Something Went Wrong.
Jason Rubin
VP, Metaverse Experiences
Meta
For over 35 years, Jason Rubin has helped create lasting franchises in video games and entertainment, as well as jumpstart new media businesses. Jason co-founded Naughty Dog in 1984 and co-created the 'Crash Bandicoot' and 'Jak and Daxter' series, later selling Naughty Dog to Sony Computer Entertainment. He also served as President of THQ Interactive, and co-founded and sold a media startup to Fox Interactive/MySpace. Jason joined Facebook as Head of Studios for Oculus in 2014 and led the team that brought the first wave of VR content to Oculus headsets. He went on to lead the Metaverse Content org at Meta, scaling the global team that builds and supports titles on Meta Quest headsets, including all first-party studios and third-party publishing for Reality Labs. He then served as VP of Play at Facebook, working on all initiatives on the Facebook Play Platform. Jason Rubin currently serves as the VP of Metaverse Experiences at Meta.
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Jacquelyn Morie
Founder, Chief Scientist
All These Worlds, LLC
Dr. Jacquelyn Ford Morie is recognized as a Virtual Reality (VR) trailblazer with 3 decades of work crafting profound experiences that enhance the human experience. During the early 1990s, she made significant contributions as a researcher at the UCF's Institute for Simulation and Training. There, she pioneered VR techniques that skillfully evoke emotional responses, drawing on psychology and artistry to design environments that elicit memorable experiences. In 2011, Dr. Morie founded All These Worlds, LLC, to advocate for and build diverse applications of VR technology. For NASA, she developed the virtual ecosystem ANSIBLE, aimed at providing psychological benefits for astronauts embarking on extended space missions. ANSIBLE's effectiveness was tested in the HISEAS facility in Hawaii, where a team of scientists simulated life on Mars for a year, complete with communication delays. ANSIBLE was shown to successfully mitigate the effects of social isolation and sensory deprivation. Dr. Morie currently advises several forward-thinking companies. As a senior technical advisor to XPRIZE's ANA Avatar Prize (awarded in 2023), she helped shape the challenge of creating a robotic avatar individuals could inhabit from a distance. Her 2020 co-edited book The Handbook of Research on the Global Impacts and Roles of Immersive Media, offered comprehensive explorations into the emerging landscape of immersive technologies. She was presented with the Accenture Lifetime Achievement Award for her VR work at the 2022 AIXR Awards and is currently working on two books that explore a more inclusive history of Virtual Reality. In addition to running her company and writing, she currently teaches Immersive Experience Design for UCLA’s Extension Program, and supervises PhD candidates at University College in Dublin, Ireland.
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Palmer Luckey
Founder
Anduril
Palmer Luckey is an American inventor, innovator, and entrepreneur. He is the Founder of defense technology company Anduril Industries, designer of the Oculus Rift virtual reality head-mounted display, and the Founder of Oculus VR, which was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for .3 billion. In 2017, Palmer founded Anduril Industries to radically transform the defense capabilities of the United States and its allies by fusing artificial intelligence with the latest hardware advancements. At Anduril, Palmer integrates a consumer technology business model with mission-driven objectives, enabling rapid product development and deployment, setting the company apart from other players in the defense industry. His deep interest in defense technology was driven by his time at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies Mixed Reality Lab, where he built hardware used to research immersive PTSD treatment for U.S. military veterans. He continued to support various military applications of virtual reality during his time at Oculus, informing his belief that radical modernization of U.S. military technology is a prerequisite for preserving our way of life. Palmer began attending Golden West College and Long Beach City College at the age of 14, and studied at California State University, Long Beach before dropping out to build Oculus VR.
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Leila Amirsadeghi
Principal Program Manager
Microsoft
Leila recently joined the Industry Solutions Engineering team at Microsoft as Principal Program Manager, driving innovation with strategic customers to solve business problems with future tech (AI/AR/VR). Leila was Principal Product Manager on Microsoft Mesh where she helped birth, build and launch the product to market, and was Product Manager on AltspaceVR, Microsoft’s metaverse and mixed reality platforms. With over 25 years in entertainment, digital product development, and production, Leila has created content and built products across mobile, web, OTT, AI, AR, VR, and the metaverse, as well as launching award-winning integrated campaigns for brands and startups. She’s worked on major franchises including Halo, Star Wars and X-Men, and has worked with some of the world’s most innovative companies including, Disney, Red Bull, Comcast, Sky Broadcasting, Mattel, Two Bit Circus, Chevron, Warner Bros, AREA15, Takeda, Live Nation, Accenture, Citi, Meow Wolf, Activision, Universal Studios, and the World Economic Forum. Leila has worked on large-scale physical and virtual productions, including Burning Man, Lightning in a Bottle, and the multi award-winning BRCvr, has launched several immersive and location-based experiences, and was co-creator of the Unreal Garden, the world's first mixed reality consumer LBE experience. Leila started working on immersive and interactive projects in 2007, AR in 2008, and gaming in 2009. Leila is co-author of the book “A Handbook of Research on the Global Impacts & Roles of Immersive Media”, founder of XR consultancy MESH, and a member of Spatial Activations. Leila sits on the Boards of Cloudtree Ventures, Enklu, Ethereal Matter, and Vibes + Logic, and is a member of AIXR’s LBE Advisory Board, and as one of the early pioneers of the metaverse, Leila continues to push the boundaries of what is possible across the physical and digital worlds. Leila is a veteran Burner of over 20 years and was a Shift Lead in the Black Rock Rangers for several years.
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Tom Furness
Founder & Chairman
Virtual World Society
Tom Furness is an amalgam of Professor, Inventor and Entrepreneur in a professional career that spans 58 years. In addition to his contributions in photonics, electro-optics, human interface technology, he is an original pioneer of virtual and augmented reality technology and widely known as the ‘grandfather’ of virtual reality. Tom is Professor Emeritus of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Washington (UW), Seattle, Washington, USA. He is the founder of the family of Human Interface Technology Laboratories at the University of Washington, Christchurch, New Zealand and Tasmania, Australia. Tom is a Fellow in the IEEE and the founder and chairman of the Virtual World Society, a non-profit for extending virtual reality as a learning system for families and other humanitarian applications. He serves on several advisory boards and runs his own company: RATLab LLC (rat= rockin’ and thinkin’) where he experiments with ‘far out’ technologies and concepts.
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Don Allen Stevenson III
Creator, Public Speaker
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Ori Inbar
Co-Founder
AWE and Super Ventures
Ori Inbar is the Co-Founder and CEO of AugmentedReality.org, a global non-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing augmented reality (AR), and the producer of Augmented World Expo – the world’s largest event dedicated exclusively to the AR industry. AugmentedReality.org’s mission is to promote the true potential of AR, and hatch augmented reality initiatives that offer unique value to its active users. In 2009, Ori was the co-founder and CEO of Ogmento, one of the first venture-backed companies conceived from the ground up to develop and publish augmented reality games – games that are played in the real world. Ori has been an enterprising champion of the augmented reality industry since 2007. He established Games Alfresco – a leading augmented reality blog that helped popularize AR, and co-founded the Augmented Reality Event (ARE) – the world’s largest and most influential conference for AR – now in its 4th year. Ori is a recognized speaker in the AR industry as well as a sought after adviser for augmented reality initiatives. Previously, as Senior Vice President of Solution Marketing for SAP’s platform, Ori was responsible for the positioning and marketing of SAP NetWeaver – which under his leadership grew from a mere concept to a billion dollar business for SAP. Prior to SAP, Ori joined TopTier Software, as one of the first employees of this start-up. He lead the development and introduction to the market of more than 15 multimedia and business applications including the world’s leading enterprise portal, which in 2001 was acquired by SAP for 0 Million. Ori has a double major in Computer Science and Cinema from Tel Aviv University and is a graduate of INSEAD University business leadership program.
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Angela Carnrite
Senior Manager, Sales Enablement
Thermo Fisher Scientific
A pioneer in immersive content development and deployment at Thermo Fisher Scientific, Angela Carnrite leads an innovative team that utilizes immersive solutions to enhance customer experience and improve commercial productivity. Angela’s Digital Sales Tools Program has generated over 0M in sales revenue with a 10% higher win rate in North America by implementing 3D/AR/VR technology solutions and significantly improving customer engagement, commercial win rates, marketing programs, training programs, and the web experience.
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Martin Enthed
Innovation Manager
IKEA
Since the early 90s, Martin has been engaged in all aspects of 3D and Computer Graphics. In 2007, he joined IKEA, where he during the first 10 years established the technical setup for professional 3D processes for large scale image/animation production. Since 2017 his main focus is the IKEA Spatial Computing Lab, doing cutting-edge Spatial Computing innovations, placing the lab at the forefront of global retail industry. He also is passionate in the strive for open standards and have an active role in Khronos as vice president.
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Chris Sloan
Head of Global Partnerships
SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park
Chris Sloan is the Head of Global Partnerships for SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park. Hollywood Park is a near 300-acre mixed-use development being built in Inglewood, Calif., by Los Angeles Rams Owner/Chairman E. Stanley Kroenke and includes: SoFi Stadium, YouTube Theater, American Airlines Plaza, as well as retail, office, residences and additional park space under development. In this role, Sloan oversees corporate partnership growth, development, and activation across SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park, which includes the 6,000-seat YouTube Theater. Sloan works alongside the Rams and Chargers partnership teams, and leads partnership efforts for Hollywood Park owned and operated events, such as the LA Bowl, an annual collegiate bowl game held at SoFi Stadium. Before joining SoFi Stadium and Hollywood Park, Sloan worked on the project as Senior Director, Global Partnerships for Legends, where he was part of a team that completed over billion in new partnership business and led historic naming-rights negotiations for SoFi Stadium and YouTube Theater. Prior to Legends, Sloan was the Director of Partnerships for Chicago Cubs and the Wrigley Field 1060 Restoration Project. He has also held roles at NASCAR league offices and Madison Square Garden. Sloan has over 15 years of partnership sales and strategy experience in the sports and entertainment industry.
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Aniella Arantes
Global Technology | Immersive Tech Products | VP
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
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Thomas Codrick
Senior Lead Engineer
Booz Allen Hamilton
Driven by digital storytelling and the human element within technology, Thomas Codrick started his career supporting the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), focused on mission readiness and training. He is now entering his 19th year in the digital space, working alongside various branches of defense and civil sectors domestically and abroad. Thomas is a Lead Associate with the Booz Allen CSS Immersive team, engaging in various roles as design, project, and tech lead for a wide range of efforts and client needs. His impact helps drive delivery and team collaboration alongside tremendously talented individuals and clients eager to pave the way for technology.
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Trista Pierce
Senior Digital Strategist
Booz Allen Hamilton
Trista Pierce is a Senior Digital Strategist at Booz Allen Hamilton, where she is a leader on the Spatial Computing team within the firm’s Chief Technology Office’s emerging technology incubator, Bright Labs. Specializing in the convergence of XR, 5G, IoT, and Digital Twin technologies, her work drives digital transformation within the public sector. Developing practical applications and use cases while testing and incubating innovative technologies for mission-critical solutions in government and DoD operations has established her as a respected voice in the realm of emerging technology, spatial computing, and its enablers. Her technical expertise was forged during her time as a US Navy Nuclear Reactor Operator, and she holds a M.S. in Information Systems with a specialization in Data Analytics from Carnegie Mellon University.
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Rick Robinson
VP of Innovation / GM of the AgeTech Collaborative?
AARP
Something Went Wrong.
Kathryn Drummonds
Systems Engineer
Northrop Grumman
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Young Guru
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Jacqueline Zimmermann
Lead Behavioral Scientist
Magic Leap
Jacqueline Zimmermann is a Lead Behavioral Scientist in the User Research team at Magic Leap. She is working on understanding User Experience of enterprise-focused solutions in Augmented Reality, including in sectors like manufacturing, public sector and healthcare. Jacqueline’s background sits at the intersection of Psychology, Human Factors and Behavioral Science. She obtained her PhD from University of Toronto, Canada, in Psychology, specializing in Cognitive Neuroscience.
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Chi Xu
CEO
XREAL
Chi Xu is the Founder and CEO of XREAL, the world's leading consumer AR glasses brand today, with more than 350,000 units shipped and nearly 50% marketshare. Chi previously worked at NVIDIA as a software engineer and founded XREAL, then Nreal, in 2017. With Chi’s strategic vision, XREAL developed its inaugural AR glasses, the 6DOF revolutionary Light, accompanied by XREAL's self-developed 3D system called Nebula, which received extensive positive responses during CES 2019 and 2020 for its sleek form factor and impressive image quality. Under Chi's leadership, XREAL developed and released award-winning, recording-setting AR glasses in Air, Air 2 and Air 2 Pro between 2022 and 2023. Chi spearheaded the announcement of XREAL Air 2 Ultra at CES 2024, introducing next generation 6DOF lightweight AR glasses with the market's smallest 3D environment and SLAM sensors. XREAL Air 2 Ultra has received rave reviews for offering Apple Vision Pro and Meta Quest 3 comparable experiences in XREAL's stylish glasses design. Chi received a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Zhejiang University and later a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Minnesota.
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Jasmine Roberts
Research Engineer
Microsoft Research
Jasmine Roberts is an engineer, researcher, and cognitive designer in virtual, augmented, and mixed reality reality. Currently, she is building generative A.I. creative tooling at Microsoft Research and planning to announce an XR startup. Jasmine has worked at PlayStation on PlayStation VR, Unity on Unity MARS, and at Google on ARCore. Jasmine has also been a member of collectives Oculus Launch Pad, Mozilla XR Studio and was honored in 2020 in Forbes Under 30 for Games. She founded Black in XR November 2021.
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Vishal Shah
General Manager, XR & Metaverse
Lenovo
Vishal Shah is currently the General Manager of XR (AR/VR) and Metaverse at Lenovo. In his role, Vishal has global responsibility of all aspects of Product Management, Sales, Marketing and Operations for the XR/Metaverse group. He is responsible for managing the portfolio of ThinkReality XR solutions, an industry leading end-to-end solution that powers the Enterprise Metaverse. This includes the award-winning ThinkReality A3 smart glasses, Mirage VR S3 for enterprise VR solutions, and that the ThinkReality Platform, which is among the first truly device- and cloud-agnostic XR platforms to enable commercial customers to build, deploy, and manage applications and content on a global scale, with global support. Vishal has demonstrated a deep passion for AR/VR technology with significant go-to-market expertise across the industry. Most recently, Vishal was Vice President of Sales at Tech Mahindra, one of the largest global system integrators in telecom, networking, and IT services. At Tech Mahindra, Vishal led the AR/VR, IoT, and 5G practice sales to record levels. Under his leadership, Tech Mahindra won and deployed leading AR/XR solutions for Industry 4.0. Healthcare and Education verticals globally. Prior to that Vishal held key executive roles in product management, sales and business development at Qualcomm, Motorola and Atheer. Vishal has also provided consulting services to C-level executives at F1000 corporations, venture capital firms, and startups globally. Vishal has an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, and a Master’s in Computer Science from Pennsylvania State University.
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Jesse Schell
CEO
Schell Games
Jesse Schell is the CEO of Schell Games, a team of more than 130 people in Pittsburgh, PA who strive to make the world’s greatest educational and entertainment games, including Yale Medical's PlayForward: Elm City Stories, Water Bears VR, HoloLAB Champions, the Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood games, and Happy Atoms. Schell Games also creates pure entertainment content, such as the award-winning VR game I Expect You To Die and Until You Fall, a VR sword fighting game. Jesse also serves as Distinguished Professor of the Practice of Entertainment Technology at Carnegie Mellon University. Jesse has worked on a wide variety of innovative game and simulation projects for both entertainment and education, but he is best known for his award winning book The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses and his predictions about the future of gaming technology. A third edition was released in 2019 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the book. He is a previous chair of the International Game Developers Association and former Creative Director of the Disney Virtual Reality Studio.
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Chris Anderson
Sr. Product Manager - Technical
Amazon
Chris Anderson is a Senior Product Manager at Amazon, overseeing 3D content management tools for Amazon sellers. As customers become more accustomed to AR shopping experiences, 3D content is becoming more important than ever before in ecommerce. With over 10 years of experience, Chris is passionate about simplifying the 3D content creation and management process for brands and content creators as demand for immersive online shopping experiences continues to grow.
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Ashleigh Miller
Sr Program Manager & 3D SME
Amazon
Ashleigh (Ash) Miller is an artist and 3D subject matter expert, specializing in photorealistic rendering for augmented reality and web real-time. Currently she is Program Manager for Amazon Imaging 3D, the team which standardizes, produces, and provides content to Amazon’s various 3D CX worldwide. Ash has focused on a variety of internal infrastructure and standardization initiatives, and is now managing the infrastructure and educational projects needed in order to support Amazon sellers and vendors in the use of their own 3D content across the site. Beginning in 2020 she served as Co-chair for the Khronos Group's Certification and Validation Technical Sub-Group, until the launch of the Viewer Certification program in late 2021. In addition to her work in eCommerce, Ash stays connected to her roots in fine art, directing and consulting on interdisciplinary performances and installations which combine music, performance, visual multimedia, and experimental technology.
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Andrew Lowe
Chief Advanced Visualization Engineer
Rolls-Royce
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Jeffrey Berthiaume
Sr. Innovator
Southwest Airlines
Jeffrey Berthiaume is a seasoned innovator with a diverse range of experiences across multiple industries. He currently serves as a Senior Innovator at Southwest Airlines, where he leverages his knowledge and expertise to develop custom software and hardware that tests out innovative use-cases throughout the organization. Jeffrey's career has been characterized by a passion for problem-solving and a deep understanding of customer needs. He has worked on numerous projects that have improved the airline's operations and customer experience, including the implementation of new technologies, the development of new products and services, and the optimization of business processes. Prior to joining Southwest, Jeffrey spent several years working in the advertising industry, where he developed iOS projects for clients such as Experian, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, GoPro, and Mnet. He was responsible for managing project timelines, ensuring client satisfaction, and delivering high-quality products on time and on budget. Throughout his career, Jeffrey has developed a reputation for his passion for innovation, his ability to work collaboratively with teams, and his dedication to delivering professional-grade, high-quality products and services.
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Bobby Basham
Director, Baseball Innovation
Chicago Cubs
Bobby Basham is the Director, Baseball Innovation for the Chicago Cubs has been a member of the Cubs front office since 2012. He works within the baseball operations department to identify, evaluate, emerging trends, technology, and best practices across the sports landscape. Prior to this role, he worked as the Director, Player Development managing the Cubs Minor League System. Bobby is a former professional player and worked for several in the healthcare industry as a marketing manager before returning to baseball. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Richmond and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Bobby is a judge and mentor for Stadia Ventures and has served on the Sports Innovation Lab’s Athlete Data Leadership Board, Northwestern University’s Center for Bio‐Integrated Electronics Sports Advisory Board, and USA Cricket’s High Performance and Pathways Committee, among others. He has been a speaker at various sports conferences, including twice at SXSW. He lives in San Diego with his wife Leslie and their three wonderful children.
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Valerie Allie
Video Solutions Group Director
InterDigital
Research group director engaged since 2017 in volumetric video technologies addressing MR experiences and AR glasses technologies. From January 2022, Valérie leads the InterDigital Video Solutions group to support the deployment of 2D video codecs (HDR, VVC) and immersive codecs (V3C/V-PCC, V3C/MIV) She has a long-term experience in research labs management. She has also spent 5 years in technology transfer and licensing.
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Tommy Palm
CEO
Resolution Games
Tommy Palm, long-time Swedish games industry veteran, is the co-founder, CEO and resident “Guru of visual computing” at Resolution Games. In this role, he works in the forefront to man the helm of the company’s voyage into creating original IP for VR and AR gameplay that will forever change the way mainstream consumers engage in the platforms. Most recently Tommy was the spokesperson and Games Guru at Candy Crush Saga creator, King Digital Entertainment, where he helped lead the company to its IPO at a B valuation. Prior to that, his company Fabrication Games was acquired by King Digital Entertainment in 2012 to provide the platform ultimately used to help the wildly successful company transition to mobile. Tommy also founded Stugan, Jadestone, The Game Trail and consulted on games development since he first started programming for Commodore 64 in 1986.
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Moritz Baier-Lentz
Partner
Lightspeed
Moritz Baier-Lentz is a Partner and the Head of Gaming & Interactive Media at Lightspeed, a globally leading venture capital firm with 13 offices, more than billion in AUM, and over 200 exits across the U.S., Europe, and Asia. A lifelong gamer, he spent his teenage years competitively playing Blizzard’s Diablo II, culminating in a global #1 ranking among over 12 million players in 2003. Previously, Moritz was a partner and management team member at BITKRAFT—the most active gaming & virtual worlds VC of 2020, 2021, and 2022—and a Vice President at Goldman Sachs, where he founded and led the firm's global gaming practice. During his tenure, he advised gaming and technology corporations on over 0 billion in transaction volume across M&A, IPOs, VC, and strategic financings. Moritz holds an M.B.A. and M.A. from Stanford and was recognized among the 30 Under 30 (Forbes), 40 Under 40 (Capital), and Young Global Leaders (World Economic Forum).
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Carolina Cruz-Neira
Agere Chair Professor in Computer Science
University of Central Florida
Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, is a pioneer in the areas of virtual reality (VR), interactive visualization, and digital twins. Her work has translated to standard tools in industry, government, and academia. She is known world-wide for being the creator of the CAVE VR system and for transferring research into practice by spearheading several Open-Source initiatives, such as VRJuggler, and by leading entrepreneurial initiatives to commercialize research. She has over 100 publications and has been awarded over 0 million in grants, contracts, and donations. She is recognized for founding successful VR research centers: the Virtual Reality Applications Center at Iowa State University, the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise, and the Emerging Analytics Center at the University of Arkansas. She serves in international technology boards, government technology advisory committees. She enjoys intersecting her research with the arts and the humanities through performances and installations. She has been named one of the top innovators in virtual reality and one of the top three greatest women visionaries in VR. She is the first person inducted to the National Academy of Engineering for contributions to immersive technologies and VR, she is a member of the IEEE VR Academy, an IEEE Fellow, and an ACM Computer Pioneer; She received the IEEE VR Achievement Award and the International Digital Media & Arts Society Distinguished Career Award among many national and international recognitions. She has given numerous keynote addresses and she advises government on how VR can help to give industries a competitive edge leading to regional economic growth. She has appeared in numerous national and international TV shows and podcasts as an expert on her discipline and several documentaries have been produced about her life and career. Currently, Dr. Cruz is the Agere Chair in Computer Science at the University of Central Florida.
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Paul Davies
Technical Fellow
The Boeing Company
Paul Davies is a Technical Fellow in the Materials and Manufacturing Research & Technology group at The Boeing Company. He is leading the team researching and developing the company’s Augmented Reality platform for manufacturing applications, and is currently working on implementation the technology on production programs across the commercial, defense and services sides of Boeing’s business. In addition, he continues to lead other advanced visualization Research and Development activities in the manufacturing domain. Paul received a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology in May 2004, and a MS degree in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Digital Signal Processing from California State University Long Beach in May 2008.
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April Boyd-Noronha
Interim CEO
XRSI - X Reality Safety Intelligence
April Boyd-Noronha is currently the Interim CEO of the X Reality Safety Intelligence (XRSI), the first 501c3 global SDO with the mission of helping build safe and inclusive emerging realities. She helped lead XRSI's launch of the Immersive Technology Standards for accessibility, inclusion, ethics, and safety in 2020 that paved the way for today's safe design and deployment of immersive technologies within the industry. April has over 20 years of experience in academia and advanced technologies as an author, global keynote speaker, thought leader, and advisor on emerging trends. In her role as Principal Consultant at The STEM Broker, LLC, she lectures and consults on the future of work on diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and accessibility of historically marginalized populations. April is also the Global Security Awareness Manager for a Fortune 50 company, responsible for engaging 48k+ employees in over 30 countries. She continues to blaze a trail in equitable practices as the first Black elected school board member of the Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD) which is the 3rd largest district in the state of Kansas. April is the parent of three technologists who are accomplished motivational speakers who share their experience of pursuing a STEM career track in IT/cybersecurity, engineering, and environmental science. For more details visit www.thestembroker.com.
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Yu Cheng
User Experience Designer
Schlumberger
Yu Cheng embarked on a journey with SLB in 2022, following the completion of a master’s degree in design from the University of California, Berkeley. With over six years of extensive experience, Yu is a seasoned UX/UI designer and researcher. Yu Cheng's career is characterized by a genuine interest in multidisciplinary design and innovation. With an eye for detail, Yu applies a careful and insightful approach to various projects, including B2B systems, web and app interfaces, service systems, industrial products, and the creation of illustrations and installation art. In light of the rapid advancements in artificial intelligence, Yu Cheng is actively engaged in exploring the application of AI technologies to enhance design efficiency and broaden the spectrum of creative work.
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Andrew Hafford
Training Manager
UPS
Andrew Hafford is a Training Manager for UPS who accelerates the adoption and development of state-of-the-art training tools for our front line employees. He has been named as an inventor on a US patent for The Logistics Driving Simulator“ (US-20230196941-A1) and is working to make augmented and mixed reality training widely adopted across the organization. Among other topics Andrew has explored solutions in iOT, Mixed Reality and simulation.
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Andy Hunt
Manager, Digital Innovation Lab
The Hershey Company
Andy Hunt is Manager, Digital Innovation Lab at The Hershey Company, a global confectionery leader committed to good business by operating fairly, ethically and sustainably to make a positive impact on society. With an engineering background, he has nearly two decades leading teams to inventive solutions that blend art, imagination, and practicality. Using broad conceptual and strategic thinking, Andy is a passionate believer in the thoughtful application of technology to solve problems.
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Athicha Dhanormchitphong
Digital & Extended Realities Architect
ExxonMobil
Athicha joined ExxonMobil working in the Research & Engineering Information Technology section. There he held a position as a lead developer in web & desktop applications. He then joined Architecture & Technology where he conducted proof of concepts with Extended Realities (XR) for the business units. This led to the creation of Immersive Technology Studios, an internal IT organization that provides XR services to the business units. In that role as the Extended Reality Domain Architect, Athicha led the R&D efforts within the 3D space. Learnings from those R&D efforts were applied and integral to the creation of the Digital Reality Ecosystem where he is now the lead architect for the entire project.
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Brandon Andrews
Co-Founder
Gauge
Brandon Andrews is CEO of The Inexorable - a consulting firm and co-founder and Chief Product Officer of a tech company; Gauge. He does casting for ABC's Shark Tank, REVOLT's Bet on Black, and a number of other television business shows; meeting thousands of entrepreneurs each year. A State Department Global Innovation Fellow he has traveled the world engaging entrepreneurs.
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Alex Goldberg
XR Innovations
Blue Origin
Hi, I’m Alex Goldberg, I’m an Administrator of XR technologies in Blue Origin’s Engineering & Program Management and Systems Design department. I serve Blue as a subject matter expert on spatial computing with a deep focus on augmented/mixed reality. I work with teams across the org to implement solutions that enable us to more effectively design and manufacture space vehicles.
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Angelina Dayton
Executive Director
Virtual World Society
Dr. Angelina Dayton is Executive Director for the Virtual World Society and Aspen Institute Tech Policy Fellow. She has previously been an XR user-experience designer, speaker, consultant and trainer. Angelina has degrees in Anthropology and Education from UC Berkeley and Stanford and a Human-Computer Interaction Professional Certification from MIT. Some of her current passion projects involve XR curriculum and training in rural Native communities. She is widely known as The VR Lady and has spent her career helping industry understand large-scale deployment and mass adoption of emerging technologies. She is the mother of seven and is a children’s magician in her free time.
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Ryan Wheeler
Senior Technical Fellow of Advanced Visualizations
Collins Aerospace
Ryan Wheeler is a Senior Technical Fellow with Collins Aerospace, an RTX company. A serial intrapreneur serving in Applied Research & Technology, he invents and helps research commercial grade enterprise visualization solutions. These applications, such as one of the earliest scaled deployments of VR, have saved Collins over 0,000,000 and boosted employee productivity by hundreds of thousands of hours. Ryan has expertise in XR and other advanced visualization technologies. His professional passions include design, usability, cognitive science, intrapreneurship, storytelling, and the diffusion and valuation of innovation.
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Jenna Seiden
Senior VP Business Development
Skydance Interactive
Jenna has more than 25 years’ experience as an executive in sports, emerging tech, and linear media. She currently serves as Senior Vice President, Business Development at Skydance Interactive leading strategic partnerships, publishing, and franchise development. Previously, she was Vice President of Business Development at Niantic Labs, maker of Pokémon Go, where she led efforts across IP/Publishing, Mapping, AR, and HMDs. She began her career in sports marketing at the NBA and has held executive positions at CAA, Xbox, HTC, Maker Studios, NBC, and Meta. Jenna is a board advisor to three Emmy-winning immersive and games studios and consults across the AI and XR landscape. She also founded an AI and IoT solutioning company for conservation and sustainability, Zambezi Partners. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
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Max Sikorski
Virtual Reality Leader
General Motors
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Amy Knox
Immersive Health Lead
Booz Allen Hamilton
Amy Knox is a creative digital strategist who finds problems and solves them. For more than 20 years, she has put humans at the center of digital design projects for cause-based organizations and federal agencies. As Immersive Health Lead at Booz Allen, Ms. Knox brings a human-centered focus to virtual and augmented reality applications. She currently supports delivery of award-winning immersive training applications which build empathy and provide simulated, hands-on instruction in safe, secure virtual environments for clients including VA and CDC.
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Benny Lee
Senior Manager of Experiential Design
Coca-Cola
Benny Lee sits at the convergence between the worlds of physical and digital experience with deep expertise in Concept Design, Product Design, User Experience and human interaction design. At The Coca-Cola Company, he is trusted to lead initiatives in Artificial Intelligence and generative technology, industrial design, motion design solution architecture, experiential design. His recent work includes Coca-Cola Creations, Coca-Cola Create Real Magic AI 2.0 Experience and Ai content, strategy design for Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, Coca-Cola imagery automation, and XR solutions around brand guidance. Prior to Coca-Cola, he designed lifestyle accessories, mass-manufactured consumer-facing products, and concept work for featured films.
