Futures of Entertainment C3 CMS MIT


top left trim top trim top right trim
left trim

Confirmed speakers for this year's conference include:

Opening Remarks

Henry Jenkins - MIT, Convergence Culture: Where New and Old Media Collide, NYU Press

Henry Jenkins is the Co-Director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program and the Peter de Florez Professor of Humanities. He is the author and/or editor of twelve books on various aspects of media and popular culture, including Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, Fans, Bloggers and Gamers: Exploring Participatory Culture, The Wow Climax: Tracing the Emotional Impact of Popular Culture, Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture, Hop on Pop: The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture, and From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games. Jenkins writes regularly about media and cultural change at his blog, henryjenkins.org. He is one of the principal investigators for five research projects, including The Education Arcade, a consortium of educators and business leaders working to promote the educational use of computer and video games, the Knight Center for Future Civic Media, a joint effort with the MIT Media Lab to use new media to enhance how people live in local communities, GAMBIT, a lab focused on promoting experimentation through game design, Project nml, a MacArthur Foundation funded project that develops curricular materials focused on promoting the social skills and cultural competencies needed to become a full participant in the new media era, and the Convergence Culture Consortium, a group that explores the ramifications of convergence for branding and media business. Jenkins has a MA in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa and a PhD in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Consumption and Value

Rishi Dean - Vice President Product Strategy, Visible Measures

Rishi Dean is Vice President, Product Strategy at Visible Measures. Prior to Visible Measures, Rishi was co-founder and CTO of WiseUncle Inc., where he drove the creation and deployment of the company's groundbreaking ecommerce analytics and behavioral targeting solutions. Previously, Rishi was a program manager at Microsoft and helped launch two successful releases of Microsoft Money. Rishi has served as a manager in the Marketing Analytics Group for Digitas and has led global marketing and operations projects for companies such as IDEO, Symantec and VietSoftware.

Rishi likes watching his hometown Toronto Raptors play and earned an undergraduate degree from University of Waterloo and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Anne White - VP Programming & Creative, PRN by Thomson

A brand communications executive with nearly two decades of experience, Anne White is in the vanguard of exploring and exploiting the nexus between traditional and new medias, entertainment and consumer products. White has created visionary brand strategy, programming and user experiences for clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, and as diverse as Prince, Steven Spielberg, SC Johnson, Disney, TiVo, Best Buy, Medtronic, Home Depot, Aveda, and entertainment companies in Asia, Europe and North America. White is a member of the PGA and has served on the board of PROMAX/BDA. A classically-trained artist and musician, White enjoys exploring visual perception through her personal art and performances.

Anita Elberse - Assistant Professor of Business Administration in the Marketing unit at Harvard Business School

Anita Elberse is an Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Marketing unit at Harvard Business School. Professor Elberse develops and teaches a course on Strategic Marketing in Creative Industries, covering the business of entertainment and sports, for second-year MBA students. Her course is featured in Variety's 2008 Entertainment Education report. She also teaches in the Strategic Marketing Management program and other short programs for executives, and previously taught Marketing to first-year MBA students.

In her research, professor Elberse primarily aims to understand what drives the success of products in the media, entertainment, sports, and other creative industries, and how firms can develop effective marketing strategies for such products. More generally, she is interested in the diffusion of innovations, the impact of digital technology on marketing practice, and the application of econometric modeling techniques to marketing problems.

Renée Ann Richardson - Havard Business School

Renée Ann Richardson's research focuses on how social networks affect consumer-brand relationships and symbolic status boundaries. Her interests also include consumer culture, consumer empowerment, and marketing management. She is currently working on her dissertation, which explores "distinction", "democratization" and "omnivore" effects in socially-embedded consumer networks. She combines qualitative and experimental methodologies in her work. Renée is a trained Sociologist and was both an undergraduate and a graduate student in Harvard's Department of Sociology. Her honors thesis, entitled "Oh Pressed Hair!: The Politicization of Black Hair Texture as Reflected in Magazine Advertisements, 1940 - 1995," won a Thomas Temple Hoopes prize.

Prior to entering the Marketing Doctoral Program at HBS, Renée was a Marketing practitioner and worked on luxury brands for LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, and mass brands for Leo Burnett. Renée has presented her research on the counterintuitive implications of counterfeit consumption at a variety of Marketing and Sociology conferences. She is a 2008 AMA Sheth Doctoral Consortium Fellow, a two-time recipient of Harvard University's Bok Award for Distinction in Teaching, and Faculty Advisor for the 2003 recipient of the Fulton Prize for the best Sociology thesis. In addition to her studies, Renée enjoys advising undergraduates and has served as the chair for the Business Advising Committee in Harvard College's Quincy House, and faculty advisor to the Association of Black Harvard Women and the Harvard Caribbean Club. In her personal time she enjoys researching her family tree, traveling, and volunteering for the National Kidney Foundation.

