XR for Change Summit
July 20, 2023 | The Times Center & Microsoft Times Square in NYC
The XR for Change Summit is a day-long event highlighting cutting-edge immersive experiences unlocking new pathways for social impact. Combining talks, panels, and demos, the Summit brings together industry leaders and innovators to share and discuss cross-sector applications of immersive technology for social impact while exploring the opportunities and challenges that will shape the future, like, AI, machine learning, nanotechnology, and blockchain.
Arts & Culture Advisor at Protocol Labs
Jesse Damiani is a curator, writer, and advisor in new media art and emerging technologies. He is the founder of Postreality Labs, a strategic sensemaking studio based in Los Angeles, CA. He is Arts and Culture Advisor for Protocol Labs; Senior Curator and Director of Simulation Literacies at Nxt Museum; and the Host of Adobe’s Taking Shape, a hub for 3D art and design. An Affiliate of the metaLAB at Harvard and Institute for the Future, his writing appears in Adweek, Big Think, Billboard, Entrepreneur, HuffPost, IndieWire, NBC News, Quartz, The Verge, and WIRED. Recent curated exhibitions include PROOF OF ART at Francisco Carolinum Linz, the first museum retrospective on the history of NFTs; Synthetic Wilderness at Honor Fraser Gallery; and Simulation Sketchbook: Works in Process at Feral File/Vellum LA. He has served as a mentor in the YouTube VR Creator Lab and worked with both Google and Meta in their initiatives to develop educational content for the XR industry. He is Founder of Best American Experimental Writing, and formerly served as Editor-at-Large of VRScout; Curator of XR For Change, the extended reality summit at the Games for Change Festival; and Director of Emerging Technology and Insight at Southern New Hampshire University, where he led the Future of Work initiative.
Award-winning Emerging Technology Pioneer, Professor, Entrepreneur, and former UN Diplomat
Gabo Arora is a world renowned multi-award winning immersive artist, professor, entrepreneur and former UN diplomat who works with the most cutting-edge emerging technologies, including virtual and augmented reality, to tell some of the most important stories of our time. Widely recognized as a pioneer of new documentary formats, his work, part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA), has been described by the BBC and LA Times, amongst many others, as “game changing”, “powerful, moving and without precedent”, and “transcending all the typical barriers of rectangular cinema.”
Founder & CEO + Co-Founder at The 5th Column & People of Crypto Lab
Akbar Hamid is a Forbes Next 1,000 honoree who has established a reputation as a visionary marketing and communications thought leader in a digital-first world. Hamid guides many of the world's largest brands as they enter into and navigate the web3 era and emerging metaverse worlds, while helping to shape and influence the new creator economy. He has served as an expert commentator for Vogue Business, Business of Fashion, CoinTelegraph, CoinDesk, Barron’s, Cheddar TV, Forbes and AdAge, as well as a featured speaker at the World Economic Forum, Web Summit, NFT NYC, Advertising Week, SXSW and more. As Founder & CEO of leading creative communications consultancy The 5th Column (5C) and 5Crypto, as well as Co-Founder of People of Crypto Innovation Lab (POC Lab), Hamid focuses on bringing diverse and inclusive cultural storytelling to the web3 and metaverse space, enabling brands to bridge the gap between consumer and web3. He operates at the intersection of business and culture to deliver transformational work to global clients such as Birkenstock, Dwayne Johnon’s ZOA Energy, Virgin Hotels, The Dalmore Whisky, Champagne Bollinger, Belvedere Vodka and Van Cleef & Arpels, and web3 & metaverse leaders including Doodles,
L’Oreal, The Sandbox, WAX & William Quigley, Arianee, and BlockBar. Hamid has also served as strategic advisor and thought leadership partner to global consultancies Publicis Sapient & R/GA.
Hamid’s work often includes educating brand leaders on how to tap into emerging technologies with creativity, relevance and impact. In 2022, he helped bring Pride Month into the metaverse for the first time via an award-winning program with POC Lab, backed by Animoca, L’Oreal Groups’ NYX Cosmetics and The Sandbox. The campaign enabled a universal audience to come together and celebrate diversity, equity & inclusivity and served as a case model showcasing how brands can build community, trust and loyalty by leveraging authentic storytelling and inclusive gaming experien
Strategic Alliances Director at Ubisoft
Amy is Strategic Alliances Director at Ubisoft, the leading producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products worldwide. She is based in Paris.
Amy brings 20 years’ experience to imagine and implement pioneering partnerships “beyond video games” to bring Ubisoft’s brands to wider audiences. She works in particular through alliances with Culture and Education, but also Live & Location-Based Entertainment, Health and industry.
