CreateTech 2015 Speakers
Pete Jones is the senior producer at Framestore’s VR Studio in New York – the world’s first dedicated studio of its kind. Since the studio opened up in 2014, Pete has been integral in a number of VR milestones. His work includes HBO’s massively successful Game of Thrones “Ascend the Wall” experience and over a dozen other projects across Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, and Samsung Gear VR. These include a zero-gravity tour of the spaceship in Interstellar; “The Teleporter” for Marriott Hotels; the “Volvo Reality” app; the first-ever in-motion Oculus Rift experience, “Trailscape,” for Merrell; and Samsung and Marvel's “Battle for Avengers Tower” GearVR experience earlier this year. Pete has ten years experience in VFX across film, television, commercials and VR, and has been with Framestore for seven years in two stints. He specializes in managing large teams of artists and working with global brands, producing stunning visual results across all established modern platforms
Matt Powell, Co-President, KBS NY; Co-Founder, Spies & Assassins
He co-invented the KBS Test Kitchen, a unique partnership with PopSci that gives agency personnel access to the latest media tech innovations. Matt has helped to re-imagine the PUMA retail experience by creating the PUMA JoyPad, The PUMA Factory sneaker customization experience. He was also a core member of the team behind BMW’s iWindow to the Near Future, transforming live traffic on NYC’s 6th Avenue into BMWi concept electric vehicles, offering a glimpse into the future of driving.
Spies & Assassins is a best-in-class software development, product development and digital production firm housed within a full-service agency that provides KBS with unrivaled technical depth. In the four years since its launch, Matt has built the team from 0 to ~100 people, grown revenue to contribute 10% of KBS's total and led the creation of award winning work for clients including BMW, JayZ, PUMA, Justin Bieber, JBL, Ludens, Google, and Keds.
Prior to joining KBS, Matt co-launched Boston-based e-commerce boutique, MNET, where he led client relationships with Gillette, Oral-B, Hasbro, Baskin-Robbins, and Dunkin’ Donuts. An entrepreneur by background, Matt also co-founded Second Button, a web-based menswear haberdasher, and Ergo, a healthcare technology company.
Matt was named one of Business Insider’s Most Creative People in Mobile Advertising in 2013 and has previously spoken at events including SXSW, Creative Week, Solid, Hardwired, CreateTech, DMA and Integrated Marketing Week. Adweek, The One Show, Webby Awards and Communication Arts have recognized his work. His commentary has been featured in The New York Times, ComputerWorld, Shots, Women’s Wear Daily and others.
Isabel Walcott Draves is a NYC-based entrepreneur, tech startup consultant and an expert in building communities. She has worked at the crossroads of technology, media and startups for over twenty years and is the founder of LISA. Her most recent initiative is founding Creative Technology Week, a major crowd-sourced festival in New York City scheduled for May 2016.
The festival celebrates the accomplishments and innovations of hundreds of major generators of creative technology with events all over New York City, surfacing the best new developments in the field and providing a nexus for a global network of people applying new technologies to art, music, dance, theatre, advertising, media, gaming, entertainment and education.
Nick Bogaty, Head of Digital Publishing , Adobe
Nick Bogaty leads Adobe’s digital publishing business and its flagship offering, Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS). DPS enables publishers, businesses and educational institutions to build and deliver interactive content experiences with deep audience engagement through a broad range of mobile devices and the web.
Prior to Adobe, Bogaty served as the Executive Director of the IDPF and oversaw the creation and approval of the EPUB specification in 2007. He has worked in the field of digital publishing for more than 15 years. Bogaty lives and works in San Francisco and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Connecticut College.
Brian Reich, Project Director, the Hive, USA for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Brian Reich is a strategist and writer for executive leaders at global brands, media companies, startups, nonprofits, political, and advocacy organizations.
He is the author of two books: Shift & Reset: Strategies for Addressing Serious Issues in a Connected Society (Wiley, 2011) and Media Rules!: Mastering Today’s Technology to Connect with and Keep Your Audience (Wiley, 2007). He speaks regularly to corporations, associations, and universities around the world on the impact of media and technology on society and he has keynoted and moderated major conferences and events, including: SXSW interactive, Personal Democracy Forum, BlogWorld, National Conference on Volunteering and Service, NetImpact, NTEN, USA Today Philanthropy Forum, SRI in the Rockies, and the Americans for the Arts National Conference.