Moderator: Henry Jenkins - MIT

Conversation: Wealth, Value, and Social Production

Yochai Benkler - Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard, The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom (Yale University Press)

Yochai Benkler is the Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard, and faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Before joining the faculty at Harvard Law School, he was Joseph M. Field '55 Professor of Law at Yale. He writes about the Internet and the emergence of networked economy and society, as well as the organization of infrastructure, such as wireless communications. In the 1990s he played a role in characterizing the centrality of information commons to innovation, information production, and freedom in both its autonomy and democracy senses. In the 2000s, he worked more on the sources and economic and political significance of radically decentralized individual action and collaboration in the production of information, knowledge and culture. His work traverses a wide range of disciplines and sectors, and is taught in a variety of professional schools and academic departments. In real world applications, his work has been widely discussed in both the business sector and civil society. His books include The Wealth of Networks: How social production transforms markets and freedom (2006), which received the Don K. Price award from the American Political Science Association for best book on science, technology, and politics, the American Sociological Association's CITASA Book Award an outstanding book related to the sociology of communications or information technology, the Donald McGannon award for best book on social and ethical relevance in communications policy research, was named best business book about the future by Stategy & Business, and otherwise enjoyed the gentle breath of Fortuna. His work can be freely accessed at benkler.org.

Making Audiences Matter

Kim Moses - Executive Producer, The Ghost Whisperer

Kim Moses is one of the most respected writer/director/producers in television. She is currently Executive Producing the hit show the Ghost Whisperer starring Jennifer Love Hewitt now in its 4th season on CBS. Her past executive producer credits include NBC's Profiler, for which she co-wrote and directed episodes, as well as The Beast, New York News, Brimstone, and For the People. Kim Moses recently co-authored with Ian Sander The Ghost Whisperer Spirit Guide being published by Titan November 25th. An in depth guide to the show that includes a unique website taking readers into an online parallel universe, offering insights into the world of mediums and psychics.

She has pioneered a 21st Century creative and business model for "engagement television." She has created and produced entertainment event programming for the Internet, including "Confessions of a Desperate Housewife" for ABC.com, and Electronic Expo Internet events for UGO.com and created the "Ghost Whisperer," a multi-platform infinity loop (internet, DVD, publishing, youth outreach, radio, merchandising, and mobile phones). She also created the "Ghost Whisperer: The Other Side," web series for CBS.com (which was named Best Web Series by TVGuide.com). Her other television credits as executive producer include Ali, An American Hero, the Emmy Award-winning Stolen Babies, Chasing the Dragon and How to Marry a Billionaire. She also served as producer on the MTV Music Awards I&II, The Emmy Awards, the CBS live music special Super Bowl Saturday Night, the live music special Walt Disney's 4th of July Spectacular and the music special Disney's Christmas on Ice.

Moses began her career in television at Ohlmeyer Productions where she developed reality-based programs, game shows, and rock & roll and sports programs, specializing in live broadcasts. She also worked on Capitol Hill on the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology where she worked on the first Global Warming Hearings with Al Gore. Moses attended Georgetown University and became a certified Paralegal.

Kevin Slavin - Area/Code

Kevin Slavin is the Managing Director and co-founder of Area/Code. Founded in 2005, Area/Code creates cross-media games and entertainment for clients including Nokia, CBS, Disney Imagineering, MTV, Discovery Networks, A&E Networks, Nike, Puma, Sega, and Busch Entertainment. Area/Code builds on the landscape of pervasive technologies and overlapping media to create new kinds of entertainment. They have built mobile games with invisible characters that move through real-world spaces, online games synchronized to live television broadcasts, and videogames in which virtual sharks are controlled by real-world sharks with GPS receivers stapled to their fins. Their Facebook game "Parking Wars" is on target to serve over 1.5 billion pages in 2008.

Area/Code's work has received awards from the Clios, the One Club, Creativity, and many others, and the co-founders were recently named to the Creativity 50 and the Gamasutra 20. Slavin has spoken at the BBC, Ad Age, 5D, MoMA, the Van Alen Institute, the Guardian, DLD, the Cooper Union, the Storefront for Art and Architecture, and NBC, and together with Adam Greenfield he co-teaches Urban Computng at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program. His work has been exhibited internationally, including the Design Museum of London and the Frankfurt Museum fuer Moderne Kunst.