Immerse UK Lead at Innovate UK KTN
Asha Easton is currently the Immerse UK Lead at Innovate UK KTN, the UK’s national innovation network for immersive & Metaverse technology professionals. The organisation works to grow the immersive tech industry in the UK and make the ecosystem across the country less fragmented by facilitating connections between private companies, the academic community, and the government. Asha is particularly passionate about helping to promote diversity & inclusion in the industry. She is one of the original members of the London chapter of Women in Immersive Tech (WiiT), a co-founder of the XR Diversity Initiative, and an ED&I advisor to Europe’s first Metaverse fund, FOV Ventures.
Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council at Affiliate, Stanford Cyber Policy Center
Brittan Heller works at the intersection of technology, human rights and the law. She is currently a lecturer at Stanford University and a Senior Non-Residential Fellow at the Atlantic Council, with the Digital Forensics Research Lab, examining XR's connection to society, human rights, privacy, and security. Heller is on the steering committee for the World Economic Forum's Metaverse Governance initiative and studied content moderation in XR as an inaugural AI and Tech Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School's Carr Center for Human Rights. She is a visiting fellow at the Yale Information Society Project and an affiliate at the Stanford Program on Democracy and the Internet.
VR Technical Lead at DePaul University - Matters at Play/PUSH Studio
Chase is an MFA Game Design student at DePaul University's School of Computing and Digital Media. They also serve as a VR Technical Lead at PUSH Studio and Matters at Play. Chase has a passion for creating games that utilize alternative modes of control and challenge players to reflect on their relationships with others. Their research focuses on the gamification of real-life scenarios and the potential of game mechanics to explore modern queer experiences.
PhD Candidate at DePaul University
Chryselle Rego is a PhD candidate at DePaul University's School of Computing & Digital Media. She is the project manager and User Experience Researcher at the Push Studios and Matters at Play Lab. She has a background in Digital Media and Advertising and specializes in the use of emerging technology to address modern challenges, with a focus on ethics, equity, and positive human impact.
Founder at Friends With Holograms
An experienced founder and content creator, Cortney Harding is an in-demand expert as one of the few people who can not only translate the impact of the digital revolution from Web2 to Web3 and its impact on businesses, but also how the metaverse can become the new frontier to create better and more accepting communities. As the founder of the award-winning agency Friends With Holograms, she was a pioneer who created VR training pieces around topics like child abuse, workplace exclusion, mental health, Black maternal mortality, and racial bias for companies like Lowe’s, Walmart, PWC, Amazon, Target, and more.
Creative Tech Director at Light Clinic
David Lobser is an XR developer and 3D animation director with a background in visual effects. He co-founded New York's first digital spa, "Luxury Escapism," and develops XR projects for brands and startups while also teaching code for artists at various institutions. His recent focus is on therapeutic uses for VR.
Dr. Brandy McNeil
Dr. Brandy McNeil
Deputy Director, Programs and Services at The New York Public Library
Dr. Brandy McNeil is an innovative leader who has transformed adult education programs in NYC. As the Deputy Director of Branch Programs and Services at the New York Public Library, she has established successful partnerships with tech giants like Apple and Google to create the highly successful TechConnect program. Dr. McNeil's vision and dedication to community empowerment have earned her many accolades, including the 2017 Library Journal Mover & Shaker Award. She is also a contributing writer, consultant, and motivational speaker, with a Doctorate in Business and an M.B.A. in Entrepreneurship. Dr. McNeil's innovative approach has changed lives and her legacy will inspire future generations of educators and entrepreneurs.
Dr. Joanneke Weerdmeester
Dr. Joanneke Weerdmeester
Behavioural Scientist and Consultant at Explore DEEP
Dr. Joanneke Weerdmeester is a behavioural scientist with a passion for creating and validating digital experiences that help us understand and manage our wellbeing in a playful and meaningful way. Her doctoral research focused on the potential of game-based biofeedback interventions for anxiety regulation. Currently, she works as a university teacher and as a freelance consultant to bridge the fields of science, health care, and game design.
Elisa Navarro Chinchilla
Elisa Navarro Chinchilla
CEO at Gold Bug Interactive
CEO and co-founder of Gold Bug Interactive and a veteran educational video game developer. With more than 23 titles for organizations such as the United Nations UNODC, GIZ, InterAction, Mc Gill, FES, MUAC, St Georges Vancouver, Philharmonic Orchestra UNAM, etc. Convinced of the power of games to support unprivileged contexts through collaborative learning. Received several national grants in Mexico (Fonca, Procine, Prosoft). Currently, developing Sabz, a highly realistic reforestation simulator for Afghanistan, and a VR interactive short film to create awareness on health risks for Waste Pickers in Mexico. MA from the Institute of Education at UCL, UK.