Brian’s work has been published, and he has been quoted, in many publications, including the New York Times, Fast Company, Wired, AdAge, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy,. He has delivered analysis of digital and other trends on NPR, Fox News, and other networks in the U.S. and abroad. He has contributed as a Fast Company Expert, hosted his own podcast show, and has taught consumer behavior and marketing strategy at The George Washington University and Columbia University.
Brian began his career in politics – working on dozens of candidate and issue campaigns around the country. He spent two years as briefing director to Vice President Gore in the White House and during the 2000 presidential campaign. He has also held senior roles at leading digital, PR, and public affairs agencies, including Edelman, Mindshare Interactive Campaigns, Cone Inc., and EchoDitto.
Brian serves on the board of Investigate West. He was previously a senior adviser to iFOCOS and served as principal evangelist and strategic adviser for Games That Give.
Brian attended the University of Michigan and graduated from Columbia University. He lives in New York with his family.
Resh Sidhu, Creative Director at Framestore's VR Studio
Resh Sidhu is Creative Director within Framestore’s VR Studio, based in New York. She uses creative direction, storytelling and conceptual ideation to help lead the growing VR team in creating groundbreaking work for clients.
Resh joined Framestore from AKQA in London where, as Creative Director, she led a multi-disciplinary team across a wide client base, producing work for the likes of Xbox, Nivea, Kraft Mondelez and Nissan. Her work has received industry-wide recognition, with recent wins at the Campaign Big Awards, BIMAs, Design Week, and IAB Creative Showcase.
Having started her career in the gaming industry, Resh moved swiftly into the digital arena as opportunities arose to integrate digital design with online experiences. She brings with her an exceptionally diverse skillset, ready to explore the many creative possibilities of virtual reality as exciting new technologies hit the mainstream.
Resh is also the author of Virtual-Realms blog, a community centred on the developing creative potential of VR. When not exploring other dimensions, she can be found enjoying time with her two sons, running, or indulging in her love for fast cars and motorbikes.
Paul Munkholm, Director of Strategy, Kettle
As Director of Strategy, Paul recognizes the value technology should bring to people’s lives and draws from that to find the creative opportunity for clients. Paul works in conjunction with business strategy to ensure parity between product, brand, and business objectives while maintaining the human element at every project’s core.
Kettle nabbed Paul to lead insights and innovations for clients like McGraw Hill and American Express, as well as internal initiatives like TheyMakeApps, where he creates solutions for real human needs in unexpected ways. He creates and redesigns strategies that are rooted in human behavior. Not users, Not clicks. Not eyeballs.
Prior to joining Kettle, Paul was the lead on usability labs for brands like Morgan Stanley and Bayer, bringing his strategic and innovation experience to develop internal and consumer-facing products. Paul has traveled the world and conducted ethnographic immersions, trends treks, and hypnosis focus groups to understand how consumers’ lives relate to each other and connect to products. Paul was trained at the Creative Problem Solving Institute.
Sanja Partalo, Vice President, Strategy, 360i
Sanja Partalo is a Vice President of Strategy at 360i, an advertising agency recognized as one of the most innovative companies in the world. In her role, Sanja leads marketing strategy and creative development for a portfolio of some of the world's most iconic brands including Canon, Nestlé, Hanes and Target. In her time as a strategist, Sanja has developed campaigns for Coca Cola, Google, Nike, Dell, Revlon and Virgin. Her work and unique approach to advertising strategy – which insists on brands enabling cultural movements and consumer aspirations – has been profiled by Fast Company, Ad Age, Creativity and awarded by TED with its Ad Worth Spreading award, among others.
Prior to entering the world of advertising, Sanja spent six years working in government and politics, serving on numerous Democratic campaigns. She holds an MBA from Columbia Business School where she is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing.
Sanja was born and raised in Bosnia. She resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Assaf Baciu is SVP of Product & Engineering and co-founder of Persado. Assaf is responsible for the progression and foresight of Persado’s growing product portfolio and the management of all product advancements.