Vu Nguyen - VP of Business Development, Crunchyroll.com

Vu Nguyen is a co-founder and currently the Vice President of Business Development and Strategy for Crunchyroll. He has over 5 years of direct experience in consumer-facing websites that center around social networking, community, viral marketing, and virtual economies. He was previously the Vice President of Engineering at HOT or NOT, driving development of new and existing products to generate over 5 million in annual revenue. At HOT or NOT, he is co-inventor on a pending patent to collect brand preference information directly from consumers to use in advertising targeting. He graduated from U.C. Berkeley with honors in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science where he was president of Eta Kappa Nu, the national EECS honor society.

Gail De Kosnik - UC Berkeley, The Survival of Soap Opera: Strategies for a Digital Age

Abigail (Gail) De Kosnik is an Assistant Professor in The Berkeley Center for New Media and the Department of Theater, Dance & Performance Studies. She researches intersections of minority discourse with artistic appropriations, especially digital appropriations such as sampling, online fan productions, game mods, and audio and visual mash-ups; Internet piracy and "torrent culture"; narrative serializations in digital contexts; and "techno-orientalism," or Hollywood sci-fi's equation of futuristic technologies with Asia and Asianness. She is currently co-editing a volume on soap operas, How to Save Soap Opera: Histories and Futures of an Iconic Genre, with Sam Ford and C. Lee Harrington.

Moderator: Joshua Green - Convergence Culture Consortium, MIT

Joshua Green is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Comparative Media Studies program at MIT. Formerly Research Manager of the Convergence Culture Consortium, his research looks at changing understandings of what television 'is', the formation of the participatory audience, and television branding in the context of participatory culture. He has published work on participatory culture and the relationship between producers and consumers, television scheduling strategies, the history of Australian television, and the construction of the cultural public sphere. He is co-author (with Jean Burgess, QUT) of YouTube: Online Video and the Politics of Participatory Culture (Polity Press, April 2009), and speaks regularly at both industry and academic conferences. Green has a PhD in Media Studies from the Queensland University of Technology.

Social Media

Joe Marchese - President, SocialVibe.com

Joe Marchese is co-founder and President of SocialVibe, a service that effectively brings brands into social media by empowering people to interact with the brands and social causes of their choice. Series A funded by Redpoint Ventures, SocialVibe connects brands and people in social media, recognizing that individuals hold the key to attention and influence in social media. SocialVibe's goal is empower its member community to team with brands to make a difference for the causes they care about; the service allows people to utilize their influence to enhance their social media experience and provides a way for brands to reward the people that support them with brand specific perks. Most importantly, SocialVibe empowers people to use their influence in social media to raise money for the causes they care about, by allowing people to direct the money they earn from the brands they support to the charitable cause of their choice.

Prior to SocialVibe, Marchese built and lead the online media strategy division at a boutique management consulting firm. Marchese developed and guided the group to provide Fortune 1000 clientele research and online strategy development focused on digital media. Before consulting, Marchese began his career as a business analyst for Monster Worldwide, the parent company of Monster.com. He is a well known thought leader in the social media and advertising industry, writing weekly for MediaPost publications. Joe has also keynoted various digital advertising and media summits including, OMMA, iMedia, Digital Hollywood, as well as having contributed to a number of national publications as an expert on new media, such as BusinessWeek, NY Post, Boston Globe.

Amber Case

Amber Case is a Cyborg Anthropologist and Social Media Consultant living in Portland, Oregon. She received her degree in Sociology/Anthropology from Lewis & Clark College this May with a thesis on "The Cell Phone and Its Technosocial sites of Engagement". She uses her anthropological training to provide strategic intelligence to businesses and individuals. She is an active blogger on oakhazelnut.com and is currently researching how the psychology of space in the digital world affects relationships, business systems, and value creation online.

Sabrina Calouri - Director, Marketing and Promotions of HBO online

What Sabrina Caluori, a storyteller who has found a home in digital entertainment strategy, loves about the web is that it's a logical extension to on-air plot development in an environment that encourages conversation. After two years as an Account Executive at a Los Angeles creative agency that specialized in the motion picture industry, she moved back to NYC and joined interactive agency, Deep Focus as the third employee. As Account Director she led digital marketing strategy for clients such as HBO, Picturehouse, Miramax and Court TV. Shepherding effective ideation sessions across multiple disciplines (media, creative and publicity) to a unified strategy led to award-winning work and happy clients.

In 2007, Sabrina joined HBO as part of the leadership team managing the enterprise-wide redesign of HBO.com. As Director of Marketing and Promotions she oversees consumer engagement including community and social media, sponsorship and research. In the spirit of giving back, Sabrina acts as a Pro Bono Account Director for the Taproot Foundation. Currently, she is overseeing the redesign of The Hetrick-Martin Institute's website www.hmi.org. If community is about the intersection and exchange of human experience, then Sabrina believes that technology will continue to redefine the delivery and the shape of those exchanges, but never the substance.