XR Production Manager at Games for Change
ERINN BUDD is a multi-hyphenate creative, producer and two time cancer survivor. Her most recent project includes Impact Production for the VR documentary On the Morning You Wake. Her work has been featured by Tribeca Festival, SXSW, and Katy Perry’s Las Vegas Residency. She has collaborated on projects with Adidas, Diaego, and Spotify and has given workshops around art direction and production.
Senior Director, Call of Duty Endowment and Corporate Social Responsibility Marketing at Activision Blizzard
Helene Imperiale is the Senior Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Call of Duty Endowment Marketing. Helene brings more than a decade of experience leading marketing and communications strategies across the nonprofit, government, and private sectors. Previously, Helene worked at Propper Daley, the social impact agency behind the world’s leading changemakers, where she oversaw the Digital & New Media Strategy department. Helene also worked at Global Philanthropy Group, a philanthropic consulting firm, where she led the agency’s digital practice to create and implement global cause marketing campaigns.
Executive Director of Kinfolk
Idris Brewster is a Brooklyn-born artist, creative technologist, and educator that disrupts traditional narratives through immersive experiences, all the while empowering others to do the same. idris’s work explores the liminal space between the historical archive, public space, and digital space. idris is the Executive Director of Kinfolk Foundation, an augmented reality archive that puts the power of monument making and historical preservation into the hands of Black and Brown communities. idris has received several awards and recognitions for his work, including Forbes 30 under 30, Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, New Museum, Eyebeam, and the Museum of Modern Art.
Jan L. Plass
Jan L. Plass
Paulette Goddard Chair and Professor, Digital Media and Learning Sciences at New York University
Dr. Jan L. Plass is a Professor at New York University and Paulette Goddard Chair in Digital Media and Learning Sciences. He is the founding director of the CREATE Consortium for Research and Evaluation of Advanced Technology in Education and co-director of the Games for Learning Institute. Dr. Plass’ draws from cognitive science, learning sciences, computer science, and design to envision, design, and study the future of learning with digital technologies, especially for underserved communities. He is the author of over 120 journal articles, chapters, and conference proceedings, has given more than 200 presentations, and is the lead editor of Cognitive Load Theory (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and of the Handbook of Game-based Learning (MIT Press, 2020). Dr. Plass is a frequent national and international keynote speaker and advisor, helping governments and corporations increase the human capacity in an ecology of lifelong learning.
CEO at ROTU Entertainment & Media, Ltd.
Jason Parks, a visionary entrepreneur, serves as the CEO and founder of ROTU.com, a gaming and Virtual Art Department (VAD) studio focused on the next generation of interactive storytelling. Parks has spent over a decade creating entertainment experiences for immersive performances, philanthropic music videos, VAD services for film, and award-winning virtual reality games.
Julia A. Scott, PhD
Julia A. Scott, PhD
Director, Brain and Memory Care Lab at Santa Clara University
Julia A. Scott, PhD leads the Brain and Memory Care Lab at Santa Clara University and is cofounder of Gambit Labs. Her research integrates neurotechnology into virtual reality platforms in order to enhance biofeedback experiences that promote well-being and train cognitive skills. She also leads the medical council of XRSI which develops and advises on privacy and safety standards for extended reality usage in healthcare settings.
AI Expert and Founder at Deep Tech Experts
"Dr. Julien Weissenberg is an AI Expert and founder of Deep Tech Experts, an advisory gathering world-class experts in AI, Encryption, Quantum Computing and Biotechnology.
With 13+ years of experience in Computer Vision and Machine Learning, Julien works alongside investors to evaluate AI startups and is an expert for Innosuisse, the Swiss Federal Agency for Innovation.
Julien completed a PhD and Postdoc at ETH Zurich, an MSc at Imperial College London and was named a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum."
Kenneth Norwood PhD
Kenneth Norwood PhD
Lead Researcher of Creative Technologies at TALES of Us
"Kenneth Wesley Norwood is a Postgraduate research student within Film at the University of Southampton.
2014-2017 – MA Media Studies, Long Island University Brooklyn Campus
2008-2013 – BA Mass Communications, Xavier University of New Orleans
Kenneth (Rico) Wesley Norwood PhD is an American researcher, who currently resides in Berlin. They are the Lead Researcher of Creative Technologies for Tales of Us gmbh a multimedia non profit storytelling intuitive. They have also acted as a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Potsdam’s Institute for Arts and Media were they developed and delivered the Black and Quare Video Games Studies Seminar in 2022-2023. They have participated and been featured in TechRadar, Wired Magazine, The Metro, PinkNews, Amaze Arthouse Video Game fest, the British Film Institute, and various other outlets for their work regarding media and video games, race, and Quareness. They also aid in producing and hosting the Twitch program Tales Unlocked: Imagining green futures, marginalised narratives and mythologies in video games.
