Cultivating Innovation At The Intersection of Arts & Technology

In launching Apple's iPad, the late Steve Jobs famously stood in front of a graphic illustration depicting street signs marking the intersection of Technology and Liberal Arts.

He talked about the iPad as an example of innovation that can result when the two fields of study come together in a life-giving zone of unlimited potential for cultivating creative thinking and developing new ideas to shape our future.

"Technology alone is not enough,'' Jobs said at the launch. "…It's technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that make our hearts sing.''

Fast Company magazine summed it up this way: "Steve Jobs wasn't the Einstein of Our Generation, He was the Picasso.''

To see what Jobs envisioned beyond Apple products like iPad and Facetime, think Times Square. Think Lights on Tampa.

Think artificial intelligence, brain controlled prosthetic limbs, driverless cars, computer war games and flight simulators, computerized  design programs for making everything from elaborate homes to simple baby clothes, online books, online art, webinars, film production and digital media, and on and on and on. Think limits set only by your imagination.

Reimaging Our Future

Such is the context of global reality in which the Tampa Bay region competes today as 83 Degrees Media leads a community conversation on "Cultivating Innovation at the Intersection of Arts & Technology'' for the next "Not Your Average Speakers'' event.

The program starts with networking at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 28, at Tampa Bay WaVE in the Rivergate Tower, the tall round office building bearing the Sykes name in downtown Tampa. The panel discussion runs from 6 to 7 with additional networking till 7:30.

You can RSVP by clicking here.

Participating innovators include:

Chad Mairn -- Librarian, teacher, author and 'technophile' who frequently shares his enthusiasm for 'all-things technology' as a speaker at library and technology conferences. He created an Innovation Lab at the Seminole campus of St. Petersburg College, where he is an Information Services Librarian and adjunct professor. He is also the Chief Technology Officer at Novare Library Services, a company he co-founded, "to create custom underlying tools to help libraries interact with users, stay true to their goals and to thrive in the 21st century." And he is a USF grad who plays drums in Fowler's Bluff, a local rock band.

Jeff Hazelton -- President and CTO of BioLucid, a digital health company immersed in reimagining healthcare delivery and communications relevant to consumers. He thinks of himself as an early "artrepreneur'' at the dawn of medical animation in a company that  "continues to push our innovative products to the limits of technology and visual fidelity.'' He's also an adjunct professor at the Ringling College of Art and Design, a graduate of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., and studied at Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood, CA.

Megan Voeller -- Associate Curator of Education and Art In Health Program Director at the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, where she organizes a series of arts-based observation training workshops for students in healthcare disciplines. She also maintains a career as an award-winning arts journalist at Creative Loafing and co-hosts WEDU Arts Plus, a weekly public television series devoted to the arts. She is a graduate of Williams College in Williamstown, MA, and The New School in New York City.

Nathan Schwagler -- Creative-In-Residence at USFSP (University of South Florida in St. Petersburg) College of Business, he teaches courses on Creativity and Innovation and New Venture Creation. He also is a founding co-director of The Edge, a creativity and innovation training department of The Dali Museum, where he designs and delivers creative workshop experiences for corporate clients to help them un-learn bad thinking habits, un-leash their creative thinking skills and un-lock their innovation capabilities. He is a graduate of the University of South Florida and SUNY Buffalo State. He is currently co-authoring a textbook on Creativity and Innovation in Business to be published by Sage Publications.

Nikki Campbell -- Assistant Director of the Virtual Patient Care Center (VPCC) at USF Health CAMLS in Tampa, she manages the day-to-day operations for simulation training. She serves as a committee member on the Technology and Standards Committee for the Society of Simulation in Healthcare (SSiH) and is a member of the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning, where she serves on the Research Committee and as Vice-Chair and Webmaster for the Tampa Bay Simulation Network. She is a graduate of Capella University based in Minneapolis and Drexel University in Philadelphia, and has studied at BryanLGH College of Health Sciences in Lincoln, NE.

The conversation stimulator for the evening will be Elizabeth Fanslow, Social Marketing Strategist and Executive Coach at  Elizabeth Fanslow Group. She is also Managing Director for eWomenNetwork in Tampa Bay.

You can RSVP by clicking here.

The Back Story

83 Degrees Media launched the "Not Your Average Speakers'' series in October 2011 with a community discussion about "What's Working In [Tampa Bay] Cities.''

Each event is designed to create an environment where speakers and audience members can engage in conversation face to face as ideators, innovators, instigators and thought leaders. Our goal is to create connections that will lead to collaborations across communities, disciplines and industries.  

Since then, additional local events and topics have included: "Nurturing The Tampa Bay Startup Culture,'' "Champions for Change,'' "Community Building,'' "Placemaking,'' "Talent Squeeze,'' "Valuing Diversity,'' "Putting P3s To Work,'' "Innovation,'' "Tampa's Curious Quest To Be Cool,'' "STEM or STEAM: Shaping the Future of Tampa Bay,'' "What's New and What's Next for Downtown Tampa'' and "Transforming Military Might Into Civilian Talent.''

Events have been held at a variety of cool places, including The Vault in downtown Tampa, Nova 535 in St. Petersburg, Hillsborough Community College-Ybor City campus, CAMLS, USFSP, Jaeb Theater, Stageworks Theatre, Freefall Theatre, The Roosevelt 2.0, Walker Brands and the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. To suggest a venue to host a future event, email 83 Degrees.

Support for the events comes from 83 Degrees community partners and underwriters, including PNC Bank, Onli Beverages, White Book Agency and Tampa Bay WaVE. To become a sponsor of this event or a future event, email 83 Degrees.

83 Degrees Media covers growth, investment and social innovation in the Tampa Bay region by featuring stories about Talent, Innovation, Global Diversity and Environment -- a new narrative for a new economy. "Not Your Average Speakers'' features creative, innovative and influential people in and around Tampa Bay who are doing their part to move the region forward.

Tweet about 83 Degrees and the NYAS events on Twitter by using #83DegreesNYAS @83degreesmedia. Also, if you’re feeling friendly, like us on Facebook. We just might like you back!

Diane Egner is publisher and managing editor of 83 Degrees Media. Comments? Contact 83 Degrees.

Read more articles by Diane Egner.

Diane Egner is an award-winning journalist with four decades of experience writing about the Tampa Bay region. She is a member of Leadership Florida and the Athena Society, and serves on the board of The Institute for Research in Art (Graphicstudio, the Contemporary Art Museum, and USF’s Public Art Program) Community Advisory Council and the StageWorks Theatre Advisory Council. A graduate of the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism, she won the top statewide award for editorial writing from the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors while at The Tampa Tribune and received special recognition by the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists for creative work as Content Director at WUSF Public Broadcasting. Past accomplishments and community service include leadership positions with Awesome Tampa Bay, Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Alpha House of Tampa Bay, Florida Kinship Center, AIA Tampa Bay, Powerstories, and the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. She lives in South Tampa, is the mother of two adult daughters and grandmother to two amazing grandchildren, and travels whenever possible with laptop in tow.