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Rick Smolan

President and CEO, Against All Odds Productions

Rick Smolan, a former Time, Life, and National Geographic photographer, is best known as the co-creator of the “Day in the Life” book series. Today Smolan is the CEO of Against All Odds Productions, which orchestrates global photography projects that combine creative storytelling with state-of-the-art technology. Pulling together teams of leading journalists and photographers (plus hundreds of thousands of members of the general public) to focus on emerging topics such as the global water crisis, the effect of the Internet on civilization, or how the human race is learning to heal itself, Smolan and his team produce bestselling-illustrated books, TV specials, apps, and exhibits. Many of Smolan’s books have appeared on the New York Times best-seller lists and have been featured on the covers of Time, Newsweek, Fortune, and similar publications around the world. His projects include “America at Home,” “Blue Planet Run,” “The Obama Time Capsule,” “America 24/7,” “One Digital Day,” “24 Hours in Cyberspace,” “Passage to Vietnam,” “The Power to Heal,” and “From Alice to Ocean: Alone Across the Outback.” His new book, The Human Face of Big Data, being published on December 4, 2012, is based on the premise that we are witnessing our planet develop a nervous system. The real-time visualization of data collected by satellites, and by billions of sensors, RFID tags, and GPS-enabled cameras and smartphones around the world, is enabling humanity to sense, measure, understand, and affect aspects of our existence in ways our ancestors could never have imagined in their wildest dreams. Fortune Magazine selected Against All Odds as “one of the coolest companies in America.”