Prior to joining Persado, Assaf was VP of Product for Upstream, where Persado’s core technology originated. Assaf previously worked for speech and imaging solutions supplier Nuance Communications as a senior director of product strategy where he was responsible for developing on-demand and mobile solutions. Assaf joined Nuance from BeVocal, following its acquisition in 2007. Assaf holds an MBA from the University of San Francisco and a Masters in Social Psychology from the Sorbonne in Paris.
Emily Anadu heads partner marketing for Jawbone, makers of the UP activity tracker and JAMBOX speakers. In her role, she works with partners ranging from integrated app partners like My Fitness Pal or Yummly to marketing partners like OPI, Sephora and BaubleBar. Before joining Jawbone, Emily spent eight years in the gaming industry serving as Director of Product Marketing at Zynga and Director of Brand Marketing for Capcom, the Japanese video game publisher responsible for such iconic franchises as Street Fighter, Resident Evil, Marvel vs Capcom and Mega-Man. Prior to Zynga and Capcom, Emily held roles at Atari and EA SPORTS.
Emily has an AB in Sociology from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Piers Fawkes. Founder & President, PSFK
For almost a decade, Piers has steered the content direction of the daily news site PSFK.com so that today it is read by 1.5 million creative professionals. In that time, he has driven thought leadership into health, retail, marketing and other key sectors with a series of provocative 'Future Of' reports and the hosting of insightful events where he brings to stage the next generation of change makers. With his team at PSFK Labs, Piers has provided product and marketing strategy advice to the world's leading brands including Apple, BMW, Google and Target. Piers is often called to give his point of view through leading media publications such as BBC, Bloomberg, New York Times, Wall Street Journal.
Carla Gannis, originally from Oxford, North Carolina, today lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She received a BFA in painting from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an MFA in painting from Boston University. In the late 1990s, she began to incorporate digital technologies into her work, and in 2005 she was awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Grant in Computer Arts. Currently she is a professor and assistant chairperson of The Department of Digital Arts at Pratt Institute.
Gannis identifies as a visual storyteller. With the use of 21st century representational technologies, she narrates through a “digital looking glass” where reflections on power, sexuality, marginalization and agency often emerge. She is fascinated by contemporary modes of digital communication, the power (and sometimes the perversity) of popular iconography, and the situation of identity in the blurring contexts of technological virtuality and biological reality.
Since 2003, Gannis’s work has appeared in 20 solo exhibitions, and numerous group exhibitions both nationally and internationally. Her most recent solo exhibitions include “The Garden of Earthly Delights” at The Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY (currently on view) and at Kasia Kay Art Projects in Chicago, IL, 2014. In 2013, she collaborated with poet Justin Petropoulos on a transmedia book, installation and net art project entitled <legend> </legend> published by Jaded Ibis Press, Seattle, WA, and exhibited at Transfer Gallery, Brooklyn, NY. Her forthcoming shows include the group exhibition “Porn to Pizza – Domestic Clichés” at DAM Gallery, in Berlin, Germany and solo exhibitions at EBK Gallery in Hartford, CT, and Transfer Gallery in Brooklyn, NY.
Victor Wong is the CEO and co-founder of PaperG, an advertising technology startup that is the leader in programmatic creatives. The New York Times has called its technology “An Ad Engine To Put Mad Men Out Of Business.” Notable users include InterContinental Hotels Group, Hearst, Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications.
He has been a speaker at MediaPost, DMEXCO and Ad:Tech. He has written for Techcrunch, PaidContent and Forbes.
Wong graduated from Yale University where he studied economics, and he was a Yale Entrepreneurial Institute Fellow.
Daniel Cherry III is the Chief Marketing Officer for the three-time Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils and the Prudential Center entertainment complex. Prior to his current role, Daniel served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Vice President of Consumer Planning & Research at DIAGEO N.A. Previously, Daniel had the honor of relaunching and serving as the Chief Marketing Officer of the legendary soccer club The New York Cosmos, made famous by global soccer icon Pelé.
