Palo Alto Institute

Palo Alto Institute Changing lives by transforming the way people think. The Palo Alto Institute is a nonprofit private foundation and think tank dedicated to the pursuit and promotion of unconventional truths through research and education.

Founded in 2005, the Palo Alto Institute collaborates with innovative thinkers who take pleasure in creative and intellectual exploration and action, and benefits from being located in the heart of Silicon Valley and the intellectual hub around Stanford University.

Founded in 2005, the Palo Alto Institute collaborates with innovative thinkers who take pleasure in creative and intellectual exploration and action, and benefits from being located in the heart of Silicon Valley and the intellectual hub around Stanford University.

Mission: We are dedicated to the pursuit and promotion of unconventional truths through research, education and entertainment.

Operating as usual

Palo Alto International Film Festival - Permanent-Revolution
06/05/2014
Palo Alto International Film Festival - Permanent-Revolution

Palo Alto International Film Festival - Permanent-Revolution

Caught up into the fun of volunteering at festivals in 2011, I gave more of my time to the San Jose Jazz festival in the summer where I poured wine for several hours, and then in September worked the Palo Alto International Film Festival. The first night I attended a 30th anniversary screening of Sp…

Why do stress responses cause disease? Should medical professionals be as attuned to Darwin as they have been to Pasteur...
05/14/2012

Why do stress responses cause disease? Should medical professionals be as attuned to Darwin as they have been to Pasteur? Can aspirin block our evolved defense systems and sometimes delay recovery?

Why do stress responses cause disease? Should medical professionals be as attuned to Darwin as they have been to Pasteur? Can aspirin block our evolved defense systems and sometimes delay recovery?

Talenthouse, Scripped, and PAIFF event at Talenthouse in Palo Alto, CaliforniaThursday, July 21, 2011
07/27/2011

Talenthouse, Scripped, and PAIFF event at Talenthouse in Palo Alto, California
Thursday, July 21, 2011

Talenthouse, Scripped, and PAIFF event at Talenthouse in Palo Alto, California
Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Great Gatsby in 3D-what are your thoughts? Check out this blog post!
06/29/2011
The Medium is the Massage, Part V | Palo Alto Institute

The Great Gatsby in 3D-what are your thoughts? Check out this blog post!

When I first read about Baz Luhrmann’s (Romeo and Juliet, Australia) plan to make The Great Gatsbyin 3D, I was puzzled. The movie is expected to be released in 2012 with Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire as three of its stars. But why 3D, I thought? It’s trendy right now — even art

Read our latest blog post on actor Peter Falk
06/28/2011
Influence | Palo Alto Institute

Read our latest blog post on actor Peter Falk

The actor Peter Falk died last Thursday at his home in Beverly Hills, California. Although Falk was most known for his starring role as a disheveled, lovable detective in the television show Columbo, his death prompted me to remember his incredible, very different performance in John Cassavetes’ 197

06/13/2011

The Palo Alto Institute/Palo Alto International Film Festival will be Netflix today to screen PressPausePlay. Kicking off the start of our corporate screenings until the festival in the fall!

Are you concerned about what’s in your baby's food?  Do you want nothing but the best and freshest ingredients in your b...
06/09/2011
Organic Baby Food Focus Group | Palo Alto Institute

Are you concerned about what’s in your baby's food? Do you want nothing but the best and freshest ingredients in your baby’s food? Come join other moms for a focus group held by the Palo Alto Institute to help us learn more about what your baby’s food needs are. For more details, follow the link.

Are you concerned about what’s in your baby's food? Do you want nothing but the best and freshest ingredients in your baby’s food? Do you know what’s in your baby’s food? Come join other moms for a focus group held by the Palo Alto Institute to help us learn more about what your baby’s food needs

Persistence of Vision | Palo Alto Institute
05/10/2011
Persistence of Vision | Palo Alto Institute

Persistence of Vision | Palo Alto Institute

The San Francisco Film Society presents an annual “Persistence of Vision Award” to filmmakers. On April 30, 2011, however, SFFS presented the award to someone who stated onstage that he does not identify as a filmmaker: art world giant and San Francisco resident Matthew Barney who has been dubbed th

05/06/2011
Color

Check out our Cinco de Mayo BBQ Palo Alto Institute/Palo Alto International Film Festival headquarters using Color! For more info on Color, read our blog http://www.paiff.net/blog.php

Finding Nostalgia for the Light | Palo Alto Institute
05/02/2011
Finding Nostalgia for the Light | Palo Alto Institute

Finding Nostalgia for the Light | Palo Alto Institute

Chilean director Patricio Guzman’s latest documentary, beautifully-titled Nostalgia for the Light, is not so much journalistic as it is an essayistic meditation on the power and ubiquity of the past as it exists in four parallels in the desolate Atacama Desert in northern Chile. A palette of blue, p

Read our review of Sleeping Beauty at the San Francisco International Film Festival on our blog.
04/29/2011
Sleeping Beauty Never Grows Up | Palo Alto Institute

Read our review of Sleeping Beauty at the San Francisco International Film Festival on our blog.

So wrote Anne Sexton in her powerful collection of poetry, Transformations, which reimagines and personalizes every familiar fairytale. Released in 1971, these poems present a take on fairytales that’s even more brutal than the version in Andrew Lang’s once-controversial “color” fairytale books.

