Eric Berlow is an ecologist, network scientist who co-founded Vibrant Data, a data science and data visualization company that was acquired by Rakuten Inc. in 2016. Berlow is internationally recognized for his research on ecological complexity – with articles in Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that have received Thomson Reuter’s Most Highly Cited Papers awards. His two talks on TED.com on finding hidden patterns in complex data have received over 2 million views. Prior to Vibrant Data, Eric was the director of the University of California’s first science institute inside Yosemite National Park, which focused on facilitating data-driven decisions for protecting natural ecosystems.
Berlow has received a TED Senior Fellowship, an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, and a National Science Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship. He was named one of the Top 100 Creatives by Origin Magazine. Berlow holds a B.A. in Biology from Brown University and a PhD in Ecology from Oregon State University.
- Vibrant Data acquired by Rakuten Inc.
- Recently published: Mapping 25 Years of Creativity Research (J. Creativity Research)
- Recently published: The surprisingly simple organization of multiplex ecological networks… (PLOS Biology)
- Recently published: Detecting Rare Stressors on Rare Species in Yosemite (Nature Scientific Reports)
- Recently published: Global Wildlife Footprint (Conservation Letters) hosted the first TED Fellow Collaborative Residency at the Swall Institute
- Thrilled that my talk with Sean Gourley was named among the Top 8 Data Visualization Talks on TED.com
Featured Project: Hacking Creativity
Creativity is what makes us human. Picasso claimed it starts with an act of destruction. Einstein suggested it springs from our own innate curiosity. Steve Jobs insisted it’s simply “connecting things.” But no matter where it comes from, creativity allows us to shape the world we live in. Hacking Creativity, led by the Red Bull High Performance group, is the first empirical study of “Creative Styles” in history. It is not a survey of how creative you are, but rather of how you create. Preliminary results from a diverse initial set of 500 innovators demonstrate, for the first time, how highly accomplished people achieve creative success in radically different ways. These results debunk common myths that there is “one way” to be your best creative self. One dominant factor which partitions distinct Creative Styles is the degree to which people have ‘introverted’ vs ‘extroverted’ creative habits. Hacking Creativity hopes to spark new conversation about creative performance that embraces the variety of ways in which people create.
The “Swall Institute” is a simple, sustainably designed, creative incubation space in California’s Eastern Sierra about 20 mi from the Mammoth Yosemite Airport (MMH). It can accomodate informal working groups for 3-7 people. It is the product of lots of dreaming, sweat, and love, and the help of countless friends. Swall institute has hosted working groups that include: TED Fellows “Think Weird Go Big” workshops, the TED Fellows Collaborative Residency, Levi-Strauss’s sustainability strategy retreat, Red Bull endurance camp, and other corporate creativity retreats. Swall Institute has also hosted individual artist residencies, including mural artist, Jane Kim, singer-songwriter Meklit Hadero, and jazz musician/composer Patrick Cress. Contact me if you are interested in hosting a workshop or creative residency.