A Conversation with Michael Pollan

Location: Grand Ballroom Level:


Photo of John  Battelle

John Battelle

Federated Media Publishing Inc.

John Battelle, 45, is an entrepreneur, journalist, professor, and author who has founded or co-founded scores of online, conference, magazine, and other media businesses.

In addition to his work at Federated Media, one of the largest media companies on the Internet, Battelle continues to serve as the Executive Producer and Program Chair of the Web 2 Summit, as well as a partner with BoingBoing.net. Battelle also maintains Searchblog, an ongoing analysis site that covers the intersection of media, technology, and culture at www.battellemedia.com.

Previously, Battelle occupied the Bloomberg chair in Business Journalism for the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. He was Chairman and CEO of Standard Media International (SMI), publisher of The Industry Standard and TheStandard.com. Prior to that, he was a co-founding editor of Wired magazine and Wired Ventures.

In 2005 Battelle authored The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture (Penguin/Portfolio), an international bestseller published in more than 25 languages. He is at work on his second book, with the working title What We Hath Wrought: A History of the Internet’s Next 30 Years. He is an expert in the field of media and technology, and has appeared on many national and international news channels such as CBS, BBC, CNN, PBS, Discovery, CNBC, and dozens more.

Battelle was a founding Board member of the Online Publishers Association and currently sits on the board of the Interactive Advertising Bureau. He sits on various startup advisory boards and served for nearly a decade on the Board of his children’s school.

Battelle’s honors and awards include: “Global Leader for Tomorrow” and “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland; finalist rank in the “Entrepreneur of the Year” competition by Ernst & Young; “Innovator – One of Ten Best Marketers in the Business”by Advertising Age; and one of the “Most Important People on The Web” by PCWorld. Battelle holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and a master’s degrees in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

Photo of Michael Pollan

Michael Pollan

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

For the past twenty years, Michael Pollan has been writing books and articles about the
places where the human and natural worlds intersect: food, agriculture, gardens, drugs,
and architecture.

Pollan is the author, most recently, of In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. His
previous book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, was named
one of the ten best books of 2006 by the New York Times and the Washington Post. It
also won the California Book Award, the Northern California Book Award, the James
Beard Award for best food writing, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle
Award. Pollan’s previous book, The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World,
was also a New York Times bestseller, received the Borders Original Voices Award for
the best non-fiction work of 2001, and was recognized as a best book of the year by the
American Booksellers Association and Amazon.com. He is also the author of A Place of
My Own (1997) and Second Nature (1991).

A contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine since 1987, his writing has
received numerous awards, including the James Beard Award for best magazine series in
2003; the John Burroughs prize (for the best natural history essay in 1997); the QPB New
Vision Award (for his first book, Second Nature); the 2000 Reuters-I.U.C.N. Global
Award for Environmental Journalism for his reporting on genetically modified crops; and
the 2003 Humane Society of the United States’ Genesis Award for his writing on animal
agriculture. His essays have appeared in many anthologies, including Best American
Essays (the 1990 and 2003 editions), Best American Science Writing (2004), and the
Norton Book of Nature Writing. In addition to publishing regularly in the New York
Times Magazine, his articles have appeared in Harper’s (where he served for many years
as executive editor), Mother Jones, Gourmet, Vogue, Travel + Leisure, Gardens
Illustrated, and House & Garden.

In 2003, Pollan was appointed the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism
at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, and the director of the Knight Program
in Science and Environmental Journalism. In addition to teaching, he lectures widely on
food, agriculture, and gardening.

Pollan, who was born in 1955, grew up on Long Island, and was educated at Bennington
College, Oxford University, and Columbia University, from which he received a Master’s
in English. He lives in the Bay Area with his wife, the painter Judith Belzer, and their
son, Isaac. His website is www.michaelpollan.com.

Co-produced By:

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