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Midwest.io 2014 - To the Moon and Back: Taking the Leap Towards Solving Big Problems - Julia Elman

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Published on Jul 27, 2014

This talk was given at Midwest.io 2014.

President John F. Kennedy was a visionary. In 1962, he proposed the seemingly impossible challenge of walking on the Moon. On July 20, 1969, that challenge became a reality. It was a moment in our history that propelled us into moving beyond our self-imposed limitations of what we, as human beings, are capable of doing.

Today, we see how this vision of space travel has affected our love and work on technology. Our multiple devices and subscriptions guide us through our daily lives, which has changed the way we see our world.

But how does this love for technology propel us forward to solve the most difficult problems we face as a society: ever growing issues, such as hunger, poverty, climate change, social inequality and injustice?

This talk reflects upon where we are as technologists, where we have been and how we can start focusing again on solving hard problems. We'll go over ways attendees can contribute their talents, gifts and ideas to varying initiatives around the globe which are taking on these challenging issues.

About the Speaker

Julia Elman is a designer, developer and tech education advocate based in North Carolina. She has been working her brand of web skills since 2002. Her creative nature drove her to find work at Hallmark Cards, Inc in 2007 where she worked on projects such as the Product (RED) campaign and Hallmark's site re-design. From there, she took a dive into Django as a Junior Designer/Developer at World Online in Lawrence, KS. She is currently working on a book for O'Reilly Media on advanced techniques for Django, a Python web framework.

In early 2013, she helped start a local chapter of Girl Develop It and empowered over 600 members to learn computer programming. She also helped organize the 2013 Teen Tech Camp, where 20 local teens learned Python programming in a one-day event. Julia is the Front End Engineering Instructor at The Iron Yard school in Durham, NC. You can follow her @juliaelman.

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