Daniel served as Managing Partner & Director of Brand Strategy at Anomaly, working on global brands such as Converse, Umbro, Cole Haan, Budweiser and Motorola. Daniel also had the pleasure of working at Wieden+Kennedy, where he led strategy on Nike, the Jordan Brand and ESPN. His work on Nike included the Grammy 2007 nominated song “Classic” (Better Than I’ve Ever Been) featuring pop stars Kanye West, Nas, Rakim and KRS-One. Before W+K, Daniel was a co-owner of Frank151 Magazine and malbon Brothers Farms (mBF), the advertising and brand consulting division of Frank151 Media Group, where he led branded content, influencer and experiential marketing strategies a number of iconic lifestyle brands – Red Bull, Toyota Scion, Nike, glaceáu Vitaminwater, PF Flyers, Ride Snowboards, and others.
Daniel got his start in advertising at Crispin Porter + Bogusky. While there, he successfully brought AND 1 Basketball to the forefront of the athletic apparel industry. The breadth of work for the AND 1 brand, which included the groundbreaking "AND 1 Mixtape Series” (a street basketball tour and content platform) landed AND 1 Adweek’s "Guerilla Marketer of the Year" in 2000. Additionally, Daniel played a critical role in the development of the anti-tobacco “truth.com” brand, a campaign that has grown to be the most successful teen anti-smoking effort in history. Daniel is a proud father, husband, and graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.
Hector Rodriguez, Owner, OpTic / Director, Influencer Management, rEvXP
Former insurance analyst turned professional gamer turned team owner of eSports' most successful franchise, Hector is a transformative figure in the world of eSports. As owner and CEO of OpTic Gaming since 2008, Hector has been instrumental in recognizing and mentoring talent, which has led OpTic Gaming to consistently win major eSports tournaments while propelling the team to new heights in branding, sponsorships and social media. Hector leads the rEvXP team in creative direction, content creation and engaging eSports influencers for brand sponsorship executions.
Dan Ciccone, Managing Director, rEvXP
With nearly 15 years under his belt in media and sponsorship sales, Dan's expertise comes from his experience of working with Fortune 500 clients at NBC Sports, MTV's Gaming & Entertainment unit, IGN's Pro League (IPL), Major League Gaming and his own eSports agency, NEXTGEN+MVPs. He is passionate about collaborating with eSports professionals, sponsors and publishers, and is responsible for coordinating digital operations and brand sponsorships for rEvXP.
Jake Lee-High is an artist, creative technologist, and CEO of Future Colossal, an award-winning innovation lab for experiential technologies in art and advertising. Prior to receiving his master’s in art and technology from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Jake ran an architectural consulting firm that designed retail and residential buildings throughout the western US. During this time, he actively showed installation and sound art works at galleries and museums throughout the country. His art has been featured in publications such as the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, Artillery Magazine, and Art in America. Jake’s work creating massively multichannel sound works lead him to learn electronics and programming to overcome the limitations of traditional sound systems. In 2009, Jake closed his architectural consulting firm and moved to NYC to focus solely on commercializing his passion for creative technology and to develop new avenues for distributing his artwork outside of the traditional gallery/museum scene.
In 2012, after spending several years as the award winning Creative & Technical Director of out-of-home advertising agency Inwindow Outdoor, Jake founded Future Colossal. His vision continues to shape Future Colossal’s trajectory through the innovation of new technologies and experiences for commercial and artistic works. His work for clients such as BMW, Showtime, Jay Z, Disney and Citibank have been featured in major publications including the Washington Post, Fast Company, Creativity, PSFK and MediaPost. Future Colossal’s projects have received prestigious awards from Cannes Lions, Clio, Andy, Adweek's Project Isaac, the One Show, the Art Directors Club and more.
Daniel Perlin, UX Director, Droga5, likes designing experiences, and he believes that the best way to practice good design is by listening closely to users. Daniel got his start in design making things with sound such as music, film, objects and sometimes spaces. After a few years spent in Rio de Janeiro, he managed to make his way back to New York, where he attended NYU’s ITP program and the Whitney Independent Study program. After some time between art and interactivity, he found himself back in the open arms of experiential design and UX.
Daniel has had the privilege of designing with a diverse group of people, places and things. Recent work has been with clients such as Google, Euro RSCG/Havas, Wieden + Kennedy, Vito Acconci, Maya Lin, Errol Morris, Todd Solondz, IBM, Chase, Verizon and the Cooper Hewitt Museum. Before joining Droga 5, Daniel was a director of UX at Rosetta (a Publicis agency) and Local Projects (an exhibition and experiential design studio), both in New York City.
