Eric Ladizinsky - Co-founder of D-Wave Quantum computing companyEric Ladizinsky is the co-founder and Chief Scientist of D-Wave Systems (@dwavesys), the world’s first quantum computing company and the leader in the development and delivery of quantum computing systems and software. Their mission is to use quantum computing to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.

D-Wave’s systems are being used by world-class organizations like Lockheed Martin, Google, NASA, USC, USRA, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Volkswagen, and many others and they have been granted over 160 U.S. patents and has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers in leading scientific journals.

As a leader in the space, Eric is often called upon to evangelize on all aspects of quantum computing.Prior to D-Wave, Eric was a principal investigator at Northrop Grumman Space Technology (formerly TRW, Inc.) where he ran a multi-million dollar DARPA program in Quantum Computing using superconducting integrated circuit technology.

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Geoff Ralston - YCombinatorGeoff Ralston (@gralston) is the founder of Imagine K12, an education focused vertical within the super successful startup accelerator YCombinator. Collectively, Y Combinator and Imagine K12 have backed over 100 education technology startups. In addition to his work with YC, Geoff’s a prolific angel investor, with over 80 portfolio companies and 18 exits to date.

Prior to joining YC as a Partner, Geoff was the CEO of Lala Media, a music startup which was acquired by Apple for $80M in 2009. He also spent 9 years at Yahoo and was the Former Chief Product Officer a decade before the company became irrelevant.

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dr james cantonDr. James Canton (@futureguru) is a renowned global futurist, social scientist, keynote presenter, author, and visionary business advisor. He is the CEO and Chairman of the Institute for Global Futures, a leading think tank he founded in 1990 that advises business, the Global Fortune 1000 (like IBM, GE, HP, Boeing, Intel and more) and many governments on future trends in innovation, financial services, health care, population, life sciences, energy, security, workforce, climate change and globalization.

In addition, James is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Research in Innovation at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, on the advisory board of the Corporate Eco Forum and has advised three White House Administrations, the National Science Foundation and MIT’s Media Lab, Europe.

Dr Canton is the author of the following books:

And James is no stranger to media. He was named “the Digital Guru” by CNN and “Dr. Future” by Yahoo, is a commentator on CNN and has been featured on/in CNBC, Fox, PBS, ABC, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Bloomberg Report, The New York Times, US News and World Report, CEO, CIO and CFO Magazines.

And finally, Dr. Canton serves as Co-chairman of the Futures and Forecasting Track at Singularity University.

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travis scher dcgTravis Scher (@travisscher) leads venture capital and new cryptoasset investing at Digital Currency Group (DCG), a blockchain investment firm with a mission is to accelerate the development of a better financial system.

DCG is world’s the most prolific investor in blockchain startups. They have invested in over 100 companies in 30 different countries, including market leaders like Coinbase, Blockchain, Ledger, and Ripple and they have also invested directly in crypto-assets, including Bitcoin, Decentraland, Ethereum Classic, and Zcash.

Digital Currency Group is not a traditional venture capital fund, instead they also build and buy companies. DCG has three wholly owned subsidiaries: CoinDesk, the leading independent source of blockchain news, research, and events, Genesis Trading, a full-service institutional trading firm focused on digital currencies, and Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest digital currency asset manager.

You can listen right here on iTunes

In our wide-ranging conversation, we cover many things, including:

  • The future of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies
  • Why blockchain builds perfectly upon VR
  • How non-governmental money will impact society
  • The big problem with custody and control of money
  • Why we’re still a few years off from widespread crypto adoption
  • The importance of AI in cryptocurrency
  • How Travis thinks we can rewrite democracy
  • The effects of utility tokens on internet monopolies
  • Travis’ thoughts on user experience and product adoption
  • The reason Travis is still bullish on Bitcoin
  • The effects of ICOs on venture capital ecosystem
  • Why our banking system is totally broken

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Thomas Frey - FuturistThomas Frey (@thomasfrey) is Google’s top rated futurist, a celebrity/accomplished keynote speaker and the co-founder and executive director of the DaVinci Institute, a Colorado based tech startup incubator ecosystem, before which he spent 15 years at IBM.

At the Institute, Thomas works to develop original research studies in areas not normally addressed by futurists and has predicted the end of traditional colleges and printed books, but not of libraries.

As a highly accomplished/sought after speaker, Thomas has shared the stage with the likes of Rudy Giuliani, Tom Peters and Jack Welch, though most of his work is speaking to audiences of high-level government or Fortune 500 leaders like NASA, IBM, AT&T, First Data, Boeing, Capital One, Visa, Ford and more.

Thomas has been interviewed in numerous publications including the New York Times, Huffington Post, Times of India, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, The Futurist Magazine and a dozen or more smaller publications.

In addition to his accomplishments as a speaker and forecast, Thomas is also the author of: Communicating with the Future: How Re-engineering Intentions Will Alter the Master Code of Our Future and Epiphany Z: Eight Radical Visions for Transforming Your Future.


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Eric Ward - Odyne Space and Aten EngineeringEric Ward(@AeroSigma) is the co-founder and CEO of both Odyne Space and Aten Engineering, two space tech startups with a ton of promise for the future. Eric is an experienced systems architect who sees growing the space industry as the next step to progressing humanity beyond the planet.

