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Idea Man


Department of Management public discussion

Paul Allen, best known as the co-founder of Microsoft, has left his mark on numerous fields, from aviation and science to rock 'n' roll, professional sports, and philanthropy. His passions and curiosity have transformed the way we live. In 2007 and again in 2008, Time named him one of the hundred most influential people in the world. To celebrate the publication of his candid and long-awaited memoir Idea Man, Paul Allen comes to the London School of Economics and Political Science to discuss his life of adventure and discovery, from one of the most influential partnerships of the digital era (Microsoft) to the first privately funded spacecraft (SpaceShipOne) to a landmark breakthrough in neuroscience (the Allen Brain Atlas).

Paul Allen is the billionaire technologist and philanthropist who started Microsoft with Bill Gates. He is founder and chairman of Vulcan Inc., the company that oversees his business and philanthropic activities.

Allen started Microsoft with Gates, a childhood friend, in Albuquerque in 1975. He was the company's chief technologist until he left in 1983. Since then, Allen has become one of the nation's leading philanthropists and continues the search for knowledge that led to the creation of Microsoft. Allen's multibillion dollar investment portfolio includes a major real estate redevelopment in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood and holdings in dozens of technology, media and other companies. He also owns the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League, the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association, and is part of the primary ownership group for the Seattle Sounders FC, the city's Major League Soccer team.

In 2004 Allen funded SpaceShipOne, the first privately-backed effort to successfully put a civilian in suborbital space, winning him and designer Burt Rutan the Ansari X-Prize.
His independent film company, Vulcan Productions, has won numerous awards for feature films and documentaries, including the Emmy-award winning Rx for Survival - A Global Health Challenge; and the Peabody award-winning Judgment Day: Intelligent Design.

With lifetime giving of more than $1 billion, Allen has also pledged to leave a majority of his estate to philanthropy. He gives back to the community through the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, whose goal is to transform individual lives and strengthen communities by supporting arts and culture, youth engagement, community development and social change, and scientific and technological innovation.
In 2003, the Allen Institute for Brain Science was created with a $100 million commitment from Allen. The Seattle-based Institute is an independent, nonprofit medical research organization dedicated to accelerating our understanding of how the brain works. The Institute takes on projects at the leading edge of science—far-reaching projects at the intersection of biology and technology. The resulting data is available, for free, to researchers worldwide.

Allen is also founder of Experience Music Project, Seattle's critically-acclaimed interactive music museum; the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame; and the Flying Heritage Collection, an assemblage of rare World War II aircraft restored to flying condition and shared with the public.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #lseideaman


Paul Allen | talks
Chair: Professor Saul Estrin | talks


Date and Time:

5 May 2011 at 6:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Sheikh Zayed Theatre
New Academic Building
London School of Economics and Political Science

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Organised by:

London School of Economics & Political Science
See other talks organised by London School of Economics & Political Science...




Available from:

This event is free and open to all however a ticket is required. One ticket per person can be requested on Tuesday 19 April.

LSE students and staff are able to collect one ticket from the New Academic Building SU shop, located on the Kingsway side of the building from 10.00am on Tuesday 19 April.

Members of the public, LSE staff and alumni can request one ticket via the online ticket request form which will be live on the event weblisting after 10.00am on Tuesday 19 April.

The ticket request form will be online for around an hour from going live. If after an hour we have received more requests than there are tickets available, the line will be closed, and tickets will be allocated on a random basis to those requests received. If after an hour we have received fewer requests than tickets available, the ticket line will stay open until all tickets have been allocated.

Event weblisting: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/publicEvents/events/2011/20110505t1830vSZT.aspx

Additional Information:

From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check the listing for this event on the LSE events website on the day of the event.

For any queries email events@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 6043.

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