Kyle Ford - Director of Product Marketing, Ning

Kyle Ford is the Director of Product Marketing at Ning, a service that lets anyone create their own social network in seconds. He has been with the company for nearly three years.

Prior to Ning, Ford was an Associate Product Manager at Yahoo! Movies and TV, and a Writer/Producer for new media at FOX Broadcasting Company, working on shows such as The X-Files, Firefly and Undeclared. He's currently based in Los Angeles and blogs at houseofkyle.com.

Rhonda K. Lowry - Vice President, Social Media Technologies, Office of the CTO, Turner Broadcasting

Rhonda K. Lowry is Vice President, Social Media Technologies within the Office of the CTO for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. ("TBS") and has been with TBS for eight years. In this role, Rhonda provides thought leadership and strategic guidance toward emerging social media technologies and trends across the spectrum of social networking, blogging, online communities and virtual worlds, gaming, social collaboration and computing, and personal media. Ms. Lowry is based in Atlanta and reports to Scott Teissler, Chief Technology Officer. Prior to her current role, Ms. Lowry was Vice President within the New Products Group and led the development of key digital business initiatives including the development of Turner's advertising widget. She led efforts in the adoption of virtual worlds including the CNN iReport presence in the virtual world of Second Life and is the company's primary contact for emerging social spaces and virtual worlds. Rhonda began her career at Turner in the Digital Media Technologies department where she led technical program management and development teams for major programs across a wide portfolio including: CNN digital news production and archive systems, digital offerings including CNN Pipeline and GameTap, as well as numerous web systems and publishing services for the CNN, NASCAR, Turner Entertainment, and Sports Illustrated web properties.

Ms. Lowry has over 15 years of complex systems development experience and held a number of program management and technical leadership roles within the aerospace industry at NASA, Rockwell International, and Lockheed Martin. She began her career at NASA where she was a software developer and systems integrator for a multi planetary detection system that eventually became part of the Kepler Mission. Ms. Lowry was Chief Engineer and Department Manager at Rockwell where she was twice awarded the President's Award for professional achievement, and she spearheaded a revolutionary modeling and simulation program for Lockheed on the F-22 program for which she was awarded Lockheed's highest award for leadership, the NOVA Award. Ms. Lowry earned a Bachelor's degree with honors in Physics from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and a Master's degree in Physics from Washington University in St Louis. She has a certification in Systems Engineering from UCLA and is a member of ACM, INCOSE, WICT, and is a Betsy Magness Leadership Institute Fellow. Lowry was the recipient of WICT Atlanta's 2006 Catalyst Award for Woman in Technology and was listed on Cable World's Top 50 Women in Cable in 2006.

Moderator: Alice Marwick - NYU

Alice Marwick is a PhD candidate in the Media, Culture, and Communication department at New York University. Her dissertation examines how social media technologies affect social status and social hierarchies. Most discussions of power and cyberspace focus on either the positive transformative potential of the internet, or how structural oppression (race, gender, class, sexuality) is maintained through technology. Instead, her research looks at one form of power-social status-and how it is transformed by mediated "lifestreaming" technologies, like Twitter, FriendFeed, and Facebook, when used by a specific community. Alice is a frequent presenter on internet celebrity and social media and recently gave the keynote at "ROFLCON". Her work has appeared in First Monday, the LA Times, Wired, Business Week and on BBC radio. Alice holds an MA in Communication from the University of Washington and a BA in Women's Studies and Political Science from Wellesley College. She grew up in suburban New York, spent eight years in Seattle, and now mostly resides in Manhattan. Alice currently lives in San Francisco, where she is conducting ethnographic research on status structures in Web 2.0 startups, consulting on user practice for technology companies, and enjoying karaoke, thrift stores, and feminist blogs.

Global Flows, Global Deals

Nancy Baym - University of Kansas, Personal Connections in a Digital Age (Polity Press)

Nancy Baym is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas where she teaches about communication technology, interpersonal communication and qualitative research methods. She pioneered the study of online community and fandom in the early 1990s, writing about how soap opera fans built relationships with one another while transforming television viewing into a collaborative endeavor. Her book Tune In, Log On: Soaps, Fandom and Online Community (Sage, 2000) synthesizes that work. Her recent publications include "The New Shape of Online Community: The Case of Swedish Independent Music Fandom" in First Monday as well as articles in New Media & Society, The Handbook of New Media, and The Information Society. With Annette Markham, she is co-editor of Internet Inquiry: Conversation about Method (Sage). She is currently continuing her work on fans of Swedish independent music and on the "friend" relationship in the music-oriented social network site Last.fm. Her book, Personal Connections in a Digital Age, about digitally-mediated community, relationships and social networks (Polity) is nearing completion and will be released in 2010. She was a co-founder of the Association of Internet Researchers and served as its President. She blogs at OnlineFandom.com

Robert Ferrari - Vice President of Business Development, Turbine Inc.

