Judoka, physicist, designer, musician, entrepreneur - Aza Raskin is a tech-era polymath, as at home in the world of algorithmic drawing as he is founding and running companies.
He toured the world in his teens as an orchestral musician, has published papers on dark matter detection, created Algorithm Ink which creates generative artworks, and produces Bloxes, a form of modular cardboard furniture. During the catastrophic Haiti earthquake he assembled a small team to aid disaster relief by providing NGOs with maps driven by real time data showing where people were most in need. In 2011, Raskin was named to Forbes and Inc Magazine's 30-under-30, and one of five US Masters of Design by FastCompany.
In 2005, he founded his first company Humanized at age 21, acquired by Mozilla three years later. There, he was a founding member of Mozilla Labs and Creative Lead for Firefox. He also started the music site Sonzga at age 23, acquired by Google earlier this year.
At Mozilla he concepted the mobile version of Firefox, brought geolocation to the web, and created Ubiquity, a natural language interface for the web, which he spoke about at TED in 2009. At the end of 2010, Raskin founded Massive Health, a start-up dedicated to healthy living motivated by access to technology through design. Massive Health was acquired by Jawbone in 2011, where Raskin is now Vice President of Innovation. We think you'll agree this is a meteoric rise by any standard.
Raskin's work represents a sustained engagement with creative thinking, design invention and business acumen, and we at TEDx Brussels can't wait to hear what he's planning at Jawbone.
One final note: His father was computer design legend Jef Raskin, inventor of the Macintosh at Apple (where he was the company's 31st employee in 1978). Aza must have breathed in some of this magic as his own achievements are equally impressive.