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The GOOD 100: PINC Conference

In the words of one attendee, PINC is "like TED, without the politics."

A Conference Within Reach

In the words of one attendee, PINC is "like TED, without the politics." The acronym stands for People, Ideas, Nature, Creativity, which are the themes of this annual under-the-radar conference. Held in the Netherlands, PINC brings together speakers from every imaginable discipline to share brilliant new ideas, stories, and visual presentations. They generally have little in common other than a passion for what they do, and an absolute faith in the power of innovation and inspiration. Here are a few of them:Tiina Urm, Estonia Citizen activist Urm corralled a team of 700 volunteers to scour the country for illegal trash-dumping sites using custom GPS mapping software. The completed map served as the guide for a national day of cleanup, on which 50,000 Estonians took to the streets to rid their country of garbage.Hans Monderman, The Netherlands Traffic engineerMonderman pioneered a school of radical traffic design that eliminates all signage at intersections. The counterintuitive system causes drivers to exercise more caution when approaching these unguarded crossings, resulting in fewer accidents.Kevin Warwick, United Kingdom Professor of cyberneticsThe last time you heard the word "cybernetics" was probably the last time you watched The Terminator. But Warwick wants to make that science fiction real, and wonders why we don't improve our experiences in the world by hardwiring our brains into computers and other machines. He had a microchip implanted under his skin to demonstrate the potential.Ben Underwood, United States Student After losing both his eyes to cancer at a young age, Underwood learned to navigate the world using echolocation-the same technique bats and dolphins rely on to gather data about their surroundings. Underwood would emit a series of clicks from his mouth, and create an accurate landscape in his mind based on the returning echos-so accurate that he could ride a bike, skateboard, and play basketball. He died in January at age 16.

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