Exclusive interviews with BIL co-founder and History Channel Invention USA co-host Reichart Von Wolfsheild, BIL citizen journalism speaker Pat Kitano and BIL robotic fashions speaker Anouk Wipprecht, starts tonight, to March 8th
By Robin Rowe
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Gosh!TV) 2015/3/6 – BIL is a volunteer-run, crowd-sourced unconference centered around STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics). Like TEDx , BIL aims to be more than an event, to be a movement. BIL may stand for Brilliant Innovation Lab or according to co-founder Reichart Von Wolfsheild the name was shortened from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
“Before we can have killer robots, we need to actually build the robots,” says BIL co-founder and History Channel Invention USA co-host Reichart Von Wolfsheild. “Before we can make airborne viruses, we need to master biology in the first place. The good news is, every robot maker I know is trying to make robots that help people. If anything is going to be airborne, it will be the cure to the common cold. BIL is not just about tech, a huge faction of BIL talks are about ethics, morality, and in fact the very most important question facing humanity, which is…just because we can build it, does that mean we should build it?”
Von Wolfsheild says he will be appearing at BIL using telepresence, using a remotely controlled robot. “We will have other speakers using telepresence as well, including the co-founder of BIL Tunisia,” says Von Wolfsheild. “They have thousands of members now, and are using BIL as a platform for reform, and progress in a country that just won its democracy.”
Von Wolfsheild says his list of top priorities for the planet are, clean water, sustainable architecture and uncensored Internet everywhere. “You know that old saying, ‘I wish people came with a manual.’ Well, we are finally writing one, and it is the Internet. Every person needs to be able to research the facts for themselves, to weave their story to the tapestry of human history.”
“Wouldn’t it be great if I were in my 20’s, living in San Francisco [he does] and constructed a unique 400 city news network single-handedly outlasting similar efforts by AOL and Gannett?,” says BIL speaker and The Breaking News Network chief Pat Kitano. “I appreciate conferences like BIL that provides a voice for those a bit outside the mainstream, a theme that I’ve been hitting on in this Q&A.” Kitano’s topic is, “The Massive Hole in Local News Coverage”.
“Voices create change,” says Kitano. “But so far these voices unleashed on social media are disparate and fragmented because most aren’t part of the media ecosystem. When they are all given media power, the result is an instantaneous massive force for advocacy that we haven’t even imagined yet, but we’ve glimpsed with #JeSuisCharlie and #Ferguson.”
“Local news has the most intimate impact on a community,” says Kitano. “Yet, try to find local coverage of niche topics like black news, civic sustainability or the environment. No publisher can sustainably cover esoteric topics for a limited geographical readership. There is a way to curate writers and thinkers so that topical news can be presented comprehensively down to the city level.”
“The news media model is changing,” says Kitano. “Once there were reporters, now there are writers who know their stuff but are not part of the news ecosystem. Reporters cost money, writers who are given media recognition and the power associated with it are grateful. Publishers that give this curated recognition attain credibility at lower cost. The fifth estate as we know it is teetering.”
“I don’t need a genie in my life,” says BIL speaker Anouk Wipprecht. “I’d rather chase my own dreams.” Wipprecht will be speaking about, Robotic Fashion and Intimate Interfaces, a talk about robotic fashion and new ways of interfacing with the world around us. “I’ll be enjoying the other power girls, like Mirabelle Jones and Ashley Booth,” says Wipprecht. Booth is speaking at BIL on The Future is Psychedelic: Medicine, Social Change, and Cognitive Liberty. Jones is speaking on Breaking the Silence Using Books: How Art & Writing Can Be Used as Weapons Against Rape Culture.
Looking to the future, Wipprecht says Open Source with the charity to embrace, shuffle and share spreading to design and engineering is the most positive change. “We are doomed in one way and blessed in others,” says Wipprecht. “Humanity globally taken is good at destroying it’s own world. And then, shooting people off to other planets to destroy those as well. Somehow there is no stop to our territorial behavior, I find that very fascinating.”
Tickets for the 2-day BIL event cost from $5 to $500, at $50 ($60 at the door) for general admission and $5 as a special rate for volunteers who also help for five hours. Saturday night formal party has open bar. March 6th, 2015 at 8pm to March 8th, 2015. Big Door Studio, 114 Sheldon St., El Segundo, CA 90245.