Robert Ferrari joined Turbine in March 2004 and serves as Vice President of Business Development. He is responsible for driving revenue and expanding Turbine's business opportunities through a wide range of strategic partnerships that drive domestic and international publishing, licensing, digital and traditional distribution, online services revenue, and technology partnerships. Robert brings over fifteen years of business development, sales and management experience from emerging technology companies in the entertainment, consumer, and technology sectors.

Prior to joining Turbine, Robert held senior executive roles leading the business efforts of diverse start-ups, turnarounds and fortune 500 companies on a global basis. As a veteran of the digital media and online entrainment industries, Robert has been active in pioneering new technologies, products, and services in the B2C and B2B industries. His senior executive tenures include; VP Sales & Marketing at Philips Electronics, EVP Sales & Marketing at Merinta Entertainment Software, VP Business Development at Websurfer Inc, and Managing Director of Convergence Ventures. Robert has his B.S. in International Business Management from Stonehill College.

Maurício Mota - Director of Strategy and Business Development, New Content (Brazil)

Maurício Mota is Director of Strategy and Business Development at branded content company New Content, part of the Newcomm Group, the biggest advertising group in Brazil. New Content is a pioneer company in the segment and for the second year was part of the Cannes International Advertising Festival, where it opened the Content Workshop programming. At New Content, Mota is part of the team that creates, manages and implements projects for clients such as Danone, Unilever, Nokia and other important local brands. At Unilever, they manage all the 29 products branded content development. Maurício started his career as an entrepreneur at age 15, when he developed Autoria, the first Storytelling Game in Latin America, based on a PhD thesis about Roleplaying Games in Brazil. He launched the game through his first company, Autoria C, and in two years it was played in over 4,000 schools in the country and being used as an innovation and creativity tool by companies and institutions including the United Nations, Kraft Foods, Coke and local companies such as TV networks, studios, Telecom and Energy. Mota was Chief Storytelling Officer at Autoria, and developed five more storytelling games for TV networks and brands, a best-seller children's book collection based on the game, and an e-learning storytelling platform for students and new authors, as well as coaching scripwtriters and authors.

Before joining New Content, Maurício started the Here Come The Alchemists project with the main objective of inciting a shift in the content and storytelling landscape in Brazil applying the concepts found in Jenkins' Convergence Culture. Working with him on the initiative are Mark Warshaw (Flatworld Intertainment and former Heroes Transmedia Director), David Charles (senior copyrighter at AKQA San Francisco) and Faris Yakob, former Digital Ninja at Naked. Here The Alchemists, which takes different formats such as a blog, workshops, speeches and an IPTV show, has already achieved some important goals: the launch of the Portuguese version of Convergence Culture: Where New and Old Media Collide, presentations by Henry Jenkins for the most important brands and media groups in the country, the first Latin American companies as C3's sponsors, and a Transmedia Storytelling Workshop for Brazil's largest advertisers led by Mark Warshaw. And they are just starting. While he tells stories for brands he tries to find time to surf and create funny and catchy narratives for his most important, special and picky audience: Pilar, his 4-year-old daughter.

Moderator: Xiaochang Li - Graduate Researcher, Convergence Culture Consortium

Xiaochang Li is a graduate student in the MIT's Comparative Media Studies program and a researcher with Convergence Culture Consortium. Her current research looks at the circulation and consumption of East Asian television drama in online fan communities and the ways networked media culture intervene upon established discourses surrounding diaspora and representation. The work focuses on how participatory audience practices and the increased visibility and consumer control of transnational media flows complicate and reshape thinking around diasporic audienceship and cultural negotiation in an increasingly global media landscape. Most recently, she co-authored a white paper with Henry Jenkins and fellow C3 researcher Ana Domb discussing the move from models of "viral" to "spreadable" media in understanding the social value and infrastructures for the promotion and circulation of branded media content online. Other interests include fanfiction cultures, digital forms of distributed and collective storytelling, Marcel Proust, and Korean boybands.

