Amazingly talented humans from all over the world, from different spheres and of different opinions will share their intriguing projects and mindblowing theories to help you navigate the complexity of now and beyond. Practically speaking, expect anything from brain scientists to economists to artists to chefs. 2016 (and 2015, 2014 and 2013), 50 % were men. Speakers will be announced continuously during spring.
Alexander Chen (USA)
Google Creative Lab
Alexander ChenGoogle Creative Lab (USA)
How does music really work? What does music look like? In a session about music & code, Alexander Chen, Creative Director at Google Creative Lab, will explore these questions through sharing projects that combine the areas of coding, graphic design, physics, and machine learning, together with music.
At Google Creative Lab, Alexander has helped lead projects such as Chrome Music Lab, A.I. Experiments, and the Les Paul Doodle, a Google doodle which generated 5.1 years worth of shared music around the world. His personal projects include MTA.ME, which transformed a New York subway map into a string instrument. His music visualization work has been featured in The New York Times, Wired, Fast Company, WSJ and many more.
Amy Adele Hasinoff (USA)
University of Colorado
Amy Adele HasinoffUniversity of Colorado (USA)
Amy Adele Hasinoff is Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Colorado Denver. In the session called Trust in a post truth world, Amy will talk about consent, and the need to design for consent, in relation to communication technologies.
In her work, Amy investigates how we think about communication technologies as both the cause of and solution to social problems.
She is also the author of Sexting Panic, a book about the well-intentioned but problematic responses to sexting in mass media, law and education.
Amy Whitaker (USA)
New York University
CloseWriter & Professor
Amy WhitakerNew York University (USA)
Amy Whitaker is a writer, artist and teacher navigating the waters of creativity and business. In a session about Normalization Amy will share her methods and mindset from her book called Art thinking which is about inventing yet unimagined worlds to allow something to exist.
The method draws from the idea of art as a container for independent thinking and looks at how previously unthinkable scenarios can help ideas, businesses and basic human rights becoming the new normal.
Amy is also a professor of business in the art school at New York University. She holds an MBA from Yale and an MFA in painting from the University College London.
Amy serves as a business strategy mentor to the TED fellows and as an advisor to the blockchain company Bitmark (bitmark.com). She was previously the president of the Professional Organization for Women in the arts and the first entrepreneur-in-residence at the New Museum Incubator. Amy started her career in art museums including the Guggenheim, MoMA, and Tate, and in the investment firm D.E. Shaw & Co., L.P.
Caroline Jack (USA)
Data & Society
CloseMedia historian and theorist
Caroline JackData & Society (USA)
Recent discussions of "fake news" and the "post-fact era" reflect a sense of disorientation, brought on by a seeming explosion of inaccurate and misleading media content.
In the session called Trust in a Post-Truth World, media historian and theorist Caroline Jack will explore how terms such as "fake news" and "propaganda" express hopes and anxieties about media, intent, and power.
Caroline Jack is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Data & Society Research Institute. She holds a PhD in Communication from Cornell University, along with an MBA and an MA in Communication from Saint Louis University.
Jack's research explores how people in power (and people who want to have power) use media for strategic sense-making. Her research topics include: production histories of persuasive media campaigns in the USA; the nature and logics of American business culture from the mid-20th century through the present; and models of propaganda in mass and digital media.
Chris Grantham (UK)
Chris GranthamIDEO (UK)
Chris Grantham is Circular Economy Portfolio Director at IDEO. In our session about "Circular creativity" Chris will share his perspective on the journey we are on - from a linear economy and mindset to an economy rich in circular flows of resources and a different way of thinking about the prosperity we want the economy to serve.
The talk will explore how change might happen and what we as individual change makers and innovators can do to get us there.
Chris leads IDEO's consultancy business in the circular economy and works with organisations on system change and breakthrough innovation. He has been closely involved in a number of design led initiatives with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, including the development of The Circular Design Guide. Launched at The World Economic Forum in 2017, the guide aims to develop a generation of creatively confident, systems orientated circular designers and more resilient organisations capable of thriving in the circular economy.
Dr Leyla Acaroglu (USA)
The Un-School of Disruptive Design
Dr Leyla AcarogluThe Un-School of Disruptive Design (USA)
We all know that design changes the world, but how do we design a world that works better for all of us? This is what Dr Leyla Acaroglu, the New York based Australian designer, social scientist, sustainability provocateur - will explore in the opening keynote of day 2 at The Conference.
Shifting from linear to circular systems requires a shift in mindsets and the rapid adaptation of thinking tools based on a more complex understanding of the systems at play in the world around us. In her fascinating keynote, Leyla will share tools for creative disruption by design and challenge you to think in circular systems.
