Pop Up Talks

Pop Up Talks

An amuse-bouche or intermezzo, XDP Pop-up Talks are brief, provocative, mental palette cleansers meant to break up content and train-of-thought between zone rotations. The pop-up speakers provide different points of view or introduce provocations for you to consider prior to your next set of conversations.


Thursday, April 19
12:30–12:45 p.m. 

Kai Kight
Violinist and Composer

Kai has a diverse background that has been fueled by creating and making. He holds an engineering degree from Stanford University's d.school where he was introduced to the innovative culture of Silicon Valley. As a Kleiner Perkins Design Fellow and Mayfield Fellow, Kai got an early start in entrepreneurship. Kai began playing the violin when he was 3 years old, was classically trained, and studied under the concertmaster of Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. His music has brought him to perform in venues such as the White House to the Great Wall of China. Today, Kai composes his own music using an innovative style on the violin which blends classical technique with rhythms and textures from popular genres such as hip hop and jazz.

Speaker presented by:

Keppler Speakers


Thursday, April 19
2:45–3:00 p.m. 

Heather Knight, PhD
Social Roboticist

Heather, formerly with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and sensor design at Aldebaran Robotics, is currently an assistant professor of Robotics at Oregon State University. There, her CHARISMA research group uses methods from entertainment to bootstrap the development of Social Robots. She also runs Marilyn Monrobot, a robot theater company with comedy performances and an annual Robot Film Festival, featured on TED, an installation at the Smithsonian/Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum, and even a British Video Music Award. She was named to AdWeek's top 100 creatives in 2017 and Forbes List's 30 under 30 in Science in 2011. Heather’s academic background includes a postdoc at Stanford University exploring minimal robots and autonomous car interfaces, a PhD in Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, and M.S. and B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. 


More Faculty

In addition to Pop-Up Talks, the XDP faculty includes your Host and Zone Captains, Idea Accelerators, and about 200 volunteer Team Leaders.