Author: Naureen Nayyar

Licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) by the photographer Duncan Rawlinson.

5 Steps to Simplicity Lessons From Burning Man

Burning Man (BM) is an annual week long gathering in the hot and sulfuric sandy world of Black Rock Desert, Nevada.  This year about 68k burners entered the playa.  People who are part of the BM community and are returning to the festival refer to ourselves as burners and first time burners are called virgins. There are several other names for other sub groups like people that live in luxury and are high-maintenance are many times referred to as “sparkle ponies”.  I definitely tried to avoid being termed a sparkle pony, having only a small tent and bringing only very limited things with me. This year (2013) was my second burn. I had my first burn back in 2011 thanks to David Weekly who gifted me a ticket and introduced me to Burning Man.  I had always lived with the burner culture around me throughout college, having studied in San Francisco,  we would go to crazy fire show filled fundraisers for some of the coolest camps on the playa during spring while other college students were busy with frat …


StartuParty: Bringing Silicon Valley Optimism to Italy

StartuParty is a tech entrepreneur meetup, Italian style. It’s a mixture of silicon valley pitch events, a techno dance party, and a garden mixer all in one night, under one roof. Italians love to mingle and socialize around their passions, so it’s not a shock that the StartuParty pitch sessions (5 minutes for 5 pitches/event) had travel apps, collaborative games, and social network ideas.


Be a Part of the Summer of Smart Hackathon in San Francisco

This is my first hackathon as a participant, after attending over a dozen of them in my life. Day one of the Summer of Smart by San Francisco’s Gray Area Foundation for the Arts (@GAFFTA) included people who came to hear about innovations in the public health and food space. The excitement started with people forming teams to come up with technology to solve problems in food/public health sectors. The mix of people included techie, non-techie, and others – created a diverse group of people who set out to collaborate and create fantastic solutions. The night was filled with people sampling different team and idea options, and heated debates about the future of their teams ideas. A few folks ended up changing their team after midnight, while certain teams stayed together. The team I joined was working on creating an application that could promote the Kijani Grows site for a tweeting garden. The diverse group of people covered developers, idea sorts, business, media, and arts folks, made for the experience unlike any other hackathon I …


Free Empathy, Want to Feel Awesome or Be Heard? The Web Can Help Out

How great would it be to have someone to tell you how awesome you are all the time? Time and again we all need some empathy or just someone to talk to – well how about some free empathy from strangers?

Zachary Burt (ZB) is up to something great on the internet. He founded two unique websites – Awesomeness Reminders and CompassionPit, both of which are doing amazingly well. Each of these sites allow anonymous people to engage in listening and sharing something that makes their days just a little bit better.


Hack For Change Delivers : 17 Cool Apps That Can Change Your World

This past weekend group of designers and hackers gathered at’s San Francisco headquarters to participate in a 24 hours hackathon, called HackforChange. A 100 passionate people put aside their weekend to create 17 world changing apps. The event was not about building the next Fortune 500 company, but rather about creating socially innovative apps that can help make the world a better place. Team GoodNeighbor won the event, and received the 5K USD prize money, with Anonymouse and Findmeapet, taking second and third place. Team Alerter received a honorable mention.