Content Curation, XR for Change
Kris is a game industry veteran with expertise in VR/MR/AR. She has provided strategic leadership at Meta, Sony Playstation, Rockstar Games, and HTC Vive.
Kris is a big proponent of games for good. She headed HTC’s “VR For Good” global initiative, where she spearheaded projects with Conservation International, UN Women, and the NSF. She sits on the board of DeepWellDTx, an organization using games to promote mental health, and is currently curating the XR Summit at Games for Change.
Founding Artistic Director at HERE Arts Center
Kristin Marting is a director and creative producer of hybrid work based in NYC. She has constructed 36 works for the stage (15 original hybrid works, 9 opera-theatre and music-theatre works, 8 adaptations of novels & short stories and 5 classic plays). She is currently developing 3 opera-theatre works with John Glover/Kelley O’Rourke, Paul Pinto and Kamala Sankaram. She has premiered works at HERE, 3LD, Ohio Theatre, and Soho Rep. Her work has toured to 7 Stages, Berkshire Festival, Brown, MCA, New World, Painted Bride, Perishable, UMass, Moscow Art Theatre and Oslo. She has directed readings and workshops for Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, Playwrights Horizons, Public Theatre, Target Margin, and others. Selected residencies include Ankram Opera House, Bethany Arts Center, LMCC, Mabou Mines, Mass MOCA, NACL, Penrose, Playwrights Center, Smack Mellon, Space at Ryder Farm, Voice & Vision, Williams. Reviews have appeared in all major New York media. Kristin is the recipient of two prestigious MAP Fund awards, a nytheatre.com Person of the Decade for outstanding contribution, a Leader to Watch by Art Table and honored with a BAX10 Award. She is Founding Artistic Director of HERE and co-founding director of PROTOTYPE festival.
Lien B. Tran
Lien B. Tran
Assistant Professor of Games & Design at DePaul University, Jarvis College of Computing & Digital Media
Lien B. Tran is an award-winning social impact and interaction designer, who creates interactive solutions at the intersections of social justice, health, and environment at the local, national, and international levels. Previous project partnerships include Open Society Foundations, World Bank, and United Nations. Lien is an Assistant Professor at DePaul University (Jarvis College of Computing and Digital Media) and director of Matters at Play lab, a transdisciplinary design lab.
PhD Student at Game Innovation Lab - New York University
M Charity (they/them) is a PhD student at NYU Tandon in the Game Innovation Lab studying under Dr. Julian Togelius. Their main research focus is in online collaborative creative content generation; they make tools and web interfaces anyone can use to generate creative content (such as sprites or game levels) with the help of an AI assistant. Much of their work involves procedural content generation, quality-diversity search algorithms, and evolutionary algorithms.
Madison E. Taylor
Madison E. Taylor
Graduate Student at University of California-Irvine
Madison Taylor (she/her) is a first year Clinical Psychology Ph.D. student at the University of California-Irvine. Her work involves developing, evaluating, and implementing brief, technology-driven mental health and well-being interventions for older adolescents and young adults. Recently, her work has focused on identifying specific subsets of youth for which digital technology use may result in increases or decreases their in mental health and well-being.
General Partner at Endemic Venture Capital
Mahrinah Shije is an Indigenous Futurist and Founding General Partner of Endemic Venture Capital, investing in Indigenous-led Climate Tech and the Future of Tribal Gaming. Ms Shije began her career as an Investment Analyst with UBS and has spent two decades in high tech startups with a specialization in Web3 technologies, cybersecurity and digital assets. She holds an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School and a BA/MS in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, Ms. Shije is a Partner at Zia Impact, through which she works with clients on impact strategy and tribal infrastructure development and CEO and Board Chair of Pueblo Development Commission, an NGO in United Nations consultative status where she is a member of the Indigenous Peoples’ Major Working Group, the UN Counterterrorism Executive Directorate (UNCTED) and several Blockchain Commissions. Additionally, she served as an appointed member of the US Greenbuilding Council, All Pueblo Council of Governors' Legislative Committee from 2019-2022, a Digital Assets Expert Speaker for the Indian Gaming Association 2021-Present and a Special Advisor to NCAI President Fawn Sharp at the World Economic Forum (2023). She is Tewa and Sefardi Jewish and married into the Pueblo of Zia. Ms. Shije is a 2023 Fellow at Leadership New Mexico, VC Lab in Palo Alto, Climate Vine Global Network and the Nahum Goldmann International Fellowship, Treasurer of Panim Hadashot and a steering committee member with Israel Policy Forum with many previous appointments and fellowships. She lives and works in New Mexico and New York.
