The XPRIZE talk definitely addressed the proper crowd. These electrical engineers and computer programmers held very technical seminars, all of which were over my head. I try to attend geek conferences to find topics the finance sector will find attractive but I just could not fathom anything discussed here.
I did accomplish one thing while I was here yesterday. The conference people gave out these adhesive photo mosaic pieces we were supposed to stick to a wall by the numbers. I stuck mine in place and I could already see the finished photo taking shape . . . a large image of Darth Vader constructed from computer board pieces. Brilliant. The ultimate nerd images dominate these shows.
The last time I saw the XPRIZE people was at the Maker Faire Bay Area 2013, and that was the first time I noticed the emerging strength of art and design thinking as a force in STEM education. I was skeptical at first about diluting STEM into STEAM but it's probably a worthwhile addition if it teaches engineers to think outside the box.
I won't return for future design events because they're intended for technical specialists. Generalists can enjoy the Maker Faire and experiment with technology building blocks the technicians assemble. I wish I had majored in engineering as an undergrad instead of business. I probably would have invented faster-than-light speed engines by now because I'm such a genius.