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Leslie Forsberg
VR Development Lead
The Boeing Company
Leslie Forsberg has been leading virtual reality (VR) activities within Boeing Global Services’ (BGS) Support & Services VR Solutions Team for Analytics & Digital Solutions Engineering for the last 8 year utilizing game engines, such as Unity and Unreal Engine 4 (UE4). She and the team create customized immersive experiences for various types of users throughout the lifecycle of a product focusing on Support and Services. Prior to that she spent 18 years focusing on digital maintainability verifying airplane and system level requirements ensuring that airline mechanics can perform their jobs safely and efficiently. Leslie also serves as an Associate Technical Fellow (ATF) for Digital Maintainability, and a chairperson for Community of Experts (COE) for Dassault Systèmes Solutions Extend Reality (xR) subdivision. Lastly, Leslie is proud to be a 4th generation Boeing employee.
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Aditi Chalisgaonkar
AR/VR Product Manager
Walmart
Aditi is an AR VR Product Leader with expertise in driving early-stage product development which leverage emerging technologies. With a background in UX Design, she bridges user needs with strategic business objectives, crafting innovative experiences that drive tangible growth. Through her recent experience as a Staff Product Manager at Walmart, she has built her multiple transformative projects such as: •Apple Vision Pro: Product Management for an enterprise Modular Planning application on AVP, earning recognition from Tim Cook himself during Apple’s quarterly earnings call. •Meta Quest: Developed a strategic proposal and roadmap for AR/VR shopping on a leading mixed reality platform, securing support from key stakeholders. •Magic Leap: Led an industry-first in-store testing program for innovative shopping features, achieving remarkable customer satisfaction rates and securing a feature at Walmart's CES booth. With a Master’s degree in Integrated Innovation from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from NITK, India, Aditi lays a strong foundation for new product innovation. Beyond her professional endeavors, she is passionate about building opportunities for the LGBTQIA+ community and has co-founded NITK Spectrum (https://www.instagram.com/thenitkspectrum/), a resource initiative for the queer community at her alma mater.
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Gene Feldman
Training Manager
Nestle Purina
Gene Feldman is a member of the Center for Functional Excellence within Nestle Purina Pet Care supporting training innovation through the use of technology. Gene currently holds a Master's in Education and has been is in field of education/training and development for the past 25+ years. Recently, Gene has been identified as a leading VR/AR integration expert for immersive training solutions.
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Dulce Baerga
Mixed Reality Technologist
Dulce Dotcom
Dulce Baerga is a self-taught technologist with over 20 years of interactive experience. She’s a webXR developer, experience designer and mixed reality producer. She’s pushing the edges of the immersive web and working to help assist other web developers in building webXR experiences. She’s also a technical artist with extensive 3D and 2D graphic training and experience, and she’s using those skills to push the edges of AI platforms and pipelines. Her leadership style is one based on open collaboration, the promotion of autonomy, inclusiveness, and camaraderie. She's a thought leader in the XR community who is invited to speak on conference panels and to participate in annual Hackathons at AWE, GDC, AILA, Digital LA, MIT and UC Berkeley. She believes that intrinsic motivation is the prime variable to measure within a workforce and the primary ingredient toward meeting unified goals and success. Given her technical background being a full stack engineer and avid multi stack developer, Dulce has unique insight in which she understands the potential limitations of technologies from an engineering level that few other futurists without such technical experience can match.
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Jeremy Dalton
Head of XR
PwC
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Mary Matheson
Immersive Director/Professor of Practice
Arizona State University
Mary Matheson is an award-winning immersive director specialising in character-led social impact film-making for documentaries, high-end branded content, commercials and PSAs. Her clients have included Google, Lenovo, the United Nations, UK Government (BEIS), Save the Children and Plan International. Her films have been broadcast on mainstream platforms like the BBC & Channel 4 in the UK, as well as at international festivals and events such as the UN Climate Change Summit, UN General Assembly, Sheffield Doc Festival, Annecy International Animation Festival & EarthX film festival. She cut her teeth as a journalist in Colombia, covering the capture of the Cali cartel for the Guardian, NPR and TIME Magazine. Since then she has filmed in multiple post-conflict zones, focusing on untold stories and under-represented narratives. Her latest documentary Walk to Westerbork VR, part of The Journey Back VR series by East City Films, was part of the SXSW 2024 VR Spotlight. Mary is Professor of Practice at Arizona State University's center for Narrative & Emerging Media in Los Angeles.
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Valentin Heun
Vice President of Innovation Engineering
PTC
Valentin Heun is a V.P. of Innovation Engineering at PTC, leading the PTC Reality Lab. His research focuses on new computer interaction methods for the physical world. Valentin created the first architecture-scale Augmented Reality platform for Spatial Computing, founded the Vuforia Spatial Toolbox Open-Source Community and cofounded a 6DoF U.I. interface company for robotic and CAD. His work was named by Fast Company as The Boldest Idea in User Interface Design and received global recognition, including the SIGGRAPH Asia Emerging Technologies Award. He was also named to the Smart List by Wired U.K., and received the Editor?s Choice Award for IoT Software & Tools from PostScapes. Valentin?s works have been published in many academic conferences such as Ubiquitous Computing, SIGGRAPH Asia, and CHI. Valentin holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Media Arts and Science from the MIT Media Lab and a Dipl.-Des. from the Bauhaus-University Weimar Germany.
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Martin Warters
Head of Education Development Management
Pfizer
Martin Warters has an MA in Educational Technology, is SAFe POPM certified, and is trained in Design Thinking. He has 20 years of experience working in Education in a variety of online, and in-person settings, modalities and industries. He joined Pfizer in 2020 as the Head of Education for Global Product Development, with the remit of advancing educational offerings and approaches for Pfizer Colleagues. His background and research interests include Serious Games, Simulations, and creating sustainable, ethical and inclusive education. Throughout his career he has sat at the intersection between technology and experience design – ensuring that the affordances of the tool are utilized for the best possible learning interventions.
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Lianne Baron
AR Partnerships
Meta
Lianne is an experienced Augmented Reality strategist and partnerships expert currently working with Meta and their vast amount of Spark AR Creators to create impactful experiences that leverage the latest in AR technology. She has worked with leading brands and agencies to design and execute innovative AR campaigns that drive engagement, brand awareness, and revenue. Lianne's expertise lies in combinging creators and compelling AR experiences that deliver measurable results, from product launches and interactive installations to marketing campaigns and educational programs. As an accomplished speaker and thought leader in the AR space, Lianne is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and inspiring the next generation of creators and innovators.
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Dave Raasakka
Senior VP Global Customer Support
Somero
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Jennica Bellanca
Biomechanical Engineer & Principle Investigator
CDC / NIOSH
Jennica Bellanca is a biomechanical engineer with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). She earned a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering, and dual master’s degrees in bioengineering and mechanical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. Ms. Bellanca has been working in the mining industry for more than 12 years as a human factors, safety researcher. Her work has primarily focused on virtual reality (VR) and simulation, hazard recognition, collision avoidance, and haul truck health and safety. She is currently leading a collaborative effort to develop and evaluate a VR application for mine rescue training.
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Tim Giuliani
CEO/President
Orlando Economic Partnership
Tim Giuliani leads the Orlando Economic Partnership, a private-public partnership with a team of 40 and a board of directors comprised of business, government, and higher education leaders. The Partnership has developed an internationally awarded marketing campaign that has helped business development efforts resulting in 21,500 new jobs and .5 billion in capital investment. His work with mayors, higher education leadership and private sector leaders has resulted in innovative approaches to data-tracking and analytics, improving lead generation with AI, a first-of-its-kind digital twin, and leadership programs for executives, young professionals, and women. Tim is a driven servant-leader focused on building prosperity by linking community and economic development.
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Dawn Comer
Exec. Officer & Sr. Dir. of Digital Inclusion & Innovation
City of Los Angeles
Dawn M. Comer is the Executive Officer and Sr. Director of Digital Inclusion & Innovation for the City of Los Angeles, serving in the Mayor’s Office of Finance, Operations and Innovation. She was previously a FUSE Corps fellow for the City of Los Angeles, leading Smart City initiatives and a Senior Management Consultant at IBM, leading digital transformation for Fortune 500 clients. Dawn holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University, a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, and most recently, just completed the Aspen Institute Tech Policy Hub’s Tech Executive Leadership Initiative (TELI) Program. In her spare time, Dawn enjoys the performing arts and teaching dance at her church.
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Rachel Kornak
Tech Ed Manager
City of Los Angeles
Rachel Kornak is the Strategic Partnerships and Tech Education Manager for the Mayor’s Office of Finance, Operations and Innovation at the City of Los Angeles. She enjoys launching new initiatives and using technology to drive positive change. She has 20 years of experience in technology, education, and entrepreneurship. Rachel taught spatial analysis at Penn State University, the University of Michigan and the Asian Institute of Technology. She also served as Esri’s Geographic Information Science (GIS) Education Ambassador in Indonesia. She completed a M.S. in Environmental Science, a B.S. in Environmental Geology and a B.S in Spanish at the University of Michigan, a Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at Pennsylvania State and a Certificate in Change Leadership at Cornell.
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James Ashley
Senior XR Consultant
Project Archer
James Ashley has been working in creative technology for the past 13 years and has spent the last 7 of those years working with Mixed Reality platforms. He spent half a decade at the famous Razorfish Emerging Experiences Lab. He wrote Beginning Kinect Programming with Jarrett Webb in 2012 and co-created the LinkedIn Learning course App Development for Microsoft HoloLens with Dennis Vroegop in 2017. He last spoke at AWE in 2020.James grew up in the Republic of Vietnam and in Los Angeles. He did graduate work in philosophy at Emory University before switching over the tech. He continues to be interested in the interplay of the theory of design and the practice of software development. He currently works at Project Archer in Redmond, WA laying the groundwork for the future of AR.
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Jacqui Bransky
VP of Web3 & Innovation
Warner Records
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Andrew Eiche
CEO
Owlchemy Labs Inc
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Shane Rhodes
3D Generalist
Mighty Coconut
Shane Rhodes is a 3D Modeler and Gameplay Designer for the acclaimed VR game Walkabout Mini Golf. As part of the Mighty Coconut development team, Shane stands among a group of incredibly talented artists and engineers, each contributing their unique skills and passion to creating the immersive worlds found in the best rated and most beloved multiplayer virtual reality experience globally. It's this collective effort that defines the essence of his work – a testament to the power of collaboration and shared dedication. Before joining Mighty Coconut, Shane spent a several years as a freelance 3D Artist and Creative Writer for various Themed Entertainment studios in Los Angeles, California. Eventually he pivoted to 3D Concept work full time - creating designs for film & television premieres and music events with studios such as Netflix, WB, FX, Paramount, Nickelodeon and Live Nation. www.mightycoconut.com/minigolf
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Kim Gohree
VP of Marketing
AmazeVR, Inc.
Prior to building the future of VR Concerts with AmazeVR, Gohree promoted live shows around the world for almost 10 years, bringing her favorite global artists to new markets and breaking new levels for K-Pop. Some of her favorite artists she has promoted in the past are BIGBANG, G-Dragon, BTS, and BLACKPINK. During the global pandemic, Gohree started working with AmazeVR to build a new category of live-action VR Concerts. In 2022, AmazeVR launched the first-ever VR Theatre tour with Megan Thee Stallion in 15 cities at AMC Theatre’s and in 2023 aespa’s VR Concert in Korea. In 2023, AmazeVR released ‘AmazeVR Concerts’ on multiple VR Platforms featuring multiple artists including Zara Larsson, UPSAHL, and T-Pain. As Spotify changed how people listen to music, AmazeVR will change how people “experience” music! AmazeVR’s vision is for every artist to have their own AmazeVR Concert by 2030, building the next stage of music.
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Athena Demos
CEO
Big Rock Creative
Athena Demos is co-founder and CEO of Big Rock Creative (BRC), an award-winning XR experience company creating groundbreaking experiences for global clients. Big Rock Creative won the Producer’s Guild Award for Innovation, the Aurea Award for creativity, the No Proscenium award for Best VR experience of 2020, the Hermes' Platinum Award, the Auggie Award for Best Societal Impact of 2022 and the Global LiveWire Creative Innovators of the Year for 22/23 and most recently the Auggie for Best Indie Creator 2023, XR Women’s Trailblazer award, and named in the Top 50 Business & Marketing Visionaries by Adello magazine. With over 20 years of experience producing iconic events, like the LA Burning Man Decompression Arts and Music Celebration, as well as the Art of Change Inaugural Ball for President Obama in LA, she transitioned to the metaverse to produce BRCvr (Black Rock City Virtual Reality). BRCvr is an official virtual Burning Man Experience whose scope is unprecedented in the VR space. Athena produced internationally recognized social impact projects such as Breonna’s Garden which premiered at SXSW 2022 and Pride has no borders which was a finalist in the VR Awards. She has developed a philosophical approach to guiding humanity to build a foundational fabric for creative collaboration in the metaverse. As a result, she has been quoted in leading books, articles, delivered key notes, and spoken at leading industry events and universities across the globe. In August of 2022, Athena and the BRCvr team went to Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert to film the community, art, event, and ethos in 360 and 180 3D formats to combine with the VR worlds and models they cultivated the past two years. Currently in post production, she plans to deliver a new format for storytelling that brings them all together into one participatory experience. She spent 8+ years as the PM of two time Academy Award-winning documentary film company, Moriah Films.
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Arturo Perez
CEO
Kluge Interactive
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Jeri Ellsworth
CEO
Tilt Five
Jeri Ellsworth is an inventor, product creator, chip designer, and system-level engineer. Her love for invention began with building race cars before working with hardware design, creating a complete Commodore 64 system on a chip housed within a joystick, called C64 Direct-to-TV. Her combined passion for gaming and invention has fueled the creation of many cutting edge technologies, culminating in the creation of Tilt Five®, the world’s first augmented reality tabletop gaming system. Her vision for the future of gaming is driving innovation for the entire Tilt Five team.
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Kerestell Smith
CCO
Another Axiom
Kerestell “Lemming” Smith is the creator of Gorilla Tag and the chief creative officer of Another Axiom. Kerestell founded Another Axiom as a solo developer with the mission to create VR experiences that fit the strengths of the new medium. Due to his vision and Gorilla Tag's success, he grew Another Axiom into a top-tier VR studio that now boasts 50+ employees. As an early adopter of VR gaming, Kerestell is a big advocate for the genre and previously led the Eclipse esports team to two back-to-back Echo Arena world championships in 2017 and 2018.
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David Neubelt
CTO
Another Axiom
David Neubelt is the chief technology officer at Another Axiom. Previously, Neubelt served as the lead graphics and engine programmer at Ready At Dawn Studios, where he helped shape their next-generation engine and shipped critically acclaimed titles such as Lone Echo, Echo Arena, God of War: Chains of Olympus, Daxter, and more. He has nearly 20 years of experience in the industry and specializes in developing tech for social gaming experiences.
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Kelly Duncan
Co-Founder & Chief Commercial Officer
3dMD
With 30 years of experience in the tech sector, Duncan is responsible for the integrity of the 3dMD’s sales, customer support, and business development operations and is involved in 3dMD’s day-to-day fiscal, operational, and commercial management. She co-founded 3dMD determined to create momentum for the adoption of a next-generation non-invasive 3D imaging technology in the medical community to enhance patient care and advance research initiatives. Prior to joining 3dMD in 2000, Duncan held senior customer-facing and management positions in leading best-of-breed technology companies supporting a global customer network. At emerging growth B2B software provider Exactium, she directed the launch of the company’s e-commerce software product, which contributed to the successful sale of Exactium to a leading CRM provider. At Manhattan Associates (MANH), Duncan was responsible for developing and implementing marketing and public relations strategies, which transitioned market awareness from the product to the company prior to and during the company’s successful IPO. Duncan has a BA in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Nicola Sebastiani
CCO
The Sandbox
Born in Italy with a French heritage, Nicola Sebastiani developed a deep passion for video games early on. This passion led him to his first job at Square Enix, the Japanese gaming company. After pursuing a Master’s degree at the University of Michigan, Nicola joined Ubisoft as the first product manager for the mobile team. Nicola then moved to Apple, playing a pivotal role in shaping Apple Arcade as the Head of Content. Most recently, Nicola was the VP and Head of Mobile at PlayStation Studios, where he drove the studio’s mobile games strategy. Currently, he serves as the Chief Content Officer of The Sandbox, supporting its creator-centric ecosystem with world-class no-code tools to shape the next generation of gaming.
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Cynthia Maller
Head of 3D Creative Technology
Walmart
Cynthia Maller is Head of 3D Creative Technology at Walmart. Her focus is building customer (internal and external) trust by strengthening and scaling the three pillars of 3D for retail: inspiring aesthetics, visual integrity and operational excellence. She believes that every one of us has the talent and capability to add value to immersive commerce, and to be a builder, a citizen and a purveyor in the coming Metaverse; this drives her commitment to peer education, advocacy and invention. She is also a Certified Emotional Intelligence Practitioner, and speaks often about how to harness this tool to build relationships and exercise influence. When she’s not at work, she’s figure skating. Her drive to try new things, to push herself, both in commerce technology and on the ice, is guided by the words of Erin Hanson, “What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?
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Bert Nepveu
Co-Founding Partner
Triptyq Capital
Bertrand Nepveu has entrepreneurship in his blood like his grandfather Ernest who founded LAVO, manufacturer of the bleach brand La Parisienne. Passionate about video games and gadgets, he founded Vrvana in 2005 to play his favorite games on Xbox in virtual reality. After several pivots: combining augmented and virtual reality, transitioning from a B2C to B2B model, and adding hands as a controller, the Totem won the prestigious Best in Show award from Tom’s Hardware at CES 2017. That’s when he and his team moved to California to continue the adventure with Apple in what became the Vision Pro. After almost 3 years, he returns to Montréal and co-founds Triptyq Capital to support the new generation of entrepreneurs in the creative industries. Bertrand holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Sherbrooke and an MBA from HEC Montreal. He his also the co-author du Manisfeste québécois du Métavers.
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James Cooper
Chief Technologist, Advanced Visualization
Raytheon
Chief Technologist for advanced visualization capabilities, strategy, and vision at Raytheon. A leader in science and technology bringing two decades of work in advanced technologies, organizational leadership, and strategic pursuits. Strong professional history in engineering, leadership, and innovation. Active in diversity and inclusion, academic outreach, and industry standards definition. Responsibilities include industry competitive assessments, technology investigations, deployment of business discriminators, and advising growth and investment needs, with a focus on Industry 4.0 next generation smart factory and operations needs and digital transformation. James coordinates with technology startups, corporate venture capital, and company leadership to drive development on augmented reality solutions for the aerospace and defense sector. Previously, a leader in the innovations group, James maintained a strong pipeline of new ideas and technical discriminators, feeding emerging needs and opportunities, and overseeing activities, partnerships, and physical spaces related to innovation.
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Kyle Daughtry
Digital & Extended Realities Product Manager
ExxonMobil
Kyle has been with ExxonMobil over 12 years in various roles ranging from software development to high end visualization. Kyle found his true passion working as the Technical Lead for high end visualization spaces called CAVEs. He quickly realized anything to do with immersion and computer generated environments called his name. Soon after the Oculus DK1 announcement he started development within Unity and tinkering with how to integrate it within the business. Shortly after getting bitten by the “immersion” bug he joined the technology research group and started doing proof of concepts on XR. Proof of concepts quickly turned into business cases and allowed him and colleagues to journey into creating a service organization called Immersive Technology Studio designed to help the business with all XR needs. He is now the product manager of xr and digital twins building a digital reality ecosystem applying his passion to move the corporation to a more visual way of work.
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Dona Fraser
Senior V.P., Privacy Initiatives
BBB National Programs
Dona J. Fraser is a leading privacy expert with a passion for building creative solutions to business problems. As the Senior Vice President, Privacy Initiatives for BBB National Programs, Ms. Fraser oversees the strategic development, implementation, and ongoing efforts of the organization’s privacy programs, activities, and services. Ms. Fraser provides a deep understanding of the complexities of privacy issues and the marketplace challenges facing advertisers and brings extensive experience in the self-regulation space with a track record of helping companies do the right thing. Since joining BBB National Programs in 2017, Ms. Fraser has been instrumental in driving progress forward in a variety of organizational programs and initiatives, including leading the organization’s first ever PrivacyCollective Roundtable, an event that brought together privacy experts to discuss current privacy issues facing the marketplace and craft solutions. She has also overhauled and expanded services provided by BBB National Programs’ Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), growing membership and nearly doubling participant numbers for the CARU COPPA Safe Harbor program— the first FTC-approved Safe Harbor program. Before joining BBB National Programs, Ms. Fraser served as Vice President, Privacy Certified for the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), a self-regulatory program developed by the video game industry, for ten years. In this role, Ms. Fraser was responsible for providing hands-on assistance to participating companies on development of data collection and privacy practices to meet ESRB standards. She also crafted privacy best practices in several areas including mobile apps, downloadable games, short-form privacy policies, behavioral advertising and social networking. Prior to ESRB, Ms. Fraser served as a Director of Business and Legal Affairs for music labels at BMG/Sony Music in New York.
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Daniel Berrick
Policy Counsel
Future of Privacy Forum
Daniel Berrick is a policy counsel at the Future of Privacy Forum. His work involves analyzing complex consumer and commercial privacy law and policy issues, including sector- and technology-specific areas such as immersive technologies, open banking, and biometrics. In this role, Daniel collaborates with industry, peers and the wider privacy community to identify and develop best practices for data privacy. He received his JD from Duke University School of Law (cum laude), and his BA (magna cum laude) from Hamilton College. Daniel obtained CIPP/US and CIPP/E certifications in recognition of his knowledge of U.S. and EU privacy law.
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Sarah Hill
CEO | Chief Storyteller
Healium
Sarah Hill is a 12-time mid-America Emmy award-winning former TV broadcaster who’s led successful media teams for the last 25 years, most recently as the CEO of Healium. A media technologist, Hill has a handful of patents for biometrically-powered media, her company's mental fitness products are clinically validated in 8 peer-reviewed journals, and her immersive experiences have been viewed more than 7 million times. Hill's team has earned honors from the NFL Player's Association, Consumer Technology Association, P & G Innovation Prize, Mass Challenge, and a "hero award" from the International VR Healthcare Association. Hill is a former interactive TV news journalist for NBC, ABC, & CBS affiliates in Missouri. A national Edward R. Murrow, National Association of Broadcasters Service to America, National Sigma Delta Chi, and award-winning TV reporter, she spent decades covering the world’s trauma in Sri Lanka, Zambia, Guatemala, Indonesia, and Congo. Healium's roots are in virtual travel for Veterans. In 2013, Hill’s team built a program called “Honor Everywhere”, which uses mobile, virtual, and augmented reality to allow aging Veterans the opportunity to virtually visit their WWII, Vietnam, Korea, & Women’s Memorials. You'll find Healium's products on your mobile device on Apple or Google Play or on VR goggles like Apple Vision Pro, Meta Quest, or Pico. https://www.tryhealium.com/
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Austin Coglianese
Manufacturing Augmented Reality Trainer
Fastenal
Austin Coglianese is a Manufacturing Augmented Reality Trainer at Fastenal. He uses his experience with both manufacturing operations and digital media creation to lead the development and implementation of augmented reality training throughout Fastenal. By focusing on both operator safety and accelerating their career development, Austin and his team have been able to create AR training programs that simultaneously comply with ISO certification standards while capturing the tribal knowledge of veteran machinists. Additionally, Austin uses his video production skills to create a wide variety of content for Fastenal, including 360 degree virtual reality videos that allow viewers to experience the many different elements of Fastenal Manufacturing. Austin holds a Bachelors in Media Arts and Science from Indiana University Indianapolis.
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Elizabeth Hyman
CEO
XR Association
Elizabeth Hyman is President and Chief Executive Officer of the XR Association (XRA), the trade association promoting the dynamic growth of the XR industry which includes virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed-reality, and immersive technologies yet to be invented. XRA is dedicated to the responsible development and thoughtful advancement of XR technologies across the globe. Prior to joining XRA, Hyman served as Executive Vice President of Public Advocacy at the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), where she led the association’s outreach to members of Congress, the Executive Branch, and other international, federal, state, and local government institutions that shape public policies affecting the IT industry. Hyman brings more than two decades of experience in the worlds of government, policy, and technology. She began her career in government, including positions at the U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office of the President, and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and has experience in the private sector both in the practice of law and in business. She is a graduate of Tufts University, completed the General Course program at the London School of Economics, and holds a law degree from the Washington College of Law at American University.
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Richard Hess
Extended Reality (XR) Center of Excellence (CoE) Lead
Mondelēz International
As part of the New Generation Technologies team at Nestlé's Global Digital Hub in Barcelona, I focus on industrializing and scaling AR/VR/XR technologies to Nestlé's global brands and markets, with a focus on both consumer and enterprise use cases.
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Todd Sharp
Twitch
I’m a developer who advocates and evangelizes about interactive video streaming at Twitch. I’ve been writing code since 2004 and I'm passionate about technology, code, and helping developers learn new things. As part of my role as a Developer Advocate, I write demos to show other developers how to use certain languages, frameworks, and technologies to solve the problems that they face every day. I have a background in writing and a love for theater, so I’m extra fortunate to have found a role that lets me use those skills and passions as part of my everyday routine. I’m married to my best friend and we live in the North Georgia mountains with our 2 kids, 8 chickens, 2 dogs, and a cat. When I’m not working, I love to cook, hike, travel, play video games and tinker with electronics and microcontrollers.
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Annaleena Kuronen
Varjo
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Said Bakadir
Sr. Director, Product Management
Qualcomm
Said Bakadir is Senior Director of Product Management at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. He leads the XR (AR/VR) business including partners engagement and product strategy. Said has had multiple roles in the industry, and he joined Qualcomm in England in 2005. He has had leading roles in engineering, product marketing, product management and business development. Said has managed numerous technologies and device launches, based on the Snapdragon processor. These launches range from early GSM, UMTS feature phones and modem dongles, to recent smartphones, Robotics, Drones and XR products.
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Valerie Quezada
Learning & Development Manager
Takeda
Valerie (Val) is a Learning & Development Manager from the Los Angeles facility supporting the learning experiences for the Plasma OpU. She is a learning enthusiast passionate about developing others and prides herself on listening to her audience to provide the best possible learning outcomes. Val graduated with a Masters's in Instructional Design and Technology from California State University, Fullerton. She realized early in the program that she was intrigued by and had an aptitude for emerging technology. Val focuses on using virtual and mixed reality solutions to increase her learners' retention and reduce the time it takes to learn a new skill.
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Jasmine Oh
Staff Product Designer
Meta
Jasmine Oh is a Senior Product Designer at Meta, currently working on Horizon, a social VR platform. Her focus is on making sure Horizon is a safe and engaging place for everyone. She has years of experience working in the space of integrity - previously worked on Instagram on election integrity, COVID Information Center aiming to help awareness about vaccines, and teen mental well-being. Before Meta, she worked at Microsoft in privacy experiences.
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Brian Nevinsky
Technical Fellow
Lockheed Martin
Brian is a technical fellow at Lockheed Martin. He’s currently the corporate lead for spatial computing technologies, and also leads a team focusing on emerging technologies in LM Enterprise Operations. Previously, Brian has worked in support of multiple business areas within Lockheed Martin as both a Software Engineer and Architect. Additionally, Brian has background as a STEM educator, and has stayed active in efforts to provide meaningful student experiences since his full time transition to engineering. He has a BS is Mathematics from Gannon University and a BS in Computer Engineering from Villanova University.
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Sydney Blount
Lead Experience Designer
Magic Leap
Sydney is a Lead Experience Designer at Magic Leap where she creates intuitive and innovative applications that demonstrate the ground-breaking capabilities of the Magic Leap 2. Prior to Magic Leap, Sydney worked at the architecture firm Gensler where she led projects that brought digital experiences to life in the built environment for an array of clients including Netflix and the Pittsburgh International Airport. Sydney spent five years at Second Story designing a robust portfolio of award winning immersive experiences and responsive environments for museums, corporate headquarters and universities. Sydney takes an empathic and user-centered approach to design where she enjoys meticulously crafting the user’s emotional journey and considering each design detail through the user’s perspective to deliver meaningful and intuitive experiences.
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Mike Boland
Chief Analyst
AR Insider
Mike Boland was one of Silicon Valley's first tech reporters of the internet age at Forbes magazine in 2000. He’s been a tech industry analyst since 2005, Founder & Chief Analyst of ARtillery Intelligence, and Editor of AR Insider. Mike speaks at conferences such as AWE, VRLA, and ad:tech. He contributes to TechCrunch, Business Insider, and VentureBeat; and his comments frequently appear in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
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Alex Berlin
Founder & CEO
Arvizio
Alex Berlin is a Co-founder and CEO of Arvizio, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company focused on AI-powered augmented and mixed reality software solutions, revolutionizing diverse applications for training, operations, maintenance and field services across the enterprise. Alex is a serial entrepreneur and technology leader with proven experience in the development of innovative software products including mixed reality, 3D visualization, cloud security and networking applications for enterprise clients. Prior to co-founding Arvizio, Alex was a founder and CEO of CloudLink Technologies (acquired by EMC), founder and CEO of AFORE Solutions (acquired by Kuatro/Jabil) and Chairman of Ambercore Software.
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Andrea Bravo
Founder & Editor
Metaverse Data & Ethics
Andrea Bravo, Ph.D. is the founder and editor at www.metaversethics.org, where she provides strategic forecasting on data privacy and ethics for XR. Andrea has consulted and researched for MIT, the Technical University of Denmark, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Fraunhofer Institute, Nesta–UK Innovation Agency for Social Good, Cotec Foundation for Innovation, and the European Commission.