Founder at Level Up Games
Mark DeLoura is a game CTO and policy nerd, and leads Level Up Games, a games and education technology consultancy. He's worked in and around the game industry for 30 years, and served as Senior Advisor for Digital Media in the Obama White House. Mark is passionate about making games easier to create and share, so everyone can use them as a tool for expression. He's done work at platforms, publishers, and developers, and of course, lately he's been doing way too much work with generative AI!
Managing Partner at Goldenrod Ventures
Martina is the Founding Managing Partner at Goldenrod Ventures, an early stage fund investing in women-led emerging tech companies. She's also the Co-founder and Managing Partner at the WXR Fund. Before moving into venture capital, Martina founded two tech startups in mobile gaming and virtual reality. She serves on several startup boards and nonprofit advisory groups.
Founder and CEO at ZenVR
Matt Golino is the founder and CEO of ZenVR. With two degrees from Georgia Tech, a Bachelor's in Computer Engineering and a Master’s in Human-Computer Interaction focused on Virtual Reality UX design, Matt has walked a path between many fields branching between technical, design, research, and leadership. ZenVR began as Matt’s master’s thesis project, but he has always been an avid meditator and an advocate for mental health and sharing the meditative practice with as many people as possible.
Founder and Lead Design at Jiwe Interactive Limited
A technology expert with 10 years of experience, Max is an expert in digital platform design and development. He has launched three platforms and two community learning and innovation programs. He is passionate about supporting communities in using new technology to be more creative and productive. He also has a passion for interactive media and started a studio to create interactive media that shares African experiences and to support gamers on the continent.
Exeutive at ScanLAB Projects, Professor, Photographer at ScanLAB Projects
Meriko Borogove is a technology & design executive, professor, and photographer who also created the iPhone cameras. meriko is an executive at ScanLAB Projects, a pioneering and award-winning creative practice where our primary medium is 3D scanning, a form of machine vision we believe is the future of photography & cinematography. Our work has exhibited at LACMA, La Biennale, The Louisianna, The New Museum NYC, PHI Centre, SXSW, CPH:DOX, STRP, The Barbican, & the Berliner Ensemble with the KOB.
Co-Founder & Chief Storyteller at Horizon Blockchain Games
Michael is Co-founder & Chief Storyteller at Horizon where they're making web3 easy, fun, and accessible for users and builders. Horizon is the creator of Sequence, the all-in-one developer platform + smart wallet that makes building web3 games, apps, and experiences easy; and, Skyweaver, named 2022’s best blockchain game.
Michael's a long-time tech entrepreneur who’s been in the blockchain space for 13 years, he authored the best-selling "Ayahuasca: An Executive's Enlightenment", and he lives a life of love, movement, and play.
XR Creative Strategist & Impact Producer at Games for Change / Self
Michaela Ternasky-Holland is an Emmy and Webby award-winning XR/metaverse storyteller. Named as one of the 100 Original Voices of XR, she creates non-fiction and socially impactful stories by using immersive and interactive technology. She focuses on the impact of the projects to move beyond the project itself. When she isn't creating her own original projects, she consults for socially conscious companies and non-profit organizations on creative strategy and impact production.
CEO atn Abelana VR Productions Inc
CEO of Abelana VR for seven years during which the team pioneered award-winning online VR classes, deployed them in hundreds of schools across the US. Previously, over 20 years of experience in various media, including television, movie production, book publishing, and new media.
Assistant Professor at Bridging the Gap (University of Utah x IRC)
Milad Mozari is an artist and researcher working in sonic investigations that draw connections to surfaces and social layers. Exhibitions and performances include the Hong Kong Arts Centre, International Symposium of Electronic Arts, Chicago International Film Festival, IndieLisboa, and Experimental Sound Studio. Fellowships and residencies include MIT Open Documentary Lab, Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, Asian Cultural Council Grant to Individuals, Wave Farm, Pioneer Works, Ox-Bow, Incheon Art Platform, and Taipei Artist Village. He is currently an assistant professor at the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Utah.
Artistic Director at Monobanda
Niki Smit is co-founder and Director at Monobanda, where he explores and expands the boundaries of play and embodied interaction. Additionally, he co-founded ExploreDEEP, where he creates meditative breath controlled VR experiences His work focuses on researching and developing new forms of play. His passion lies in creating projects that connect the human body, physical, and virtual space in surprising ways, creating meaningful play that fills the space between art, science and education.
