How a Team of Female Astronomers Revolutionized Our Understanding of Stars

Big Think is partnering with 92Y to bring you a video series on female genius as part of its 7 Days of Genius Festival.

Check out this video featuring astronomer Anna Frebel as she talks about the women who pioneered the field of stellar research.

Why Fewer Women Succeed at the Highest Levels of Science — From a Woman Who Did

Where Are All the Women Scientists?

Big Think is partnering with 92Y to bring you a video series on female genius as part of its 7 Days of Genius Festival.

Check out this video with Dr. Joy Hirsch, Director of the Brain Function Laboratory at Yale University, as she discusses the challenges women face in the professional world of science.

ECOWEEK Joins 92Y For Seven Days of Genius

NGO ECOWEEK joins 92Y for Seven Days of Genius. ECOWEEK is hosting satellite events co-organized with local partners in Jerusalem, Athens, Thessaloniki, Bucharest and Sarajevo. Young and established entrepreneurs, designers, innovators, architects, landscape architects, researchers, and planners, will come together for a day of presentations, brainstorming workshops, and networking on new and established ‘genius’ ideas. The guiding theme of the week is ‘DESIGN FOR SOCIAL GOOD’.

ECOWEEK’s work focuses on sustainable design at international gatherings and design workshops. In 2008, ECOWEEK organized its first conference in Greece with the AIA Continental Europe. Inspired by Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy, young and established professionals work together at ECOWEEK events to solve real problems in real sites, aiming to learn new skills and knowledge, while benefiting the local communities.

ECOWEEK is an NGO based in Israel and Greece, established by architect Elias Messinas, a Yale-graduate and Ford Motor Company Fellow, with the mission to raise environmental awareness and to promote sustainability and integrated development. When Elias was an architecture undergraduate student, he travelled to Egypt to meet Fathy and was inspired by the vision of a man who tried to change the architectural culture of his country with sustainable practices. “From our work in 15 countries around the world,” says Messinas, “where we bring together young professionals of different cultures and faiths, we have learned to value cooperation. I like a quote by legendary innovator John Seely Brown who said ‘conversation is a catalyst for innovation’. In all our events we encourage dialogue and teamwork to empower young professionals to innovate and change.”

More information below about the Seven Days of Genius events organized by ECOWEEK and its local partners:

Athens, Greece – March 5, hosted by AKTO College of Art and Design, includes presentations from young and established architects, landscape architects, designers and innovators from Greece and abroad.

Thessaloniki, Greece – March 7, hosted by TECHNOPOLIS Business Park with presentations from young and established innovators, designers and architects from Greece and abroad.

Jerusalem, Israel – March 8, hosted by the American Center and includes presentations by young and established architects, landscape architects, innovators, designers, and researchers from East and West Jerusalem.

Bucharest, Romania – March 10, hosted by Seneca Anticafe, and includes presentations by young and established academics and professionals, and Urbanism Landscape Social Diploma Projects from Bucharest.

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina – March 11, hosted by Networks Hub and includes presentations primarily by young and established innovators from Sarajevo.

“The ECOWEEK model is to work closely with local partners, so that each event engages, empowers and benefits local entrepreneurs and professionals, it is locally generated and relevant to the local community,” says Elias. “I take this opportunity to thank our partners who worked with us in making these events possible: AKTO Art and Design College,, The Mamidakis Foundation, Design Lobby, ArchiSearch, Nanotypos, TECHNOPOLIS ICT Business Park, The American Center, The US Embassy in Israel, JEST, Seneca Anticafe, Do-It_Achitectura, Networks, International University of Sarajevo, Lift-Spatial Initiatives, and the ECOWEEK Greenhouse.”

To learn more about the ECOWEEK satellite events visit:

Who is the Ultimate Genius?

92Y and MSNBC gathered 32 world shakers and placed them head-to-head in one bracket spanning four regions: Politics, Innovation, Science, and Morality. Genius indeed takes many forms, and which kind will triumph comes down to you. 

There are four match-ups this week and voting is now underway for round 3. Who do you think is the ultimate Genius? Here are some of the matches up on this week’s line-up:

  • Lin Manuel Miranda, the Genius behind the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, or George Washington Carver, the botanist, chemist, and scientist, who invented over 100 products made with peanuts.
  • Malala Yousafzai, human rights and education activist and youngest ever Nobel Prize Laureate, or Rosa Parks, one of the most iconic figures in the Civil Rights Movement who spurred the Montgomery Bus Boycott after refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus.

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As you’re getting excited for the official start of 7 Days of Genius, think about Geniuses from past and present, and join in on the fun of the Ultimate Genius Showdown and vote for your favorite Genius!

Drumroll, please…

Last month, we launched three challenges as part of our 7 Days of Genius Festival to unleash Genius ideas and generate Genius excitement leading up to the official Festival in March. We asked individuals across the United States to tackle some of the biggest issues facing our communities. The bolder and more ambitious the idea the better!

Now, the top six submissions are with the expert judges who are evaluating submissions to decide on first, second, and third place winners. We’re excited to announce these Genius ideas soon, but in the meantime, you can learn more about the competitions below. 

For over a month, submissions were open on Facebook for three competitions. We received hundreds of submissions, and the ones with the most likes moved on to the final round of judging. In addition to cash prizes, winners will be connected to experts relevant to their idea and may have the opportunity to have their idea featured on MSNBC.

