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Experts at annual EmTech MIT conference provided valuable insights into the role of technology in solving the world's greatest problems

The 2012 EmTech MIT conference built on last year’s success, gathering more than 750 attendees to focus on identifying and defining technologies with the greatest potential for solving the biggest problems facing us today. Last week’s conference, hosted by MIT Technology Review, featured experts from a wide range of organizations, including Dow, edX, Facebook, MC10, Microsoft, Personal, Rethink Robotics, and Warner Bros. The event was sponsored in part by Freescale, The Hartford, Invest in France Agency, Lewis PR, Qualcomm, and Shell Gamechanger.

“Participating in EmTech MIT brought the opportunity to listen to fascinating breakthrough innovations tackling many of the big problems facing the world,” said Sophie Vandebroek, chief technology officer of Xerox and president of the Xerox Innovation Group. “MIT Technology Review brings great minds together that look into the future to discuss some of the disruptive technologies that will solve those problems.”

Speakers addressed a range of topics, including the need for increased mobile network capacity, the urgent demand for renewable energy sources, the potential of robotics to change manufacturing, the future of entertainment, technological enhancements to traditional education, the significance of big data, the immediate relevance of cloud computing, new devices designed to improve our health, and the role of the Internet in transforming the political process.

“This year’s EmTech conference proves that today’s top innovators are constantly striving to find technological solutions to the big problems we all face,” said Jason Pontin, editor in chief and publisher of MIT Technology Review. “Our expert speakers are the thought leaders who are driving change in business, health care, entertainment, energy, and education around the world. EmTech allows our speakers and guests to learn from each other, sharing valuable insights. We expect these important discussions to continue all year long.”

EmTech also recognizes the achievements of MIT Technology Review’s annual list of 35 outstanding young men and women who demonstrate the spirit of innovation in business and technology: the Innovators Under 35 . This year’s honorees presented their work onstage and were honored at an awards ceremony. Ren Ng, founder of Lytro, demonstrated his company’s unique light field camera, for which he was named MIT Technology Review’s Entrepreneur of the Year.

During the event, MIT Technology Review also launched its new brand identity, including a completely redesigned website and magazine. The redesign is the global media company’s first manifestation of a commitment to a digital-first strategy and marks a return to MIT’s rich heritage of design.

Videos of the EmTech MIT conference are available on the conference website.

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