CEO at Blimey / HCXR
An award winning director and producer of feature length fiction and non-fiction films. A veteran executive producer at Blimey and HCXR of international co-productions and a pioneer of the first completely integrated virtual reality studio in Israel. Two Lumiere Awards laureate, XR for Change laureate and with a rich background in fiction and non-fiction productions, and more recently XR productions, Nimrod has stood at the forefront of international XR co-productions since 2015. Known recently for the Canadian Screen Awards nomination for “The Holy City” and for winning the best immersive experience award for “Once Upon a Sea” at VRE festival in Rome, Italy. Currently producing “WinterOver”, “DoX”, “The Cave”, “Labelled Black” and “Niall’s Apprentice”.
Founder at Better World Museum
Top 25 Women in the Metaverse, Paige Dansinger is the founder of Better World Museum, Horizon Art Museum, and Women in Horizon. Our programs empower members through world building, summits, and community events. She prioritizes women, diversity, initiatives for good in the metaverse.
Health Neuroscience at Cambridge University
I am the Bernard Wolfe Professor of Health Neuroscience at Cambridge University. I studied medicine and then psychiatry before taking a PhD in cognitive neuroscience.
My research and clinical work focus on severe mental illness. I am very interested in how we can use video games to help us in assessing, monitoring and even modifying psychological processes and I have worked closely with the Cambridge-based video game design studio to explore ways in which psychiatry, neuroscience and video game design may work closely together in pursuing these aims.
Head of Software at OpenBCI
Philip manages the development of software which enables creators, researchers, and enterprises to visualize and integrate multimodal biosignals into their experiences, studies, and applications. Before joining OpenBCI, he managed a research laboratory focused on developing enterprise-level XR training and telepresence solutions. Philip has a range of experience including software engineering management, business development, systems integration, and computer vision.
Rachel Joy Victor
Rachel Joy Victor
Strategist, Designer, Worldbuilder at Independent
Rachel Joy Victor is an independent designer, strategist and worldbuilder, working with emergent technologies and mediums (XR/AI/web3) to create cohesive narrative, brand, and product experiences. She designs for a range of applications: from multiplatform narratives and immersive experiences, to tools and platforms, to spaces and cities. Rachel draws from her education in computational neuroscience and spatial economics to facilitate the creation of data-informed emergent experience where world affordances and individual agency intersect.Her clients have included Disney, HBO, Vans, Ford, Nike, Havas, Meow Wolf, Niantic, and more. Rachel is passionate about offering a more complete picture of the considerations of design for our new reality, and has led executive education sessions at Activision, Unilever Prestige, WB/Sony/NBCU, Technicolor, UGGs, Crocs, and Red Bull, and been a speaker at Infinity Festival, NAB Show, Future of Film Fest, Atos + SAP DEI Summit, AI on the Lot, The Next Stage Summit, and more.
School Counselor at Quest To Learn
Rachelle Vallon works as the Lead Guidance Counselor at Quest to Learn in New York. Rachelle has provided game-like learning workshops for educators, schools, businesses and conventions across the US and internationally. She has helped to create curriculum and has provided instructional support in weaving games and game like activities into the classroom. As a Guidance Counselor, Rachelle is always looking at the ways games affect, support, and inform student mental health and Social Emotional Learning including participation in critical conversations around games and empathy and facilitating a workshop in collaboration with TED-Ed, Games for Change, and Raising Good Gamers to support youth in creating talks focused on the culture of gaming.
CEO of Lamina1
Rebecca Barkin is CEO of Lamina1, a layer one blockchain optimized for the open metaverseand its makers. Barkin brings 20+ years of experience leading strategy, design, anddevelopment at the intersection of emerging technology and entertainment. Prior to joiningLamina1, Barkin served as VP of Content Strategy & Partner Solutions at the groundbreaking2B immersive venue Madison Square Garden Sphere. As Vice President at Augmented Realitypioneer Magic Leap, she drove the development of a slate of launch applications like the award-winning immersive music experience Tónandi, as well as branded content experiences withpremium partners like Alibaba (Tokyo Olympics), Warner Bros (Fantastic Beasts), and HBO(Game of Thrones). Later, as Vice President of Brand & Platform Design, she led the redesignof both the operating system and brand for the enterprise-focused Magic Leap 2 (winner ofmultiple design awards). Prior to Magic Leap, she led GTM strategy for pioneering computervision & AI company Nod Labs which developed foundational 6Dof tracking technology toenable VR and AR. She's held leadership roles at Genius Products, Dell Computers, and SiliconValley startup Lyve (acquired by Seagate), driving GTM, brand identity, and strategicpartnerships. Since starting her career at EMI-Capitol Records, Barkin has helped companiesbig and small embrace transformative new technologies and bring them to market in partnershipwith beloved brands and artists. She is committed to the art of strong leadership, a fiercediversity advocate, published author, wife, and mother of two young boys.
