Steven Johnson is the best-selling author of seven books on the intersection of science, technology and personal experience. His writings have influenced everything from the way political campaigns use the Internet, to cutting edge ideas in urban planning, to the battle against
21st-century terrorism.

Steven's newest book is titled Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation. His previous book The Invention of Air tells the story of Joseph Priestly, the Founding Fathers, and how innovative ideas emerge and spread in society and drive historical change. Like his award-winning book, The Ghost Map, The Invention of Air uses a surprising historical and biographical narrative to discuss ideas that have profoundly shaped our modern world.

Steven has also co-created three influential web sites: the pioneering online magazine FEED, the Webby-Award winning community site,, and the hyperlocal media site, recently acquired by AOL. Both social critic and technologist, Steven has a genius for mapping the future-for predicting and explaining the real-world impact of cutting-edge developments in science, technology and media.

Steven is a contributing editor to Wired magazine. He lectures widely on technological, scientific, and cultural issues. He recently won the Newhouse School fourth annual Mirror Awards for his TIME magazine cover article titled "How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live."

Steven has also written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Nation, and many other periodicals. He's appeared on many high-profile television programs, including The Charlie Rose Show, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

Speaking Agenda


Breakaway Book Club

10:45 AM–11:45 AM on Tuesday, Jul 31, 2012

  • Location Bristlecone 8
  • Track Track 4


Breakaway Welcome and Opening Keynote

9:00 AM–10:30 AM on Tuesday, Jul 31, 2012

  • Location Pinyon 4
  • Track Track