At the Intersection of the Academy and the Industry

John Caldwell - UCLA, Production Culture: Industrial Reflexivity and Critical Practice in Film and Television, Duke Univ. Press, 2008

A media studies scholar and producer (MFA, Cal Arts, PhD, Northwestern University), John Caldwell has authored and edited several books, including Production Culture: Industrial Reflexivity and Critical Practice in Film and Television (Duke Univ. Press, 2008), Televisuality: Style, Crisis and Authority in American Television (Rutgers Univ. Press, 1995), Electronic Media and Technoculture (edited, Rutgers Univ. Press, 2000), New Media: Digitextual Theories and Practices (co-edited with Anna Everett, Routledge, 2003) and the forthcoming Production Studies: Cultural Studies of Media Industries (co-edited with Vicki Mayer and Miranda Banks, Routledge, 2009). Caldwell's critical and theoretical writings have been featured in numerous journals and books, including The Oxford Handbook of Film and Media Studies (2008), The Media/Cultural Studies Reader (2009), Film and Television After the DVD (2008), The Media Industries Book (2009), Television After TV (2004), Media/Space: Place, Scale, and Culture in a Media Age (2004), The New Media Book (2002), Issues in Contemporary Television (2004).

Caldwell has been a keynote and plenary speaker at international conferences hosted by London Metropolitan University, UK (2007); Warwick University, UK (2006); Shanghai University, China (2004); the International Communication Association Conference, U.S. (2003); the "Media and Cultural Development in the Digital Era Conference," Taiwan (2001), and the University of Siegen, Germany (1999). His films have been screened in festivals in Amsterdam, Park City, Paris, Berlin, Toulouse, Mexico City, Taipei, San Francisco, New York, Palm Springs, Santa Cruz, Hawaii and Chicago and have been broadcast on SBS-TV Network/Australia, WTTW-Chicago, WGBH-Boston, WNED-Buffalo and WEIU-TV-Illinois. He is the producer/director of the award-winning documentaries Freak Street to Goa: Immigrants on the Rajpath (1989), a film about "the migratory pattern of 'hippies' in India and Nepal," and Rancho California (por favor) (2002), a troubling look at migrant camps that house indigenous Mixteco workers within the arroyos of Southern California's most affluent suburbs.

Amanda Lotz - University of Michigan, The Television Will be Revolutionized (NYU Press)

Amanda D. Lotz is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan. She is the author of The Television Will Be Revolutionized (New York University Press, 2007), Redesigning Women: Television After the Network Era (University of Illinois Press, 2006), and has published articles in Critical Studies in Media Communication, Feminist Media Studies, Media, Culture and Society, Popular Communication: The International Journal of Media and Culture, Communication Theory, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Television and New Media, Screen, Journal of Popular Film and Television and Women and Language. She also serves as book review editor for Cinema Journal.

Grant McCracken - Transformations: Identity Construction in Contemporary Culture, (Indiana University Press)

Grant McCracken holds a PhD from the University of Chicago in cultural anthropology. He is the author of Big Hair, Culture and Consumption, Culture and Consumption II: Markets, Meaning and Brand Management, Flock and Flow, The Long Interview, Plenitude: Culture by Commotion, and most recently, Transformations: Identity Construction in Contemporary Culture. He has been the director of the Institute of Contemporary Culture at the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum), a senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School, a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge and he is now an adjunct professor at McGill University. He has consulted widely in the corporate world, including the Coca-Cola Company, IKEA, Chrysler, Kraft, Kodak, and Kimberly Clark. He is a member of the IBM Social Networking Advisory Board.

Peter Kim - Dachis Corporation

Peter Kim is part of the founding team at Dachis Corporation, a stealth mode startup focusing on social technology. Earlier, Peter was a senior analyst at Forrester Research focusing on social computing and customer-centric marketing. His professional experience also includes positions as head of global digital marketing for PUMA AG, strategy network at Razorfish and research analyst at Coopers & Lybrand. Peter has served as a keynote, moderator, and panelist at public events including the Advertising Research Foundation, American Marketing Association, and Direct Marketing Association. He has also been widely quoted on social technologies and marketing by the press, including CBS Evening News, CNBC, CNN, NPR, The Economist, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Peter holds a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia. He currently resides in Boston and blogs at http://www.beingpeterkim.com.

