will.i.am in conversation with Paul Thompson of the Royal College of Art as part of Innovation Night 2012

Great excitement in the auditorium as we wait for will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas; a well known pop band from the mid 1990s, still playing now and Very Famous. What is probably not so well known is ‘Willy’s’ (as his Grandma and Mama refer to him) philanthropic interests. Not content with co-hosting the current TV series, ‘The Voice’, or going out with another major celeb, will.i.am spends a great deal of time and personal commitment to his ‘i’ foundations. For students, for the homeless and for the future of technology. Technology is another of his passions and he has a clear vision of how human’s have evolved to understand and connect with the technology that we face. His example of how a three year old in the 1970s might have moved their thumb and forefinger to achieve a bird opening its mouth in the shadows (and didn’t we all do that) to today’s three year old who would use the same movement to ‘zoom’ on a smart phone or smart t.v.

Not being particularly acquainted with pop stars, I was surprised at his grasp for ‘development’ and his genuine commitment to make lives better for others, particularly in the area where he grew up in America. His answering of questions were thought provoking, sometimes funny and sometimes hit with such realism that you wondered why no one else was talking about this, particularly from the technological perspective.

An inspiring evening and an inspired choice of guest. Well done to the RCA (and to the Royal Geographical Society for hosting the event) and to will.i.am. for coming over to London to ‘be in conversation with Paul Thompson for Innovation Night 2012′. ┬áMore of these please.


images and copyright: Lucy Elliott The Kensington Magazine (apologies for the quality but I was sitting right at the back of the auditorium with a large girl blocking the view)