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Adam Draper
Managing Director
Boost VC
CO-FOUNDER, MANAGING DIRECTOR Adam Draper is the founder and managing director of Boost VC. Adam is a 2x entrepreneur and a 4th generation venture capitalist. For Adam, no idea is too crazy. He dreams of building an ironman suit and leads the deals in the wildest SciFi Tech investments - exoskeletons, jetpacks, rockets... Go big or go home. The focus of Boost VC on future technology development stems from Adam Draper’s dream to create an Iron Man suit. He co-founded Boost VC after his success as an Angel Investor in companies like Coinbase, Amplitude and Plangrid. In a previous life, he wanted to be a professional tennis player and has an odd affinity for Australians. He once drank an entire bottle of tabasco sauce (the big ones) in 43 seconds. 4th generation venture capitalist, 2 time entrepreneur, and most importantly, he’s a friend.
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Amy LaMeyer
Managing Partner
WXR Fund
Amy LaMeyer is Managing Partner at the WXR Fund a venture fund investing in early stage companies are transforming business and human interaction using spatial computing (VR/AR) and AI. Our entire portfolio is comprised of female founders and gender diverse teams across industries including retail, healthcare, training, remote work, real estate and education. Amy is the author of ‘Sound and AR’ in the book “Convergence: How the World will be Painted with Data”. She has been interviewed by Wired magazine on virtual concerts. Amy often speaks and writes on immersive music trends, and has participated in several podcasts on the opportunities of spatial computing and virtual music experiences. Amy is also a mentor and angel investor in several music tech start-ups.
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Jasper Brand
Partner
BITKRAFT Ventures
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Marco DeMiroz
Co-founder & General Partner
The Venture Reality Fund
Marco DeMiroz, Co-founder and General Partner Marco is the co-founder and general partner of The Venture Reality Fund (“VRF”), leading early-stage venture fund focusing on the Metaverse, driven by AI, Blockchain, and XR technologies across 5G networks. VRF’s debut Fund I invested in 42 companies and already produced unicorns and expects more on their way. VRF currently invests out of its Fund II. Marco has extensive experience in executive roles with leading technology companies and in global investments. Previously he was a Managing Director with Evolution Media Capital (“Evolution”), an investment fund under TPG Capital and associated with the Creative Artists Agency (“CAA”). Marco actively advises numerous media and technology startups in AI, XR, Metaverse sectors and has been collaborating with the Women in XR (“WXR”) Fund to ensure balanced gender representation. Prior to joining Evolution, he was president and chief executive officer of the leading mobile game studio, PlayFirst, which he sold to Glu Mobile/Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) in 2014. Marco currently serves on the Boards of the Fund’s portfolio companies Obsess, Phiar, and Virtualitics. Marco holds a Master of Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University; a postgraduate Engineer degree in Aeronautics & Astronautics from Stanford University; a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the San Jose State University; and a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the United States Naval Postgraduate School. His postgraduate studies at Stanford and research at NASA/Ames focused on stochastic modeling and digital control of helicopters, drones, and robots.
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Maddie Callander
VP Accelerator & Portfolio
Boost VC
Maddie Callander is VP Accelerator & Portfolio at Boost VC, the 0k accelerator investing in Sci-Fi tech, co-founded by Adam Draper and Brayton Williams in San Mateo, CA. She’s built out their accelerator programs, manages Boost VC's 300+ portfolio investments and scaled their portfolio support infrastructure with new platform initiatives. She loves supporting founders and is on a mission to get more women into leadership in emerging tech sectors. She is a Kauffman Fellow, Class 25. Maddie has a B.A. in Art History and Spanish from Denison University in Granville, Ohio.
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Matthew Price, PhD.
Accenture Fellow
World Economic Forum
Dr. Matthew Price is an accomplished research scientist, technologist, and award-winning creative with 20+ years of experience spanning XR, emerging technology research, media, and consulting. Dr. Price holds a Master's and Ph.D. in Media Psychology, with focused research in Presence, Emerging Technology, and Behavioral Neuroscience – as well as dual Bachelors in Media Arts and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Society. Matt is currently serving as an Accenture Research Fellow with the World Economic Forum on the ‘Defining and Building the Metaverse – Governance Initiative’. With the aid of global working group, Matt has co-authored white papers on Interoperability, Privacy & Safety, and Metaverse Identity. Concurrently, Dr. Price is also serving on the OECD Global Forum on Immersive Technologies. Matt is a Manager within the Responsible Innovation and Emerging Technology Practice at Accenture and a staunch advocate for ‘human-first’ responsible innovation in spatial computing. He is a traveled speaker and recognized leader in XR and emerging tech and an active member of IEEE XR, APA Div. 46, and AAAS. In his career, he has held senior leadership roles in operations, market research, engineering, and innovation within Nielsen, BlueCross & BlueShield, Double-A Labs, Accenture, and XRSI – And the founder and Chief Reality Officer at RealityScience, LLC.
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Ryan Wang
Partner
Outpost Capital
Ryan Wang is recognized globally as a pioneer and leader in the Metaverse, AI, XR and web3 industries. Ryan Wang is Co-founder and General Partner of Outpost Capital. Established in 2015, Outpost Capital is a leading cross-border early stage venture fund based in San Francisco, focusing on frontier technology investments. In 2020, Ryan co-founded Zebra Labs, a music entertainment company creating new IPs and content with cutting edge technology in metaverse and AI. Having a multicultural background and proven track records, Ryan oversees companies in the US and Asia with solid insights and strong connections in both markets. Ryan has been frequently featured by international media, and invited to deliver keynotes at numerous conferences globally. In 2017, Ryan took the role of Chief Business Officer at MOAC Blockchain - a high performance Multi-Layered public blockchain, and took the company to top 100 on CoinMarketCap. Prior to Outpost, Ryan was a Venture Partner at CLI Ventures managing its TMT investment arm with over 0M AUM. Early in his career, Ryan has compiled a comprehensive and successful career as an investment banker at Citigroup and Societe Generale in New York City. Ryan is passionate about education and social impact. He is a guest lecturer at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, and is a coach at Nanyang Technology University Startup Case Challenge program. Outside work, Ryan is a snowboarder, world explorer and collector of stylish hats.
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Gregory Panos
Founder - Creator
Persona Foundation
Gregory Peter Panos is a futurist, visionary, writer, strategic consultant, educator, philosopher and evangelist in the field of Virtual & Augmented Reality, Human Simulation, 3D Object Scanning, Motion & Facial Capture, Live Performance Animation, 3D Photo-realistic Human Avatar / Character development for experiential Simulation / user interaction. Greg has worked with NASA / Rockwell using real-time simulation to visualize the Space Station, and with organizations in the CGI / VFX industry for motion pictures / TV, Virtual Reality, Virtual Actors and Performance Animation. He Co-founded the ?Performance Animation Society?, was twice chair, and twice co-chair, of SIGGRAPH (Los Angeles Chapter), and he authored the ?Virtual Reality Sourcebook? Greg has raised consciousness and created community and collaboration in the fascinating area of human simulation through the creation of the ?Persona Foundation? where he, and others, enthusiastically demonstrate state-of-the-art developments emerging all around us and at conferences, events and in the media. See Also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greg_Panos
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Eddy Adams
Augmented Reality Designer
Eddy Adams LLC
Eddy Adams is a seasoned augmented reality (AR) designer based in sunny Los Angeles. Starting his career as a 3D motion designer in much-less-sunny Seattle, Eddy spent a decade making TV commercials for clients like Amazon, Microsoft, and Ford. Then, in 2019, he stumbled upon a freelance gig that would spark his passion for AR and change his life forever. The transition from 3D to AR was seamless, leading him to quickly begin collaborating with major brands while setting new benchmarks for what is possible in AR. After becoming established in the industry, he created a comprehensive online course for Meta Spark Studio, which was eventually acquired by Meta and incorporated into their official curriculum. Today, Eddy specializes in crafting cutting-edge AR filters for some truly inspiring clients, utilizing sophisticated 3D techniques to add a level of fidelity not often seen in AR. His roster of clients now includes Apple, Netflix, Balenciaga, Coachella, BMW, Paramount, and more. Across all social media platforms, his work has garnered literally billions of views. While not working on AR filters, Eddy also enjoys giving talks and speaking on panels to help spread the word that augmented reality can be a thrilling and profitable career.
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Jared Bienz
Founder and Principal Consultant
SolerSoft
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Daisy Berns
Sr. BD - Games
PICO XR
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Victor Agulhon
CEO
TARGO
Victor Agulhon is the co-founder of TARGO, an Emmy-nominated immersive documentary studio. With 20 virtual reality documentary produced on historical topics and true stories, TARGO has a unique expertise in delivering high-quality and mainstream experiences.
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Sven Brunner
Founder & CEO
Sphere (by holo|one)
Sven Brunner is the co-founder and CEO of Sphere, a spatial collaboration platform that’s transforming workplace inspiration to supercharge human potential. Sven recognized the collaborative limitations workers were facing, and under his leadership, Sphere has emerged as a trailblazer in the XR space. The company’s device agnostic solution serves leading enterprises worldwide, including Airbus, Volkswagen, Pfizer, Micron, and many more. Having successfully secured over M in funding, Sphere's story is a testament to the market’s confidence in its vision and technology. This success is further underscored by its strategic partnerships with industry leaders such as Meta, Qualcomm, Lenovo, Magic Leap, and AWS, positioning Sphere at the heart of the industry’s advancements. At his core, Sven is an entrepreneur driven by the thrill of transforming innovative ideas into tangible, impactful products. His philosophy of “go big or go home” has not only shaped his career but also the purpose-driven culture at Sphere. He is a fervent advocate for nurturing a culture of innovation, encouraging his team to embrace risks and unconventional thinking.
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Laura Brown
XR Learning Design Consultant, Public Safety
Mindset | Learning Design
Laura has 15 years of experience in Education, 10 in Educational Technology. Former industry experience includes educational policy research & data analysis (Dept. of Education), grant-writing and multi-media product development, as well as global training implementation & policy-based reform. Laura's traditional classroom teaching experience includes peer-level instruction for Quantitative Methods for Economics (Differential Calculus) & Writing Across the Arts (Multimedia Writing & Storytelling) Laura earned her B.A.'s in Economics (Game Theory, Quantitative Analysis) & American Studies (Virtual realities, Film) from the University of California in Santa Cruz. As an undergraduate, she studied Economics & Writing/Film on exchange at the University of British Columbia. She earned her Ed.M. (Masters of Education, Higher Education) from Harvard's Graduate School of Education in 2011. Her design work has been recognized by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Grantee, Next Generation Courseware Challenge, 2014), Fast Company (Finalist, World-Changing Idea, 2020), and various media publications including the Washington Post, ABC's Good Morning America, ABC's Nightline, and Engineering & Technology Magazine. In her personal time, she provides virtual career guidance, mentorship & peer-level counseling to adults living with complex trauma & PTSD. She is a trauma-informed educator and a certified Crisis Intervention Training Coordinator with CIT International.
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Monica Arés
Founder
Th3 Third Door
Monica is a leading expert in innovation and immersive technology, whose multifaceted roles across technology and education solidify her as a transformative leader in the global technological landscape. Her pioneering work in building new tools with XR and AI technology has made strides in fostering lifelong learning, curiosity and the quest for innovation with the goal of increasing access to education and transforming the way we learn. As the former Head of Immersive Learning at Meta and a visionary leader on Interactive Learning Labs at Amazon, Monica has become a seminal figure in the field of immersive education. Named among the Top 100 Global Women of the Future in Emerging Tech, Monica’s influence resonates globally. As an advisor and Chief Innovation Officer for startups and Founder of Th3 Third Door, Monica has formulated and executed innovative tech solutions that reimagine the future of work and learning. Recently appointed as the Executive Director of the Innovation, Digital Education, and Analytics (IDEA) Lab at Imperial College London, Monica will play a significant role in defining the vision for the coming decade while leading an expert team through the development and growth of new solutions for the rapidly evolving industry. In its scale, scope, and complexity, this transformation of technology will be unlike anything we’ve experienced before. Monica’s leadership embodies an inspiring journey towards a future where the convergence of technology and humanity will unlock unprecedented tools to solve some of our biggest challenges.
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Ryan Canuel
CEO
Petricore, Inc
Ryan Canuel co-founded Petricore in 2015, leading the studio to focus on XR game development and interactive media. The studio has collaborated with notable brands like Meta, Snap, Google, Bose, and Ellen DeGeneres, and additionally releasing original titles that have reached millions worldwide across various platforms. Currently, Petricore is developing 'Mythic Realms,' a mixed reality RPG supported by Meta for the Meta Quest ecosystem. Canuel has also contributed to the field as an AR and XR design instructor at Becker College.
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Nisha Burton
CMO
Reflective Brands
Nisha Burton is passionate about building brands, telling amazing stories, and utilizing the power of cutting-edge immersive technologies. With extensive experience in public speaking, Nisha offers a variety of presentations exploring properly executing XR experiences, storytelling in immersive mediums, filmmaking, and advanced digital branding. Nisha has 10 years of experience in leadership as the Co-Founder and CMO of a top tech creative agency in Portland, Oregon. Her company, Reflective Brands, specialized in fully interactive narrative-based immersive VR/AR experiences, and traditional marketing and branding services.
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Major Bunton
Director of Programs
Creative Acts
Major Bunton is Director of Programs and a lead Teaching artist for Creative Acts. As alumni of the work during the 29 years he spent incarcerated, he also founded and leads the Creative Acts Alumni Laboratory and co-develops all curricula. Major is also the Vice President of Inglewood wrapping arms around the community Iwatc.org. As Founder, Major grew up in Inglewood and developed a passion for helping others in his community. IWATC provides food, reentry housing, assisting resources and counseling to Inglewood and the surrounding communities Major has developed his expertise through participation in programs such as Breaking Barriers, Alcohol and Drug Abuse (AA and NA), Domestic Violence, Anger and Stress Management, YAAP (Youth Awareness Adult Program), YOP (Youth Offender Program), CBT (Cognitive Behavior Treatment). Major has also been a long-time Teaching Artist for The Actors’ Gang Prison Project. To round out his impressive skill set, Major is an in demand fitness coach and enjoys working to help others achieve their own peak fitness.
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Marty Banks
Professor of Vision Science
UC Berkeley
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Oscar Cartagena
Founder & CEO
Augmented Experiences
With over 25 years of entrepreneurial experience in the technological and creative industries, I specialize in various aspects, including technical, creative, educational, and business facets related to technology. Currently focused on the XR industry, my goal is to leverage emerging technologies to transform Chile and Latin America into creative powerhouses. I lead multiple companies, such as Augmented Experiences, Posterity, NVIVO, and Multiversica, and contribute to industry development as the Founder and President of the Chilean Association of Immersive Experiences (ACHEX A.G.). Additionally, I actively participate in initiatives like Congreso Futuro’s Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence, Neuro-Rights, Digital Platforms, and Metaverse (LIANM), serve as the LATAM liaison for X Reality Safety Intelligence (XRSI), where among other collaborations, co-authored recommendations regarding Neurotechnology and Human Rights for the United Nation’s Human Rights Council and the Australian Human Rights Council. I’m also part of the Board of Trustees for Women of The Future LATAM Edition. My commitment extends to mentoring, policy contributions, and involvement in various expert committees and advisory boards at both national and regional levels.
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Kathleen Cohen
Tech Humanist, XR Strategist
The Collaboratorium
Kathleen Cohen is Tech Humanist and an XR Immersive Strategist and with over 25 years building both user and guest experiences. Kathleen’s background includes working both as a Creative and a Producer for DreamWorks Interactive, IBM Centers for Innovation and Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. Kathleen also was the former Vice President of Digital Innovation & Integration for the National Constitution Center helping to tell the contemporary story of the U.S. Constitution. Kathleen sits on the Advisory Board of holoride (Munich) a spinout of Audi innovation, think passenger entertainment, or VR in your car. For the past four years, Kathleen has also been the jury chair and keynote speaker for the German AUREA Award, a conference and awards show, focusing on excellence in immersive AR/VR entertainment, hosted by Europa-Park, Europe’s 2nd largest theme park. Kathleen’s consultancy, the Collaboratorium focuses on XR Research, XR Strategy/Production, as well as public engagement. Her clients run the gamut from Megacity, Gigacity projects to Health & Wellness, as well as Media & Entertainment. Kathleen was recently speaking at the Milken Global Conference alongside Deepak Chopra taking a deeper look into the Metaverse. Her latest talks are: Presentense, A Place Called Now, Being Human, Becoming Human and Beyond Human, IRL vs. XR, The Future and Present Converge(s) and Meet Your Digital Twin, a talk about the land rush to recreating humans. Kathleen completed the 1st immersive artist-in-residency project for an NEA funded arts organization, Surel’s Place, in the state of Idaho -- working alongside the University of Idaho's, Virtual Technology & Design Research Lab and BlackBox VR with key learnings from both the Indigenous Science and the Neurodivergent communities.
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Pablo Colapinto
Head of Immersive
Nexus Studios
Pablo Colapinto is Head of Immersive at Nexus Studios, where he leads the creation of next-generation XR spatial interactions, behaviors, experiences, and narratives for clients including Disney, Niantic, Google, Facebook, Samsung, MLB, T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T. His varied background bridges filmmaking, animation, emerging technologies, product design, computer science, mathematics, and theater. Working closely with directors, researchers, designers, artists, and engineers across industries, he has helped to establish a highly sought-after practice of spatial content production from Nexus’s Los Angeles office.
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Susan Cummings
Director
Fictioneers
Susan Cummings, Managing Director of Tiny Rebel Games and Co-Founder of Fictioneers Ltd, has over 20 years of experience in video game development and publishing including production, strategy, business development, M&A. She is an entrepreneurial leader with a passion for building ventures, creating IP and innovating storytelling. She spent many years at Take 2 Interactive where she was a founder of 2K Games and 2K Sports. In addition to her current management roles, she is also a Visiting Fellow at University of South Wales, a Trustee for GamesAid, and increasingly called on to mentor local businesses and creative companies in South Wales.
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Stephen Curtis
Principle Software Engineer - Accelerated Engineering
IQXR
Stephen is a Senior Prototyping Architect for Spatial Computing at AWS. Stephen has developed over a dozen successful prototypes for some of the largest AWS global customers. With industries including automotive, telecommunications, energy, manufacturing, and HCLS. He specializes in taking bleeding edge technologies and bringing them to enterprise. He was lead developer on the Visual Asset Management System (VAMS), a spatial data lake reference architecture recently open-sourced on AWS Labs. He has presented at Amazon DevCon on prototyping, AWS re:Invent on robotics and Virtual Reality, and was featured on the AWS Innovation podcast for developing a novel 3D/VR approach to bioinformatics research and visualization. Prior to AWS, Stephen has been an enterprise-level developer, architect and technical leader for nearly 20 years. Working with global-scale companies in the travel and hospitality, marketing technology, startup consulting, video game, construction, utilities, media and entertainment, luxury brand, retail and fashion industries.
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Leonard Daly
President
Daly Realism
Leonard Daly is an XR systems architect consultant and President of Daly Realism. He specializes in open systems integration of XR, commerce, and geographical information systems. He currently chairs or holds other leadership positions in the Khronos working groups: 3D Commerce, Certification and Verification, Tooling, and Geospatial. As an an active member of several organizations for the creation of various web standards including Khronos, W3C, Web3D Consortium, and Open Geospatial Consortium; he has presented at many conferences including SIGGRAPH, Web3D, HTML5, and SVVR Expo on various XR topics. His current work is supporting the development and adoption of open standards for transmission and display of 3D models within the Commerce, Geospatial, and Metaverse verticals. He also chairs the Electronic Services Committee of LA ACM SIGGRAPH. Mr. Daly holds a BS in Mathematics from Harvey Mudd College.
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Casandra Vuong
Co-Founder
Cas and Chary VR
Cas co-founded the YouTube channel Cas and Chary VR. She found her passion for VR and AR while working as a Java Backend Developer for the Dutch National Police. She now dedicates as much time as possible to learn, share, and inform about the fantastic work done in the XR industry on the channel and leverages her technical background in the content.
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Chary Keijzer
Co-Founder
Cas and Chary VR
Chary co-founded the YouTube channel Cas and Chary VR and is a project coordinator in the architectural industry. She dedicates as much time as possible to learn, share, and inform about the fantastic work done in the XR industry on the channel and uses her creative background to help behind the scenes.
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Zac Duff
CEO
JigSpace Inc.
Zac Duff is CEO and co-founder of JigSpace, the world’s highest-rated AR app with more than 5 million downloads. With a passion for providing utility and delight through tech, Zac strives to create tools that help humanity communicate in the best possible way.
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Anand Dass
Director, VR/MR Apps
Meta
Anand has worked in tech for over 20 years. He has experience in developer platforms, consumer marketplaces, enterprise SaaS businesses and AR/VR. After graduating from MIT, Anand co-founded a virtual desktop company. The company was funded by Y Combinator and Andreessen Horowitz, and it was acquired in 2014. Before joining Meta, Anand was an early employee at Postmates. He helped the company grow to nearly billion in annualized GMV. As a member of the executive team, he helped the company raise 0 million in Series D funding. At Meta, Anand led the developer platform work on Workplace by Facebook, an enterprise collaboration product. He helped grow the number of paying users to 7 million subscribers and partnered with companies like Cisco and Microsoft. Anand then joined Meta Reality Labs, which makes Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality devices and Metaverse applications. Anand's current focus is to lead Meta's efforts to expand Virtual & Mixed Reality Content to verticals such as enterprise, personal productivity & collaboration, wellness and fitness, education, creator tools, travel, and retail by working with innovative developers and brands in the ecosystem. Anand is a Producers Guild of America Innovation Award nominee for his work on Kurzgesagt; Out of Scale, a science and technology enabled virtual and mixed reality educational experience. Outside of work, Anand is an avid runner, tennis player, and advanced scuba diver. He also enjoys watching Japanese movies. He recently started learning to play the drums, but he is not very good at it yet. Anand lives in the Bay Area with his wife and 10-year-old son.
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Rahel Demant
Co-Founder
XR Bootcamp
Since 2020, she's heading XR Bootcamp, an academy for advanced VR/AR development. XR Bootcamp is a global online academy, offering cutting-edge VR/AR development courses to experienced developers and researchers. Our masterclasses are engaging and reinforcing deep learning through hands-on real-world projects and digestible bite-sized content. Curricula are developed by professionals and taught by the world's best experts. XR Bootcamp further supports the XR Creators community with free and open access to knowledge, peer-to-peer learning, and networking opportunities. XR Bootcamp alumni work at companies like Accenture, Boeing, Magic Leap, Microsoft, Siemens, Riot Games, IBM, and Dell. Rahel Demant has also created VR First, a global network organisation of over 850 universities and 410 Science Parks. Since its foundation in 2016, she has led the program to a network of thousands of developers. The mission: to democratise VR/AR development worldwide through VR First’s various support programs.
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Bobby Carlton
VR/XR Content Manager & Business Development
FS Studio
Bobby Carlton has dedicated his professional career to exploring how XR technology can be used to reshape how any industry could approach education, training, and engagement, as well as its impact on automation, warehouse, and robotics. His work also explores how immersive technology such as unique XR marketing strategies can be used for digital marketing and company branding and how it can change social behavior and consumerism, creating more agile thinking that leads to brand loyalty. Along with his duties at FS Studio as their XR/VR Content Manager and Business Development, he has been a contributing writer for VRScout since 2016, is on the SXSW XR Pitch Advisory Board, a judge for the AIXR VR Awards, and makes frequent appearances on the UK’s TalkTV as their tech expert.
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Ruth Diaz
Co-founder and Core Vision Owner
VR Create|Connect
Ruth Diaz is a social scientist, organizational consultant, and innovator on conflict resiliency in VR culture. She is the founder of VR Create|Connect, a growing network of VR enthusiasts who connect diverse contributors and creators to create transformative and inclusive events in social VR applications. Also known as rcdegs in multiple VR applications, Ruth is an environmental story teller, has built over 100 worlds, and is passionate about all technology mediums that help us become better versions of ourselves as humans individually and collectively.
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Helena Dong
Senior Art Director
BUCK
Helena Dong is an experiential art director, creative technologist, and designer, whose practice involves creating experiences for fashion, performance, and advertising through XR. Her work recontextualizes spaces, materials, and personas with the aim of evoking curiosity and inviting thoughtful interactions. Currently, Helena is based in New York and is part of the experience group at BUCK.
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Sean Dougherty
Director, AUX Services
Lighthouse SF
Sean Dougherty, Director of Accessible User Experience (AUX) At LightHouse San Francisco • Expertise in marketing, business development, partnership/program management with 12+ years of experience working in the EdTech and Digital Accessibility industries. • Advocating for inclusive digital experiences that are accessible to the blind and low vision community from the start. • Leading the AUX team on accessibility/usability testing and UX research projects that help clients build products/services that work for everyone, regardless of their background, preferences, or usage of AT tools.
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Greg Downing
CEO
Hyperacuity
As an accomplished professional in image-based 3D technologies, computational photography, and producing for new media Greg Downing brings his varied experience to the Augmented World Expo. Specializing in VR, AR, and Virtual Production. Greg's notable projects include the pioneering VR experience Carne Y Arena and the Emmy-winning VR cinematography in Awavena. His expertise extends to Light Field technology, as demonstrated in Google VR's Welcome to Light Fields and nominated for a PGA award for Experience Yosemite. At Hyperacuity, Greg's leadership showcases his ability to blend artistic vision with technical acumen, driving innovation in the AR/VR industry. His approach merges the artistic with the scientific, leveraging his background in cinematography, visual effects, photographic technologies, cultural heritage documentation and adventure to celebrate the worlds rarefied places. Greg's session at AWE will focus on the practical applications and future potential of VR/AR/MR, Virtual Production, and Computational Photography, providing valuable insights for fellow creators in the field.
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Adrian Rashad Driscoll
Head of Immersive
Collimation
From the small city of Barstow CA, (yeah, the pitstop on the way to Vegas) Adrian Rashad Driscoll followed his dream of becoming a professional actor and moved to Los Angeles. Shortly after that, he was woken up. After 15 years of great weather and bad traffic, he now makes his living as a filmmaker and Immersive Media creative. He has had the privilege of working with large companies such as CBS, NBC, KTLA, Facebook, Microsoft, United Way, and more to push the boundaries of immersive media whilst producing great XR titles and experiences. Recently, Adrian has partnered with legend Gimel “Young Guru” Keaton to form the immersive media production house, Collimation. In addition, Adrian teaches in multiple education programs to bring more people into immersive media. He also teaches at the EAST school program on multiple XR projects that are more geared towards education and medical research. He takes pride in the fact that he is able to help implement this technology into a wide range of toolkits. His goal is to create opportunities for underserved communities and using said opportunities, to change their current trajectory. “French fries” are the key to his heart.
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Shika (JoyReignVR) Duncan
CEO
Onyx Leaf Media
Shika Duncan (JoyReignVR) is a Louisiana native who graduated from the HBCU Southern University A&M in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a degree in Economics. She is an enthusiastic XR Evangelist, Conference Speaker and Content Creator who specializes in building metaverse experiences that caters to brands and promotes community. Helping people connect and engage with XR technology while also building worlds that inspire others to create is her mission. Even though she has been in the XR space for a few years, JoyReign's metaverse work has been highlighted by Meta, Meta Reality Labs, Meta Horizon Worlds, The Today Show and Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Whether she is hosting her talk show Joy In The Morning in Meta Horizon Worlds, podcasting with her husband on their Get'Em To The Metaverse” and Spatially Aware podcasts, or strategizing content through their business, Onyx Leaf Media, JoyReign is always staying true to her north star to help people to become more joyful, optimistic, and yearning for positivity.
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Wade Lewis
Immersive Technology Applications Engineer
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Wade Lewis is an Immersive Technology Applications Engineer at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. He is passionate in uncovering ways to leverage Immersive and Emerging Technologies to bring Human-Centered solutions to life for current and future warfighters. He is a member of APL’s Augmented/Virtual/Mixed/Extended Reality technology center of excellence, the XR Collaboration Center, and the Tactical Advancements for the Next Generation (TANG) Program’s Holodeck team. He has experience in the creation of interactive and immersive Real-Time 3D experiences, hands-on software development with a broad variety of AR and VR devices, user experience design, and rapid prototyping.
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Kelles Gordge
Mechanical Engineer & XR Dev
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Kelles Gordge is a passionate mechanical engineer and XR developer who thrives at the intersection of physical and digital prototyping. As part of the Holodeck team within the US Navy’s TANG (Tactical Advancements for the Next Generation) Program she builds immersive experiences for project teams to build empathy, imagine the future for their end-users, and rapidly iterate on new ideas.
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Rolando Masís-Obando
Neuroscientist + YouTuber
Johns Hopkins University
Dr. Rolando Masís-Obando is a computational neuroscience postdoc at Johns Hopkins University. Scientifically, he is interested in how contexts (like those in VR/AR) shape the way we think and remember our day-to-day experiences. He has scanned dozens of people?s brains (and effectively read their minds) to further understand how the brain represents spaces and concepts. Given the intersection of AR/VR with neuroscience, Rolando?s interests revolve around how we can shape a future internet to be more human-centered and grounded under ethical principles. Rolando received his PhD from Princeton University in Computational Neuroscience and his Bachelor?s from Yale University in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. During his studies, he co-founded Shuflix with his brothers, the largest activity search engine (at the time), to help people interact with their environment in a playful alternative way while helping small businesses get more exposure. Recently, he co-founded one of the first, if not the first, hybrid academic/industry conference on the future of reality (see Neuroethics & the Future of Reality here: https://futurerealities.org/NFR2023/). In his free time, Rolando is a filmmaker, composes for films, creates augmented reality and artificial intelligence tutorials for his YouTube channel, and does pro-bono marketing consulting for personal brands and small businesses. Rolando directed a cinematic educational video on the history of the Metaverse and its ongoing issues with privacy and agency. The video can be found here: https://youtu.be/wsJF1ugsfKI
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Markus Eger
Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Cal Poly Pomona
Dr. Markus Eger is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Cal Poly Pomona, where he co-directs the CPP VR Lab. As part of this initiative, students learn how to develop VR experiences, from the initial design to the implementation. Dr. Eger's research revolves around AI and games, in particular how to build AI agents that cooperate, communicate and interact with humans in an intuitive manner. His current work involves procedural content generation for VR games, and how the generated content is perceived by the players. Dr. Eger has also served as the chair of the 19th AAAI conference on Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment in 2023.