Moderator: Sam Ford - Director of Customer Insights for Peppercom Strategic Communications

Sam Ford is Director of Customer Insights for Peppercom Strategic Communications and a research affiliate with the MIT Convergence Culture Consortium. In his role, Sam works with Peppercom employees and clients to provide counsel on how companies can more transparently and effectively communicate with audiences. Previously, Ford served as project manager of the MIT Consortium, a research group he helped found in 2005. He has his Master's degree from MIT's Program in Comparative Media Studies and a Bachelor's degree from Western Kentucky University in news/editorial journalism, English, mass communication, and communication studies. Ford has taught courses at WKU and MIT on journalism and the cultural history of professional wrestling and soap operas. He is currently co-editing a collection on the current state and future of the soap opera industry with Abigail De Kosnik and C. Lee Harrington and a project on spreadable media with Henry Jenkins and Joshua Green. He also writes a weekly column, "From Beaver Dam to Brooklyn," for "The Ohio County Times-News" in Hartford, Ky. and is a Kentucky Press Association award-winning journalist. In his side career, Ford plays the role of the power-hungry owner of Universal Championship Wrestling.

When Comics Converge: Making Watchmen

Alisa Perren - Georgia State University, Media Industries: History, Theory, and Method (forthcoming, Blackwell)

Alisa Perren (Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Georgia State University. Research specializations include media industry studies, television studies, and U.S. film and television history. Her forthcoming book, Indie, Inc. (University of Texas Press), traces the evolution of Miramax in the 1990s as it transitioned from independent company to studio subsidiary. She is also co-editor of Media Industries: History, Theory, and Method (forthcoming, Blackwell). She has published articles on the development of niche markets in contemporary Hollywood as well as on the formation of US broadcast and cable networks in the 1990s.

Alex McDowell - Production Designer

An advocate of immersive film design, Alex McDowell, rdi Production Designer, integrates digital technology and traditional design technique, creating a production design process that allows for unprecedented control over the look of the final film. He started incorporating digital design into his work with Fight Club. He sophisticated the process in 1999 with a fully integrated digital design department for Steven Spielberg's Minority Report, creating an intensely researched world of 2054. For Spielberg's The Terminal, he set up another cutting-edge art department to realize a full size airport terminal, the largest architectural set ever built for film. Among McDowell's other recent credits are two films with Tim Burton, the stop-motion animated feature The Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl's classic story, and Breaking and Entering, written and directed by Anthony Minghella. McDowell has recently completed production design on the digital animated comedy Bee Movie, written by and starring Jerry Seinfeld for DreamWorks Animation, and is currently working on the much-anticipated Watchmen, based on the legendary graphic novel by Alan Moore, and directed by Zack Snyder.

Named Royal Designer for Industry by the RSA, the UK's most prestigious design society in 2006, and appointed Visiting Artist at MIT's Media Lab. McDowell is also involved in projects under the auspices of Matter Art & Science, a networked group of artists, designers, scientists and engineers he founded in 2000, that explores the integration of design and engineering and brings art and science into a new convergence. He is co-founder and organizer of the 5D: Immersive Design Conference that launched in Fall 2008 in association with the UAM and the Art Directors Guild. A classically-trained painter, he attended Central School of Art in London, and then opened the graphics design firm, Rocking Russian Design in 1978, designing album covers and music videos including a clip for The Cure that featured the band inside a wardrobe, one of the smallest sets ever built. Relocating to Los Angeles in 1986 to design commercials and music videos, he worked with cutting-edge directors, and by the early 90's, he segued into film production design. Among his earlier credits are The Lawnmower Man, The Crow, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Fight Club, The Affair of the Necklace and The Cat In The Hat. McDowell lives in Los Angeles, with his wife, painter Kirsten Everberg, and their two children.

Franchising, Extensions and Worldbuilding

Gregg Hale - Haxan Films, Producer Seventh Moon and The Blair Witch Project

Gregg Hale worked as a set dresser and prop man on features and TV shows in Orlando and LA for ten years before producing The Blair Witch Project in 1999. Hale was honored to receive the Nova Award as outstanding new producer from the Producer's Guild of America for his work on that film. He co-created the television series Freakylinks for Fox Television and produced the show's web presence, still one of the most extensive works of "e-fiction" ever presented on the Internet. Hale has directed a number of award-winning regional and national television commercials and his first (and only, so far) feature film as director, Say Yes Quickly, played in film festivals nationwide in 2005 and won Best Feature at the IndieMemphis festival.

In addition to his film work, Hale is one of the Executive Creative Directors at Campfire, one of the ad industry's leaders in interactive and online advertising. His most recent long-form film projects were Altered, a sci-fi/horror film which was purchased and released by Rogue Pictures and Seventh Moon, a supernatural thriller starring Amy Smart that is just beginning its festival run. Born in Selma, Alabama, Gregg considers Henderson, Kentucky his true hometown, where one collegiate year at Western Kentucky University as a theater major somehow led to four years in the Army's Special Forces. After his military service, he moved to Orlando, Florida where he went to film school at both Valencia Community College and the University of Central Florida. Gregg lives in New York City with his wife, Adrian, and their two children.