Here’s what we asked:

1. Start-Up Challenge

92Y and Impact Hub partnered to unearth the next generation of social entrepreneurs. Do you have an idea that could impact communities, environments and cultures in an innovative way? We’re looking to accelerate the growth of early-stage companies with the potential to have a major positive impact on our world.

2. Design for Good (for high school students)

What are your community’s biggest needs? Team up with up to three classmates and submit your solution to one of your community’s biggest problems through a human-centered design process. Winning submissions will leverage a design thinking process: integrating the needs of people, the potential of new technologies and innovation.

3. Challenge for a New Religion 

92Y and On Being invite you to imagine a religious or philosophical framework that that cuts across boundaries, strengthens our sense of community and acts as a force for good. Design a framework for a new belief system — or a reimagining of an existing belief system — and share it with us.

Brazil: beaches, endless surfers, music, dancing…GENIUS??

Florianopolis, Brazil: 45 beaches, endless surfers, even more parties, lots of soccer, and technology. Lots of it, actually. You probably imagine Brazil and think of Rio and the Amazon; of vibrant and colorful culture and music. Honestly, you probably think of anything other than technology. But here, in Brazil, when you mix an emerging tech industry with our uniquely creative culture and one of the highest levels of income inequality in the world, a solution appears: Tech for Good.

Technology can be used for profit, for transport, for health, for really just about anything. All that’s needed is the initiative and the resources to put it in place. Brazil has a lot of the former; you can nearly taste the energy and inspiration in the tropical air. But the latter, well, that’s where we come in. Impact Hub Floripa, along with the four other Impact Hub’s scattered throughout Brazil are the resource providers. We are an on-ramp for those who want to use tech to improve society.

Here, in our 160m2 space, we are home to a social network for health providers, a governance innovator, a storyteller, an incubator, a blogger; nearly anything you can think of all under one roof, mingling, meshing and mutating. Impact Hub is where transformative ideas that can change the way the world thinks and acts are born. It’s where tech can be leveraged and transformed for good.

And with our upcoming 7 Days of Genius, Tech for Good Mash Up we hope to bring our energy and inspiration to an even greater Brazilian and worldwide population. Check back here for updates!

Social Impact Start-up Challenge!

92Y & Impact Hub NYC partnered on the 7 Days of Genius” Start-up Challenge. The winner will score $10,000 + IHNYC membership. The deadline to enter was February 12, 2016. If you missed it, check back here for updates on the winning genius ideas.

Also, don’t miss the IHNYC & House of Genius co-sponsored event on Saturday, March 5, as part of the 7 Days of Genius festival. See last paragraph for details.*

  1. Christina Cobb talks with Asha Curran, Director, Center of Innovation and Social Impact at 92Y.

The concept of genius typically celebrates the exceptional individual. How does the 7 Days of Genius festival integrate genius and community?

As a community center, we know that extraordinary things can happen when you bring people together and provide the right kind of spark. 7 Days of Genius is designed to generate that spark. We are hosting a slew of talks and events here at 92Y that consider genius through a variety of lenses–technology, philosophy, science, literature, education and more. We’re also working with partners in cities around the world, including Impact Hub NYC, to engage people around genius in ways that are relevant to them in their own communities. We hope that 7 Days of Genius amplifies many voices and points of view, and leverages technology and social media to bring people together in meaningful ways.

The festival definitely explores the lives and work of individual geniuses, both past and present, through a middle-school curriculum on famous geniuses; with our psychobiography series that explores the personal lives of extraordinary people; and in a free interactive exhibit for families dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci, among other initiatives. But we’re also interested in unearthing genius in typically untapped places including underserved, under-resourced communities around the world, where some of our global partners are bringing adults and children together to develop new ideas for the benefit of their own communities. We hope to give voice to the ideas of people who don’t have a platform like the great academics and public intellectuals do.

Why did 92Y choose to partner with Impact Hub for the Start-Up Challenge?

92Y and Impact Hub definitely share values and have complementary missions and audiences. Not only are we aligned in our commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship, but both our organizations are asking the big questions about how those things can positively shape the future. And 7 Days of Genius is all about bringing partners together so that the whole festival is more than the sum of its parts. We think the Impact Hub community is full of people who should be entering the start-up challenge!

Read the full interview!

Unearthing Genius Across Africa: Global Minimum

As part of 7 Day’s of Genius in 2015, the 92nd Street Y partnered with Global Minimum’s Innovate Kenya program to present a “Genius in Innovation” event for Nairobi students. 35 students representing five local schools gathered at iHub, an innovation center in Nairobi, to discuss the idea of genius and present their own innovative ideas.

In 2016, we’ve partnered with Global Minimum to host events in Kenya, Sierra Leone and South Africa.

Looking for a little inspiration? Check out the video of these young innovators – and check back soon for updates from this year’s events.

Welcome to 7 Days of Genius 2016!

March is quickly approaching, which means our third annual, 7 Days of Genius Festival is on the horizon. Over the past three years, we’ve grown into a community-curated exploration of all things genius, from around the globe.

In 2016, we will examine genius through a variety of lenses, including spirituality, science, the arts, business and technology. We have partner events planned on every continent from NYC to Sierra Leone and Guatemala.

Check out some highlights from the 2015 Festival below, and check back here for daily dispatches from our global partners.