At Odyne, Eric and the team are working on phase one: launch, and run a large scale nano and micro satellite launch program to allow more satellite tech companies easier access to space.

Aten Engineering on the other hand deals with what to do once we get there and is an asteroid mining company to provide humanity with inexpensive access to the materials we need to become a space-faring civilization.

Eric recently received a Master’s degree in Systems Design and Management from MIT, has published multiple technical documents on Systems Architecture and the Space Industry, has been featured in Fast Company, and co-founded the MIT New Space Age Conference.

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Isabel Arjmand of GiveWell

Isabel Arjmand is a research analyst at GiveWell (@givewell), a nonprofit dedicated to increasing the effectiveness of charity worldwide, ie Effective Altruism. GiveWell is focused on finding the most impactful giving opportunities and publish the full details to help donors decide where best to give.

Unlike charity evaluators that focus solely on financials, assessing administrative or fundraising costs, we conduct in-depth research aiming to determine how much good a given program accomplishes (in terms of lives saved, lives improved, etc.) per dollar spent. Rather than try to rate as many charities as possible, we focus on the few charities that stand out most (by their criteria: 1) evidence of effectiveness, 2) cost-effectiveness, 3) room for more funding and 4) transparency) in order to find and confidently recommend high-impact giving opportunities.

Their top ranking charities include:

  1. Against Malaria Foundation
  3. Schistosomiasis Control Initiative
  4. Evidence Action’s Deworm the World Initiative
  8. Evidence Action’s No Lean Season
  9. GiveDirectly
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Welcome to the 1st ever Tech Talk Livestream, where serial entrepreneur, angel investor, futurist and host of Fringe.FM Matt Ward discusses one specific industry or technology, weighing in with his opinions and sharing overviews and predictions of where the world is headed.

In today’s video, Matt discusses ecommerce, something near and dear to his heart as an ex-ecommerce seller.

In today’s livestream we discuss:

– How Amazon is transforming ecommerce & shopping experience
– Why Alexa and voice technology will destroy retail
– The death of brand as a differentiating factor for most products
– Where the opportunities exist to make money in ecomm

And much much more. We hope you enjoy this first experimental episode of Tech Talks on all things ecommerce.

If you do, please leave a comment and subscribe to our channel. It let’s us know to continue to produce these weekly livestreams, which as we grow will feature listener Q&A, interactions and discussions and a whole lot more – in addition to the regular Fringe.FM podcast.

Or watch the Youtube version

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FringeFM is supported by the generosity of its readers and listeners. If you find our work valuable, please consider supporting us on Patreon, via Paypal or with DonorBox powered by Stripe.

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john lettow vorbeckJohn Lettow is the co-founder and President of Vorbeck (@vorbeck), a high tech graphene materials startup that’s raised over $20.7M to bring the promising future of graphene to today. Today they have several product lines focused on antennas, RFIDs, wearables, conductive ink and of course composites.

NOTE: Vorbeck’s proprietary graphene material Vor-x® was developed in the Chemical Engineering Laboratories of Princeton University. The Princeton team’s pioneering work enables large-scale production of graphene, of which Vorbeck owns an exclusive license on the patented graphene technology.

Prior to Vorbeck, John was a cofounder and manager of core technology development for H2Gen Innovations. John has also performed extensive research on nano-materials and materials process development while doing his PhD at MIT, Masters at Cambridge and undergrad at Princeton. Continue reading

Steve Burgess - Nanotechnology and the Foresight InstituteSteve Burgess (@steveburgess01) is the president of Foresight Institute, a nonprofit think tank that researches technologies of important to the future of humanity, focusing on nanotechnology, cybersecurity, and AI and rewards grants to lead scientists and safety initia tives.

Steve is a nanotechnology activist, tech writer & speaker, startup mentor, and an internationally recognized computer forensics consultant. Steve helped found the data recovery industry in the 80s, is a pioneer in today’s growing computer forensics and electronic  industry and is active as a digital forensic specialist who oftens testifies as an expert witness in the field.

Steve has reported on Japan’s space programs, contributed various Nanotech Glossaries, is the author of “The (Needed) New Economics of Abundance,” contributor to the text, “Scientific Evidence in Civil and Criminal Cases,” and regularly writes on topics surrounding his passions and expertise at

You can listen right here on iTunes

In our wide-ranging conversation, we cover many things, including:

  • The science of nanotechnology and progress to date
  • How the boom and bust cycle in nanotech play out
  • Why Steve is passionate about exponential hope
  • How AI will impact the future of jobs and economy, beyond the obvious answers
  • The problem with existential risk and inspiring action
  • Why Foresight Institute focuses on converging exponential technologies
  • The implications of biotech and self enhancement
  • What manufacturing will mean in an era of abundance
  • The wealth divide and what happens next
  • How technological innovation will impact our evolution
  • The reason capitalist incentive structures drive many of our most pressing problems
  • Why changing policy and law is challenging and grass roots movements matter

Make a Tax-Deductible Donation to Support FringeFM

FringeFM is supported by the generosity of its readers and listeners. If you find our work valuable, please consider supporting us on Patreon, via Paypal or with DonorBox powered by Stripe.

patreon FringeFM futurist podcast