President and COO at The Jed Foundation
As President and COO, Rebecca ensures that JED is serving its mission to to preventing suicide and protecting the emotional health of our nation’s youth and young adults. Rebecca has also spearheaded the launch of several multimillion-dollar philanthropic organizations, including the Child Mind Institute, the Seleni Institute, and the New Space for Women’s Health. Rebecca is a graduate of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and holds an AB in public policy from The University of Chicago.
Samantha G. Wolfe
Samantha G. Wolfe
Founder & CEO at PitchFWD
Samantha G. Wolfe is the Founder and CEO of PitchFWD, an award-winning strategic consultancy focused on creating and expanding new market opportunities for emerging technology products and services. She is known as an innovation adoption accelerator and a bleeding edge tech translator. Sam is sought after for her in-depth knowledge of over 25 industry verticals and her extensive network of the most influential executives within the metaverse, virtual reality, and augmented reality ecosystem. As an Adjunct Professor at NYU's Steinhardt School, she has created four original classes in the past three years: 'The Business of the Metaverse,' 'Avatars and Virtual Humans,' 'Marketing Emerging Technologies,' and 'The Business of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.' In addition, Sam has co-authored 2 books, including Marketing New Realities and Metaversed: See Beyond The Hype (Wiley, 2023).
Co-Founder at XR Health Alliance
Sarah is a multidisciplinary entrepreneur working at the intersection of XR healthcare and the art. She produces XR experiences through her various roles as a founder and producer with Hatsumi, Explore Deep and Lemonade. She is also the co-founder XR Health Alliance who authored The Growing Value of XR in Healthcare Report, and continues to support the strategic adoption of XR in the UK. She has won numerous awards including the Unity for Humanity grant in 2023, and International VR Health Association's Hero Award in 2022. In her spare time is an End of Life Doula in training.
Geoscientist, Artist, Astronaut at Space2inspire / ASU XRts Fellow
Dr. Sian Proctor is a geoscientist, explorer, artist, and astronaut. She was the mission pilot for Inspiration4: the first all civilian mission to orbit the Earth for 3 days. She is an Afrofuturism artist. She uses a collage art style to combine real-world concepts with future-driven themes and technology. She is the artist and explorer in residence at Arizona State University (ASU) and an XRts Fellow at the ASU Mix Center.
President at Games for Change
President of Games for Change, Susanna Pollack is a cross-sector leader with almost 30 years of experience advancing ambitious social impact goals through traditional and interactive media. Under her leadership, G4C offers programs such as G4C Learn, a portfolio of education initiatives empowering the next generation of game-changers; XR for Change, which connects award-winning creators with mission-oriented organizations; and the annual Games for Change Festival dubbed the "Sundance of Games."
CEO at Fountain Digital Labs
Svetlana Dragayeva is the founder and CEO of Fountain Digital Labs and creator of the BAFTA-winning app Virry and Virry VR series.
Svetlana spent ten years in film production, as an Executive Producer of DAU, a multi-disciplinary project at the intersection of cinema, art and anthropology.
Now based in London, Svetlana was born and raised in Odessa, Ukraine. She has degrees in cognitive linguistics, politics, cultural studies, narratology, and also taught film at OSU.
Associate & Director of Global Strategies at TALES
Tainá Moreno is a creative producer dedicated to participatory artistic practices that promote positive social change. She is currently leading the strategies for co-creation and research for WoU (World of Us), an upcoming immersive game experience focused on ecological education for kids through mythologies of regions in Brazil, Congo, India and Romania - which is set to launch in the second half of 2024. WoU is the main endeavour of TALES, a multi-media and non-profit publishing initiative.
Director, Responsible Technology at Omidyar Network
As a director on the responsible technology team at Omidyar Network, Thea makes strategic grantmaking and investments with a racial and gender lens to address power imbalances, ensure accountability, and strengthen safeguards around emerging technologies. She recently launched work on gaming and interactive economies and would love to discuss with anyone anytime! Before joining Omidyar Network, Thea worked at the global humanitarian organization Mercy Corps as global lead for inclusive finance and social payments in protracted conflicts and politically complex environments.
Founder at Arcadia Earth
Valentino Vettori, founder of Arcadia Earth, is an experiential artist dedicated to reimagining the way people interact and engage with the environments that surround them. With more than 20 years of experience working with leading fashion institutions, Vettori designed interactive retail experiences and innovative spatial relationships between consumers and brand environments.
Driven by a growing awareness of the ecological challenges we face and a more profound desire to inspire emotional experiences, Valentino Vettori’s vision for Arcadia Earth was born in 2017 out of a promise Vettori made to Paul Hawken that he would channel his craft to inspire positive environmental change. In September 2019, Arcadia Earth opened in New York as the first multi-sensory art exhibit, designed to challenge the mediums through which we spread environmental awareness and instigate change at the individual level.