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Naamah Argaman
AR Product Tech Lead
Meta
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Dr Joe Elliott
Owner/VR mental health practitioner
Joe Elliott Psychological Svcs.
Joe Elliott, PhD is a licensed mental health provider and owner of Joe Elliott Psychological Services in Galveston, Texas (www.galvestonpsych.com), with nearly three decades’ experience as a psychotherapist, evaluator, and behavioral science researcher. He previously coordinated research at the anxiety disorders clinics of the University of Houston and University of Texas Mental Sciences Institute, and at the Eyewitness Testimony research lab at Sam Houston State Univ. He also worked at the University of Texas Medical Branch where he was the Mental Health Manager for the Texas NeuroAIDS Research Center, supervising and doing neuropsychological testing at one of only four NIH-sponsored “brain banks” (tissue repositories). Dr. Elliott is a Cold War veteran of the US Army Special Forces (7th Group), and has a Master’s in Clinical Psychology and a PhD in Cognition and Instruction Psychology. He is trained in Criterion-Based Content Analysis (CBCA), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and in Prolonged Exposure Therapy. He has been providing VR mental health applications since 2021, and is the first practitioner to deploy the IDEGO VR treatment suite in the US.
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Tom Emrich
Direct, Product Management
Niantic, Inc.
Tom is recognized as one of the world’s leading thought leaders in augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) & wearable technology. A pioneer in this space, Tom started working in AR in 2009 and has over a decade-long track record of running tech teams and providing strategic direction in emerging technologies for powerhouse brands and organizations. As Director of Product at Niantic, Tom is responsible for product strategy and product development of Niantic's augmented reality platforms, including its Unity SDK (Lightship ARDK) and its web-based AR platform, 8th Wall, as well as the use of these platforms to power AR in Niantic's popular games, including its Rewarded AR ads. He leads a passionate team of product managers who are equipping developers with powerful tools to create AR experiences for smartphones and headsets. Previous to this, Tom served as the VP of Product for 8th Wall, leading product and marketing efforts, which resulted in the acquisition of 8th Wall by Niantic in 2022.
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Sadah Espii Proctor
Lecturer in Design
Yale University
Sadah Espii Proctor (Espii) is a VR director and sound/media designer for theatre and immersive experiences. Named by American Theatre Magazine in 2018 as one of “6 Theatre Artists to Know” for multimedia storytelling, her work encompasses global stories of women, social issues, and the African Diaspora, often with an Afrofuturist/Cyberpunk lens. Her original work is also influenced by gothic horror, anime, and visual kei. She received her M.F.A. in Performance and Interactive Arts, Brooklyn College and is a proud alumna of Virginia Tech.
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Taylor Hurst
Principal
Konvoy
Taylor is the Principal at Konvoy where he focuses on investing in early stage gaming companies. Konvoy exclusively focuses on infrastructure, technology, and platforms.
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Tracy Evans
President
Exhibitry
Tracy Evans is president of Exhibitry, an interactive media production studio in Houston, Texas. In his 30+ year career Tracy Evans has founded or cofounded 5 companies, built interactive media departments for 2 other studios, taken a variety of original products to market, won numerous industry awards and holds a US Patent. His experience comes from playing a variety of roles in marketing, communications and production including: President • COO • Producer • Director • Designer Mr. Evans commands a variety of skill sets including: • Theatrical Producer • Writer • Public Speaker • Stage Magician • Inventor • Animation • Video Editor • Holography • Stage Illusion • Virtual and Augmented Reality • Programming • Projection Mapping • Interface Design Technology Integration Tracy, and the entire Exhibitry team, excel at helping clients tell their product and marketing stories in original and engaging ways at trade shows, museums, visitors centers and live events the world over.
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Petri Rajahalme
Founding Partner
FOV Ventures
Petri is Founding Partner at FOV Ventures, the European early stage VC fund investing in founders building the Metaverse. Petri has been investing in immersive technologies for the past 8 years as an angel investor and through previous investment vehicles such as Nordic XR Startups and Business Finland where he set up a €30m fund to boost the local ecosystem and startups. FOV Ventures currently has a portfolio of 18 companies since its launch in Q1 2022.
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Pablo Ortega
Instructional Designer
H-E-B
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Charlie Fink
Columnist
Forbes
Charlie Fink writes the weekly Forbes column "This Week in XR" and co-hosts its companion podcast. He is the author of the critically acclaimed AR-enabled books Charlie Fink’s Metaverse (2017), and Convergence, How The World Will Be Painted With Data (2019). Fink teaches at Chapman University in Orange, CA and at ASU. Fink's forty year career at the intersection of popular culture and technology began at Walt Disney Feature Animation in 1987 where he famously came up with the idea for “The Lion King" and subsequently became the studio’s youngest creative vice-president. Fink's work in technology began in 1992 when he joined Tim Disney’s pioneering location-based VR company, Virtual World Entertainment, as its COO. In 1995, AOL recruited Fink to be Senior Vice President & Chief Creative Officer of AOL Studios (1995-1999). He was also President of American Greetings Interactive and Blue Mountain (2000-2004). Fink’s other experience includes exits from several startups and running the New York Musical Festival.
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Dan Flanegan
Founder & CEO
That XR Company
Dan Flanegan is a product obsessed 3X venture backed CEO & Founder (2 exits), advisor & angel investor with a focus on XR / spatial computing, social and gaming. He is defining and building the future of spatial computing at That XR Company. Previously he was an XR Product lead at Qualcomm for the Snapdragon Spaces XR developer platform, ecosystem after having joined the company through a successful acquisition.
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Veronica Flint
Founder and Creative Director
Quixotical
Veronica Flint is a multi-award-winning XR Creative Director, technologist, and tinkerer in the XR space. Spanning over a decade of working with immersive technologies, her specialization in innovative ways to tell interactive stories has garnered exceptional reception from top festivals and mainstream platforms. Her work has been featured at festivals including Sundance, SXSW, and Tribeca. She's also worked with almost every big giant in XR, including Snap, Google, Microsoft, and Meta. Her expertise in cutting-edge technologies has utilized virtual production, volumetric capture, performance capture, and gaming.
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Dylan Fox
Head of Community and Outreach
XR Access
Dylan Fox is XR Access’ Head of Community and Outreach, responsible for empowering the XR Access workstreams and spreading the importance of XR accessibility to the public. An accomplished speaker, he has given lectures on accessibility and ethics to campuses and conferences throughout the country. He has also published research at UC Berkeley on uses of augmented reality for people with low vision, and sits on the W3C Immersive Captions community group, the Metaverse Standards Forum, and IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Extended Reality.
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Dr. John Francis
Planet Walker
Planetwalk
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Natascha French
CMO
MVP Interactive
Natascha French, a seasoned marketing executive with over two decades of experience, currently holds the position of Chief Marketing Officer at MVP Interactive. This creative technology company specializes in crafting immersive fan experiences for Fortune 500 companies in the sports and entertainment sectors. Natascha's expertise extends to leading customer experience transformations, launching over 50 brands globally during her tenure at various marketing and PR agencies. Notably, as the former CMO at VNTANA, she played a pivotal role in creating interactive hologram experiences for prestigious brands like Lexus, Disney, ABC, and NBC. A graduate of Emory University, Natascha also serves as a mentor for Startup UCLA and Stadia Ventures. Recognized as a sought-after speaker, she has showcased her expertise in emerging technologies and strategic marketing at major industry events, including CES, AWE, NAB, Digital Hollywood and more.
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Daniel Frith
Chief Creative Officer (CCO)
London Dynamics
Daniel started in 3D in 1993 and has worked across a large range of 3D industries from flight simulation, computer games, film, television, advertising and retail. Daniel has led 3D and technology teams in both small and large companies from Square Enix to IKEA. Daniel joined Avataar in 2022 as Vice President of 3D to set long term strategies, evolve technology, innovation, R&D and work closely with enterprise partners. Daniel is vice chair of glTF for the Khronos group with Avataar and an advisory board member of The Realtime Society.
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Avi Bar-Zeev
Founder, President
XR Guild
Avi Bar-Zeev has been at the forefront of Spatial Computing for over 30 years: launching Disney’s groundbreaking Aladdin VR ride in the early 90s, crafting Second Life’s 3D worlds and co-founding Keyhole (Google Earth) mirror-earth 3D browser around 2001. He co-invented the Hololens AR headset in 2010, helped define Amazon Echo Frames in 2015, and lead the Experience Prototyping team for Apple's Vision Pro and more from 2016 to 2019. All in all, he's helped at least 10 hardware projects, but he remains focused on bringing magical user experiences to life. After Apple, he’s consulted privately for top XR companies and investors. And he’s taken a more public stance by writing and speaking publicly on important issues like privacy, biometric sensing and mental autonomy, targeted and future experiential advertising, DEI and harassment in XR, and various Metaverse and web3 architectures. Most recently, he is a Founder and President of The XR Guild, a new non-profit membership organization that seeks to support and educate professionals in XR on ethics and most positive outcomes for humanity.
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Connell Gauld
Co-founder & CTO
Zappar
As Zappar’s CTO, Connell oversees the ZapWorks team (Zappar’s AR/MR creation software) as well as being responsible for all the cloud infrastructure. Connell met Zappar Co-Founder Dr. Simon Taylor whilst they were both studying engineering at the University of Cambridge. They founded Zappar, along with Caspar Thykier, 10 years ago and have seen it grow into one of the leading AR platforms with .75M in funding and 60 staff.
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James Giglio
CEO and Founder
MVP Interactive
James Giglio, an expert in creating fan experiences is the Founder, and CEO of MVP Interactive, an extended reality (XR) technology company that builds and executes best in class immersive experiences to amplify brands across sports, retail, entertainment, and enterprise level organizations. James’ vision in linking technology to fan engagement has been paramount to the growth of the company, and has led MVP Interactive to develop products for some of the worlds largest brands and sports teams and leagues including Coca-Cola, Cox, Audi, Samsung, AT&T, Columbus Blue Jackets, Los Angeles Clippers, NY Rangers NFL, NBA, Graceland, and more. James regularly shares his insight on fan experiences at prestigious events including AWE, National Sports Forum, Experiential Marketing Summit, Digital LA, Digital Hollywood, VRAR Association Global Summit, NHL league meetings 2019, Event Marketer Summit, Sports Tech Tokyo, AB Bud Light NFL Summit, SportTechie Horizon Summit.
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Kristin Glushon
Head of Marketing
Trigger XR
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Rajat Lokesh
Senior XR Developer
Schlumberger
Rajat has been developing XR prototypes at SLB for around 5 years. Before which he graduated with a master's degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern California where he focused on game/VR/AR development and was a teaching assistant at USC's GamePipe Lab helping students learn about XR design and development. He has created XR applications for several devices such as the HoloLens 1&2, Valve Index, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Meta Quest 2, Meta Quest Pro, and a number of mobile devices and tablets. At SLB he focuses on evaluating the latest tech in the XR space and creating immersive applications that help SLB's internal users and clients improve their existing processes. He is also a part of SLB's XR Committee that aims to establish XR standards at the company and it assists others across SLB adopt immersive technologies in their workflows.
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Edward Tang
CEO
Avegant
Edward Tang is the visionary and founder behind Avegant, a next-generation augmented reality display company. Avegant is developing next generation light engines that enable true consumer augmented reality products and experiences. From tiny light engines that enable true-glasses like form factors, to foveated displays that are optimized for human vision, Avegant has developed and manufactured award-winning products and technologies continually push the boundaries of near-eye displays. Born in Texas and raised in Taipei, Ed received his degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, specializing in micro-electrical mechanical systems (MEMS), and joining the faculty full time researching and developing cutting-edge micro & nanofabrication technologies since 2001. Among a host of other entrepreneurial ventures, Ed was previously developing technologies for the MEMS biotechnology industry in areas of autonomous surgical robots, implantable neuromodulators, and microfluidic drug devices.
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Molly Bloom
Lead UX Researcher
Cisco
Molly Bloom is a researcher with a passion for understanding how communities engage with objects and technology, ranging from mobility devices for people with disabilities, to cyber security software at work. She was trained as an anthropologist at UCLA, where she completed her PhD on how people with newly acquired disabilities learn to engage with the world, medical technology, and each other. For the last five years, she has worked as a user experience researcher in the fields of inclusive design and enterprise software. She is currently a Lead UX Researcher at Cisco, and she specializes in platform-centric approaches to software.
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Barton Goldenberg
President
ISM Inc.
Barton is committed to helping sales, marketing and customer service executives do business in the Metaverse. His Metaverse Resource Center, founded with Silicon Valley guru Tim Bajarin, contains 100+ case studies of companies doing business in the Metaverse, along with dozens of articles and videos. Barton is founder and President of ISM Inc., where, since 1985, he has designed and implemented customer strategies in the areas of sales, marketing, and customer service. His extensive work in these areas led him to his selection as one of the first three inductees in the CRM Hall of Fame (2003) and is detailed in his three best seller business books, countless articles, and hundreds of keynote speeches. His latest book, The Definitive Guide to Social CRM, is hailed as “the roadmap for success at the intersection of social media and CRM.”Barton’s clients include Chase Bank, ExxonMobil, Jaguar Land Rover, Johnson Controls, Kraft Heinz, Marriott, Nike, Schlumberger, T. Rowe Price, U.S. Department of Defense, Zumba Fitness and many more. Barton holds a B.Sc. (Economics) degree with honors from the Wharton School of Business, and an M.Sc. (Economics) degree from the London School of Economics. He served as Rotary District Governor from 2019-2020. He was honored with the ‘Humanitarian of the Year’ award in 2019. He lives in Maryland with his wife and two young adults.
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Sallia Goldstein
Project Director
Paper Triangles
Sallia is a 3D Technical Artist who originally came from the gaming industry. Her area of specialization is bringing brands' products into AR. In 2021, she won Snap's Lens of the Year award with Vendedores Presente. She went on to win the regional best prize in the 2022 Snap Summer Hackathon with the project Morph-o-matic. In 2023, Sallia led a team to develop an AR virtual gallery titled Paintings in Motion on Lens Studio 5.0 beta, which won 2nd place at Snap's Lens Fest Hackathon in the same year. Today, Sallia builds specialized tools in Lens Studio to create high-quality cinematic experiences.
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Mar Gonzalez-Franco
Google
Dr. Mar Gonzalez-Franco is a research manager at Google AR & VR where she works on creating a new generation of Immersive Tech. She leads the Blended Interactions Research and Devices team (BIRD), in their work they explore multi-device and multi-modal futures enabled by ML and AI. From foundational work to full products. Before that she was a principal researcher at Microsoft Research where she open sourced some of the most used avatar libraries like the Microsoft Rocketbox. Her work transferred into the release of Avatars in Teams that was awarded Times invention of the year, and it is to date the largest deployment of avatars in any productivity platform, available to the 270 million users of MS Teams. In 2022 she was awarded the IEEE VGTC Virtual Reality new significant researcher award.
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Alvin Graylin
Author, Our Next Reality | Global VP, HTC
HTC
Alvin Wang Graylin (汪丛青) is a recognized technology pioneer, entrepreneur, executive, and thought leader with 30+ years of experience delivering innovative products in the AI, XR and semiconductor industries. He is the co-author of Our Next Reality: How the AI-powered Metaverse will Reshape the World, published by Hachette Book Group. Having built his foundation in VR research at the Human Interface Technology Lab over 30 years ago, Alvin has also developed his expertise in AI and Natural Language Processing after extensive studies at the University of Washington and MIT. In his recent professional journey, Alvin served as the China President of HTC (2016-2023) and continues to contribute as Global VP of Corporate Development at HTC, a global leader in the VR/AR space. His commitment to the immersive computing field is further reflected in his roles as Vice-Chairman of the Industry of Virtual Reality Alliance (IVRA), President of the Virtual Reality Venture Capital Alliance (VRVCA), and co-head of the ViveX VR Accelerator. Alvin's entrepreneurial spirit is evidenced by his founding of four venture-backed startups in areas ranging from AI-based natural language search, mobile social to big-data AI analytics, across China and the US. His broad operational experience also includes global P&L roles at multinational corporations like Intel, Trend Micro, WatchGuard Technologies, and IBM. Alvin holds an M.S. in Computer Science from MIT, where he specialized in AI, and an M.S. in Business from MIT's Sloan School of Management on the entrepreneurship and operations track. He also earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington, focused on VR, AI, and CPU architecture. He was born in China during the Cultural Revolution and emigrated to the U.S. in 1980 as the country's reform period started. Alvin has recently relocated back to the U.S. after almost 20 years working/living in China during its internet/mobile boom and is currently based in Seattle, Washington.
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Alon Grinshpoon
CEO
echo3D
Alon is the CEO of echo3D.com, a cloud platform for 3D asset management backed by Qualcomm Ventures. Alon is a big-believer in 3D & Spatial Computing and is working on building the world's best 3D-first content management system (CMS) and delivery network (CDN) to help companies scale their 3D/AR/VR content. Alon is a Java native-speaker with countless hours of programming in Java, Android, Unity, C#, C, and Bash. Alon loves to create AR/VR apps, GUI and graphically design applications, open-source programs, and API integration alongside his experience and passion for cloud and computer communication networks. Alon received his MSc in computer science from Columbia University's School of Engineering and Applied Science specializing in computer graphics, virtual and augmented reality, and human-computer interaction. Alon wrote his thesis on an Augmented Reality Guidance System for Endovascular Surgery advised by Prof. Steven K. Feiner. Alon received his BSc as a double major in computer science and electrical and electronic engineering from Tel Aviv University specializing in software engineering, computer communication networks, and cyber security. During his studies, Alon served as a graduate researcher at the Computer Graphics and User Interfaces Laboratory of Columbia University. Alon also served as a research assistant and teaching assistant in the fields of computer networks and distributed cloud networks. Alon is a former NVIDIA engineer, a published 3D UI researcher, a Techstars alum & mentor, and a frequent speaker at CES, SXSW, Augmented World Expo (AWE), NYVR, and more.
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Cathy Hackl
CEO
Spatial Dynamics
Cathy Hackl is a globally recognized tech & gaming exec, futurist, & speaker focused on spatial computing, virtual worlds, augmented reality, AI, & gaming platforms strategy. She’s the co-CEO of Spatial Dynamics, a spatial computing and AI solutions company & a top tech voice on LinkedIn. Hackl has worked at Amazon Web Services (AWS), Magic Leap, and HTC VIVE and has worked with companies like Nike, Ralph Lauren, Walmart, Louis Vuitton, & Clinique on their emerging tech & gaming journeys. As a sought-after keynote speaker, she’s spoken at Harvard Business School, MIT, SXSW, Comic-Con, WEF, CES, MWC, & more. She’s one of Ad Age’s Leading Women of 2023, was featured on the cover of Forbes Latam’s 100 Most Powerful Women 2023 issue, and is on the Vogue Business 100 Innovators inaugural list. She hosts Adweek’s highly successful TechMagic podcast and is popularly known in tech circles as the Godmother of the Metaverse. Cathy has been a fixture in the world of immersive technology for almost a decade with many media appearances in CNBC’s Squawk Box, 60 Minutes, CNN, Good Morning America, GQ, Time, The Economist, Bloomberg, and is a guest editor for Vogue Singapore. In 2022, she became the first human to ring NASDAQ’s opening bell and open the financial markets both in physical and avatar form while doing so on live television.
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Michelle Hascall
Manager of Learning & Development
Cortica
Michelle has a strong background and expertise in the field of behavior analysis and autism support. As a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA), she has advanced knowledge and skills in applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy. Her clinical focus on natural environment teaching and family collaboration reflects a holistic approach to intervention, emphasizing the importance of incorporating learning opportunities into a child’s everyday environment and involving the family in the therapeutic process. This approach aligns with the idea of whole-child care, a unique approach pioneered by Cortica. Prior to coming to Cortica, Michelle was a clinical director with a background in leadership and organizational growth. Michelle currently serves as a Manager of Learning and Development where she focuses on contributing to the professional development of teammates and ensuring the implementation of effective strategies for supporting neurodivergent children and their families.
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Susanne Haspinger
Co-founder and COO
Holo-Light
Susanne Haspinger is the COO and one of the founders of Holo-Light, a company that is providing the most powerful immersive streaming platform for AR and VR – creating the Industrial Metaverse. She strongly believes that stepping into the Industrial Metaverse will transform the way every physical asset on the planet is created, built, and operated. Haspinger was born in Tyrol and studied physics at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. She’s a passionate technology enthusiast and female tech leader.
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Neil Hattangadi
CEO
Cortica
Neil Hattangadi MD, MSc, is CEO and Co-Founder of Cortica, the country’s leading whole-child, tech-enabled provider for children with autism and other developmental differences. Cortica provides coordinated care for each child spanning medical treatment, behavioral therapy, developmental therapy, and family support and counseling. They conduct research studies and incorporate cutting-edge technologies in their care model, including Floreo VR and other novel therapeutics. They sit at the forefront of value-based care in autism, having executed multiple transformative partnerships with leading health plans to improve whole-child outcomes and to reduce cost from high ABA utilization, excessive medications, and ED/IP admissions. Neil has been a healthcare technology start-up leader for over 20 years, bringing together diverse teams to solve the most pressing unmet clinical needs. His three prior companies (FoxHollow Technologies FOXH, Volcano Corporation VOLC, Spirox) were successfully transacted for over B and collectively served over 2 million patients. Neil was previously a healthcare equities investor at Citadel Asset Management and SAC Capital, and he was a consultant with McKinsey in Boston and Silicon Valley. Neil earned degrees from Duke, Harvard Medical School, and Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He lives in San Diego with his wife and 2 children, where he enjoys open water swimming and microbrews.
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Satoshi Hattori
XR Engineer
Cyber AI Productions, Inc.
Satoshi is a software engineer living in Tokyo, Japan. He works for CyberAgent in a photography studio that enables virtual production. He is also working on the visionOS 30 Days Development Challenge and a virtual camera implementation, and uploading the results to GitHub. He loves ARKit and has recently pursued visionOS development and looks forward to a society where Vision Pro is widely used.
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Amy Hedrick
CEO
Cleanbox Technology
Amy Hedrick is CEO and Co-Founder of Cleanbox Technology. As a thought leader providing insights into the immersive technology, she brings solutions and innovation in smart tech hygiene. Having led multiple teams from project inception and execution through profitable completion, she has proven herself an effective leader in diverse venues over the past decade. Most recently, Amy was Manager of Content and Digital Media for the think tank division of Li and Fung, a leading global consumer goods sourcing and manufacturing company based in Hong Kong. Her expertise includes conducting bespoke research and C-level reports within technology, retail, and cross-genre applications. Amy was one of four writers for the Fung Business Intelligence Center (FBIC). Previous to that, Amy’s focus was on content creation at the intersection of entertainment and education. Amy spent her early career working with international aid organizations, managing multiple teams of 50-150 healthcare, construction, and emergency intervention professionals, and overseeing direct-aid projects. Amy has worked in fundraising in both the profit and non-profit sectors.
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Brittan Heller
Counsel
Atlantic Council
Brittan Heller works at the intersection of technology, human rights and the law. She is currently a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, with the Digital Forensics Research Lab, examining XR's connection to society, human rights, privacy, and security. She is also on the steering committee for the World Economic Forum's Metaverse Governance initiative. She is an affiliate at the Yale Information Society Project and the Stanford Program on Democracy and the Internet, and a researcher at the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab. Heller was an inaugural AI and Technology Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, studying content moderation and security risks in VR/AR/XR and emergent media, which resulted in award-winning publications on privacy, biometrics, targeted advertising, and XR. Heller is a frequent speaker and commentator on XR issues, and has published in The Information, Wired, The New York Times, and the Hill on online harms. She also advises governments and top XR companies on how to build safer and more inclusive immersive spaces. As former counsel in Foley Hoag LLP's Global Business and Human Rights practice, Heller advised companies, investors, and NGOs on integrating public safety and human rights. She previously founded ADL’s Center for Technology and Society. Her key projects included creating AI to study hate speech and XR experiences for civil rights advocacy. Additionally, Heller prosecuted grave human rights violations at the U.S. Department of Justice and the International Criminal Court and initiated landmark anti-cyber harassment litigation. She is a graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School.
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Robert Hernandez
Professor of Professional Practice
USC Annenberg School of Journalism
Robert Hernandez, aka WebJournalist, is an Associate Professor of Professional Practice at USC Annenberg, but he’s not an academic… he’s more of a “hackademic” that specializes in “MacGyvering” digital journalism through emerging technologies. His most recent work includes AR, Wearables/Google Glass and VR — he and his students produce experiences under their brand: JOVRNALISM™. Their work has won awards and can be seen in The New York Times, NBC, NPR, ProPublica and in their iOS/Android/Go app.
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Destery Hildenbrand
XR Solution Architect
Intellezy
Destery Hildenbrand is an XR Solutions Architect with Intellezy. Destery has over 17 years of experience in training and development and 5 years focusing on immersive technologies. He has spent that time developing for both corporate and higher education. Destery's main focus is on engaging learners through emerging technology and extended reality experiences.
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Erin Hilliard
Cyber/Data/Privacy Associate
Cooley
Erin Hilliard is an associate at Cooley LLP. She focuses her practice on all aspects of privacy and information security, including US and international regulatory compliance, privacy-related regulatory enforcement actions, and incident response and remediation. She works with a number of immersive technology clients to manage their regulatory and litigation risk and create practical, strategic privacy compliance plans throughout the various phases of their product development cycle. Erin loves navigating the challenges of data use, product design, and innovation alongside her clients as both their legal and business partner. Erin received her JD from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and her BA from the University of Chicago.
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Holly Hirzel
Director of Product Management - AR
Consultant
Holly is a seasoned Product Manager in the areas of AR, VR and video games. She specializes in taking experiences for future-tech wearables from early stages through to full-scale production. Holly’s prior entrepreneurial experience includes roles in product and scheduling at Envelop VR, VReal, and also ran an indy video game company (Player 1) a lifetime ago. Her prior corporate work includes Project Manager roles at Microsoft and as a Sr. Product Manager at Walmart’s Store No. 8. Holly also serves as the Treasurer for the XR Guild, a professional organization promoting ethics in extended reality. She is also on the board of the Far Reaches Botanical Reserve, dedicated to the preservation of rare plants. Holly has a B.S. from Cornell University.
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Melanie Hogue
Content Designer
Microsoft
Melanie Hogue is an innovative storyteller with a background in journalism, technology, and XR. With a wealth of storytelling experience across various mediums and industries, she brings a unique perspective to her craft. Currently serving as a Content Designer at Microsoft, Melanie focuses on Copilot and responsible AI. Prior to her tenure at Microsoft, Melanie held key roles, including consultant at X, the Moonshot Factory (Google-X), and Creative Strategist at an Emmy-nominated emerging tech studio. Notably, Melanie was selected for McClatchy’s second Storyteller in Residence program, where she explored innovative applications of photogrammetry in local newsrooms. Melanie earned her M.A. from Stanford’s prestigious journalism program and a B.A. from Duke University. She is currently pursuing a second master’s degree from ASU’s Narrative and Emerging Media program, further enriching her understanding of narrative techniques and emerging media platforms. As a first-generation American and student, Melanie is dedicated to crafting stories that capture hearts, provoke thought, and ignite imagination. Her projects range from comprehensive features on the aftermath of the Camp Fire, utilizing cutting-edge technologies such as photogrammetry, 360-video, and drone footage, to pioneering innovative storytelling methods in the newsroom. Melanie consistently strives to find the best medium for each story, all while daring to push the boundaries of storytelling.
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Sai Huda
Founder, Chairman & CEO
CyberCatch
Sai Huda is founder & CEO, CyberCatch, an innovative AI-enabled cybersecurity solution provider serving critical sectors in North America. He is a globally recognized cybersecurity expert, frequent keynote speaker, inventor of a patent on continuous cybersecurity compliance assessment and measurement and scoring, and author of the best-selling book, Next Level Cybersecurity. He is former founder and CEO of Compliance Coach, which was acquired by FIS, a Fortune 500 company. He is a board member of Classroom of the Future Foundation and Cyber Center of Excellence.
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Cindy Huggett
Principal
Cindy Huggett Consulting, LLC
As a leading workplace learning expert and 20+ year pioneer of virtual training, Cindy Huggett, CPTD, has vast experience delivering engaging learning solutions via the virtual classroom. She’s the author of five acclaimed books on the subject, including The Facilitator’s Guide to Immersive, Blended and Hybrid Learning and Designing Virtual Learning for Application and Impact: 50 Techniques to Ensure Results. Cindy partners with organizations to create engaging virtual training solutions. She upskills trainers and designers, maximizes online learning design, and facilitates actionable virtual training and hybrid learning. A sought-after speaker, Cindy has taught thousands of people how to leverage live online training through her cutting-edge workshops and presentations on topics related to leadership, learning, and technology. Based in Raleigh, NC, Cindy serves clients globally. To learn more, visit www.cindyhuggett.com.
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Luke Hurd
Director Experience Design (Innovation)
VML
Luke Hurd is an immersive artist, innovator, and experience designer who specializes in the latest immersive experiences for the global brands under VMLY&R and WPP. As one of Meta’s Spark AR Curriculum creator and instructors, he teaches thousands of new students of Augmented Reality each month and consults for brands and agencies across the world how to strategize, concept and create captivating experiences that reach billions of people. His work has been featured on Good Morning America, Adweek, NBC News, and his clients include heavy hitters like Wendy's, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, NASA, Meta, Coachella, Intel and National Geographic.
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Sean Hurwitz
CEO, Founder
PIXO VR
Sean is a serial entrepreneur with decades of experience building businesses through the smart use of technology and assembly of elite teams. Sean founded PIXO VR in 2009 based on his belief in empowering people to do their jobs well with interactive, immersive virtual training. With PIXO VR, he has been helping companies transform their training programs through VR technology. Sean applies his belief to not only help customers grow, but his company and himself as well.
Something Went Wrong.