Nick Parish, President, Americas, Contagious, is an award-winning writer and editor. Nick established Contagious North America in 2010. Contagious equips brands and agencies to achieve the top 1% of marketing creativity through its I/O research platform, Insider consultancy, quarterly magazine and live events.
Nick has spoken at dozens of leading events including Cannes Lions and SXSW Interactive, and his writing has been published in New York magazine, the New York Post, Advertising Age, Creativity, Flaunt, Mashable and others.
In 2014, he opened Contagious’ first West coast office in Portland, Oregon.
firstname.lastname@example.org / @paryshnikov
Fred Gerantabee is an Emmy, Cannes Lion and Webby Award winning technology professional with over 18 years in the industry as a developer, author, speaker and team leader. As the Director of Creative Technology at Grey, he works closely with creative teams and clients to integrate technology and digital focus into the creative development process. His past work has included technology evangelism, architecture and product development with companies such as Walt Disney Internet Group/ABC, Microsoft, Adobe and an extensive list of Fortune 100 clients.
Jasmin Jodry is a New York based artist and creative director. She designs and produces real-time media and immersive experiences that tell compelling stories and build engaging worlds.
Her work bridges the digital and the physical, uniting technology, filmmaking, design, programming, dance and music. Through installation and performance art, she crafts interactive experiences that embody themes of identity, transformation, illusion and synesthesia.
Highlights of her commercial work include a 3D Projection Mapping Experience for Land Rover; Brand Experiences for Jaguar, Samsung, Sony and Phillips; Concert Visuals for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, U2, Ke$ha and Michael Jackson; and Film Title Sequences for Spider-man, Normal, Monsoon Wedding, Charlie’s Angels and Harry Potter. Jasmin has been nominated for and won several Emmy Awards, film festivals and competitions worldwide, such as Portobello Film Festival, Clermont Ferrand Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival and Art Director’s Club. Her work has been featured in ArtForum, Creative Review, RES, Idea and Promo News. She has lectured widely in LA, New York, London and Berlin.
Jasmin holds an MA in Communication & Design from London’s Royal College of Art and a BA in Graphic Design from the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles.
John Militello is Director, Marketing Innovation and Strategy at Volvo Cars of North America.
At Volvo Cars John overseas marketing efforts across channels and platforms to ensure campaigns are user focused. Most recently John worked at Google where he servedas Head of Creative, on the ZOO creative team. Over his 7 and a half years at Google John led a group of creatives developing strategy and innovative ideas for Fortune 100 advertisers. In addition to his day job John serves as an adjunct professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
Before joining Google, John led his own design firm, was a founding member of a leading boutique creative agency in NYC where he served as a VP and Creative Director partnering with such clients as Volvo Cars of North America and Mercedes-Benz. John's credits include: Volvo for Life Awards, 2005 PR Week Magazine Award - Cause-Related Campaign of the Year, a highly rated panel at 2012 SxSW, “Why Your 5-Year-Old is More Digital Than Most CMOs” at SxSW 2012 interactive.
John earned a BFA in Fine Arts from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, where he received the Leo Burnett Scholarship (full tuition), based on faculty nomination and portfolio evaluation.
Lucie Greene is Worldwide Director of the Innovation Group, J. Walter Thompson’s trend forecasting, consultancy and innovation unit.
She has spoken at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Las Vegas, SXSW Interactive on trends. She is featured regularly as an expert on futurism and trends, appearing on CNBC and Bloomberg TV, and in publications including CNN, The New York Times, Newsweek, The Sunday Times, and The Guardian. Lucie is also a well-respected journalist and editor, with a decade of experience contributing to The Financial Times, Women’s Wear Daily, Vogue UK, The Telegraph and Elle Deco UK. She is a thought leadership columnist for CampaignLive.
Lucie joins J. Walter Thompson from leading London-based trends consultancy The Future Laboratory, where she was head of its trend forecasting and thought leadership unit.
She has worked with the world’s leading brands, including Google, Marks & Spencer, LVMH, Westfield, H&M, Nike, Rolls-Royce, Virgin, Pernod Ricard and Estée Lauder, consulting on innovation practice, consumer insight and futurism.