Leyla is a United Nations’ Champion of the Earth. She is also the founder of The Un-School of Disruptive Design, an experimental knowledge lab for adults and two design agencies; New York based Disrupt Design and Melbourne based Eco Innovators. Both are multidisciplinary studios focused on pioneering social and environmental change through design. Leyla’s award winning design works span a variety of locations, fields and mediums and is driven by the agenda to effect, create, and see positive social and sustainability change in the world.
Leyla’s unique and thought provoking perspective on sustainability and innovation has led to her TED talk having over 1 million views, the most of any sustainability-based talk on the platform.
Dr Rand Hindi (FRA)
CloseFounder and CEO
Dr Rand HindiSnips (FRA)
Dr Rand Hindi is an entrepreneur and data scientist. In this year's A.I. session, Rand will talk about the future of work, how many jobs will rather be transformed than vanished and how continuous education will be a key to solve the A.I. job crisis.
Rand is the founder and CEO of Snips, the AI platform for Voice-enabled devices that is open-source and private by design. He started coding at the age of 10, founded a Social Network at 14 and a web agency at 15 before getting into Machine Learning at 18 and doing a PhD in Bioinformatics at 21.
He has been elected as a TR35 by the MIT Technology Review, as a "30 under 30" by Forbes and is a member of the French Digital Council where he leads the "AI and Jobs" taskforce in the government's AI strategy.
Erin Malone (USA)
Forward Together & Hometown Connect
Erin MaloneForward Together & Hometown Connect (USA)
Erin Malone is a long-time organizer and communications strategist who now works for Forward Together, a U.S. based NGO, where she develops strategies to spread their message of empowering families with the rights, recognition and resources they need to thrive.
At The Conference Erin will talk about some of the sacrifices that comes with urbanization, highlighting the rural/urban divide and how people are being forced into becoming economic refugees.
She got her start organizing in the labor movement where she led communications campaigns to win paid sick days and living wage legislation, secure affordable housing, keep hospitals open, secure strong union contracts, and provide medical relief in Haiti.
She hails from rural Illinois and is a founding member of Hometown Connect—an organization formed after the 2016 United States presidential election to organize across the rural/urban divide. Hometown Connect organizes people who have migrated to urban centers to reconnect with their rural hometowns to help them flourish.
When not nerding out on organizing and communications strategy, you can find her on the dance floor or roaming the streets of New York with her camera.
Gene Kogan (USA)
CloseArtist & programmer
Gene Kogan is an artist and a programmer who is interested in generative systems, artificial intelligence, and software for creativity and self-expression.
In the closing keynote of The Conference 2017 he will take you on a tour through trends and opportunities in the creative fields of AI and provide an overview of educational materials and resources for creative professionals to apply machine learning within their practice.
Gene is a collaborator within numerous open-source software projects, and leads workshops and demonstrations on topics at the intersection of code, art, and technology activism. Gene initiated and contributes to ml4a, a free book about machine learning for artists, activists, and citizen scientists. He regularly publishes video lectures, writings, and tutorials to facilitate a greater public understanding of the topic.
Ingrid Zeegers (NL)
Ingrid ZeegersCirculair Friesland (NL)
In a session about Circular Creativity, Program Director Ingrid Zeegers is going to share her insights and learnings from the Circulair Friesland project. Friesland is a Dutch province that aims to develop towards a true circular economy where one organization's waste turns into another organization's asset.
Before joining Circular Friesland, Ingrid was the Director of Sustainable Business Development at Philips where she worked to change the view of the use of materials, energy efficiency and product propositions.
Jamie Bartlett (UK)
Jamie BartlettDemos (UK)
Jamie Bartlett is author of the book Radicals which is an exploration of the individuals, groups and movements rejecting the way we live, and are attempting to find alternatives.
He is also the Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media at the think-tank Demos, where he specialises in online social movements and the impact of technology on society. Jamie is author of the best selling book The Dark Net and a regular commentator on national and international media outlets.
Jenny Odell (USA)
Jenny Odell is an Oakland-based visual artist who frequently creates personal archives, collections, and taxonomies from systems of the everyday. In this year's opening keynote she'll explore the architecture, politics, and rewards of nothing, arguing that the cultivation of nothing has new salience in the age of everything.
Decades before the advent of social media as we know it, Gilles Deleuze observed that it was "a relief to have nothing to say, the right to say nothing, because only then is there a chance of framing the rare, and ever rarer, thing that might be worth saying." Nothing has become more precious, in today's economy of attention, than nothing.
