking, Brain Power explores connections between neurons, networks, and people around the world.
The accompanying TED Book (a new eBook series published by TED Books), expands on the ideas in the film by following the lines of the script and sharing deeper research, videos, graphics, and links that enrich the experience and offer greater insight into the process of making Brain Power the film. The TED Book will be available through the TED Books app, on the Kindle, Nook, and iPad.
This release marks the first time a film and TED Book are released together. “We’re very excited to share insights on how to best nurture children’s brains and the global brain of the Internet, in both the film and then in more depth in the TED Book,” said Director and Webby Awards Founder Tiffany Shlain. “The TED Book truly feels like the future of books -- putting the film into context with research links and video embedded into the manuscript. We love that NightLife at the Academy, San Francisco’s most popular cultural evening event, is hosting this launch. A perfect setting for the mash-up of art and science.”
“We’ve known for a long time that interactions during the first five years of life are critical to brain development, but a new machine at the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning and Brain Science (I-LABS), called MEG (a powerful brain imaging machine retrofitted specially for infants), now gives us the ability to see in real-time how connections are triggered and grow through every interaction a young child has,” said Sawyer Steele, Brain Power film producer and co-writer. “This new technology shows us so clearly how important a child’s environment and interactions are during these early years when the brain is most malleable.”
“The same can be said about the growth of the Internet,” said Shlain. “Compared with the human life cycle, the Internet is also in its metaphoric first five years when it is most malleable. Just like every interaction creates new connections in a child’s brain, every email, tweet, search, or post is creating and strengthening connections in our global brain, literally changing the shape of the Internet that we, as billions of people all over the world, are developing together. And just as it’s key for all the different parts of a child’s brain to be connected to set the stage for the most insightful and creative thoughts, it’s key that all the different parts of the world are connected -- to lay the foundation for worldwide empathy, innovation and human expression. The film and the book really explore these parallels, and offer insights into how we can best shape both.”
The advisory council for this project included Internet co-founder Vint Cerf, and best-selling book authors who write about the potential of the web, Howard Rheingold and Steven Berlin Johnson. The writing team - Tiffany Shlain, Moxie Institute Writer/Producer Sawyer Steele, and UC Berkeley Robotics Professor Ken Goldberg - based their research on early childhood brain development on the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University and The Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences (I-LABS) at the University of Washington.
“This TED book is really is a tour de force!” said Neuroscientist, Dr. Patricia Kuhl, co-director, University of Washington Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences. “It is simply terrific, as thought-provoking as anything I’ve read. The child’s mind and the Internet as connectomes that we help to grow is very seductive. It’s fantastic, and fun to read.”
The Brain Power film is the third release from the Let it Ripple: Mobile Films for Global Change series by The Moxie Institute film studio. Each of these films is created through an innovative Cloud Filmmaking process that invites people from around the world to submit artwork, video, photos, and other content that is used to create four-to-ten-minute short films focused on social, cultural and political issues. Each film is volunteer translated and customized for free for nonprofits all over the world that have unique calls-to-action that inspire and motivate their community.
The second film in the series, a call for civic involvement titled Engage, was released in September. Within the first month of its release, over 180 organizations had requested custom films, including The United Nations Foundation, UNICEF, Children of the Ganges, and End Poverty.
A total of sixteen Let it Ripple films will be created over the next five years focused the different aspects that connect us as humans. Subjects on future films will include empathy, happiness, grief, failure, generosity, and other universal themes.
To purchase tickets to the Brain Power premiere at the California Academy of Science, please visit https://www.calacademy.org/tickets/nl.php.
About Tiffany Shlain
Honored by Newsweek as one of the “Women Shaping the 21st Century,” Tiffany Shlain is a filmmaker, artist, director of the Moxie Institute, founder of The Webby Awards, co-founder of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences and creator of the Let it Ripple: Mobile Films for Global Change short film series. Her films and work have received over 50 awards including a Disruptive Innovation Award from the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. Her last four films premiered at Sundance including her feature documentary Connected: An Autoblogography about Love, Death & Technology which The New York Times described as “Examining everything from the Big Bang to twitter.” Connected had a theatrical release last fall and The US State Department recently selected it as one of the films to represent America in the 2012 American Film Showcase. Shlain’s films are a fusion of documentary and narrative and are known for their whimsical yet provocative approach to unraveling complicated subjects like politics, cultural identity, technology and science. For more information, visit www.tiffanyshlain.com.
About TED Books
TED Books is an imprint of short nonfiction works designed for digital distribution. Shorter than traditional books, TED Books run fewer than 20,000 words each – long enough to explain a powerful idea, but short enough to be read in a single sitting. TED Books are available via Amazon.com, Apple's iBookstore, Barnes and Noble online and are compatible with Kindle, Nook and iBook platforms.
Get up to date news just for Film!(Looking for special offers or news in all categories? Try our General newsletter!)
- The New Classic: Julia Belanoff
- HWKN’s Project: Winner of Young Architects Program
- Custo Barcelona Presents X-ray at NY Fashion Week
- 10 Interesting Concepts Revealed at NY Auto Show
- C'est Magnifique! Paris Couture by Chanel
- Lower Blood Pressure & Reverse Age with Marine-D3
- Annuity Harmony: Helping You Plan for Retirement