In our new blog, we discuss the San Francisco International Film Festival's screening of "Mysteries of Lisbon"...
04/27/2011
Mysteries of Lisbon: If you can make it complicated… | Palo Alto Institute

In our new blog, we discuss the San Francisco International Film Festival's screening of "Mysteries of Lisbon"...

…why make it simple? Director Raúl Ruiz’s films adhere to his unorthodox motto. I first saw one of Ruiz’s films in college (an adaptation of Time Regained by Marcel Proust) and despite loving both Proust and complicated movies, for 160 minutes could barely keep track of the complicated storyline or

If you missed Dr. Peter McGraw at our Palo Alto Institute humor event, check out this Wired article for more on his thou...
04/27/2011
» One Professor’s Attempt to Explain Every Joke Ever

If you missed Dr. Peter McGraw at our Palo Alto Institute humor event, check out this Wired article for more on his thoughts about being funny.

Armed with a Venn diagram and his benign violation theory, Colorado professor Peter McGraw insists he can explain every joke ever.

http://www.paloaltoinstitute.org/blog/light-pioneers-part-iii-interview-sci-tech-award-winner-michael-bunnell
04/20/2011
Light Pioneers, Part III: An Interview with Sci-Tech Award Winner Michael Bunnell | Palo Alto Instit

http://www.paloaltoinstitute.org/blog/light-pioneers-part-iii-interview-sci-tech-award-winner-michael-bunnell

In 2010, PAIFF's talented Advisory Board Member Michael Bunnell, won a Sci-Tech Oscar for a global illumination algorithm that was used to create the special effects you've seen in many recent blockbusters. Global illumination is a technique for calculating light from all directions, so that both di

Secrets to a Funnier You: The Art and Science of Being Funny
04/19/2011

Secrets to a Funnier You: The Art and Science of Being Funny

What makes things funny? How does humor defuse tension? Laughter is the best medicine - ever wonder why? Attend PAI's ev...
03/24/2011
Secrets to a Funnier You: April 2011 | Palo Alto Institute

What makes things funny? How does humor defuse tension? Laughter is the best medicine - ever wonder why? Attend PAI's event April 1st to find out! Purchase your ticket at the member price of $75 (saving you $20!) and immediately become a member of the Palo Alto Institute. Hope to see you there!

What makes things funny? How does humor defuse tension? Laughter is the best medicine - ever wonder why? Experience first-hand the benefits of laughter from various perspectives: from political cartoons to interactive improvisation to hilarity in the brain. Brilliant and funny speakers explore these

Another Year
02/26/2011
Another Year | Palo Alto Institute

Another Year

With roots in the Commedia delle’arte, most people more readily associate improvisation with comedy than tragedy. However, acclaimed filmmaker Mike Leigh regularly creates tragic- comedy out of improvisation. His method is not quite shrouded in secrecy, but he sometimes declines to elaborate on t

Inside African Film, an interview with Ndungi Githuku: http://bit.ly/gKUrsO
01/25/2011
Inside African Film | Palo Alto Institute

Inside African Film, an interview with Ndungi Githuku: http://bit.ly/gKUrsO

Recently, The Economist featured an article on Nollywood, Nigeria’s answer to Hollywood and Bollywood. Although Nollywood is the world’s second most prolific film industry after Bollywood, many people I knew had not heard of it. Documentaries about Nollywood, like Welcome to Nollywood, depict a mov

Authorship in Exit Through the Gift Shop: http://bit.ly/eWSIAL
01/25/2011
Author! Author!, Part I | Palo Alto Institute

Authorship in Exit Through the Gift Shop: http://bit.ly/eWSIAL

Just like the word “authority,” the word “author” can be traced back to the Latin auctorem, meaning "enlarger, founder, master, leader” or “one who causes to grow.” The best authors, whether of books, art or film, do cause us to grow. For a long time, authors were the gods of the worlds they created

http://bit.ly/gmKGXK
01/14/2011
Kale Confessional | Palo Alto Institute

http://bit.ly/gmKGXK

During the winter, it’s a little harder to get excited about fresh produce. While we all know that leafy greens are essential for a healthy diet, even the most conscientious eater may be dismayed by the flood of kale, collards, chard, and spinach at the Farmer’s Market tables and the seeming bittern

http://bit.ly/ecQDOG
12/14/2010
Light Pioneers, Part I | Palo Alto Institute

http://bit.ly/ecQDOG

Generation Xers grew up with Lite-Brites, toys that allowed artistic children to create drawings by sticking colored pegs into black paper on a light box. These glowing works of art were electrifying in the dark, more than the sum of the colored pegs (at least to the maker) and a source of endless p

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San Mateo, CA
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General information

While informing and educating are two aspects of our mission, connecting with and serving our community are core tenets as well. GRANTS In the past, the Palo Alto Institute has provided support to innovative organizations through its grant program. Palo Alto Institute grant recipients all share our mission of changing lives by changing the way people think. Grant recipients include: Backlight Media’s Fearless Genius project, BATS Improv, the National Organization of Rare Diseases, The Genetic Alliance and the Stanford Institute of Design (d.School). PALO ALTO FARM SHOP In 2009, when the economy was hitting bottom, we started and sponsored an Open Mic in downtown Palo Alto, bringing musicians and performers together with audiences hungry for inexpensive, local entertainment. In 2010, when the city of Palo Alto cut the budget for the downtown farmers market, the Palo Alto FarmShop, we stepped in and provided the funds to keep it alive.

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