Because her practice exists at the intersection of research and aesthetics, she has often been compared to a natural scientist. Her work has been exhibited at the Google Headquarters, Les Rencontres D'Arles, Arts Santa Monica, Fotomuseum Antwerpen, La Gaîté lyrique (Paris), the Made in NY Media Center, Apexart (NY), the Lishui Photography Festival (China) and East Wing (Dubai). In 2016, Odell created a mural for the side of a Google data center in Pryor, Oklahoma. Odell currently teaches studio art at Stanford University.
Mari Magnus (NOR)
Mari MagnusNRK (NOR)
Mari Magnus is the Web producer of NRK's web drama series SKAM. At The Conference she will talk about how the SKAM team tried to, and succeeded to, capture the identity of the Norwegian teenagers and what they had to do to make a show on the audience’s premises.
Mari is in charge of all the online storytelling, social media accounts and the real-time experience. For four fast-paced seasons, Mari has lived the online lives of all the main characters in the show. She also worked closely with the writer and director Julie Andem in the research and development of the show.
May Al-Karooni (UK)
May Al-KarooniGlobechain.com (UK)
In our session on Circular Creativity, May Al-Karooni will share her journey on starting Globechain, a reuse platform that lets unwanted materials/ items from big companies be reused by charities and smaller enterprisers, which last year prevented 1,000,000 kilos of waste from ending up in landfills creating social impact data for its users.
May previously worked within the investment banking and asset management industry, fundraising monies for venture capital, property and hedge funds for the last 10 years totalling over £120 million in funds raised.
In 2013 May set up Globechain after seeing a demand for a new online circular economy within the waste management industry after her own employer expressed a need to reuse items in a more collaborative way.
Muneeb Ali (USA)
Muneeb AliBlockstack (USA)
Muneeb Ali is a computer scientist with a mission to build a fairer internet. He is a co-founder of Blockstack, a new decentralized internet where users own and control their data.
Muneeb co-founded Blockstack, a new decentralized internet where users control their data and apps run without remote servers. Muneeb received his PhD in Computer Science from Princeton University specializing in distributed systems. He went through Y Combinator and has worked in the systems research group at Princeton and PlanetLab—the world's first and largest cloud computing testbed. Muneeb was awarded a J. William Fulbright Fellowship and gives guest lectures on cloud computing at Princeton. He has built a broad range of production systems and published research papers with over 900 citations.
Nathaniel Raymond (USA)
Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
CloseDirector of the Signal Program
Nathaniel RaymondHarvard Humanitarian Initiative (USA)
Nathaniel Raymond is the founding Director of the Signal Program on Human Security and Technology at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) of the Harvard Chan School of Public Health.
At The Conference Nathaniel will join the "The New Normal" session with a brilliant talk weaving together new tech, data responsibility and humanitarian crises.
He has over fifteen years of experience as a humanitarian aid worker and human rights investigator. Raymond was formerly director of operations for the George Clooney-founded Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) at HHI.
Raymond served in multiple roles with Oxfam America and Oxfam International, including in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, and elsewhere. He has published multiple popular and peer-reviewed articles on human rights, humanitarian issues, and technology in publications including the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, the Lancet, the Annals of Internal Medicine, and many others.
Raymond served in 2015 as a consultant on early warning to the UN Mission in South Sudan and as a technical consultant to Home Box Office on detainee abuse during the Bush Administration. He was a 2013 PopTech Social Innovation Fellow and is a co-editor of the technology issue of Genocide Studies and Prevention. Raymond and his Signal Program colleagues were prize winners in the 2013 USAID/Humanity United Tech Challenge for Mass Atrocity Prevention and received the 2012 U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation Industry Intelligence Achievement Award.
Nina Rappaport (USA)
Vertical Urban Factory
Nina RappaportVertical Urban Factory (USA)
Nina Rappaport is an architectural critic, curator, historian, and educator. For eighteen years she has been publications director at Yale School of Architecture, for which she edits the bi-annual magazine Constructs, exhibition catalogs, and the studio book series.
Nina directs Vertical Urban Factory, a think tank and consultancy, which includes a recently published 480-page book of the same name, a traveling exhibition (New York, Detroit, Toronto, London, and Lausanne), and development projects on urban manufacturing and ecological industrial urbanism.
Her current project is a series of documentary films of interviews with factory workers compiled in the installation, A Worker’s Lunch Box, on display at Slought in Philadelphia through summer 2017.
Saskia Sassen (USA)
CloseRobert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology
Saskia SassenColumbia University (USA)
If we want to safeguard equity, democracy and rights in our cities, we must first ask ourselves, who owns the city? In a keynote session Sociology Professor Saskia Sassen is going to talk about the city as the greatest frontier of our time and as such a place where people without power can get to make a history, culture and economy.
Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and a Member of its Committee on Global Thought, which she chaired from 2009 till 2015. She is a student of cities, immigration, and states in the world economy, with inequality, gendering and digitization as the three key variables running through her work.
Born in the Netherlands, she grew up in Argentina and Italy, studied in France, was raised in five languages, and began her professional life in the United States. She is the author of eight books and the editor or co-editor of three books. Together, her authored books are translated in over twenty languages.
Sebastian Schmieg (DE)
Artist Sebastian Schmieg will say whatever you want in front of a pizza. Furthermore, he will explore the precarity of digital labor and the amalgamation of humans and software by looking at: the hidden manual labor behind so-called artificial intelligence; the gig economy; and possible covert interventions inside such systems.
Sebastian Schmieg is an artist who examines the ways networked technologies shape online and offline realities, in artworks that range from shredded hard-drives from a Google data center to crowd-sourced versions of popular self-help books using Amazon's Kindle. His output encompasses websites, videos, interface performances, lectures, online interventions, print-on-demand books or neural networks.
His artistic practice currently revolves around digital labor, optimization and the amalgamation of humans and software. Previously his work has been exhibited at The Photographers’ Gallery, London, UK; Transmediale, Berlin, Germany; Art Center Nabi, Seoul, South Korea; and Bitforms Gallery, New York, USA. Sebastian Schmieg lives and works in Berlin.
Stephanie Dinkins (USA)
Stony Brook University
Stephanie DinkinsStony Brook University (USA)
Artificially intelligent systems are increasingly the ubiquitous, unseen arbiters of our social, civic and personal lives. In a session about “Inclusive AI”, artist Stephanie Dinkins will discuss artificial intelligence as it relates to social equity and explore how AI and big data impact our daily lives and future histories.
Stephanie Dinkins is an artist and professor at Stony Brook University interested in creating platforms for ongoing dialog about artificial intelligence as it intersects race, gender, aging and our future histories. She is particularly driven to work with communities of color to develop deep-rooted AI literacy and co-create more culturally inclusive equitable artificial intelligence.
Her art is exhibited internationally at a broad spectrum of community, private and institutional venues by design. She is the 2016/17 Artist-in-Residence at NEW INC, a cultural incubator supporting innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship across art, design, and technology. She is also a recipient of the 2017 A Blade of Grass Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art.
Tommy Francois (FRA)
Tommy FrancoisUbisoft (FRA)
Tommy Francois is the VP Editorial at Ubisoft, at The Conference he will explain how Ubisoft teams are building meaningful open worlds that will immerse players into their very own unique experience, that they can then share with others from the community.
Tommy will talk about the work done by his team to source, create and share access to the best resources in order to inspire the development teams at Ubisoft, and thereby foster mature creativity.
Tommy Francois joined Ubisoft in 2006 after varied experiences within the entertainment industry, first working as a journalist for French cable TV Channel Canal+, then as a producer at Shiny and as an editorial manager for TV program Game One. He is now in charge of developing new franchises at Ubisoft, supporting studios throughout the creative process and helping them achieve the best gameplay experience.
Vesselin Popov (UK)
University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre
CloseBusiness Development Director
Vesselin PopovUniversity of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre (UK)
Vesselin Popov is the Business Development Director for the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre specializing in online behavior and psychological assessment.
Vesselin identifies areas where psychometric techniques can deliver the greatest impact, leveraging academic research and commercial insight to transform how we work, shop, move, meet and play, and ensuring citizens retain control over their digital identities in the process.
He's also involved with Apply Magic Sauce API that translates digital footprints of human behavior into accurate psycho-demographic profiles. The tool has had a tremendous impact on public awareness and engagement with Big Data and predictive technologies.
Yousef Tuqan (UAE)
CloseGroup VP, Brand marketing & loyalty
Yousef TuqanJumeirah Group (UAE)
Marketing pro Yousef Tuqan will uncover what the new tribes of Arabia look like, and how the digital generation in the region is shaping their identity, their creative expression, and their future.
Yousef Tuqan is one of the MENA region’s most experienced marketing leaders, with a diverse career in the UAE that spans over 20 years. He also serves as a mentor & advisory board member to the next generation of Arab technology entrepreneurs.
He was formerly the CEO of Flip Media, the Chief Innovation Officer of Leo Burnett/Publicis Group MENA, and the VP for Marketing & Analytics at app-based car booking service Careem, the fastest-growing tech company in the MENA region.