Andreas Dahlqvist, Chief Creative Officer, Grey New York. Andreas oversees the agency’s creative department. He previously served as President of the McCann Global Creative Leadership Council and CCO at Commonwealth/McCann and as Vice Chairman, Executive Creative Director and later Deputy Chief Creative Officer for Global Brands at McCann New York. He founded DDB in Sweden and the Nordics in 2004, and the Gunn Report ranked the shop as the best creative agency in the region and the best digital and interactive agency in the world while under his creative leadership.
Named to Advertising Age’s "Creativity 50" list, Andreas has created groundbreaking integrated campaigns for clients including McDonald's, General Mills, Diesel Jeans, Coca-Cola, Chevrolet and Skoda. He has taken home every major creative award, including Cannes Titanium and Grand Prix Lions, and the "Fun Theory" work he helped to create for Volkswagen went on to be one of the industry’s most popular viral campaigns.
Helen Crossley leads Facebook’s global insights research team to uncover and analyze actionable insights for the advertising industry. Her team works to harness the power of Facebook’s strategic advantage in data by analyzing enormous amounts of information to answer questions about people, technology and trends across the globe. Prior to this, Helen was at P&G Asia before joining Facebook as Head of Marketing Science, Australia, and New Zealand. At P&G she held positions including Head of Developing Markets Integrated Business Optimisation for P&G Asia, Shopper Insights Lead for Australia and Consumer and Market Knowledge Manager for Skincare.
Chief Product Officer and Co-founder, Celtra
Matevž sets the overall product strategy and is responsible for product design and development. With 15 years of digital advertising experience, he spearheads Celtra’s product innovation, having conceived and introduced to the market innovative new ad products, such as short form vertical video and a new generation of data-driven dynamic ads. He is a energetic leader and a charismatic storyteller that will not leave you indifferent.
Layne Harris, Vice President, Innovation Technology at 360i
Layne Harris is an award-winning technologist, maker, and fan of all things digital. He leads the innovation group at 360i on brands such as Oreo, HBO, Oscar Mayer and Anheuser-Busch InBev, working diligently on pushing the boundaries of marketing technology. Layne started his career in tech working for traditional software giants such as Microsoft and Adobe in Seattle, but he could no longer ignore his creative side and moved to New York, jumping head-first into advertising. Layne’s obsession with emerging technology such as Internet of Things, 3D printing, virtual reality, gaming and mobile have had a huge impact on his client work, and he has quickly become an industry thought leader for both technology and marketing. You can follow him on Twitter (@hellroy).
Melissa Eccles is a Creative Director, Immersive Entertainment at Elastic. A digital geek with an MFA in Cinema Television from the University of Southern California, Melissa has led the creative, strategic and technical crafting of complex projects, from the first interactive video experience on YouTube to moving the Space Shuttle Endeavour through the streets of Los Angeles. She focuses on creating deeply connected, contextual experiences for audiences, fans and brands alike and her work continues to push the limits of storytelling beyond the confines of the screen into the physical world. Melissa has conceived and built award-winning work for television shows such as HBO’s Game of Thrones and brands like VW, HBO, MTV, Nike, Burger King, Microsoft, Adidas, Coke Zero, Toyota, General Mills, American Express and others. She’s equally at home creating immersive and nontraditional engagement experiences, documentary series, TV spots, social campaigns, game integrations and enterprise website. Her work has been honored by the Cannes Lions, The Webby Awards, One Show, LIA, Effies, D&AD, The ADDY’s and ProMax BDA among others. This year Melissa was a speaker at SXSWi and the International Space Development Conference.
Ari Popper is the CEO and Founder of SciFutures and has over 20 years' experience as a marketing, consumer research and innovation consultant. His previous position was as President of BrainJuicer North America (a midsize research agency). Ari is a passionate sci-fi fan and amateur sci-fi writer who was inspired to start SciFutures during a creative sci-fi writing class at UCLA. He says, “Science fiction is powerful business tool because it helps businesses understand the human potential of emerging technologies in order to develop human-centered business strategies that the whole organization can understand and be inspired to rally behind. This provides a significant competitive advantage.” When Ari isn’t running SciFutures and reading sci-fi, he is marathon training and living in the California sunshine with his wife and two pets.
