Generator Announces Fall 2018 Season of Reckless Ideas Speaker Series featuring Burlington Innovators Embracing Big Ideas

BURLINGTON: Generator, Burlington’s makerspace, announces the fall 2018 season of Reckless Ideas, a speaker series featuring a diverse mix of Burlington’s top thinkers and innovators at the intersection of design and science. Created in collaboration with UVM’s Complex Systems Center and Champlain College’s MFA in Emergent Media, Reckless Ideas features speakers who push disciplinary boundaries with topics including Artificial Intelligence and creativity, data privacy, and the tension between creativity and profit for entrepreneurs.

Guest speakers: Lisa Soros, Paul Budnitz, Randall Harp and Julia Vallera.

“We are excited be able to introduce our audience to some of the most intriguing, high-impact research and design being created right here in Burlington.” Said Chris Thompson, Generator Executive Director. “The Reckless Ideas lectures aim to inspire audiences from many backgrounds to come together, share big ideas, discuss and collaborate.”

All lectures are free and open to the public at 7pm at Generator, 40 Sears Lane Burlington VT. Liquid libations and light snacks will be served. The schedule and descriptions follow.

Guest Speaker: Lisa Soros 

Wednesday, September 26th

7pm – 8:30pm

Creating Creativity: Artificial Life and Evolution in Design

Lisa Soros is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Innovation at Champlain College whose research focuses on open-ended and generative artificial evolutionary systems.

Designers have long incorporated technology into their creative processes to help speed up mechanical tasks and make it easier to focus on designing. This talk explores the roles artificial life and evolutionary algorithms can play in the design process and also considers the ways we use technology to understand ourselves and the world around us. Special attention will be given to how we can generate creative AI, how creative AI can complement human creativity, and how we can survive in a world where intelligent tools (such as deep learning systems) could potentially generate creative works with little to no human input.


Guest Speaker: Paul Budnitz

Wednesday, October 24th

7pm – 8:30pm

Making art and making money: Navigating the train wreck between creativity and commerce. Q&A follows with puppet.

Paul Budnitz is an entrepreneur and the founder of Kid Robot; ELLO; Budnitz Bikes.


Guest Speakers: Randall Harp & Julia Vallera

Wednesday, November 28th

7pm – 8:30pm

More Data More Problems: On tracking, consent, and control of personally identifying information.

Julia Vallera is a data privacy advocate and former Outreach Manager for Mozilla Randall Harp is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at UVM whose research focuses on the philosophy of collective action and decision theory.


Generator is a shared design and fabrication environment dedicated to supporting the creative, education and production needs of 300+ members. It offers universal access to studios, shared tool-sets, programming and a vibrant, solutions-oriented community in a 8500 square foot facility.

The UVM Complex Systems Center is a post-disciplinary team of faculty and students working at the University of Vermont on real-world, data-rich, and meaningful complex systems problems of all kinds.

The Champlain College masters programs in Emergent Media provide a personal and rigorous experience for creative thinkers looking to build rewarding careers around media, technology and design.

Reckless Ideas is sponsored by the City of Burlington and UVM’s Complex Systems Center and Champlain College MFA in Emergent Media.

Check out the last series>>