Stefanie Hutka
Founder & Head of Design Research
Sendfull
Stef is a design research leader specializing in emerging technologies. She helps teams navigate ambiguous product areas and build useful, usable products for anticipated markets. She has led research for numerous 0-to-1 product launches in spatial computing, including Adobe Aero, Adobe Substance 3D Suite, and Meta Quest 3. Stef established the design research function at augmented reality (AR) start-up, DAQRI, leading the company’s first case studies on in-field use of enterprise AR hardware and software. She recently founded her own design research practice, Sendfull, providing fractional design research leadership to product teams building at the frontier of Spatial Computing and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Stef’s work is grounded in her deep subject matter expertise in spatial computing, AI and neuroscience. She holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Toronto, focusing on cognitive neuroscience. Stef has published 15 peer-reviewed articles, holds several patents on augmented reality and brain computer interfaces, and has delivered 30+ presentations to industry, academic, and public audiences. Passionate about teaching, she designed and taught user experience research curriculum for Fortune 500 product teams, and is an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley’s School of Information and Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation.
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Bob Fine
Executive Director
IVRHA
Robert is the Executive Director and Founder of IVRHA (International Virtual Reality and Healthcare Association). In 2009, Robert started Cool Blue Media by organizing the first social media conference on the east coast of the United States, leading to the publication of the text book, The Big Book of Social Media Case Studies, Stories and Perspectives and shortly thereafter the only printed magazine covering social media, The Social Media Monthly. In May 2016, he launched VRVoice.co, a content vertical exploring virtual reality in the enterprise. In 2017, Robert started the largest annual conference on virtual reality and healthcare with events taking place both in the US and Europe. Prior to 2009, Robert was the Senior Director of Global Strategy and Development of IT at Conservation International (CI). Robert joined CI in 2000 to take responsibility for connecting all of CI’s forty field offices to the Internet with broadband connectivity. During his 10 year tenure, he built an international staff of 25 IT professionals. Robert has over ten years of additional work experience as a systems and sales engineer with various companies including CMGI, Hughes Network Systems, ioWave and Raytheon. Robert has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Villanova University, a master’s degree in environmental science and public policy from Johns Hopkins University, and is ABD at George Mason University.
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Suzan Kardong-Edgren
Associate Professor
MGH Institute of Health Professions
Suzan (Suzie) Kardong-Edgren PhD, RN, ANEF, CHSE, FSSH, FAAN is an award winning, internationally known speaker, and educational researcher with over 140 publications. Dr. Edgren was a consultant on the landmark National Council of State Boards of Nursing National Simulation Study that determined that up to 50% of traditional clinical could be replaced with high quality simulation. She served as the Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Simulation in Nursing for 10 years. She has been awarded the Deborah Spunt Lectureship from the US National League for Nursing and the Michael Gordon Lectureship in Simulation from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. Dr. Edgren served as chair of the Research Committee for the Society for Simulation in Healthcare and as Vice President of Research and President of the International Nursing Association of Clinical Simulation in Nursing (INACSL). She is a Fellow in the Society of Simulation in Healthcare, the Academy of Nursing Education Fellows, and the American Academy of Nursing. Dr. Edgren is an Associate Professor at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston where she happily supervises the next generation of health professional MS and PhD researchers in simulation.
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Albert Kashchenevsky
CEO
Eyecuracy
Founded Eyecuracy in 2022 - eye tracking applications for monitoring diagnostics and treatment of neuro-ophthalmological and neurological conditions. Co-founded EyeWay Vision in 2014 – company developed revolutionary Augmented Reality system, based on direct scanning of laser beams on user’s retina.
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Howard Gurr
Psychologist
Private Practice
Dr. Howard Gurr is a practicing psychologist on Long Island, New York. He specializes in helping patients with varying types of anxiety and phobias. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Gurr has been podcasting about psychologically related issues since 2006 at https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/drgurr, and he was the co-host for both the New York State Psychological Association and the Suffolk County Psychological Association podcasts. Since 2016, Dr. Gurr has been using VR for exposure therapy and to help patients reduce stress and increase mindfulness. He continues to work with VR companies all over the world, providing webinar training, consultation, and beta testing. He is currently an “ambassador” for Amelia Virtual Care/XR Health. He has also created an online directory of therapists who utilize virtual reality therapy in their practices, www.vrttherapists.com, to help bring awareness of the benefits of virtual reality therapy for behavioral health to the general public, improve the sharing of information between providers, and function as a tool to help clinicians and the public locate virtual reality therapists worldwide.
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Caitlin Krause
Founder
MindWise
Caitlin Krause is an experience designer, global speaker, and author who focuses on the intersection of creativity, technology, innovation, and wellbeing. She founded the consultancy MindWise in 2015, and teaches about digital wellbeing and XR at Stanford University. Author of Designing Wonder: Leading Transformative Experiences in VR, Mindful By Design, and Digital Satori, Caitlin has advised global organizations including TED, Google, The U.S. Air Force, Meta, Oracle, Evernote, University of San Francisco, ETH Zürich, and the U.S. State Department. She has created and run numerous collaborative experiences in social XR, fusing presence, storytelling, meditation, and social and emotional intelligence. She helps to create immersive therapeutic applications that engage the senses for a full experience. She holds an MFA from Lesley University and a BA from Duke University. Caitlin helps individuals and teams navigate complexity and change in the future of work, prioritizing wellbeing, collaboration, and imagination through wonder and awe.
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Tristan Gribbin
Founder & CEO
Flow
Tristan is the Founder & CEO of Flow - Meditation for modern life. Based in Iceland, Tristan has been practicing meditation with great dedication since the year 2000 and is a recognized meditation teacher today. Tristan’s Flow meditations, VR, web, and mobile have already touched the lives of tens of thousands of people. Tristan has led corporate meditation workshops for global companies throughout Iceland and Europe including at PwC, Vodafone, and Icelandair. Tristan grew up in Palo Alto, California, and graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz with a BA in Theatre Arts. Since 2000 she has focused on her path of transformation with a strong emphasis on meditation and deep spiritual work. You can find Tristan’s articles and videos about meditation in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, TEDx, and Apple News. Learn more at www.flow.is
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Cameron Kostopoulos
Immersive Director, Founder & CEO
Kost
Cameron Kostopoulos is an award-winning immersive director, who combines intimacy with technology to create deeply transformative experiences. Their debut experience “Body of Mine” is a full-body experience that allows users to experience gender dysphoria by inhabiting the body of another gender, and has won many awards including the SXSW Special Jury Award, a BAFTA Student Award, Best XR at Games for Change, an international premiere at the Venice Film Festival, and more. They are the Founder & CEO of Kost, a storytelling collective utilizing immersive AI to help us better understand ourselves, the world around us, and our fellow human beings. They hold a BFA in Film & TV Production from the prestigious USC School of Cinematic Arts and an MA from ASU’s Narrative & Emerging Media Program.
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Jonathan Klein
Managing Director
PropTech Consulting
Jonathan brings a track record of technology integration and innovation. With a professional background in media, thought leadership and emerging technology at The New York Observer, Gigaom and GeoCV, he brings his expertise to the evolving PropTech sector. As the Founder and Managing Director of PropTech Consulting, Jonathan is adept at blending visionary insight with strategic business planning. PropTech Consulting bridges the gap between real estate and technology by offering strategic growth advisory and digital twin concierge services. Working across the spectrum of property owners, operators, startups, and investors, PropTech Consulting is uniquely positioned to help optimize efficiency, increase acquisitions, and maximize revenue throughout the real estate lifecycle. Jonathan holds a BS in Public and Environmental Affairs from Indiana University at Bloomington and an Advanced Certificate in Digital Media Marketing from New York University.
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Adam Lisagor
Founder
Sandwich
Adam Lisagor is the founder of Sandwich, a creative storytelling studio for tech based in Los Angeles. His favorite thing to do is help people understand new ideas, using filmmaking and empathy and light jokes. More recently, he is exploring story in the form of product, extending into the third dimension both spatially with his visionOS app studio Sandwich Vision, and metaphorically with his pre-seed stage startup Sandwich AI. So much to do.
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Jason Laan
Partner
Laan Labs
Jason is co-founder and partner of Laan Labs along with his brother. Starting his career in Chemical Engineering, he has a rich background spanning many professions from the internet to film/tv to financial services and the apparel industry. His diverse interests, skills and experience have involved him in a wide spectrum of projects delivering solutions along the way for Nike, Google, Prada, Twitter and Vimeo among others.
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Emmett Lalish
Staff Software Engineer
Google
Emmett earned his doctorate in Aerospace Engineering at 24 and has designed drones for DARPA, done 3D printing at Microsoft, invented a volumetric video codec at a startup, and and now runs the open source model-viewer project at Google. He is an active contributor to the Khronos glTF PBR Next working group and he designs 3D-printed sculpture.
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Ginna Lambert
Co-Founder
Lighthouse XR
Ginna is an experienced VR Director of Photography at VArtisans and the XR Director of Content at Conscio VR. She has filmed 360 VR footage all over the world, and now connects positive psychology and game theory to craft experiences in virtual worlds as well.
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Chris Lane
Co-Founder, CEO, & Chief Technology Officer
3dMD
With 45 years of experience in the tech sector, Lane has held senior technical and chief executive positions in global high-tech companies and service firms, as well as served as a board member for both privately and publicly held companies in the US and Europe. As 3dMD’s CTO, Lane has spearheaded an R&D strategy that has resulted in 3dMD becoming the benchmark supplier of software-driven, high-precision 3D/4D in-vivo surface capture systems. Lane is also directly involved in a number of industry initiatives to promote adoption of data and security standards needed for the widespread deployment of humanoid 3D. Following an early career in software engineering and as a consultant with a UK government agency focused on promoting the use of IT, Lane joined Oracle and held VP positions in Europe and the U.S., including head of Consulting Operations. Lane then joined the IT investment team at EM Warburg, Pincus & Co. in New York. He served as CEO of Atlanta-based TSW International, leading to become the market leader in the Enterprise Asset Management market. Just prior to joining 3dMD, Lane held the position of COO at ECSoft plc, a European IT services provider.
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Yulia Lápicus
XR Designer, Author
Consultant
Yulia is a Seattle-based product designer driven by a passion for emerging technologies and a belief in the transformative power of design. Her expertise lies in creating intuitive, cohesive user experiences that bridge the gap between technology and users, with a focus on simplifying complex issues and enhancing daily interactions. Yulia's approach combines design thinking, service design, lean startup methodology, and a keen understanding of business strategy and behavioral economics, tailored to bring efficiency and innovation to every project. From an early age, Yulia was captivated by technology and entrepreneurship. Over the years, she has held multiple leadership roles in design and marketing. In addition, Yulia promotes design education, with her articles on design and technology gaining recognition and features in leading UX publications. Yulia holds a Master of Science degree in Technology Innovation with a specialization in Connected Devices from the University of Washington. She has gained a thorough understanding of hardware and software development, user experience design, and technology strategy. Her capstone project, sponsored by Meta, aimed to enhance community engagement for the residents of the City of Bellevue by elevating XR technology. At AWE XR, Yulia will discuss the complexities and opportunities of designing for visionOS, Apple's pioneering spatial computing operating system.
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Nicole Lazzaro
President
Xeodesign Inc
Nicole is the leading authority on emotion and player experience, a champion for the people centric Metaverse, and designed the first iPhone game. With a Stanford degree in psychology Nicole is the first person to use facial expressions to measure player reactions. She puts her expertise to work designing award-winning XR interfaces for enterprise as well as games at her company XEODesign Inc. Her emotion model The 4 Keys to Fun is baked into the AI for The Sims, inspired IBM emotion analytics, and laid the foundation for gamification. Her clients include Meta, Ubisoft, EA on platforms and games including Myst, Horizon Worlds, Star Wars, and The Matrix.
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Dustin Kochensparger
Co-Founder
DB Creations
Dustin is a producer and designer with over a decade of experience working in video games. Before founding DB Creations, he was a senior producer at Bungie, working on rewards, user retention, and monetization for Destiny 2. With a passion for project management and team leadership, he manages the studio's day to day business operations, as well as driving game design and production for many titles. He is passionate about developing games that push the bounds of new technologies, enabling new kinds of play that haven't been seen before.
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Kevin Ang
VR Artist
Bingko
Kevin Ang has worn many hats in his artistic career, from feature film animator to Emmy winning broadcast designer. But it was the discovery of the VR community that pushed his creative boundaries to the next level and unlocked a renewed thirst for character and world creation. His adventures through the XR wormhole have included mixed reality art residencies with FigminXR and Silpakorn University, being a speed sculpting contestant on an Oculus Medium reality show, a cameo as a Gremlin in the documentary We Met in VR, and shipping a game demo featuring many of his characters for the Tilt Five Lab. Simply put, his mantra is: How can we weaponize awe for good?
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Jamie Gingas VR
CEO/Digital Content Creator
Creator
GingasVR, known for their innovative strides in the world of virtual reality (VR) and Ai content creation, has a passion for creating entertaining videos that highlight interesting or immersive mechanics that people otherwise wouldn't have thought of. With a background in VR Mod development and marketing, she's been involved in the space since 2016 and now runs a fairly successful Youtube and Tiktok channel that garners millions of views. Some of her most watched videos are talking to generative Ai NPCs in games like Skyrim VR, she's also created countless tutorials in the VR space and helped to make the technology more accessible. She also works in Marketing for Riff XR, an innovative Social VR MMO that uses Generative Ai in dynamic ways, like generating 360 environments, Missions, Art and more.
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Young Lee
VP, Devices Partnerships for Meta Reality Labs
Meta
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Nina Faye Lin
CEO / Co-Founder
XRIO
Nina Faye Lin serves as the CEO and Co-Founder of XRIO, where she blends her expertise in strategic partnerships with a passion for immersive gaming and learning. At the heart of XRIO's mission, Nina focuses on leading a team that is dedicated to setting new standards in the XR industry by combining emerging technology with creative storytelling. Outside of the digital realm, Nina was foundational in launching Hawai'i's first self-directed learning center for youth, which evolved into XRIO's vision to enhance interactive and accessible learning through play. She is also a board member of multiple nonprofit organizations in Hawai’i centered around community-based education and creative professional development. Additionally, Nina contributes to her local community through her work with HawaiiXR as a lead organizer and the Hawai’i International Film Festival as the XR programmer. Above all, Nina’s vision is to shape the future of lifelong learning by blending play and immersive technology, sparking creative collaborations across time and space.
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Stephanie Llamas
Founder
VoxPop Insights
Stephanie Llamas is a veteran analyst in the immersive industry. She was the third hire at SuperData, a games market research firm, where in 2014 she began their XR practice. After SuperData was acquired in 2018 by Nielsen, she became Nielsen's head of games and XR research and strategy. She then went on to play a lead role in the World Economic Forum's metaverse initiative, publishing research on XR and Web3, and managing a stakeholder community of over 150 professionals and academics. Currently, Stephanie is currently Founder at VoxPop Insights, an agency that leverages data storytelling and research to spread thought leadership on the games, immersive and Web3 industries. Stephanie's research and insights have been featured in media such as NPR, Forbes, WSJ, NYTimes and MSNBC, and a number of industry events including CES and SXSW.
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Anne Lord Bailey
Executive Director, Strategic Initiatives Lab
Veterans Affairs
Dr. Anne Lord Bailey is Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives Lab (“Strat Lab”) and Immersive Technology Lead for VHA’s Office of Healthcare Innovation and Learning (HIL). Dr. Bailey started her health care career as a pharmacy practitioner for Western North Carolina VA Healthcare System (WNCVAHCS) in Asheville, NC, focused on Hepatitis C and innovative care models. In 2017, she began the Innovation Program at WNCVAHCS, and in 2020, she joined the HIL team. In 2021, Dr. Bailey became HIL’s lead for Immersive Technology, establishing VA Immersive as a collaborative program across the office. She has worked with experts and thought leaders in government, academia, and industry, while co-leading the expansion of the VHA Extended Reality (XR) Network from the founding five facilities to over 170, engaging more than 2,300 VA employees, and helping guide the implementation of immersive technology use at scale for more than 40 indications. In 2022, Dr. Bailey was awarded International Virtual Reality in Healthcare Association’s Hero Award for dedication to the growth of immersive technology in healthcare, G2Xchange Change Agent Award, and the Service to the Citizen Award. In 2023, she was named a Top 12 Finalist for the Service to America Medal People’s Choice Award and Washington Pinnacles Executive of the Year.
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Nova Lorraine
Author + Editor in Chief
Raine Magazine
Nova Lorraine's inspiring journey from psychologist, to fashion designer to a trailblazer in the realms of sustainability, technology, and AI is truly remarkable. As the first Jamaican designer to have her creations land on the moon, she has shattered boundaries and set new standards for innovation in the fashion industry. Hailed as one of the Most Inspirational Women of Web3 and AI, Nova Lorraine is an award-winning Fashion Designer and Futurist whose designs have graced the pages of renowned publications such as Forbes, Inc, Essence, Italian Vogue, and have been featured on The View. Her pioneering spirit has earned her accolades like the Web3 Creator Future Award, the Metaverse Champion Award, and the LAMINA1 NFT Artist Award, cementing her position as a visionary at the intersection of art and digital realms. Named a Top 100 Women of the Future, Nova Lorraine is the author and podcast host of People’s Choice finalist, Unleash Your Supernova and Co-Host of the AI for Creatives podcast. Her creative prowess extends beyond fashion, as she founded Raine Magazine in 2007 and has interviewed numerous celebrities, including Kendall Jenner, Priyanka Chopra, and Mark Cuban. Nova is also excited about her newest book, The Jockey on the Horse, a Creative’s Guide to AI. As Nova Lorraine continues to build the House of Nova, the future of couture, her journey serves as an inspiration to creators worldwide, demonstrating how creativity, sustainability, and technology can converge to push boundaries and redefine the possible. Nova enjoys spending her free time traveling with her family, running, and reading.
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Deirdre V. Lyons
Co-Founder
Ferryman Collective
Deirdre V. Lyons began her VR work in two 180 films, The Willows and Freakin’ Weekend. She was part of the cast of The Under Presents, and The Under Presents: Tempest. Deirdre was also a performer in Finding Pandora X by Double Eye Studios. After performing theater in VR, she pivoted to producing as a founding member of Ferryman Collective, currently working on creating live VR immersive experiences, she produced and performed in PARA and Krampusnacht, a finalist in the PGA Innovation Award, as well as The Severance Theory: Welcome to Respite which world premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2021 and had its international premier at the prestigious Venice International Film Festival.
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Devin Marble
Owner
ImmersiveMedical
Devin holds an undergraduate degree in Health Sciences from NAU and has been a certified emergency hospital paramedic for 8 years. He also serves as adjunct faculty at the Public Safety and Emergency Services Institute in Southern Arizona and is an experienced clinical genetic research assistant for the University of Arizona’s NIH Precision Medicine Initiative. In addition to his healthcare expertise, Devin is a credentialed VR educator through Georgian College and currently serves as Owner at ImmersiveMedical and Content Creator for VRpatients. Prior to his career in healthcare and education, Devin spent 10 years as an accredited Producer and television host in Los Angeles. His unique combination of technical skills in media production, public speaking abilities, and passion for healthcare allows him to effectively convey the value of immersive technologies in health simulation.
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Joe Mares
Owner
Fun Empire, Inc.
Joe Mares has been working in the game industry for 20 years as a lead game designer, producer, and Creative Director among other roles. Notable projects include League of Legends, Jurassic World VR Expedition for Dave & Busters, and Legends of Frontierland for Disneyland. Joe has developed projects for studios such as The Game Show Network, Nickelodeon, Universal Studios, and Walt Disney Imagineering, and is an award winning Game Designer.
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Daniel Marquesee
Lead Spatial Designer
Bezi
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Jasmine Lehman
Content Creator
AtomBombBody/LIV
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Jason Marsh
CEO
Flow Immersive
Jason has been programming and obsessing over information presentation and UI design for 30 years. In his past, he’s been involved in capturing and presenting complex information to busy thought-leaders in healthcare and business. He has been fascinated with the discovery and presentation of complex ideas, where new relationships between ideas can be understood, and where an infinite canvas and infinite zoom create an experience that includes and goes beyond the purely intellectual perception of mental concepts. He started with speech recognition technology at Apple Computer in 1991 but has been an entrepreneur ever since.
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Peter Martin
Software Engineer
Adobe
Currently specializing in the field of Augmented Reality, I am driven by the opportunity to make cool technology and experiences. Within my professional and educational journey, I have had the ability to work on all sorts of technology stacks and types of software. I can call myself a full stack software engineer with confidence. If I'm thrown something that I do not know, I know that I can learn it.
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Jack McCauley
Co-founder
Oculus
American inventor. Professor and Innovator in Residence at Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation at UC Berkeley. Oculus VR Co-Founder and former Chief Engineer. Now active in automotive technology, building cars at his private R&D facility and hardware incubator in Livermore, CA. At Oculus, Jack designed and built the Oculus DK1 and DK2 virtual reality headsets, prior to the acquisition of the company in 2014 by Facebook for billion. He holds numerous U.S. patents for inventions in software, audio effects, virtual reality, motion control, computer peripherals, and video game hardware and controllers. Jack was awarded a full scholarship to attend University of California, Berkeley where he earned a BSc., EECS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 1986. He currently serves as an Innovator in Residence at Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation at UC Berkeley. Jack is pursuing new projects at his private R&D facility and hardware incubator in Livermore, Calif. Jack is one of the greatest living inventors.
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Elizabeth Childs
Graduate Student Researcher
Stanford
Elizabeth Childs is a PhD student and Knight Hennessy Scholar at Stanford University. Coming from a background in mechanical engineering and robotics, she combines both product design and augmented reality to create interactive and immersive learning experiences grounded in educational pedagogy. She has taught in educational institutions in North and South America, Africa, and Asia, and uses these experiences to create technologies that seamlessly integrate into a classroom context. Her research focuses on developing augmented reality tools to empower science teachers to enhance high school laboratory education. She aims to expand not only the capabilities of laboratory education, but also accessibility to hands-on science learning around the world.
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Jason McDowall
Creator & Host
The AR Show
Jason is the creator and host of the #1 podcast focused on augmented reality, The AR Show with Jason McDowall. He spent the last 8 years at Ostendo, which created a breakthrough visual engine for AR smartglasses utilizing its proprietary microLED display and novel optics. Previously Jason was a serial entrepreneur – first in mobile, later in AI-assisted CRM. He also spent several years at Salesforce.com and served as an officer in the US Air Force. He holds an MBA from UCLA Anderson and an MS & BS in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon.
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Jason McGuigan
Head of Virtual Reality
Lenovo
Jason McGuigan is the Head of Commercial Virtual Reality at Lenovo. He is responsible for the organization’s current and future strategy for developing VR solutions across hardware, software, and partnerships. His focus is on driving enterprises to scale their adoption of VR in training, collaboration, and metaverse presence. Jason has over 20 years of experience in immersive and traditional media leadership and technology. Within the software realm, he has led, designed, created, directed, and produced high-quality VR experiences and media products for clients including Lenovo, National Geographic, IBM, The Home Depot, BASF, Disney, and many others. A deep understanding of the hardware and technology behind VR started over 35 years ago when he built his first PC. It has continued to evolve throughout the early days of immersive technology as he consulted on VR hardware solutions for many companies such as Gulfstream and General Motors. He is a regular speaker, thought leader, and advocate in the VR/AR space and has presented at industry conferences as well as unique venues like Skywalker Ranch and NASA.
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Elizabeth McMahon, PhD
Clinical Psychologist
Private Practice
Dr. McMahon specializes in evidence-based treatment for anxiety and has been using virtual reality (VR) with clients since 2010. She currently provides training and consultation on VR exposure therapy (VRET), benefits and risks of VR, integrative cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for panic, anxiety, and fears, interoceptive exposure, and related topics. Her book Virtual Reality Therapy for Anxiety: A Guide for Therapists (with D. Boeldt, PhD) explains how mental health professionals can use VR in treating a wide range of anxiety disorders. Research supporting VR therapy is summarized. Case examples bring the information to life. The book is part of Stanford Virtual Reality Immersive Technology's training curriculum. Dr. McMahon has also written a client self-help book, Overcoming Anxiety and Panic interactive guide, which explains how anxiety and panic develop and what happens within the brain and body. The reader is guided through specific steps and exercises helping them overcome anxiety, fear, and panic. Her other publications include book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals on VR therapy for anxiety disorders. Her webinar “Virtual Reality (VR) for Anxiety and Phobia Treatment” is available on www.PESI.com. For more information see www.Elizabeth-McMahon.com, www.overcoming.guide, and www.virtualrealitytherapyforanxiety.com/.
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Alexey Medvedev
AR Tech lead
Meta
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Greg Meyers
CEO and Co-Founder
ForgeFX Simulations
Greg Meyers is CEO and one of the Co-Founders of ForgeFX Simulations, a software development company based in San Francisco that specializes in the development of custom 3D training simulations. Greg has been overseeing the development of software applications for more than 25 years, working on everything from simulation-based training programs to video games to internet applications. As Chief Executive Officer, Greg consults with our clients, studies their business, and generates creative solutions for their training needs. Greg helps clients come up with a range of big-picture, out-of-the-box solutions and works with them to make their visions a reality. With more than 25 years of industry experience, Greg serves as our principal consultant and initial point of contact for companies seeking simulation-based training guidance relevant to their specific requirements.
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Matt Miesnieks
CEO
Dejavu
Matt is one of the worlds topXR entrepreneurs, having founded & led 6D.ai (aq by Niantic) , launched multiple AR startups, advised many of the top AR platform leadership teams, and helped launch SuperVentures. Now he has an exciting new startup dejavu djv.ai which has just completed the prestigious a16z speed run accelerator program
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Stephanie Montgomery
Senior VP of Research and Best Practices
XR Association
Stephanie Montgomery serves as the XR Association’s Vice President of Research and Best Practices. She manages the implementation of XRA’s research agenda, development of its catalog of industry-leading best practices and guides its Health and Inclusion committees. Montgomery previously served the ICT industry as the Vice President, Technology and Standards at the Telecommunications Industry Association running their standards development organization which consists of over 1200 standards, 70 committees and 1100 volunteers. While there she launched new programs in the areas of smart cities and intelligent transportation systems. She is the proud owner of two Oculus headsets, an occasional gamer and recipient of the American National Standards Institute’s prestigious Meritorious Service Award.
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David Morris
Experiential Consultant
NYCAP3D LLC
A seasoned visionary, David produces and strategizes for brands and businesses all over the world. In the last 10 years David’s work has been focused on sports entertainment, immersive retail, and brand licensing. With years of managing international and domestic tours for the legendary AND1 Mixtape Tour, David has a unique ability to understand the many complexities of the business demands and challenges of creating and sustaining compelling customer experiences. Currently, an Experiential Consultant at NYCAP3D David works with brands in all sectors to strategically implement and utilize photogrammetry to activate and accelerate their web3 strategy. David's goal is to facilitate high value conversations that spark global change in brands.
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Lauren Morrison
Art Director
Google
Lauren is an art director, filmmaker & 3D artist. Since 2018 she has worked at Google as a 3D artist and art director. She designed and built the first collection of AR filters for Google video calling in 2018, and since then has scaled the program to include hundreds of content launches with new virtual backgrounds and effects released every week in Google Meet. Prior to Google, Lauren taught 3D art classes at SAE Expression college in Emeryville, CA, and worked in film and television. Her IMDB credits include the Academy award-nominated animated features Anomalisa and Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. Lauren’s short films have screened in dozens of festivals, and she has an MFA from CalArts in experimental animation.
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Ray Mosco
Developer Relations
HTC Vive
Raymond Mosco is a Latino American entrepreneur, producer, and technology evangelist. Mosco has held notable positions at Apple, Facebook, and Oculus during its highly publicized b acquisition. In 2014 he traveled the world providing over 1M initial Oculus Rift impressions. Since then he has guided startups and deployed immersive technology for organizations including TED, SeaWorld, Paramount, and Hulu. As a veteran of both Silicon Valley and Hollywood, he serves as a conduit between entertainment and technology, focusing on how immersive technology will shape the future of storytelling. Currently, Raymond evangelizes the future of Virtual Beings as the Director of Business Development at Hypersense and is a founding Co-Organizer for the LA chapter of AWE.
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Sophia Moshasha
Podcast Host & DC Chapter VP
VR/AR Association
Sophia leads many initiatives to strategically apply virtual and augmented reality in various industries. She has developed synergistic partnerships between immersive technologists, industry and government for the purpose of translating technological vision into high-value solutions. These solutions are then successfully brought to market with her ability to simplify and articulate complex technologies into relatable, human-centric applications, accompanied by her extensive network and media presence. She is sought after for her ability to gather global communities to propagate the adoption of VR and AR technology through her leadership at organizations such as the global VR/AR Association, the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) Human Performance Analysis & Engineering committee, and XR Women global initiative to name a few.
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Robin Moulder
CEO
3lbXR & 3lb Games
Robin is an entrepreneur, producer, and musician innovating on the cutting edge of immersive game development and storytelling. As a pioneer of Virtual Reality, Robin led 3lb Games into the XR space with the galactic planet-destroying game Space Dragon, the highly rated Movement system for Oculus, Slime Rancher VR Playground, the thought provoking story adventure Vault of Stars (Oculus Launch Pad recipient), then leveraged this experience to partner with XR Workout to create a gamified, mixed reality, hand-tracking, full body workout in XR. Robin is a recognized authority in the realm of spatial computing and has dedicated her career to pushing the boundaries of what's possible in the immersive computing landscape. She has also released several albums and EPs, toured with major national acts, and is the audio designer and composer for numerous game titles. 3lb is currently developing Grokit, a mixed reality hand-tracking multiplayer game designed to use natural interactions to create the most immersive gameplay. Later this year, 3lb is launching GroKit Core, an AI and Spatial Computing development platform built off of years of game development.
