Mark Frauenfelder

Making Makers: The New Ideas and Tools Driving a Movement

MARK-FRAUENFELDER-speaker-mediagallery-mark-with-blue-art-background-eviltwinbookingdotcomMark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing, a blog about cultural curiosities and interesting technologies with 4 million monthly unique viewers and the winner of the Bloggies’ Lifetime Achievement and Best Group Blog awards. He’s the founding editor-in-chief of MAKE, the only magazine exclusively devoted to do-it-yourself projects. He’s the founding editor-in-chief of Wired Online, and was an editor at Wired magazine and Wired Books from 1993-1998. He was Playboy magazine’s technology columnist for three years. He is also the editor-in-chief of, a tool review site with roots connected to the Whole Earth Catalog.

As a maker of things, Mark has built cigar box guitars, skateboards, electronic musical instruments, chicken coops, kinetic sculptures, and robotic monkeys that keep cats from jumping on furniture. He has conducted workshops that teach people how to make sauerkraut, program Arduino microcontrollers, solder circuitboards, build vibrating toothbrush cars, and construct mandolins from tuna cans.

Mark is also an artist and designer, and his work has appeared in group and solo gallery exhibitions throughout the United States. He designed Billy Idol’s “Cyberpunk” CD cover, video box, and print advertisements.

He has appeared on The Colbert Report (twice) and the Martha Stewart Show, and has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Popular Science, Business Week, The Hollywood Reporter, Wired, and other national publications.
Mark is the author of seven books:

  • The Happy Mutant Handbook: Mischievous Fun for Higher Primates
  • Mad Professor: Concoct Extremely Weird Science Projects
  • The World’s Worst: A Guide To The Most Disgusting, Hideous, Inept, And Dangerous People, Places, And Things On Earth
  • The Computer: An Illustrated History
  • Rule the Web: How to Do Anything and Everything on the Internet — Better, Faster, Easier
  • Made by Hand: My Adventures in the World of Do-It-Yourself
  • Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Anti-Gravity Jars and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects

He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Carla Sinclair and his two DIY daughters.



Chad Ratliff (Breakfast Keynote)

Radical Transformation: Unmaking School by Design

ratliff_sqChad Ratliff is a district administrator for Albemarle County Public Schools, which serves ~14,000 students in 26 different school facilities, located over 700 square miles surrounding Charlottesville, VA. His work focuses on seeding and expanding the district’s portfolio of nontraditional learning experiences such as maker-centered learning, customized pathways, STEAM, and entrepreneurial opportunities across the K12 curriculum as part of the district’s emphasis on student agency and lifelong learning. He has represented this work at the White House on several occasions, presented for the National Science Foundation and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is frequently invited to speak on these topics across the country and has written for Edutopia, EdSurge, and other national publications. 

He also serves as Project Director for the $3.4 million U.S. Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) grant, Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering as a Driver of Cross-Curricular Change, and heads up strategic partnerships for the district, including collaborations with MIT, Smithsonian, Battelle, University of Virginia, Fablevision, Princeton, and the Maker Education Initiative. Prior to joining Albemarle, Chad served Martinsville City Public Schools in Southern Virginia where he was a 3x Most Influential Educator honoree and 7x Wrestling Coach of the Year award-winner.

Also an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship and active in the entrepreneurial community, Chad was appointed by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to his Council for Youth Entrepreneurship in 2015, served as a StartupWeekend EDU organizer and coach,and was a facilitator for the High School of the Future Startup event at the Governor’s 2013 STEM Summit.  He has been profiled as one of the top leaders under the age of 40 in both the Blue Ridge Business Journal and C-ville Weekly;  was a Virginia Board of Education appointee to the State Advisory Committee for Career and Technical Education from 2009-2015, served on the Charlottesville Business Innovation Council Board of Directors, and was Board Chair for the Virginia Career Education Foundation, a nonprofit established by then-Governor Mark Warner.

Chad earned his Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Virginia and his MBA from Virginia Tech. He is also an alumnus of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business Executive Educators Leadership Institute. He resides in Charlottesville with his wife and their two children. He can be reached online or at chadsratliff [at] gmail.