Lance Weiler - Director Head Trauma and The Last Broadcast

Lance Weiler is a critically acclaimed award winning writer / director. Recognized as a pioneer because of the way he makes and distributes his work - Wired magazine named him "One of twenty-five people helping to re-invent entertainment and change the face of Hollywood." Business Week recognized Lance as one of "The 18 people who Changed Hollywood." - others on the list Thomas Edison, George Lucas, Mark Cuban, and Steve Jobs. He has successfully self distributed his films The Last Broadcast and Head Trauma to over 20 countries while grossing over 5 million dollars in the process. Always interested in experimenting with new ways to tell stories and reach audiences, Lance developed a cinema ARG (alternate realty game) around Head Trauma. Over 2.5 million people experienced the game across theaters, mobile drive-ins, mobile phones and online. Lance is also the founder of the Workbook Project and a co-founder of From Here to Awesome and DIY DAYS. In addition Lance is a partner in Seize the Media a social entertainment company that focuses on cross-media story architecture.

Sharon Ross - Columbia College Chicago, Beyond the Box: Television and the Internet (Wiley-Blackwell)

Sharon Marie Ross teaches in the TV Department at Columbia College Chicago, where she focuses on critical studies and history. She is the author of Beyond the Box: Television and the Internet (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008), which examines the impact of the Internet on current understandings of television creation, marketing, and viewing; she is also the co-editor (with Louisa Stein) of Teen Television: Essays on Programming and Fandom (McFarland, 2008). Dr. Ross's special passion is audience reception of television and television fandom involving new media, particularly the intersections of viewership, creative professionals, and industry executives; much of her work also focuses on issues of gender and sexuality. In her next project she is exploring the evolving world of teen television in the 21st Century; she hopes to focus this work on industry understandings of the teen/tweener audience at channels such as Disney, ABC Family, The N, CW, and Nickelodeon within a historical context of 20th Century appeals to teen viewers. She is spending this semester teaching an intensive seminar of the episode "Checkpoint" from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, preparing for a spring class on 1980s television and a future class on 1990s television, and enjoying the marvels of her 2 month old son, Tommy (who has indeed been exposed to YouTube and kicked the most while in utero whenever American Idol results shows aired).

Sharon can be contacted at: sharonbuffy@msn.com, sross@colum.edu

Tom Boland - Director of Interactive Marketing, World Wrestling Entertainment

Tom Boland joined World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. in 2007 as the Director of Interactive Marketing. Boland oversees WWE's virtual worlds, grassroots, search, display, social media, mobile and next generation marketing strategies. Prior to joining WWE, Boland spent over 7 years at Digitas, where he managed the Saab Cars USA, Monster, Subway, Sirius, and Sears accounts. For all these brands, Tom helped craft the interactive marketing strategies. His professional portfolio includes total site redesigns (www.saabusa.com), multi-channel CRM programs (www.monster.com) and new product launches (www.subwayfreshbuzz.com). Boland graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurial Studies and Marketing from Babson College and he holds an MBA from Bentley College.

Tom Casiello - Daytime Emmy Award-Winning former writer of As the World Turns, One Life to Live, Days of Our Lives, The Young and the Restless

Tom Casiello started with As the World Turns as a writer's assistant from 1998 to 2000 and then as a breakdown writer from 2000 to 2002, as part of a team that won back-to-back writing Daytime Emmys in 2001 and 2002. In 2004, he worked as a script writer for One Life to Live for about a month before being named as associate head writer from 2004 to 2006, during which time his team was nominated for both a Daytime Emmy and a WGA. Since then, he worked as a breakdown writer for The Young and the Restless in 2006 and then as associate head writer of Days of Our Lives from 2007 to 2008. He has gained further prominence among soap fans thanks to his MySpace presence, where he blogs regularly on soaps.

Moderator: Ivan Aswith - Senior Strategist, Big Spaceship

Ivan Askwith is Senior Content Strategist for Big Spaceship, an award-winning digital creative agency based in Brooklyn, NY. Building upon his time as a founding member of MIT's Convergence Culture Consortium, Ivan now specializes in developing campaigns that generate deep cross-platform audience engagement with entertainment franchises and brands, for clients including NBC, A&E, HBO and Sony Pictures. He holds a Master's degree from MIT's Program in Comparative Media Studies, where his work focused on modern television's increasing emphasis on transmedia narrative in creating and sustaining audience engagement. His undergraduate work at NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study explored emerging trends at the intersection of media, technology and popular culture. He is now a frequent speaker on transmedia strategy and online communities at both academic and business conferences and an occasional contributer to magazines like Slate and Salon.

More speakers to be confirmed soon

right trim
bottom left trim bottom trim bottom right trim