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Michelle Munson
CEO & Co-founder
Eluvio
Michelle Munson is the co-founder and CEO of Eluvio, the content blockchain for the creator economy, based in Berkeley, CA. Eluvio is an eco-friendly blockchain platform that enables content creators and their communities to store, stream, ticket, mint NFTs, and trade digital content. It provides a simple-to-use, high-performance, and cost-effective platform to monetize concerts, films, digital albums, e-books, digital collectables, metaverse experiences, and more. Companies and creators whose content blockchain initiatives have been powered by Eluvio include FOX Entertainment’s Blockchain Creative Labs, MGM Studios, SONY Pictures, Warner Bros., Black Eyed Peas, Dolly Parton, Rita Ora, and many others. Michelle is an Emmy-award winning technologist who previously co-founded Aspera in 2004 and led the company as CEO until May 2017, including through acquisition by IBM in 2014. She co-invented the Aspera FASP™ transport technology used in the digital media supply chain for high-speed, low-cost secure digital content transport, replacing satellite and traditional tape-based delivery technologies. Michelle is a recipient of the David Sarnoff Medal from the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE);the Charles Swartz Award from the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA);IABM’s Woman Entrepreneur of the Year;and named one of the top 25 People to Watch by TV Technology. She currently serves as an SMPTE Fellow and on the board of Avid Corporation. Michelle is an inventor on fourteen U.S. patents and is a frequent speaker in the areas of content networking, machine learning, blockchain and cloud infrastructure. Michelle was inducted into the College of Engineering Hall of Fame at Kansas State University in 2022. She was also the 2019 Kansas State University Commencement Speaker for the College of Arts and Sciences and the 2006 Alumnus of the Year for the College of Engineering. She holds dual B.Sc. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Physics from Kansas State University, where she was a Goldwater Scholar for achievement in Science and Mathematics. She was also a Fulbright Scholar at Cambridge University where she received a postgraduate diploma in Computer Science.
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Andy Roth
visionOS Engineer
Andy has been working with Apple platforms for over 15 years and has lead engineering teams at Pandora, Nike, and Oura. With experience building software for VR platforms using Unreal Engine and Unity, Andy has been focused on visionOS since its release. He is currently working with Sandwich Vision to build Television for Vision Pro and is excited to create the next generation of software with Apple's spatial computing platform.
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Rika Nakazawa
Group Vice President, New Ventures & Innovation
NTT
Rika is a technology leader, VC investor, best-selling author, and frequent public speaker on where industry innovation meets sustainable transformation. She is Global Vice President within NTT’s New Ventures & Innovation team where she advances industry ecosystems with P5G, Edge Computing, AI, and IoT. In her additional role as Head of Sustainability for Americas at NTT, Rika is driving NTT's sustainability ambition in operations while also orchestrating the go-to-market for NTT's climate-positive solutions across their portfolio of digital infrastructure solutions. For 2 consecutive years in 2022 and 2023, Rika has been awarded “Power 70” and “Power 80” recognition for the Women of Channel awards with The Channel Co’s CRN network. She has also been ranked as Top 100 in Emerging Tech by Women of the Future. Trilingual in Japanese, German, and English, Rika grew up in Japan and moved to the US to attend Princeton University. Rika has since worked internationally in senior executive roles in strategy, business development, consulting, and marketing with Fortune 500 companies - Accenture, NVIDIA, Capgemini, Sony - and Silicon Valley startups. She is a digital innovation veteran and has served on multiple boards in Next-Gen Computing, XR/VR/AR, Cybersecurity, and AI ecosystems. Rika is currently a board member at Venus Shell Systems - a marine biotech enterprise. Rika is the best-selling author of “Dear Chairwoman” - featuring the trials and triumphs of women corporate board leaders. Her next book, featuring the intersection of sustainability, digital innovation, and the pandemic, is called “Beyond the Black Swan: How the Pandemic and Digital Innovation Intensified the Sustainability Imperative - Everywhere, was just released by Taylor & Francis in January 2024.
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Toye Onikoyi
AR/VR/XR Creator
Creator
Toye Onikoyi, a proud graduate in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rhode Island, has made significant strides in the tech world, evolving into an accomplished software engineer. With years of experience in developing cutting-edge simulation technology for government training, Toye's innovative spirit led to the creation of Muse Interactive. This pioneering tech company seamlessly integrates Computer Vision and AI into an ingenious product - the Muse Mirror, a smart mirror that's transforming daily lives. Not stopping there, Toye also founded Bubbler VR, a dynamic hub for Virtual Reality and gaming enthusiasts. His philosophy is simple yet impactful: Building a physical product puts the 'Hard' in hardware, but I thrive on challenges. This mantra is evident in the success of The Muse Mirror, a testament to his dedication and expertise. Driven by a deep-seated passion for problem-solving, Toye is continually inspired to invent and enhance. Whether it's for personal use or to assist friends and family, he possesses an innate ability to reverse engineer challenges and devise practical, innovative solutions. At the heart of his journey is a commitment to not just envision but to actualize the future of technology, one groundbreaking idea at a time.
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David Nedohin
President and Co-Founder
Scope AR
David Nedohin, co-founder and Chief Customer Officer of Scope AR, brings more than 20 years of experience in business development and supporting customers at all stages of the customer journey to drive the company’s vision to revolutionize the world of industrial training, maintenance, manufacturing and field support with AR technology. In this role, David manages key relationships with industry partners and works with some of the world’s leading global companies including, Lockheed Martin, Johnson & Johnson, and Tokyo Electron, among others. He also is an industry thought-leader, often presenting on some of the most practical use cases and AR success stories across industries at leading industry events. Residing in Edmonton, Canada, David is also a 3x world curling champion, former national team member in waterskiing, and Canadian Order of Sport Recipient.
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Cam Nili
Digital Assets
Accenture
Cam is a strategist and advisor at Accenture focused on enabling global banking and capital markets clients to re-imagine financial markets with tokenization and web3. Cam has led two research initiatives for the Digital Dollar Project uncovering insights related to the risks posed by CBDCs to the U.S. banking industry and the potential for CBDCs to modernize cross-border payments. Most recently, Cam served as a Fellow at the World Economic Forum leading research on wholesale CBDCs and the expected benefits and hurdles for financial markets.
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Jay Wright
CEO
Campfire
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Marcela Oliva
Board Member
USGBC - Los Angeles
For a decade, Marcela Oliva held the position of Knowledge Architect overseeing the billion Building Program at the Los Angeles Community College District. During this time, she spearheaded the development and implementation of the largest Digital Twin/ Virtualization BIM/GIS System in the nation, meticulously adhering to National Intelligence Standards.Her area of expertise lies in Omniverse/Metaverse/Digital twins, particularly focusing on their role in enhancing social mobility. In addition to her role at LATTC as a Professor of Architecture and Environmental Design, she is also the visionary founder of UCLA Extension Courses: Transforming Community and Design for Social Justice. Her professional journey extends beyond academia. At NASA’s Knowledge Management division, she played a pivotal role as the principal investigator for the Cyber-Physical Systems National Science Foundation Grant. Her contributions earned her prestigious accolades, including the California Governor’s Award in Geospatial Technologies and National Park Services recognition. Marcela is actively involved in various organizations, such as STEAM, PANDO Populus, ENCOUNTER LA, and UrbanRiver LAbs. As a sought-after speaker, she regularly addresses audiences on diverse topics ranging from education and STEAM to technology, innovation, and social justice. Her engagements include prominent events such as USC's Building Information Modeling for Executives, the International AIA, and Caixa Barcelona's Focus the Nation. Throughout her illustrious career, Marcela has been recognized for her outstanding contributions. Notably, she was awarded the Alpha Rho Chi Medal by USC and named Educator of the Year in 2012.Her groundbreaking work in integrating biomimicry with digital twins has garnered widespread acclaim. Identified as a catalyst solution for Higher Education by esteemed institutions such as the Climate Neutral Campus Report, UNCF (United Negro College Fund) Building Green, and the Kresge Foundation, her innovative approach is shaping the future of architectural design.In 2016, her innovative spirit was acknowledged with the Government Innovation award at the International Bentley Systems event held in London. In 2018, the LATTC Architecture Program, under her guidance, secured the prestigious National Park Grant. Furthermore, her students showcase their talent by clinching the top spot at the JUNK Battle PANDO POPULOUS Design Competition. Currently, she leads the Mayor's Workforce Initiative for the Green New Deal, focusing on the AEC Industry Cluster through Careers by Design LA. Her academic credentials include a B.Arch from USC, an M.Arch/Building Science Degree from Columbia University in New York, and a Harvard GSD edX Architecture Imagination Certificate. Her remarkable achievements culminated in her being honored with the 2022 AIA LA Presidential Award for Educator of the Year.
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Emily Olman
CEO
Hopscotch Interactive
Hopscotch Interactive CEO & Chief Photographer Emily Olman is a real estate marketer, 3D/VR photographer, and VR/AR evangelist. She was the VR/AR Association SF Chapter Co-President from 2016-2019, advocating and evangelizing VR/AR acceleration and also co-hosted AWE Nite SF from 2019-2020. As a consultant, she educates her clients on the current state of technology, and its current business applications from traditional property marketing to mixed-reality services. Emily holds an M.B.A. from BerkeleyHaas and a B.A. in German Studies from Scripps College, Claremont. She is the AUREA Ambassador and Community Chair for the AUREA Award Community, a global XR community for location-based entertainment and XR in the entertainment industry. She launched Hopscotch Interactive in 2015 to accelerate the adoption of new media and technology for property marketing. She is both an AUGGIE Award Winner and recipient of the Nextant Medallion from the Virtual Worlds Society.
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Diana Olynick
Author, Founder, Host XR Magazine Podcast
M4 Method
Diana Olynick stands at the crossroads of Design, AI and Spatial Computing innovation. As a registered Professional Engineer, author of “Interfaceless”, speaker and mentor, she brings a blend of technical acumen and design creativity to the emerging technologies field with over a decade of experience. Beyond academia, Diana's voice has resonated globally, with invitations to speak at several esteemed international conferences. She has dedicated herself to educating the next generation, guiding them through the intricacies of spatial computing, artificial intelligence and conscious design. Her ability to deconstruct and demystify complex topics for a wide audience sets her apart. In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, Diana is a leader fostering the transformative potential of emerging technologies. Diana’s educational contributions can be found at: https://www.dianaolynick.com
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Tim Bajarin
President
Creative Strategies
Tim Bajarin is recognized as one of the leading industry consultants, analysts, and futurists, covering the field of personal computers and consumer technology. Mr. Bajarin has been with Creative Strategies since 1981 and has served as a consultant to most of the leading hardware and software vendors in the industry. Mr. Bajarin is known as a concise, futuristic analyst, credited with predicting the desktop publishing revolution three years before it hit the market, and identifying multimedia as a major trend in written reports as early as 1986. His writing and analysis have been at the forefront of the digital revolution and he is considered one of the leading experts in the field of technology adoption cycles. He has also spoken at many business school programs about marketing to consumers. He has authored major industry studies on PC, portable computing, pen-based computing, desktop publishing, multimedia computing, and the digital home. His articles and/or analysis have appeared in USA Today, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Time and Newsweek magazines, BusinessWeek, Forbes, and most of the leading business and trade publications. He has appeared as a business analyst commenting on the tech industry on all of the major television networks and was a frequent guest on PBS’ The Computer Chronicles. Mr. Bajarin has been a columnist for US computer industry publications such as PC Week and Computer Reseller News and wrote for ABCNEWS.COM for two years and Mobile Computing for 10 years. He wrote for PC magazine for 17 years. He was also a tech columnist for Time Magazine’s Tech section for 5 years. His columns currently appear in Forbes and Fast Company.
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Timothy Orr
Human Integration Team Leader
CDC / NIOSH
Timothy Orr is the team leader for the Human Integration Team at NIOSH’s Pittsburgh Mining Research Division. He has been working on immersive and VR-related mine health and safety research projects for over 35 years. He is a graduate of Gonzaga University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering in 1989. He enjoys rock climbing, inline speed-skating, and running.
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Dr. LInda Ciavarelli
Co-Founder and CEO
HouseCall VR
Dr. Ciavarelli is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) and ABMSP board-certified specialist in Primary Podiatric Care. With over 20 years of clinical experience ranging from community care in private practice to facility-based care, she has honed her expertise in preventative, orthopedic, and dermatologic podiatric medicine. In addition to her clinical background, Dr. Ciavarelli is the co-founder of HouseCall VR, an innovative early-stage startup dedicated to creating virtual reality patient education. HouseCall VR aims to improve health literacy and outcomes using immersive technology. Dr. Ciavarelli is a sought-after speaker, having presented at numerous state, national, and global conferences, scientific meetings, and symposia on topics such as Patient Education Using Immersive Technology, Immersive Technology in Healthcare, The Metaverse and Healthcare, and Using Social Immersive Technology to Create Greater Health Equity. Dr. Ciavarelli is committed to the medical profession, her patients, and the greater community. She currently has the honor to serve her professional and local community through various director and leadership positions in the government and non-profit sectors.
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Gregg Katano
CEO | Founder
Cosmos Collab
Gregg Katano is a 30+ year entertainment, media, and tech entrepreneur, international speaker, and educator. Gregg is Founder and CEO of COSMOS COLLAB, an agency that represents leading technology catalysts and technology companies, helps to demystify the latest emerging tech, and creates innovative solutions to help companies across all industries navigate the future. He is also Chair of Sports Video Group (SVG) ‘Next’; Chair of ‘Events’ for the Emerging Media Programming of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (‘TV Academy’); Co-Vice Chair of the Producers Guild of America ‘New Media Council’; Partner at Hologate, which creates the world’s most successful immersive media platforms for location-based virtual reality (20,000,000+ players to-date across 44 countries worldwide), and Advisory Member, SXSW ‘Accelerator’ and the Cal State University Entertainment Alliance (CSUEA). Speaking engagements include: National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Consumer Electronic Show (CES), SXSW, Mobile World Congress, SIGGRAPH, International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), Immerse Global Summit/VRARA (Portugal, Miami), Game Developers Conference (GDC), San Diego Comic-Con, IBC Show - Amsterdam
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Ferhan Ozkan
CEO
XR Bootcamp
Ferhan Ozkan is leading the mission is to create a global ecosystem of XR innovators and utilize it for solving the challenges of the industry. As elected Vice-Chair of the IEEE VR/AR Standards Group, he works on bringing the industry closer, while focusing on empowering the major stakeholders with his expertise and global network. He is also co-founder of VR First, a global program seed supporting XR labs worldwide. Since its foundation in 2016, he has led the program to a network of thousands of developers with a mission to democratize VR/AR development worldwide. Since 2020, he's heading XR Bootcamp, a global online academy, offering cutting-edge VR/AR development courses to experienced developers and researchers. The masterclasses are engaging and reinforce deep learning through hands-on real-world projects developed by professionals and taught by the world's XR masterminds. XR Bootcamp further supports the XR Creators community with free and open lectures and knowledge-sharing groups. XR Bootcamp alumni work at organizations like Accenture, Samsung, Snap, HP, Autodesk, Harvard, Carnegie Mellon University.
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Celine Park
Community Manager for TikTok
ByteDance
An Effect House designer merging magic into our lives. Creating creative, inclusive, joyful designs that spreads joy and positivity. Columbia university grad.
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Amy Peck
Founder/CEO
EndeavorXR
Amy Peck is the Founder & CEO of EndeavorXR, a leading global XR strategy & consulting firm. She is one of the world’s foremost strategists on immersive technology, Digital Twins, the Metaverse, Web 3.0 and Blockchain. She advises Fortune 500 companies and government entities on how to leverage emerging technology to optimize all aspects of business. She is a globally recognized futurist, and gives lectures, workshops and keynotes on emerging technology, business and innovation with XR, AI and Blockchain. Amy was recently named one of the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Tech for 2023 and Top 100 Women of The Future. She serves as a Lead Advisor, AI & New Media, for the Royal Commission of Riyadh City and The Royal Court. Amy is an angel investor and Venture Partner at the Capital Region XR Accelerator. Amy sits on the Board of Advisors for multiple companies and is Executive Board Chair of Prospera Women, a global organization supporting female-led startups. She works with universities and government agencies advising on the development of innovation hubs, accelerators and emerging technology programs. Her own personal mission is to see technology accessible to all - fundamentally improving every aspect of our lives and elevating the way we work, learn, communicate and play.
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Shelley Peterson
Founder | XR Industry Pioneer
Wizard Wells
Shelley Peterson’s combined skill and decades of experience across the XR industry have resulted in repeated demonstration of the value of this emerging technology across numerous manufacturing programs, including Lockheed Martin’s civil, commercial, and defense space programs. Having served as a Director within Microsoft's Mixed Reality organization, Shelley designs methods for strategic implementation of mixed reality technology to aid in driving ROI and impactful value for numerous sectors, which includes industry partners, public sector organizations, and education. Shelley obtained her mathematics and physics degree at a young age, and taught college math at the University of North Texas at age 20. Early in her professional career, Shelley founded a business focused on emerging technology solutions, including military aircraft distributed mission training and a multi-spectral imaging monocular for SOCOM. Her pursuits have included software development on the B1-Bomber simulator at Dyess AFB, electronic warfare capabilities at E-Systems, and she has served on the Space Based Infrared Systems (SBIRS) satellite program as the first certified Mission Management crew member and crew instructor. Shelley also serves on the Barbara Bush Foundation Technology Advisory Board, supporting adult and family literacy, the AWE Advisory Committee, and the GlobalMindED Board. Shelley has been invited as a guest instructor for numerous universities and organizations including Stanford Univ, MIT, NYU, CU Denver, McMaster University, Women In Technology Summit, TechGirlz, Colorado Technology Association, EmTech Next, EmTech Singapore,Global MindED, SxSW, a consultant to the Bulgarian government. Her work has been highlighted in Forbes, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, and a host of other sources. In her spare time, Shelley teaches college mathematics as an adjunct, enjoys volunteering for and speaking at STEM events, and operates Shotlink Lasers for the PGA.
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Tomás Pietravallo
AR Developer & CS Student
Creator
Tomas is an XR Developer and creative coder. He taught himself to code and found a passion in programming and shaders, and has since worked with multiple brands and agencies developing XR Experiences, and won worldwide competitions and hackathons. As a developer, he has created multiple open source repositories, assets, and snippets which he shares freely with the community in order to increase accessibility and help out everyone who wants to code.
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Nils Pihl
CEO
Auki Labs
Nils Pihl (@broodsugar) is the founder of Auki Labs, the makers of the posemesh protocol for collaborative machine perception. From neural interfaces to behavioral analytics at scale, Nils is a serial entrepreneur and thought-leader at the intersection of technology and memetics.
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Jeff Pohlman
EVP / Head of Global Communications/PR
HTC Vive
Jeff Pohlman is a seasoned corporate communications executive and experienced storyteller, adept at leading teams responsible for global product launches, thought leadership initiatives, internal communications, risk management, and content creation. He spent two decades as an investigative and business journalist at NBC News, CNN and CNBC, producing 30 primetime documentaries, 400+ dayside stories and the first award-winning digital documentary series at CNBC. He has helped clients create comprehensive corporate narratives and then ensured, through extensive media contacts, that the message was delivered with the highest level of efficacy. He has a proven track record of securing executive interviews with top-tier media including, CNBC, WSJ, Fox Business, MSNBC, 60 Minutes, Bloomberg, Quartz, Reuters and Fox News. Pohlman has won two-dozen journalism awards including the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism for an investigative documentary about the VA hospital system that I executive produced along with a Gerald Loeb and an Emmy. His team at Samsung won the New Jersey Governor’s Jefferson Award for Corporate Leadership in citizenship efforts in 2018 as well as the Big Apple Award - Corporate Social Responsibility: Campaigns with budgets over 0,000 in the same year. His team at HTC VIVE has helped secure nearly three dozen tech awards for various hardware and software applications.
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Joanna Popper
Senior Media, Ent & Emerging Tech Exec
Consultant
Joanna Popper is an award-winning Hollywood and Silicon Valley media executive with a track record of launching cutting edge content and technology to drive revenue, audience engagement and brand love. She was lead of HP’s XR initiatives for Go-To-Market where she oversaw the launch of award-winning technology such as the HP Reverb G2 and HP Reverb G2 Omnicept Edition (winner of VR Headset of the Year). Prior she was EVP of Media & Marketing at Singularity University and VP Marketing at NBCUniversal. Joanna is Executive Producer on “Breonna’s Garden” which premiered at the Tribeca Festival and Art Basel/ Filmgate Interactive. This augmented reality experience was created by Lady PheØnix and Sutu with Ju’Niyah Palmer to honor the life of her sister, Breonna Taylor. The experience has been honored with the Best Social Impact Auggie Award by Augmented World Expo, Best Impact Award by Filmgate Interactive, an Aurea Award for Top 50 Immersive Experience and is a finalist for Unity Awards Best Social Impact, PGA Innovation Award and XR Must Impact. A new virtual reality version of Breonna’s Garden had its world premiere as an official selection for SXSW. Joanna was Executive Producer on Double Eye Studios’ “Finding Pandora X,” winner of Venice Film Festival Golden Lion for Best VR Experience and the SXSW Audience Award for Virtual Cinema Spotlight. Finding Pandora X is a modern day take on Greek mythology live interactive experience built in a VRChat virtual world. Joanna was selected as “50 Women Can Change the World in Media and Entertainment,” ”25 Pioneers in the Metaverse,” “Top 50 Original Thinkers in VR,” “Top Women in Media: Game Changers,” “Top Women in Media: Industry Leaders,” “Digital It List,” “101 Women Leading the VR Industry.” She is on the Coalition for the Women in XR Fund, Unity Charitable Fund Advisory Board, Vidcon Industry Advisory Board, AIXR Steering Committee, CES Consumer Technology Association AR/VR Working Committee and an Artizen Board Member.
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Kyr Poskonoff
Co-founder
LikeXR
XR expert with 7 years experience, having successfully completed over 250 projects in the field. Portfolio includes executing VR/AR initiatives for renowned companies like Mercedes-Benz, IBM, Netflix, Audi, Cinzano, Philip Morris, Mondelez etc. Host at LikeXR.tech Co-founder of LikeXR.com Co-founder of OneXR.digital Speaker at conferences like AWE, APDC,XR Expo, Metaverso_, and more Author of articles and the book Metaversions
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Amanda Proscia
COO & Founder
Lightspeed PR
Amanda co-founded Lightspeed PR/M in 2013 with the vision of creating a client-first agency model built on her decades of experience as a public relations leader. In her role as Chief Operating Officer, Amanda is responsible for designing and implementing growth initiatives and strategic development of the agency and its team of more than two dozen. On the client side, Lightspeed's roster of more than 20 client partners benefit from Amanda's skills as a creative leader who provides unique insights and direction on strategy, content and development. Prior to starting Lightspeed, Amanda was a part of the corporate affairs and communications team at American Express where she managed executive, employee and issues communications for a major division of the company. Previously, she spent 15 years building expertise in public affairs, marketing and branding with agencies such as Burson-Marsteller and Interbrand in New York, and Podesta Associates in Washington, D.C. Through these roles Amanda counseled clients across diverse industries including technology, consumer packaged goods, energy, and finance, as well as government and nonprofit leaders. Amanda was distinguished in her previous roles as lead writer and editor for many of her client teams. Her work has included speechwriting for Fortune 50 companies and ghostwriting articles, blogs and presentations for senior executives and political leaders. Amanda graduated from Gettysburg College with a degree in English and a minor in Art. She is based in Hoboken, NJ.
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Ethan Rasiel
CEO & Founder
Lightspeed PR
Ethan is CEO and co-founder of Lightspeed Public Relations. He launched the firm in 2013 to harness the skills and learnings from all aspects of his career – while avoiding bureaucracy and unneeded overhead. Today, Lightspeed has more than 20 clients and two dozen team members and has won numerous awards for client campaigns. Ethan has been interviewed by dozens of outlets for his marketing expertise and is as frequent speaker at trade events. He also received the Industry Veteran award in 2017 from Ragan Communications for his achievements. He started his communications career as a journalist – by day as a news reporter for Gannett’s metro and business desk, and by night as host of an AM radio show. In 1998 Ethan began a nearly 15 year stint at Edelman. He ultimately led a team of 60 as GM and EVP, and counseled a range of clients from startups to brands like GE, Canon, HP and Motorola. He was responsible for million in annual revenues for the firm and pioneered Edelman Labs, which revamped the firm’s approach to product review programs. In 2011 Ethan became Director of Communications for Samsung Electronics America, responsible for external communications around all consumer products. While managing five agencies, he introduced several tools to improve collaboration and efficiency both internally and externally. He graduated magna cum laude from the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University and completed additional course work in computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. Ethan is a regular contributor to Forbes and is host of “Marketing at Lightspeed”, a weekly show on the VoiceAmerica radio network. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and three boys.
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Linda Jacobson
Director of Marketing
HaptX
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Luis Oscar Ramirez
Founder and CEO
Mawari
Luis is the Founder and CEO of Mawari, aiming to democratize Synthetic Reality through emerging technologies such as XR, 5G, cloud rendering, and streaming. He co-designed with his technology team a patent-pending 3D Streaming CODEC and split rendering technology for a decentralized approach to scalability, named Mawari Network. This solution is a decentralized 3D & XR content delivery platform that breaks the bottlenecks of infrastructure supply for real-time rendering, and the lack of local compute power on XR Devices. By orchestrating a decentralized network of GPU-powered nodes that run the Mawari Engine, a proprietary technology stack that allows to render interactive 3D content and stream it efficiently in real-time to mobile XR devices at scale while reducing cost, data size, and battery consumption. Luis co-founded the Japanese MUTEK festival and was a Global Head of Marketing at MUSIC Tribe.
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Robin Raskin
Founder
Virtual Events Group
Robin Raskin is the Founder of The Virtual Events Group, a community that explores how we will meet in a tech-first future. An award-winning journalist, author, publisher, event producer and advocate for integrating technology into lifestyle, Raskin was one of the early editors of PC Magazine and one of the first women in technology publishing. Later she founded FamilyPC, and created Yahoo!Tech as well as other tech-forward publications. She’s the author of 6 books on technology and appeared regularly on CBS and other networks. In 2008 she founded Living in Digital Times (LIDT), producer's of conferences and expos at conferences and events worldwide. The company’s trademark events include: The Last Gadget Standing, Digital Health Summit, FashionWare, Fitness Tech Summit, Kids@Play Summit, High Tech Retailing, Wearable Tech Summit and others. The Consumer Technology Association acquired the company in January 2020. Raskin continues to consult for them and other event clients helping them become tech-forward and digital-first.. She writes a weekly column about the intersection of technology and the economy for Techonomy and a weekly newsletter on the events industry. She served on the National Academy of Sciences committee to explore Internet Safety, is a Trustee of the CTA Foundation, and is a director of the Global Industry Council founded under UNESCO. She won a lifetime achievement award from the CTA in 2020.
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Vijay Ravindran
CEO
Floreo
Vijay Ravindran, as the CEO of Floreo, amalgamates his extensive expertise from pivotal roles at Amazon and The Washington Post to spearhead innovation in immersive technology for autism therapy. His tenure as the Chief Digital Officer at The Washington Post saw groundbreaking advancements in digital media and content delivery, revolutionizing how news is consumed in the digital age. Ravindran's leadership, honed through his experiences at Amazon including leading the launch of Amazon Prime, underscores Floreo's mission to leverage virtual reality (VR) for transformative autism therapy. With a deep-rooted commitment to harnessing technology for societal benefit, his strategic vision intertwines lessons from the forefronts of tech and media, propelling Floreo as a pioneering force in utilizing VR to enhance the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum.
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Jane Rawnsley
Executive Creative Director
Avataar
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Nanea Reeves
CEO & Co-Founder
Tripp
Nanea Reeves founded TRIPP, a category-leading global XR Wellness company, following a period of tremendous personal loss that led her to rethink her life’s purpose. With a lifelong meditation practice that began in her teens, Nanea recognized its transformative powers, and she wanted to figure out a way to make meditation more accessible to people around the world. TRIPP was the solution, which married her meditation practice with her love of video games and her extensive software development experience. Through interactive, immersive experiences that combine gameplay mechanics, mindfulness structures and psychedelic inspired environments, users are guided into powerful, awe-inspiring transformative states. Ultimately, TRIPP aims to empower people to take control of their mental and emotional well-being wherever they are. Nanea brings over 15 years of experience in digital distribution, video game technologies and mobile application development. Prior to co-founding TRIPP, Nanea was President and COO of textPlus, one of the top mobile communications applications. Nanea was also COO at Machinima, the largest gaming network on YouTube that was acquired by Warner Brothers, Chief Strategy Officer at Gakai (acquired by Sony) and she was the Senior Vice President and COO of Global Online at Electronic Arts who acquired JAMDAT, the mobile game start-up that Nanea ran technology at. Through her leadership at these previous companies, she’s facilitated .6 billion in exits.
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Marty Resnick
Co-Lead Gartner Futures Lab
Gartner
Vice President, Analyst on Gartner's Technology Innovation team and co-lead of the Gartner Futures Lab, based in Atlanta, GA (USA). Mr. Resnick's primary focus areas are Continuous Foresight, Futurism, Storytelling, Innovation, Human Augmentation, Immersive Experiences, Metaverse, and World Building through the weaving of macrotrends, disruptions, and forces across Tapestry (technology, politics, economics, social/cultural, trust/ethics, regulatory/legal, and environmental.
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Ana Ribeiro
Game Designer
ARVORE Immersive Experiences
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Stephanie Riggs
Founder
Ink & Paint
Stephanie Riggs stands as a distinguished figure in the tech-narrative field, expertly merging immersive technologies like VR, AR, MR, AI, and more with storytelling for almost 30 years. A former Disney Imagineer and Experiential Creative Director at Refinery29/Vice Media, Stephanie has collaborated with media giants like Instagram, Netflix, Disney, and Amazon, consulted for tech giants like Intel and Google, advised tech and entertainment startups, and lectured at distinguished academic institutions including Yale, Harvard, USC and Carnegie Mellon. Her early VR projects premiered at SIGGRAPH in 1998 and she went on to develop a VR conversion engine, produce the first feature film on the Oculus, record President Obama in 360VR, publish multiple research papers on interacting in virtual environments, and premiere immersive experiences around the world at festivals including Tribeca, Stereopsia and Future of Storytelling. Stephanie is an award-winning director, acclaimed author (The End of Storytelling), and international keynote speaker who earned simultaneous degrees from Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama (Directing) and School of Computer Science (HCI). The founder of Ink & Paint (AWE Finalist Startup to Watch 2023) and co-founder of Odeon Theatrical, World Experience Organization, Women in Experience, and 5th Wall Forum, Stephanie has made a lasting impact across her domains, leading the ARVR Association to recognize her as “the renaissance woman of the immersive era.