Rudina Seseri leads Fairhaven's investments in marketing tech, digital media and IoT/Robotics. Her portfolio of investments includes Celtra, CrowdTwist, Jibo, SocialFlow and Statisfy. In addition to investing, Rudina helps her portfolio companies with strategic direction and growth strategy, building boards and executive teams, strategic partnerships and lead generation. Rudina also serves as an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at the Harvard Business School.
Previously, she was a Senior Manager in the Corporate Development Group at Microsoft Corporation. In this position, Rudina was responsible for sourcing, structuring and negotiating Microsoft's acquisitions and strategic investments, including acquisitions such as iView Multimedia, Deep Metrix, Massive and Lionhead Studios. Prior to Microsoft, she worked as an investment banker in the Technology Group at Credit Suisse.
Rudina serves as a Member of the Board of Overseers for Boston Children's Hospital, as a Member of the Board of Advisors for L’Oreal’s Women in Digital, and as a Member of the Board of Directors at MITX. She is also a 2011 Boston Business Journal 40-under-40 honoree for her professional accomplishments and community involvement, and a 2014 Women to Watch honoree by Mass High Tech.
Rudina graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College with a B.A. in Economics and International Relations, and received her MBA from the Harvard Business School. She has been elected to the Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Epsilon honor societies.
Scott Susskind has spent 30 years leading the innovations charge within large organizations. Prior to the formation of SciFutures, he spent 15 years in leadership roles within the Interpublic Group of Companies as Co-Founder & CTO of the IPG Emerging Media Labs and SVP of Technology & Innovation for McCann Worldgroup. Scott has always been a passionate advocate for applying new and unusual technologies to solve business problems; to create solutions and experiences that consistently push the boundaries of possibility. “My goal has always been to help brave companies and brands reinvent themselves as they move into the future. The sci-fi prototyping methods we’ve developed at SciFutures allow us to construct a wonderfully rich vision of a brand's potential. Having the opportunity to transform that vision into reality, and then see the needle move, is a true pleasure."
Claudia Perlich serves as Chief Scientist at Dstillery, and in this role designs, develops, analyzes and optimizes the machine learning that drives digital advertising to prospective customers of brands. An active industry speaker and frequent contributor to industry publications, Claudia enjoys serving as a guide in the world of data. She was recently named winner of the Advertising Research Foundation’s (ARF) Grand Innovation Award and was selected as member of the Crain’s NY annual 40 Under 40 list. Additionally, she has been published in over 30 scientific journals, and holds multiple patents in machine learning. She has won many data mining competitions, including the prestigious KDD Cup three times for her work on movie ratings in 2007, breast cancer detection in 2008, and churn and propensity predictions for telecom customers in 2009, as well as the KDD best paper award for data leakage in 2011 and bid optimization in 2012.
Prior to joining Dstillery, she worked in Data Analytics Research at IBM’s Watson Research Center, concentrating on data analytics and machine learning for complex real-world domains and applications. Claudia has a PhD in Information Systems from NYU and an MA in Computer Science from the University of Colorado. Claudia takes active interest in the making of the next generation of data scientists and is teaching “Data Mining for Business Intelligence” in the NYU Stern MBA program.
Frank Rose is a leading writer and speaker on digital culture. His most recent book, The Art of Immersion: How the Digital Generation Is Remaking Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the Way We Tell Stories, shows how technology is changing the venerable art of storytelling. Sparked by a decade of reporting for Wired, it has been called "essential" by the International Journal of Advertising and "a new media bible" by la Repubblica of Rome. Frank speaks frequently on the power of immersive storytelling and negotiating the digital/physical divide. He has given keynotes at Sheffield Doc/Fest, The Guardian's Changing Media Summit, and ad:tech Sydney; debated the future of media at South by Southwest, Ars Electronica, and MIT's Futures of Entertainment; and lectured at Stanford, USC, NYU and Columbia, where he has been named a senior fellow at the School of the Arts. He has addressed global marketing summits at Timberland and Unilever, joined R&D symposia at the Museum of Modern Art and the BBC, and taken part in speaker series at Google and Lucasfilm. At Columbia, Frank teaches global business executives as faculty co-director of the full-day seminar Digital Storytelling Strategy, co-sponsored by the Columbia University School of the Arts and Columbia Business School. He is also a member of Columbia's pioneering Digital Storytelling Lab.