Arcadia Earth is the first platform of its kind to offer a powerful, intimately personal exploration of the plight of our planet through human scale art installations and the futuristic lens of augmented and virtual reality.
Director Creative Partnerships at ONX & Onassis Fondation
Director, Creative Partnerships for the ONX Studio, an NYC hybrid production and exhibition space for immersive and XR artists. From 2019-2021, Artistic Executive Director of the Onassis Foundation USA, an innovative programming foundation based in Athens with satellites in New York and Los Angeles. Artistic Director of Performance Space 122 (now Performance Space New York) from 2005-2017 and a consulting curator for BAM (Brooklyn) and Theater de Welt (Dusseldorf), and the Dublin Fringe Festival (2002-2004). For 20 years, working across live performance in all disciplines, cinema, design and hospitality Gantner has sought innovative artists, work, and ideas building new experience and forms of communication for audiences.
Creative Director at Sugar Creative
Will is Creative Director at Sugar Creative. He is regarded as one of the UKs pre-eminent immersive design thought leaders and as one of the leading voices in building new forms of narrative with XR. He has been involved in the delivery of some of the most ground-breaking and genre redefining AR experiences of the last few years for brands including ‘Wallace & Gromit’, Dr.Seuss’, UK Gov, Hyundai, BBC, and Ubisoft. His work has received a number of awards and accolades including a QLD XR Best in World award, being shortlisted for two Cannes Lions, and being selected as one of the one of the prestigious BIMA100 for both 2022 and 2023.
Associate Professor at Bahcesehir University
Yavuz Samur – Bio EN
Dr. Samur, graduated from Instructional Design and Technology, Department of Learning Sciences and Technologies at Virginia Tech with the Fulbright Scholarship, works as an Associate Professor at Bahçeşehir University, Faculty of Educational Sciences in the department of Computer Education and Instructional Technology (CEIT) (@bauceit), and also leaded the CEIT department. He was the coordinator of Educational Technology (TR/EN, Thesis/Project) master’s and doctoral programme (@bauegitek). He is also the president of YEGAM (@yegam_egitim). Dr. Samur is also rewarded as the “Academician of the Year of 2022” (@hempacocuk).
His research interests are on using educational games for learning and instruction (@oyuntasarimi), gamification in education, educational game design, digital game design, multimedia design, technology/social media/game addiction and (digital) game based learning (@EgitimveOyun). He is also the founder of GameFriendlySchool, GameFriendlyTeacher, GameFriendlyParent, GameFriendlyMunicipal projects (@OyunDostuOkul).
His books, of which he has more than 20 authors in the mentioned fields, have been published more than 100 thousand, and more than 15 indexed publications in international refereed journals have received more than 500 citations. Dr. Samur has supervised more than 70 master and doctoral dissertations in the field of Educational Technologies.
He also designs physical, board and digital educational games for students and he is the co- owber of a company producing digital educational games titled as Ugur Games (www.ugurgames.com) and also serves as an advisor to many other educational game companies (@buckedgames ve @mentalup). Dr. Samur also leads in government and company funded educational game projects, educational digital content and software/game design and development projects. He has been giving consultancy to many government and private companies and institutions.
Microsoft in Times Square
11 Times Sq, New York, NY 10036
This venue is accessible from several mass transit hubs in the area, including 42 St- Port Authority Bus Terminal, Times Sq-42 St, and 34 St-Penn Station.
The Times Center
242 W 41st St, New York, NY 10036
This venue is accessible from several mass transit hubs in the area, including 42 St- Port Authority Bus Terminal, Times Sq-42 St, and 34 St-Penn Station.
The Experiences at the G4C Immersive Arcade Annex at ONX
Screenings are first come, first served.
An immersive docu-music album by sound artist Matt McCorkle, navigates the mind of a bipolar individual through a multi-sensory odyssey of sound, visuals, and interactive exploration.
Body of Mine VR
Experience gender dysphoria by inhabiting the body of another gender. Combining full body, face, and eye tracking with real interviews of trans individuals, the experience takes you on a voyage of gender, identity, and what it means to be a human being.
A multi-sensory mixed reality experience. Using sight, sound, touch and scent, you will experience the complete life-cycle of fungi: spores, mycelium, fruiting body, and the inevitable decay.
ONX STUDIOS LOCATION
645 5th Ave, Lower Level, NY 10022
* Please note the entrance is around the corner on 51st st., between 5th Ave and Madison Ave. This venue is accessible from several mass transit hubs in the area, including Grand Central Station.