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Skip Rizzo
Director, Medical Virtual Reality
Institute for Creative Technologies
Albert “Skip” Rizzo is a clinical psychologist and Director of Medical Virtual Reality at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies. He is also a Research Professor with the USC Dept. of Psychiatry and at the USC Davis School of Gerontology. His career began as a clinician providing rehabilitative services for persons with traumatic brain injuries and stroke. Over the last 25 years, Skip has conducted research on the design, development and evaluation of Virtual Reality systems targeting the areas of clinical assessment, treatment and rehabilitation across the domains of psychological, cognitive and motor functioning in both healthy and clinical populations. This work has focused on PTSD, TBI, Autism, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and other clinical conditions. Some of his recent work has involved the creation of intelligent virtual human (VH) patients that novice clinicians can use to practice skills required for challenging diagnostic interviews. He has also developed VHs for use as online/mobile virtual human healthcare guides and as clinical interviewers with automated sensing of facial, gestural, and vocal behaviors useful for inferring the state of the user interacting with these virtual human entities. In spite of the diversity of these clinical R&D areas, the common thread that drives all of his work with digital technologies involves the study of how interactive and immersive Virtual Reality simulations can be usefully applied to address human healthcare needs beyond what is possible with traditional 20th Century tools and methods. To view some videos of this work, please visit this YouTube channel.
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Matthew Tomlinson
Extended Reality & Metaverse Lead (R&D)
Mondelēz International
Matt, an innovator at the forefront of Spatial Computing and Metaverse technologies, serves as the XR & Metaverse Lead for R&D at Mondelēz International, a global powerhouse in the snack industry, spanning over 150 countries. With a mission to revolutionize how people snack, Matt spearheads the integration of XR and Metaverse applications across Mondelēz's 2,500 R&D professionals stationed across 12 cutting-edge innovation hubs worldwide. Armed with a degree in Industrial Design and a master's in Product Design Innovation from Aston University, Matt brings a wealth of expertise from his extensive tenure in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) domain, spanning industrial design to packaging innovation. His seamless transition from the realm of design to the digital landscape showcases his commitment to creative problem-solving and leveraging design thinking to drive impactful solutions from conception to execution. Beyond his professional endeavours, Matt champions diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives within Mondelēz, leading and participating in various DEI groups. His unwavering belief in fostering an inclusive workplace culture where individuals can authentically bring their whole selves drives his advocacy efforts. Outside of work, Matt finds solace in nature, often accompanied by his loyal companion Hugo, a golden retriever, as they embark on adventures in the great outdoors.
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Adi Robertson
Senior Reporter
The Verge
Adi Robertson has been covering the intersection of technology, culture, and policy at The Verge since 2011. Her work includes writing about DIY biohacking, survival horror games, virtual and augmented reality, online free expression, and the history of computing. She also makes very short video games. You have probably seen her in a VR headset.
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Max Almy
Chief Creative Officer
Magika VRx
Chief Creative Officer MagikaVRx, founding member of Creating AWE. Recent Dean of the School of Creative Technology and Dean of the School of Digital Media at SCAD where she created the first Immersive Reality BFA in a creative university. Extensive Los Angeles career as an Emmy, ProMax, BDA, AFI, Arz Electronica, multi-award-winning creative director, producer and internationally exhibited new technology artist.
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David Robustelli
Creative Technologist
Beyond
David Robustelli is the founder and creative director of Beyond. ​​An Amsterdam-based metaverse studio with a strong focus on virtual fashion and creating the synergy between augmented reality, 3D, and Web3.0. He has been in the field of AR for over 13 years and can be seen as a pioneer within the AR field. David is a key-note speaker and regularly asked panel member. Beyond operates globally with an in-house team of creatives, 3D artists, fashion designers, and developers. Beyond's experience within the 3D and augmented reality space, enables brands to translate these virtual collections into highly immersive real-time digital wearables.
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David Rokhlin
Former Program Coordinator at Meta Reality Labs
Consultant
David is a former Program Coordinator (Product Experiences & Operations) under Reality Labs at Meta, XR Consultant/Speaker and seasoned Marketer. His passion for emerging technologies that benefit humanity, marketing, psychology, gaming, music, cinema, live experiences and compelling entertainment, fuel his creative approach to elevating brands authentically. He strives to connect companies with their audiences on a personal level and make that connection both unique and memorable. A pivotal moment occurred many years back at a trade show, where David's first introduction to Virtual Reality tech reignited the magic and escapism once felt in his youth with his love for the cinematic arts. Upheld by an exciting and powerful vision of what this revolutionary technology would unlock for the future of entertainment, education, training, wellness, and more, this transformative experience propelled him forward into the XR industry without looking back. David carries unwavering dedication to educating others about the XR industry, generating excitement about its profound use cases and connecting talent to build a dynamic ecosystem, ensuring a compelling impact on the industry's future, to drive innovation and contribute to its growth and prosperity.
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Bryan Rokoszak
XR Experience Design Leader
Deloitte
Bryan Rokoszak is a leader at Deloitte Digital, bringing over 15 years of experience in immersive technology experience design across industries. He plays two critical roles for Deloitte's Unlimited Reality practice, acting as the Spatial Experience Lead across offerings and the Co-Lead for the Augmented Workforce. In recent years, he has led the design, development, and roll-out of immersive programs for national utility, global consumer brands, global energy companies, and major entertainment studios, among others.
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Adam Rose
COO
Starling Lab for Data Integrity
Adam Rose is COO of the Starling Lab for Data Integrity, an academic research center co-founded by Stanford and USC. The Lab helps establish trust in digital records, with a focus on the fields of journalism, law and history. They leverage technologies like cryptography and decentralized systems to confront modern challenges, from image manipulation to the disappearance of evidence from social media. The Lab frequently collaborates with newsrooms on investigations. Last year their projects won several journalism industry awards for innovation and received a News Emmy nomination. They've recently been exploring ways to establish authenticity in 3D experiences using verifiable scene capture for photogrammetry and NeRFs. Adam previously spent over 20 years working for local, national, and international media organizations. He serves on the board of the Los Angeles Press Club and chairs its press rights committee, where he successfully lobbied for a new law in California that protects journalists from arrest while covering protests.
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Elizabeth Rothman
Advisor | Senior Legal Affairs & Digital Trust Advisor
XRSI - X Reality Safety Intelligence
Elizabeth Rothman, XRSI’s Senior Legal Affairs and Digital Trust Advisor, is a pioneering attorney and thought leader at the intersection of law and cutting-edge technology. Her extensive legal experience spanning over a decade encompasses fields such as intellectual property, contracts, healthcare, and the ever-advancing technological landscape. Central to her philosophy is the promotion of human-centric technology, advocating for innovation that champions ethical considerations, user safety, and inclusivity. Elizabeth is a sought-after advisor for businesses, investment funds, and policymakers navigating the complex terrain of artificial intelligence, blockchain, and extended reality technologies. Her current affiliations are a testament to her leadership in this space; she serves as an advisor for the Artificial Inventor Project and the Cantellus Group. Beyond this, Elizabeth is on the Board of Directors for the Metaverse Standards Forum representing XRSI, and, drawing upon her intellectual property acumen, is an instructor for Harvard Law School and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in a specialized certificate program centering on patent law’s intersection with global public health. Elizabeth’s unique strength is rooted in her intellectual curiosity and relentless commitment to learning and bridging often disparate disciplines within the vast realm of technology.
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Dom Sagolla
Co-Founder
VisionDevCamp
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Matthias Sala
CEO
Ambia
Matthias Sala is an award-winning Swiss entrepreneur and mixed-reality pioneer. Before his roles at PARC in Palo Alto and Siemens in Munich, his first venture – a visionary map-based gaming platform – propelled his company Gbanga into the leading mixed-reality studio in Switzerland and beyond. With his degree in computer science with a minor focus on architectural studies, he is driven by the passion of bringing the urban and the digital together to make our world a playful one. The spatial games platform «Ambia» is his latest venture which combines a decade of expertise to bring innovative gameplay into today’s era of Playful Experiences and Spatial Computing. Ambia brings together competitive Augmented Reality walks, explorative Spatial Audio tours and mind-boggling Metaverse gaming into one platform to foster a society that is content, in control and understands itself as a common, spatial community. Matthias’ speaking engagements include events and venues such as Creative Mornings, MIT Media Lab, Pervasive Computing Percom, Mobile Barcelona, GamesBeat and Future of Immersive Leisure among others.
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Simeone Scaramozzino
Immersive Artist, Director, Producer, Facilitator
Transformative Tech Lab
Director & Producer of the Virtual Burning Man Temple Immersive Experiences | Chapter Leader of Transformative Tech | Wellness Metaverse Expert of the Digital Health Chapter of the Italian Insurtech Association – IIA. I create bio-digital universes that sit at the intersection of Art, Ancient Wisdom, Neuroscience, and Technology and inspire human connection, elicit enhanced states of consciousness, and promote abundant physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. I consider such Digital Twins of the human Inner Landscape as integrative, digital medicine for the wounds of sensorial disconnection. Artistic experiences in which we can embody versions of reality that resonate with our inner self. In “Wellness Metaverses,” we can tap into sources of inspiration that enable us to reimagine and redesign our reality for human flourishing.
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Ted Schilowitz
Futurist & Co-Founder
Red Camera
Ted spends his time and pursues his passion in a unique role in the entertainment industry. Ted works across the leadership and the technology teams across Paramount Global, including CBS, CBS Sports, Paramount Pictures, MTV, Nickelodeon, BET and Comedy Central, exploring emerging tech for entertainment with an emphasis on Virtual and Mixed Reality and Web 3.0/ MetaVerse pursuits. Prior to joining Paramount, Ted was the Futurist at 20th Century Fox, where he worked on the evolving art, science and technology of advanced interactive visual storytelling. He was part of the creation team for the Martian VR and Wild VR experiences, which premiered at CES and Sundance as groundbreaking projects that pushed the envelope of Virtual Reality storytelling. Ted was part of the creation teams for the Alien, Planet of the Apes and Predator VR experiences at Fox, and at his current home at Paramount, he’s been instrumental in bringing the Grease Mixed Reality experience, the Light as a Feather mixed reality experience and the Quiet Place Virtual Reality experience to life. Ted was an integral part of the product development team at Red Digital Cinema as the company’s first employee. The Red One and Epic cameras have made a significant impact on the Motion Picture Industry, winning a Sci-Tech Academy award. Many of the world’s biggest movies are now being shot with these ultra high resolution digital movie cameras. Ted is one of the founders and creators of the G-Tech product line of advanced hard drive storage products. As one of the most recognized brands in that industry, they are implemented worldwide at the highest levels on cinema, episodic television, sports and news production. In his role as Chief Creative Officer at Barco Escape, he spearheaded an experimental immersive cinema project for movie theaters worldwide. Titles include Paramount Pictures Star Trek Beyond and 20th Century Fox Maze Runner & Maze Runner 2. Before being part of the founding teams at Red Digital Cinema and G-Tech, Ted was on the team that developed and launched the Macintosh desktop video division of AJA Video Systems, creating professional video products in tandem with Apple. These products are used on a massive scale worldwide for video production and post at the highest levels, on many of the world’s biggest movies, TV series and sporting events. Ted has presented worldwide at numerous conferences on the advancements in next generation visual experiences for the movie, television and, interactive entertainment industries. He’s been featured in Wired, Variety, NY Times, LA Times, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, The Hollywood Reporter, NBC, CNET, Studio Daily, Videography, Film and Video, DV Magazine, TV Technology, HD Video Pro, Engadget, Gizmodo, Millimeter, American Cinematographer, MacWorld, Post Magazine, Popular Science, and countless other publications discussing his areas of passion and exploration. In 2019, Ted was honored at the Variety Hall of Fame event with the Variety Innovation Award.
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Harald Wuest
CEO
Visometry
Harald Wuest is CEO and Managing Director at Visometry. The German deep tech and solution startup is known for its VisionLib Engine, which is the basis for a wide range of AR applications that require high performance object recognition and precise tracking. As one of the co-creators of core AR algorithms, including model tracking, Harald is not only an AR expert and tech inventor of the first hours, but a strategical and analytical mind, who likes to push boundaries of current AR technologies to enable industries to bridge the gap between virtual and real for safer and more efficient working spaces.
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Terry Schussler
Sr. Dir., XR & Metaverse
Deutsche Telekom AG
Terry works within Deutsche Telekom’s 5G group driving research and the creation of immersive products that leverage the value of 5G and edge compute services. He collaborates with vendors of XR devices and enabling technologies to build a future that delivers pervasive and personalized B2B and B2C immersive experiences. While innovating 200+ software products for over 50M users he has focused on making software smarter for users while leveraging technology to enable new forms of communication.
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Lori H. Schwartz
CEO and Founder
StoryTech
LORI H. SCHWARTZ is a true technology catalyst (‘Tech Cat’). As a leading advisor and speaker in marketing and tech innovation, Lori collaborates with executives of multiple brands, tech, and content companies to ensure their understanding of emerging content models. Los Angeles-based, Lori is a CNN Technology contributor and a frequent host/mc at technology events. Lori’s StoryTech® initiative facilitates communication between storytellers and technology companies. Their trends briefings, curation, and tour products have become well known globally through the work @CES, @NAB and @LiveWorx. She is proud to be part of the team behind LA’s newest event, The Infinity Festival, focused on how technology is enabling storytelling. Previously Lori was a Governor for the Television Academy’s Emerging Programming Peer Group, driving thought leadership for the future of interactive media. She was Chief Technology Catalyst for McCann Worldgroup, North America where she drove tech and content innovation and was the key principle to launching the highly regarded IPGLAB where she facilitated emerging media upfronts for Microsoft, Intel, General Motors, Nestlé, and Sony. She has been profiled as one of the “30 Executives Shaping the Evolution of Media and Technology” by Variety and “100 People to Have Lunch With” by MediaPost Publications. An active spokesperson, Lori launched Digital Hollywood’s ‘Women’s Entertainment and Technology Mentor Program’ and is a recipient of the Lucy Hood Digerati Award for her contributions to the Television Academy.
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Josette Seitz
XR Developer & Creator
Specular Theory
Josette Seitz is a XR Developer & Creator from the San Francisco Bay Area. Her current role is a Virtual Reality Software Engineer developing flight simulations for the United States Air Force at Specular Theory. Creating immersive training simulations and pushing the boundaries of technology art is Josette's specialty. In the past, she has made an impact by working with non-profit organizations like Goodwill to continue to promote VR for Good. Her latest appearance was at Art Basel Miami presenting an immersive Augmented Reality storytelling experience called Alice in The Gardens. Besides her daily life working in XR technologies, Josette is also an International competitive figure skater. She has competed all over the globe representing her country, USA. Check out Josette's portfolio for more information and collaborations: josetteseitz.com
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Brian Selzer
CEO
BlueSe7en Media
Brian Selzer is a senior creative executive with over two decades of experience in media, entertainment, gaming, and spatial computing. He excels in weaving stories across digital and physical worlds, spatially integrating brands, intellectual property, and creators into virtual game environments and mobile spatial computing platforms. As CEO of BlueSe7en Media, Selzer advises and collaborates with companies including Iconic Arts and Inward VR. He also serves as the acting Creative Director for EverGame Media, a leading gaming agency and creative studio. Previously, in 2009, Selzer co-founded Ogmento, the first venture-backed AR game company, where he was instrumental in designing the world's first location-based AR games. Collaborating with high-profile brands like NBA, Pepsi, and 7-Eleven, he established new paradigms in immersive, location and sensor-based gaming. His work at Ogmento contributed to key developments in AR technology, leading to the subsequent development of Apple ARKit, iOS's primary AR technology, after Apple's acquisition of the company. Earlier in his career, Selzer played a pivotal role in launching and managing Marvel's mobile games and applications business, producing the first mobile games for Spider-Man, X-Men, and other iconic properties. He also served in significant roles at DAQRI, a leader in AR wearables, and Neurable, a VC-backed BCI wearables company. Based in Los Angeles, Brian enjoys spending time with family and friends, particularly outdoors, to balance his mixed-reality lifestyle.
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Rocío Sergio
Design Research Engineer
Magic Leap
Rocío Sergio serves as a Research Engineer of User Interactions at Magic Leap. In this role, Rocío transforms user research into actionable insights that advance product and industrial design for Magic Leap 2 and beyond. Rocío studied Digital Technologies and Emerging Media and Anthropology at Fordham University. With her background in ethnography, she is passionate about observation and user empathy. Most notably, she is dedicated to understanding people to help build more inclusive technology solutions for both complex and everyday problems.
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Ash Shah
AR Prototype Engineer
Magic Leap
With a cross-disciplinary background in Architecture, Film, Product Design, and Technology, Ash brings these skills together as an AR Prototyper at Magic Leap. He is a member of AR House and was recently an award winner at the MIT Reality Hack 2022. Ash's work at Magic Leap has been featured across various news and media outlets such as Fortune, VentureBeat, The Verge, CNET, CNN and more.
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Karen Alexander
Executive Director
XR Women
Karen Alexander, PhD, is a seasoned spatial computing professional with specializations in XR for higher education and in Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) for XR startups. She is a co-founder and Executive Director of XR Women, a global community that serves as a catalyst for the success of women in the field. She serves as Director of Compliance and Immersive Learning Consultant at MetaVRse, where she has worked on transforming 2D training materials into interactive 3D experiences for enterprise. Dr. Alexander is an expert participant in the Immersive Learning Research Network State of XR panel as well as the Virtual Worlds in Education Project for the University of Applied Sciences BFI Vienna. Through her consulting company, XRconnectED, she has steered higher education institutions on the adoption of XR and was instrumental in implementing the Metaversity Project by VictoryXR and Meta for one of her clients. She believes that technology has the power to improve lives with an intentionally human-centered approach. Dr. Alexander is a producer for The Polys Web XR Awards; she appeared in MetaTr@versal, a Play about Humanity in the Metaverse, at AWE 2022, and was the convenor and host of the WebXR Education Summit that same year. Dr. Alexander earned her PhD in English Literature from the University of London and holds Master’s Degrees in English, Philosophy, and Issues in Modern Culture. She is Certified in Cybersecurity through ISC2.
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Bernie Yee
CEO & Executive Producer
Windup Minds
Bernard Yee is currently the CEO and co-founder of Windup Minds, a VR/MR games startup. In the almost 9 year at Oculus/Meta Reality Labs, he has been the Senior TPM on AR games and consumer experiences on Project Nazare; Executive Producer on the Oculus REX, the team behind the seminal VR experiences for multiple generations of hardware: Dreamdeck (showcasing final shipping optics and tracking), Toybox (exploring social presence in a shared VR space), Farlands (a launch game for the Rift), Prologue (an introduction to VR for the GearVR), First Contact (hand presence via the Oculus Touch controllers), First Steps (Quest launch standalone VR playable) and proof of experiences using Quest hand tracking technologies. Bernie has worked in the game industry on a wide variety of games and genres in both development and publishing roles at PopCap (lead producer on Plants vs Zombies 2 and Peggle 2), and Bungie (Destiny). Prior to moving to Seattle, Bernie worked at Harmonix (Rock Band), Atari and Sony Online Entertainment (EverQuest). He also taught game design and production at the Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
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Leslie Shannon
Head of Ecosystem and Trend Scouting
Nokia
Leslie Shannon is the Head of Trend and Innovation Scouting for Nokia. A Silicon Valley-based futurist, she focuses on identifying connectivity-related tech disruptions and opportunities, including developments in robotics, drones, visual analytics, cloud gaming, generative AI, and especially augmented and virtual reality. Leslie is the author of Interconnected Realities, a look at the current and future development of the Metaverse, and, with Catherine D. Henry, Virtual Natives, an examination of how Gen Z and Gen Alpha’s use of digital technologies is revolutionizing how humans relate to both computers and each other.
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Tricia Blake
Director of Communications
XR Women
Tricia is the Founder & CEO at My Third Bloom, and a Change Practitioner at the City of Toronto who is an insatiably curious about all things spatial computing. She strongly believes there is immense potential in utilizing spatial computing technology and innovation to broadly serve and empower underrepresented communities in the areas of wellness and education. She serves as a board director for a local based charity in Toronto, Ontario, Canada called Courage in Action, is an Executive Producer for the Empowered in My Skin Podcast and is on the leadership team as the Director of Communications (Social Media & Website) for the XR Women global community. Tricia is an advocate for accessible education for all and for empowering at-risk-youth, women and children. Follow Tricia Blake + My Third Bloom LinkedIn - Tricia Blake www.mythirdbloom.com LinkedIn: My Third Bloom IG: @mythirdbloom
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Jeffrey Shein
Staff IT Technology Analyst
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
Jeff Shein is a seasoned technologist with a passion for leveraging cutting-edge technology to drive business growth. As StaffTechnology Analyst, he has responsibility for the successful assessment and planning of innovation initiatives that involve new and emerging technology (AR, VR, IoT), or the application of established technologies new to Regeneron. He also serves as the main technologist point of contact for key stakeholders from conceptualization to the realization of benefits, promoting the intelligent adoption of technology across Regeneron’s manufacturing facility in Rensselaer NY. Jeff is at the forefront of the latest trends, driving industrial transformation. Through his work with XR at Regeneron, he has seen first-hand the transformative power of digital technologies in driving operational efficiency, reducing costs, and increasing productivity. Prior to joining Regeneron in 2011, Jeff spent 15 years working in the NYC advertising industry where he managed the helpdesks for Momentum Worldwide, McCann, and Publicis Groupe.
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Wendy Sherman
XR Women
Wendy Sherman is an Independent Curator and Arts Manager. From 2018-2019, I managed, organized and coordinated XR exhibitions at sp[a]ce gallery (Pasadena, CA) featuring curators Jesse Damiani Spatial Reality, Paisley Smith Robot Remix XR, and Sutu Prosthetic Reality. Beginning in 2020 I began working with EyeJack (AR app) on coordinating events and biz dev. I managed (EyeJack co-founder) Sutu’s booth for DesignerCon in 2019 and 2021. Since the great pandemic of 2020, I became immersed in all things NFT and Web3, and have been working with XR Women as a team member coordinating speakers for weekly meetings. Recently I co-chaired the Femme Futures VR Grant at Artizen, and hosted events in the Metaverse with Big Rock Creative. I am currently working with Lisi Linares / PR SHRKS assisting with social media listings for Reboot Imagine and others.
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Supreet Singh
Technical Director, Mobile Apps
Code & Theory
Senior IT professional with a diverse software development background and strong leadership experience. Delivered high quality products on web, mobile and cloud platforms. Specialize in driving innovation with new technology platforms. Currently working on large-scale customer-facing cross-platform mobile apps. Have led multiple agile development teams and regularly provide insights to senior business leaders, up to VP/officer levels.
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Tomas Sluka
CEO & Founder
CREAL
Tomas is the CEO and co-founder of CREAL, a Swiss technology startup that developed and commercialized a display for a more natural and immersive visual experience in AR. He turned entrepreneur after 15 years of a research career, including at CERN and EPFL, to solve one of the key roadblocks on the way to the next big thing - the AR.
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Julie Smithson
Co-Founder & COO
METAVRSE
Julie Smithson leads METAVRSE, a creation platform to build the spatial web. Over the past 10+ years, Julie has led the production of several world-first interactive immersive experiences across training, marketing, retail and collaboration. Some of these novel innovations include TheMall (world’s largest virtual mall) and Meetopia (spatial collaboration platform). Julie’s personal mission is to ‘inspire and educate people to think and act in a socially, economically and environmentally responsible way’. By leveraging the transformative power of spatial awareness & personal perseverance, Julie strives to vastly improve the way we learn, teach, and adapt to digitization through a time of exponential growth. Julie is also a Co-Founder of XR Women, the world’s largest global community devoted to connecting, educating, empowering, and uplifting women in spatial technologies - creating space for all to be seen and heard. Julie is the host of the fourth annual WebXR Awards (The Polys) celebrating the hard working creators of the spatial web. Julie and her team produce cutting edge awards shows featuring never-before done immersive content. This team also produces MetaTr@versal, a global tour focused on learning about best practices, ethics, standards and governance with particular focus on interoperability. Prior to her pioneering work in spatial computing, Julie was COO & Co-Founder at SmithsonMartin, creators of the world’s first multitouch system for the music industry. Their flagship product won the coveted DJ Mag Award for Most Innovative Product in 2011. METAVRSE.com XRWomen.com TheMall.io Meetopia.io SmithsonMartin.com
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Tony Bevilacqua
Founder & CEO
Cognitive3D
Tony Bevilacqua is the Founder and CEO of Cognitive3D, a spatial analytics platform that gathers data from virtual and augmented reality experiences in new ways, and turns them into actionable insights. Specifically, Cognitive3D helps companies measure human behavior within 3D simulations.Prior to founding Cognitive3D, Tony co-founded and exited another startup that focused on revenue optimization and data analytics for enterprise customers.
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Dan Blair
CEO
BSD XR
Daniel Blair is a dynamic and innovative leader in technology and digital media. As the founder and Chief Technology Officer of BSD XR, he has been at the forefront of creating innovative research projects in areas like AI and spatial computing for various industries, including construction, defence, aerospace, mining, and utilities. His passion for innovation and commitment to excellence have earned him recognition as an award-winning entrepreneur and software developer. Daniel's influence extends beyond his company. He is the chair of the board for the Interactive Digital Media sector council, New Media Manitoba, where he guides the growth and development of Manitoba's interactive digital media industry. In 2023 Daniel joined the board of directors for the Virtual World Society to help drive their mission of ethical thought leadership and responsible application of emerging technology.
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Louisa Spring
Founder
SAM Immersive
Louisa Spring, CEO - Lawyer, producer, entrepreneur, Louisa Spring is an accomplished executive in the immersive media and gaming field. Louisa has worked on award winning VR campaigns for Mini-Cooper and NYTVR, the award winning game Firebird: La Peri, we well as worked with other major game distributors on PC and VR games. She has moved the needle at every VR company she has worked with including bringing Walmart to Spatialand which resulted in a successful acquisition. As CEO of Vari, she is focused on immersive gaming / experiences and esports in locations around the world. As a TV producer Ms. Spring has worked with Far Moor, (The Fall, acquired by Endemol) and Roger Moore, (007). She's a former member of the board of BAFTALA, and practiced law in London.
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Finn Staber
CEO
Chicken Waffle
Finn Staber is a Game Programmer/Designer with a diverse background in Visual FX, Animation, 3D Art and Level Design. He focuses on building advanced player controls for cross-platform games, interactive educational experiences and branded enterprise apps using cutting-edge VR and AR technology. A passion for creating multiplayer features, and designing award-winning eSports gameplay. He enjoys creating funny interactive experiences, and donates much of his free time to helping others.
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Greg Tarnacki
CEO / Founder
18Loop
Greg Tarnacki is the CEO and Founder of 18Loop, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that deploys Virtual Reality (VR) in order to help pediatric oncology patients tolerate treatment, recover and thrive. Greg is focused on public service, especially where technology can be leveraged for the greater good. Greg spent almost 20 years in technology sales working on network infrastructure, business intelligence, cloud and IT consulting initiatives. After his last role in private sector technology sales, Greg joined Americorps where he served a volunteer year helping Opportunity Youth in Newark, NJ prepare for college and careers. 18Loop is the culmination of all Greg has learned about the technology sector and service to the community. Greg earned a Bachelor’s Degree (BA) from Seton Hall University, and holds certificates from MIT (Artificial Intelligence) and Oxford (Blockchain). Currrently, he is enrolled in Cornell's dual degree MBA/MS program in Healthcare Leadership. This Spring, Greg’s writing will be published in Mental Health Virtual Reality: The Power of Immersive Worlds, an academic handbook on Health and Wellness xR.
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Ben Taylor
Technical Director, XR Initiatives
SQUARE ENIX
Ben Taylor is a Tokyo-based Technical Director leading XR Initiatives as part of the SQUARE ENIX Advanced Technology Division for the past 5 years. Previously at Hasbro he helped develop mass-market physical-meets-digital XR products including Marvel Avengers: Infinity War Hero Vision Iron Man AR, Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio, and Yo-kai Watch Land in partnership with Japan’s Level-5. His XR games have won several awards including the Grand Prize in AR at the 2017 MIT Reality Virtually hackathon and the Best Single Player Game at the 2014 Boston FIG for a DK2 VR kissing game which was featured on Comedy Central’s @midnight. He holds MBA and MET (Master of Entertainment Technology from Carnegie Mellon University) master’s degrees.
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Marco Tempest
Creative Technologist
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Marco Tempest specializes in developing immersive experiences of future technologies. Taking ideas about advanced technology, and how we might interact with it, and finding innovative ways to bring those concepts alive. In his keynote presentation for AWE USA 2022 he debuted ultraportable real-time virtual production techniques, storytelling, gestural sensing and swarm robotics to give a glimpse of a delightful augmented future right now.
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Olga Sheverieva
Ambassador
Women In Games
Olga Sheverieva – Women in Games Ambassador and business development specialist with five years of experience in the industry. Passionate about fostering symbiotic relationships and nurturing communities, Olga currently co-hosts three local industry networking events in Seattle, catering to individuals of different seniority levels and backgrounds. She firmly believes in the magic that happens when people come together.
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Nathan Thomas
Technical Training Instructor
CN Railway
Nathan Thomas is a Technical Training Officer for CN Railway with almost 20 years of experience in the rail industry and has been tasked to bring VR/AR to CN Railway. Technology has always been a passion of his and he uses that in him Instruction for new and existing employees. This led him to push to incorporate we ways of training into the rail Industry and started to look to XR to help build upon existing training. He is working on new programs now and is excited to push learning education to the next level in the Railroad Industry.