Dr. Anne Balsamo is a groundbreaking national leader in media studies, a scholar and media-maker whose work links cultural studies, digital humanities and interactive media. She received her PhD in Communications Research from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and began her faculty career in the School of Literature, Culture, and Communications at Georgia Tech, where she published a distinguished book about the cultural implications of emergent biotechnologies, Technologies of the Gendered Body: Reading Cyborg Women. In 1999, having grown interested in the practical linkages between technology and culture, she accepted an offer to join the celebrated Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), collaborating in the design of media for reading, exhibition, public art and cultural projects. In 2003, Dr. Balsamo moved from Silicon Valley to USC, where she had been jointly appointed in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and the School of Cinematic Arts. She directed the Collaborative Design Lab within the Interactive Design Division of the School of Cinematic Arts. She has been a leader in the growth of digital humanities nationally, serving on the Advisory Board of HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Co-laboratory) since its founding in 2003. In 2011, she published Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work, a transmedia book (with accompanying DVD and web linkages to interactive media projects) that synthesizes and theorizes about the links between her cultural studies scholarship and digital media projects.
Jared Weiner is Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of The Future Hunters, one of the world’s leading futurist consulting firms. Jared evaluates emerging social, technological, economic, political, demographic and environmental trends in the global marketplace – and identifies the strategic implications (the “So what?”) of those trends for several of the most influential Fortune 500 companies, trade associations and public sector clients.
Prior to joining WEB, Jared held key strategy and marketing positions with Zagat Survey (publishing/online media), MeadWestvaco (consumer packaging), Greenberg Traurig (legal), and RoperASW (market research). Jared currently serves on the Board of Directors of the World Future Society, the world’s preeminent futurist industry group. He also sits on American Express OPEN's Digital Advisory Board and the Advisory Board of the Young Luxury Marketers' Council. He frequently lectures about future trends for corporate and academic audiences, and has keynoted some of the world’s most prominent industry conferences with a focus on future-related issues. Recent keynotes include: Future Day (Turkish Futurists Association), Innovation Day (Poland), The Market Research Event (TMRE), The FUSE design conference, NetFinance, LogiPharma, The Front End of Innovation (FEI), TCEL (Total Customer Experience Leaders), Media Insights & Engagement, The NACS (The Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing) annual conference, and Alvarez & Marsal’s Leadership Development Conference.
Jared holds a BA from the University of Rochester, and an MBA from the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester.
Erica Orange is Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of The Future Hunters, one of the world’s leading futurist consulting firms. She evaluates emerging social, technological, economic, political, demographic and environmental trends – and identifies the strategic implications (the “So what?”) of those trends for several of the most influential Fortune 500 companies, trade associations and public sector clients. Erica’s ability to identify patterns, think critically and analytically, and translate that into actionable strategies is what has made her an invaluable asset to clients.
Erica frequently speaks to a wide range of audiences about global trends that are shaping the landscape today. She has also authored numerous articles, book chapters and industry white papers on cutting-edge, future-focused topics. A frequent columnist and blogger, Erica is recognized in the industry as having a unique, innovative and fresh perspective.
Erica currently serves as a board member on the Career Advisory Board presented by DeVry University, and sits on the Advisory Board of the Young Luxury Marketers’ Council. She was also chosen as one of the first Susan Schiffer Stautberg Leadership Foundation Fellows, and for four years served as Chair of the Adjunct Board of Directors for ThinkQuest NYC, an organization that brought technology to underserved New York City students.
Jamie Pallot is co-founder of Emblematic Group, pioneering producers of virtual reality news and non-fiction. He was formerly Editorial Director of Condé Nast Digital, where he won a National Magazine Award for General Excellence, overseeing web sites including style.com, epicurious.com, and concierge.com and launching the company’s first iPhone and iPad apps.
Pallot has led major digital initiatives at Time Inc., Microsoft, and NewsCorp, as well as editing The Virgin Film Guide in the U.K. He is a Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair and has written for The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times Magazine, and Harper’s Bazaar.