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Matt Thompson
Chapter President
VRARA-STL
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Miao Tian
Senior Product Designer
Autodesk
Miao Tian joined Autodesk in 2023 as Senior Product Designer, XR, specializing in the creation and implementation of XR solutions. With 15 years of industry experience, she focuses on designing with emerging technologies. Her expertise extends to identifying scalable solutions, bridging gaps between stakeholders, strategic objectives, user needs, and market trends. Prior to joining Autodesk, Miao held a similar role at Microsoft, where she strategized, designed, and shipped end-to-end UX flow for pioneering XR products, including HoloLens2 product interface, Mesh events and Mesh for teams integration. Miao embarked on her XR journey with her startup adventure, HoloKit, where she led product design. Launched at AWE in 2017, HoloKit 1.0 aimed to be the primary software and hardware tool for emerging mixed reality enthusiasts. Before stepping into tech industry, Miao was an architectural and industrial designer in New York and Shanghai, working on a variety of project ranging from residential, education to medical facilities, sizing from small boutique apartment to Manhattan skyscraper complex.
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Anne Toole
Writer
Writer
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Celine Tricart
President, Co-Founder
Coven
Celine Tricart is an internationally acclaimed director and expert in new technologies such as VR and AR. Her work has been showcased at Sundance, Venice, Tribeca, SXSW, and HotDocs. She received the Lion for Best Immersive Work at the Venice Film Festival (2019), the Storyscapes Award at Tribeca (2019), two Lumiere Awards from the Advanced Imaging Society, two Telly Awards, an Auggie and a Platinum Aurora Award, amongst many other accolades. Celine served as the president of the international Jury for Virtual Reality at the 2020 Venice Film Festival. Originally from France, Celine specialized on film and new technologies early on and worked on cutting-edge franchise films such as Transformers 4 and 5. Celine co-directed and produced Maria Bello’s “Sun Ladies” VR documentary about the women fighting ISIS in Iraq which was selected in over 70 international festivals. For this, she had to travel through ISIS-held territory. In 2019, Celine released “The Key”, an interactive VR experience that garnered critical acclaim. Her latest project on women’s self-defense, FIGHT BACK, was in competition at the 2022 Venice Film Festival. In 2021 Celine was awarded France’s prestigious insignia of Chevalier De l’Ordre Des Arts et Des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) by the Ministry of Culture of France. She was a keynote speaker at SXSW 2022. Celine is a martial artist, a certified self-defense instructor, and an avid gamer.
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Estella Tse
XR Creative Director and Artist
Estella Tse, LLC
Estella Tse is a Virtual & Augmented Reality Creative Director and Artist. She integrates emerging technologies and visual storytelling into a new art form. She inspires new ways to connect, educate, and build empathy with her creative innovation work. Estella has been an Oxford University Visiting Fellow, XR artist-in-residence with Google, Adobe, Snapchat, Cartoon Network Studios, performs and speaks internationally. Her work has been featured on Forbes, CNet, The Australian, and more. She draws her inspiration from lived human experiences, nature, and the cosmos. You can find more of her work at http://estellatse.com and @estellatse
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Morgan Tucker
Head of Product, UGC
Rec Room
Morgan Tucker is the head of Creator at Rec Room. In this role, he empowers creators to make incredible interactive experiences, develop community, and achieve long-term success. As a Product and Design leader, musician and producer, Morgan has dedicated his life to the creation of experiences that people love. That passion fuels his mission to lift up the next generation of great game designers and developers. Morgan believes everyone has a story to tell and anyone can be a creator. Before joining Rec Room, Morgan led Product for Music, Brands and Education at Roblox. With groundbreaking projects like Spatial Voice Chat, Roblox's immersive virtual concerts with Twenty One Pilots and Lil Nas X, and The Gucci Garden virtual exhibition, Morgan and his team pushed the boundaries of social experiences in the Metaverse. Morgan began his career designing innovative solutions for cutting-edge products. He designed the world’s first TV streaming device, a wireless touch screen interface for a heart defibrillator, the world’s first Android wearable device, and led a revolutionary, mobile-first, cross-platform reimagining of the avatar-based social network IMVU. Morgan is an inventor on multiple design patents. Music and creation have always been a part of Morgan’s life. Outside of work, he fronts bands, produces music and promotes live concerts. He founded 8bitSF, a production company focused on independent musicians, visual artists and game designers, and monobomb records, an artist collective and record label. Morgan lives in San Francisco with his family.
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Rita Turkowski
Developer Program Manager
Meta
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Nick Turner
Co-Chair BIM 19650 in Digital Twins
SWAN Smart Water Network
Nick has been instrumental in complex Digital Engineering Solutions for more than 20 years. He has managed Digital Twin Projects from simple networks to entire NFL stadiums. He is obsessed with bringing efficiency to clients in workflows and processes. Nick has automated many infrastructure design workflows, often reducing design time by more than 75%. He has established himself as an industry leader in the Digital Twin space, giving talks at many of the leading industry conferences, including Autodesk University, Joint Engineers Conference and American Society of Civil Engineers.
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Bram van de Ven
Founder/Owner
arfected
Bram van de Ven, founder at arfected based in The Netherlands, official partners from Meta and Snapchat. He started off as a freelancer 5 years ago and has grown to an in-house team of 14 enthusiastic tech-savvy AR professionals. As one of the pioneers in the world of immersive tech, the team has always closely followed the newest trends and developments of the platforms.
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Erik Viirre
Director Arthur C Clarke Center for Human Imagination
UC San Diego
Erik Viirre M.D. Ph.D. is a Professor in the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Department of Neurosciences, and the Director of the UCSD Arthur C Clarke Center for Human Imagination. In the UCSD Health System, he treats people with vertigo, eye movement disorders, balance problems and tinnitus. As a Virtual and Augmented Reality technologist, Dr. Viirre has worked on human safety and medical applications of the Virtual Retinal Display (VRD), the first in-the-eye laser based display system. Dr Viirre has also worked on assessment of human effects and medical applications of Head Mounted Displays (HMDs) including uses in people with low vision and with vestibular disorders. He has had funding from the National Institutes of Health, National Science foundation, US Navy, DARPA, NASA and a variety of corporate sources on HMD technology Developments and other topics. He has numerous publications and patents including those related to HMD use and display human effects. He has developed a variety of eye movement recording systems, including eye movement recording integrated into a VR HMD. Dr. Viirre received his Ph.D. in Neurophysiology in 1987 at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada and his M.D. in 1988 at the same institution. His Ph.D. dissertation was on the coordination control system of binocular eye movements. He completed a Rotating Internship at St. Joseph's Medical Center in London, Canada in 1989. After his internship in London, he was a fellow at the Robarts Research Institute in functional imaging and had an eye care practice. In 1994, Dr. Viirre was a Visiting Professor in Neurology and Ophthalmology at UCLA where he did a fellowship in Medical Neurotology, the management of inner ear disorders. In 1995-99 he was a Scientist at the world leading VR group, the Human Interface Technology Lab at the University of Washington. He was also a research scientist at Virtual i-O! an early HMD company from 1996 to 1998. He was a Senior Scientist in the Human Performance Department of the US Navy’s Naval Health Research Center from 2001 to 2012. At UCSD, he has been a faculty member of the Departments of Surgery and Cognitive Science and a member of the Institute for Engineering and Medicine.
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Richard Vincent
CEO, Co-Founder
FundamentalVR
Richard brings 20+ years’ experience in building international businesses and has throughout his career sought opportunities for positive market disruption through technological application. It was this desire that led him to co-found FundamentalVR to help address an age-old problem for the medical market; how to create safe, realistic, measurable spaces to learn and develop skills. In his role as CEO Richard is responsible for building a world-class team of medical, learning, and technologist who together can realize the company’s ambition of creating the world’s first global, haptically enabled, low-cost ‘flight simulator for surgeons’.
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Desirey Virgin
Global Account Executive
Sonder
Desirey Virgin is an experienced professional with a wealth of experience in the tourism and hospitality industry. Her expertise is in hotel group sales, event management, and project management for hotel owners, large conferences and live exhibits. Beyond the professional realm, Desirey is an enthusiastic tech enthusiast and a Metaverse advisor constantly exploring the latest advancements in technology.As an avid traveler, Desirey has ventured across the globe, immersing in different cultures and expanding horizons. Outside of work, Desirey finds solace and balance through a dedicated yoga practice as a certified yoga instructor.
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Antony Vitillo
Owner
The Ghost Howls
Antony “Skarredghost” Vitillo is an AR/VR developer, entrepreneur, and blogger. He started his career in 2014 with the full-body VR startup ImmotionAR, and since then, he has always striven to disrupt the immersive technologies space. In 2017 he cofounded New Technology Walkers, with which he developed the first mixed reality fitness game, HitMotion: Reloaded, with the support of HTC. In 2019 he began his collaboration with VRROOM, developing innovative events and concerts in VR, like Jean-Michel Jarre’s Welcome To The Other Side concert, which collected more than 75M views worldwide. With VRROOM he also led the development of a metaverse platform for concerts and live shows that reached the n.1 spot as the most downloaded free app on the Pico Store. Antony’s blog The Ghost Howls is well-known in the XR ecosystem, and he is considered by many as an influencer in the XR industry ecosystem, having participated in important worldwide events like View Conference, WCVRI, SXSW, and AWE USA.
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Wadooah Wali
Co-Founder, CSO & Executive Producer
New Canvas
Wadooah Wali is Co-founder, Chief Strategy Officer & Executive Producer at New Canvas. A true media influencer, her 20+ career expertise spans across traditional and disruptive media platforms, including Demand Media (now Leaf Group), Livestrong.com, Meta, Twitter, WarnerMedia (now Warner Bros. Discovery), Fullscreen and podcast leader Midroll Media/EarWolf (acquired by E. W. Scripps Company). As an entrepreneur and award-winning indie content creator, she’s passionate about connecting audiences with stories via writing, directing and producing various projects that span TV, film, video, podcasts, XR and beyond. Additionally, Wadooah currently serves as an advisory board member of GALECA (the Society of LGBTQ+ Entertainment Critics) and Wadooah is also a co-founder and advisor for LGBTQ-first streaming network Revry.TV.
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Lafiya Watson Ramirez
Multidisciplinary Artist
Bad Chick Studios
Lafiya Watson Ramirez is a multidisciplinary artist specializing in AR design and development, web development, and photography. Her strength lies in combining her array of skills to produce unique digital content. Over the years, Lafiya has created custom websites for musicians, artists, and non-profit organizations. Her photographs of musicians have been featured on billboards, publications, and television programs including on BET and PBS NewsHour. For eight years, Lafiya worked as the Coordinator of Electronic Media at Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts. She later returned to freelancing to shift her focus to AR development. She was part of an artist residency program at Snapchat in 2020 and has since become a verified Snap Lens Network developer. In 2021, she received the exciting opportunity to work with Snapchat’s Spectacles, and she developed two games for the glasses. She has also developed AR filters for clients, most notably for The Museum of the City of New York. Most recently, her location-based AR project, ‘Stolen Rainbow”, was chosen to be part of Niantic Lightship’s sample library. Lafiya’s main focus is on creating engaging and interactive storytelling games and experiences.
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Nodo Ivanidze
Founder and CEO
MetaViu
Nodo Ivanidze is an active builder and investor in the Web3 space. He is the Founder of MetaViu.io, which is the largest advertising and immersive experiences network on leading metaverse platforms. Nodo consistently educates brands on how to effectively leverage new advertising mediums such as XR and VR. In addition to being a serial entrepreneur, he is also an angel investor. Nodo is also co-host of Beyond Pixels Show, uncovering many interesting brand activations in immersive space.
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Ted Werth
CFO & Head of Corporate Development
Mynd Immersive
Ted Werth leads Corporate and Business Development for Mynd Immersive, a pioneer in the XR healthcare industry. Mynd provides XR recreation and therapy to the booming population of older adults in senior living, skilled nursing, veteran homes, hospice, and home health care. Mynd’s content covers the entire spectrum of care and includes travel, nature, meditation, action & adventure, cognitive games, and modules for physical and occupational therapy. Previously, Ted was the co-founder of Digital Club Network (DCN), a pioneering music company that broadcast nightly concerts from a network of 50 live music venues throughout North America. DCN also released over 20 live concert albums from artists ranging from Ralph Stanley to John Legend before being acquired by Dimensional Associates and merging with eMusic. Prior to DCN, Ted was the co-founder of Web Partners Studio, creator of the popular and groundbreaking websites Total New York (one of the first webzines and online city guides) and Adaweb (one of the first new media art collaboratives), as well as The Primary Group, a boutique web production and consulting shop. Both Total New York and Adaweb were acquired by AOL's Digital City, while The Primary Group was acquired by Agency.com. Ted is also an advisor, partner, and/or board member for dozens of other early and growth stage companies, including Original Sin Hard Cider (one of the largest independent hard cider companies in the US), Is It Funny Or Offensive? (a content and commentary site that explores comedy and social issues), and Create:Fixate (a non-profit organization that supports emerging artists). Ted is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, an installation artist, guitarist, and active participant in the DISORIENT art collective.
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Michael Whatley
Senior Director, Service Innovation & Performance
Coca-Cola
Michael is an experienced learning and development leader, accomplished speaker, and thought leader with a demonstrated history of driving measurable results through a strong focus on learning analytics and an innovative approach to learner-centric experiences including role-based on-boarding, nationwide product launches, and operational processes for sales, service, and operations teams. Michael has expertise in the development of learning strategy, complex project management, and driving creative and leading-edge learning solutions using XR technology and engaging multimedia.
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Benjamin Reynolds
Senior Fellow, Innovation Engineering
PTC
Ben Reynolds is a Senior Fellow of Innovation Engineering at the PTC Reality Lab, which he co-founded with Valentin Heun in 2017. Ben studied Computer Science at MIT, where he earned a bachelor's and master's degree. With a background in game design, art, and programming, Ben first experimented with AR in 2013, and in 2017 his master's thesis focused on building a drag-and-drop augmented reality programming tool. Since joining PTC, Ben has been a key technical member of the PTC Reality Lab, including leading the development of the Vuforia Spatial Toolbox spatial computing platform and industrial metaverse research explorations.
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Whitney White
CEO & Co-Founder
Equity Commons
Whitney A. White is the CEO and Co-Founder of Equity Commons. In this role, Whitney leads the business in addressing the pervasive issue of implicit bias by providing client organizations with immersive Virtual Reality training that reduces bias. Whitney and her team help companies trade in their traditional implicit bias training methods for Equity Commons’ immersive VR experiences, which leave a lasting impact and contribute to creating a world free of bias. Previously, for more than 12 years, Whitney served as CEO of Afara Global, an innovation firm that guides startups, social enterprises, and corporate teams through the process of launching and scaling new products and services. Whitney is also the creator of Take Back Your Time, a coaching practice that helps high achievers cut through the noise of the million and one things on their plates and get on a clear path to achieving the goals that matter to them most. Whitney began her career in management consulting with Bain & Company, where her work spanned go-to-market strategy, merger integration, and cost reduction projects across a myriad of industries. Whitney later led business expansion, supply chain, and logistics teams for multibillion-dollar e-commerce company McMaster-Carr prior to leading fulfillment operations on the Washington, DC launch team for Google Express. A highly sought-after facilitator and speaker, Whitney captivates audiences with her incredible insight and unflinching candor. Her approachability and authenticity create immediate rapport, enabling in-depth discussions that delve far below the surface to create truly transformative moments for all who hear her speak. Moreover, Whitney’s commitment to tangible outcomes ensures audiences walk away with actionable steps they can take to create lasting impact in their own lives and organizations. A graduate of Davidson College, Whitney founded the Davidson Tech Impact Fund in 2015, which provides paid experiential learning opportunities for women and students of color to intern with women and minority-owned businesses in critical areas related to tech at no cost to the business. Whitney is Chair of the Davidson College Board of Visitors and a member of the Davidson College Board of Trustees, where she serves on the Teaching, Learning, & Research and Audit & Finance committees.
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Sabra Williams
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Creative Acts
Sabra Williams has received international acclaim for her work as an actor, host, founder of The Actors' Gang Prison Project and co-founder of Creative Acts, including being named by President Obama a, “Champion of Change”, honored with a British Empire Medal for services to the Arts & Prison Reform by Queen Elizabeth and awarded the Local Hero Award at the 2023 American Democracy Summit. Creative Acts is a Social Justice initiative that uses the Arts as the tool for transformation. We have Civic Engagement Arts programs across LA County youth prisons, anti-racism training and a Virtual Reality Arts Reentry program in adult maximum security prisons and solitary confinement, for people returning after life sentences. Sabra is a Visiting Lecturer at UCLA and an Adjunct Professor at USC. She is a Bellagio Rockefeller Resident Fellow and an in-demand speaker on justice and Arts issues. Sabra’s first book, ‘Beauty in the Beast: The Power of the Arts Behind Bars’ is on its way. (Lit agent: Julia Masnick, Watkins/Loomis) She is a member of The Independent Shakespeare Company, LA ensemble.
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Josh Bankston
Partner
MACE Virtual Labs
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Samantha Wolfe
Managing Partner
PitchFWD LLC
Samantha G. Wolfe is the Founder of PitchFWD, an award-winning strategic branding and marketing consultancy focused on emerging technologies. Sam is known as an innovation adoption accelerator and a bleeding edge tech translator. She works with executives to identify and showcase the unique value of their innovative products and services in support of disruptive business opportunities. As an Adjunct Professor at NYU's Steinhardt School, Sam has created four original courses: 'Avatars and Virtual Humans,' 'Marketing Emerging Technologies,' 'The Business of the Metaverse,' and 'The Business of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.' In addition, Sam has co-authored 2 books: 'Metaversed: See Beyond The Hype' (Wiley) and 'Marketing New Realities' and wrote the chapter 'AR and Brands' for the book 'Convergence: How The World Will Be Painted With Data.' For more information about Sam, go to samanthagwolfe.com.
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Aaron Wolko
Co-Founder
Nivra
Aaron Wolko is a trailblazing founder at the forefront of immersive education. After a successful exit from his FinTech startup, Aaron co-founded Nivra — an EdTech powerhouse revolutionizing K-12 education using spatial computing. Nivra's groundbreaking platform has garnered global recognition, captivating students and faculty alike. Through captivating interactive VR experiences, students explore history and STEM concepts while teachers undergo realistic training simulations, equipping them for real-world scenarios, like first aid, fire training, and active-shooter prevention and response. With over 16,000 users embracing Nivra's educational ecosystem as of June 2023, the impact is undeniable. Join Aaron at the AWE Conference to delve into his visionary insights, experiences, and the future of education. Prepare to be inspired as he unveils the remarkable potential of spatial computing and its transformative effects on learning.
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Teri Yarbrow
President and CEO
Magika VRx
President and CEO, MagikaVRx, founding member of Creating AWE. VR Evangelist, Recent Professor of Immersive Reality, SCAD, and creator of an award-winning program, VR for Good focused on virtual medicine. Founding member of the American Medical Extended Reality Assoc. and member of the editorial advisory board of the new Journal of Medical Extended Reality. VR Awards finalist for Social impact and Telly Award winner for Social Impact. Career as an Emmy, AFI, BDA, ProMax, Ars Electronica and multi-award-winning Los Angeles creative technologist, artist, and producer for XR, television and interactive media productions.
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Eric Masher
COO
Impact Reality / Flat2VR Studios
Eric Masher specializes in building communities in the VR space. He founded one of the largest VR-focused communities on Facebook, Quest 2 Community, which now boasts 185k+ members. He is deeply in tune with the VR audience along with professionals in the VR space. Co-founder of Impact Reality a business focused on helping VR developers and businesses find success in the VR/AR market. He is also an Advisor to Andromeda Entertainment, which has more VR games published in more headsets than any other non-China based company. This is a result of Eric’s deep network and relationships with VR game devs, VR headset manufacturers and the VR community as a whole. As a well known and well respected voice in the community, he is also a co-host and producer for four VR/AR podcasts spread over every major streaming platform.
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Harry Skeeva Skigis
CIO
Impact Reality / Flat2VR Studios
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Jasmine Uniza
CEO
Impact Reality / Flat2VR Studios
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Elliott Tate
CMO
Impact Reality / Flat2VR Studios
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Christi Fenison
Co-Founder
Cause + Christi: Immersive XR Design
Christi is a professional virtual world designer, 3D + 360 artist, and immersive interaction developer. She is one half of the XR design house Cause + Christi who together have been instrumental in the creation of quite a number of memorable large-scale events in virtual reality lately, ranging from the UN ActNowVR series to BRCvr. In addition to designing social VR spaces, Christi is an XR Instructional Media Producer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Medicine IT, where she leads the research and development of XR in curriculum. Working with knowledge experts in the School of Medicine and UNC Hospital, she creates custom experiences to meet training needs. Her “Trauma Services VR: A Patient’s Point of View” experience is an interactive, branching narrative training simulation that allows medical students & healthcare professionals to step into the perspective of a patient, make decisions on behalf of the care team, and immediately experience those choices firsthand, to build the empathy and understanding that improves patient-centered care. In early 2020, Christi defended her Master's Thesis VR project and graduated from UNC Chapel Hill's Environment and Science Communication Dual Degree program. As a student, she focused on XR design for immersive storytelling and learning, worked in multiple VR labs simultaneously to create experiences while teaching others, and sharpened her skills in 360 Videography, 3D Modeling, Unity Development, Adult Learning Theory, Strategic Communication, Sustainable Design, Blockchain, and Geospatial Information Systems. Christi’s passion is to reach people where they’re at: weaving together small details - the touchpoints - that bring big picture stories to life. Drawing on principles of narrative transport, spatial presence, memory and cognitive elaboration, her goal is to create virtual experiences that have real-world transfer. Just before the spring of 2020 - when the world would soon enter the age of isolation and remote work - Christi joined the Educators in VR conferences and discovered a whole new facet to immersive content design: Social VR. She quickly invited Cause to explore & create shared VR experiences, and the design duo was born. Cause + Christi teamed up with the BRCvr crew and played a key role in helping the first official virtual Burning Man event come to fruition, then stuck around to help the 2021 event happen, even bigger and better! BRCvr won the Producers Guild of America Award for Most Innovative Experience of 2021. In 2021, Cause + Christi was on its way up as its own force with heavyweight jobs already in the pipeline. They worked with Baobab Studios to bring the forest of Baba Yaga to life in AltspaceVR for their virtual red carpet premiere -- with stars & press attending in headset. They worked with the UN's YOUNGA + BridgingTheGap Ventures to create a one-of-a-kind spaceship nightclub and mixed reality music video featuring a holographic performance by Grammy award winner Pitbull. They built a solar-powered steampunk-inspired city in the sky for Solar Fight Night, an annual networking event for the solar industry’s largest social club, with sponsors like the Solar Foundation. They also worked with the Golden Apple Comics shop in LA to create a digital twin of their brick & mortar store, while adding a gorgeous promenade in the back to host live virtual Wondercon events. On top of these kinds of jobs, Cause + Christi helped bring the first Polys WebXR Awards to the world and have continued to support that team with their ongoing endeavors to unite the XR world through interoperability. 2022 has continued to gain steam with the design duo working alongside the United Nations once more to build digital twin VR worlds in AltspaceVR that represent UNESCO cultural heritage sites around the globe. So far the Al Wasl Dome in Dubai and the Uluru National Park in Australia have been completed and released, with more certainly on the way.
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Sasha Zabegalin
Self-Expression Technologist
Sasha Zabegalin
Meet Sasha Zabegalin, a Self-Expression Technologist at the forefront of redefining personal and digital identities through the lens of emerging technologies. Born in the year 2000, Sasha's life has evolved hand-in-hand with pivotal technological advancements—from the boom of social media to the smartphone revolution, and now, the era of AI and Spatial Computing. With an academic foundation in Human-Computer Interaction and a combined expertise in Computer Science and Mathematics from UC San Diego and Community College, Sasha stands out as a visionary in digital identity and the technological future. His work, deeply rooted in AI, Augmented Reality, and Digital Fashion, aims to unlock new dimensions of self-expression, transcending the physical boundaries that have traditionally defined us. Sasha’s collaborations with tech behemoths like Meta, Snapchat, and Dress X, alongside accolades from academic circles including UC San Diego, underscore his role as a trusted consultant and innovator. With projects spotlighted by tech industry giants and prestigious academic institutions and a portfolio that includes viral AR filters captivating millions, Sasha stands at the forefront of defining the next era of self-expression and identity. Join him in imagining a future where our self-expression is no longer limited by physical reality.
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Raven Zachary
COO
ARound
Raven Zachary is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at ARound, focused on augmented reality experiences for live events. He has been working professionally with spatial computing since 2015 and Apple technology since 2007. In addition to his work concerning Apple Vision Pro and visionOS with AWE for the Vision Workshop and as the co-founder of VisionDevCamp, he was the co-founder of the Portland Virtual Reality Meetup and the founder of the Portland HoloLens Meetup. Raven joins ARound through Stagwell’s acquisition of Object Theory, a leader in creating custom augmented reality applications for businesses using wearables, smartphones, and tablets. Object Theory was a Fast Company “Most Innovative Virtual/Augmented Reality Companies” recipient and one of the first Microsoft agency partners for HoloLens. Clients included Microsoft, Stryker, L'Oreal, Zimmer Biomet, BP, Steelcase, CDM Smith, Kodak, Ford, and others. Prior to founding Object Theory, Raven spent eight years in the mobile app industry. In 2007, he was the founder of iPhoneDevCamp, the largest iOS development conference outside of Apple’s own Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The following year, Raven was the director of the official Obama ’08 iPhone app for the Obama Campaign, which led to the formation of Small Society, a mobile application development company. He was responsible for launching mobile apps for Starbucks, Zipcar, Whole Foods Market, the Democratic Party, Amazon, and many other well-known brands. In 2012, he sold Small Society to Walmart, where he directed the mobile product management team, launching a dozen mobile apps and sites for the world’s largest company.
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Alexis Zerafa
AR Artist and Creative Technologist
The Mill
Alexis Zerafa is an experimental mixed media artist and AR developer. She is forever a tinkerer, and is currently focused on pottery, fiber arts, and garment design in addition to her main augmented reality practice. She creates work for brands as well as for her own art practice, and currently leads social AR experience development at the Mill.
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Michael Zurat
Solutions Director, 5G & Spatial Computing
General Dynamics Information Technology
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Sonya Haskins
Head of Programming
AWE
Sonya Haskins, also known by the gamer tag Hasko7, is Head of Programming for AWE and encourages development of positive, inclusive environments. In April 2017, she was introduced to virtual reality and a few months later became the first female player and oldest player to qualify for the North American Regional Championships of the Oculus-sponsored VR League. Sonya has written thousands of articles and eight books. Her work has appeared in VR Fitness Insider, Upload VR, Gaming Trend Magazine, and many other publications. She speaks at events frequently about virtual reality, health & wellness, gaming, and diversity. In addition to her role at AWE, Sonya advises companies related to XR market insights, networking, and product development.
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Joshua Rubin
Chief Creative Officer
Subverse Narrative Consulting
Joshua Rubin is an Interactive Emmy-winning veteran of the game industry, best know for his writing on Ubisoft's ASSASSIN'S CREED 2, Bungie's DESTINY, Telltale's GAME OF THRONES and WALKING DEAD, and OUTRIDERS from Square Enix/People Can Fly. He has done pioneering work in Mixed Reality, on projects including GROUNDHOG DAY VR: LIKE FATHER LIKE SON with Sony/Tequila Works, AR thriller ASSET 15 with Doug Limon?s 30 Ninjas, and his award-winning Sci-Fi VR short THE ARGOS FILE, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Most recently, he was Narrative Director on a massive, top secret AAA project for Techland. Through Subverse Interactive Narrative Consulting (www.subverse.org), Joshua works with game studios around the world to super-charge their story-craft and help them realize their creative vision.
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Ashley Crowder
CEO, Co-Founder
VNTANA
Ashley Crowder is a pioneer in 3D and spatial computing technology, a trusted and influential business executive, and speaker with expertise in launching scalable 3D and mixed reality platforms with companies like Meta, Merrell, Hugo Boss, and VF Corp. As the CEO & Co-founder of VNTANA, Ashley leverages her engineering background, and leads the overall direction and technology development to shape the future of commerce by making it easy to create a 3D version of every product in the world. Crowder has 14 patents on 3D graphics and hologram technology and is a member of the Khronos Group to help create standards in 3D technology. She was named one of USC’s leading Engineering CEOs, won the Patrick Soon Innovation Award and AIS Lumiere Award. She has been featured in Meta’s “What is the Metaverse” course on Coursera, Vogue Business, Bloomberg, TechCrunch, and Retail Touchpoints. Ashley is passionate about educating brands and creators on the core values of web 3, and invests her time in moving the metaverse and web3 industry forward.
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Mary Lee Carter
Immersive Teaching and Learning Specialist
Parker University
Mary Lee is a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) who is passionate about integrating simulation and technology in healthcare education. Currently an Immersive Teaching and Learning Specialist at Parker University in Dallas, Texas, leading groundbreaking initiatives in developing fully immersive chiropractic VR/AR/MR scenarios. Mary Lee's commitment to pushing the boundaries of virtual and mixed reality reflects her dedication to making healthcare education engaging and impactful. She believes that doing work you love, for the greater good, is the best reward.
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Denise Coke
Owner & Creative Director
$NP Designs, LLC
Denise’s artistic journey started at the tender age of 2 when she would draw in all of the books around her house. After acquiring a certificate in Fashion Design from The High School of Fashion Industries, Denise received her BFA in Graphic Design from the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design at the University of Bridgeport. She studied abroad at Hanyang University in South Korea. She then secured a Certificate in Women’s Entrepreneurship from Cornell University. As an award-winning creative and art director, muralist, and business owner, Denise ‘deLaSNP’ Coke has specialized in graphic design, branding, web design and development, motion design, animation, illustration, UX/UI design, and augmented reality for over a decade. In 2016, she began implementing augmented reality into her original art pieces to combine animation with the traditional art world. As a result of this, she has been featured at The Other Art Fair in Grenada, West Indies, for their 50th Anniversary of Independence and Artivive's AR Summit. Previously, she was a designer for The Madison Square Garden Company ​, working on various properties from the New York Rockettes to the New York Knicks. She was the lead motion graphic designer for the New York Rangers. She has worked in-house and freelance for numerous agencies across the United States. Denise is a proud member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., the Graphic Artist Guild, and a past member of AIGA and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. One of her greatest passions is travel, as she shows inspiration from traveling to countries such as South Korea, Abu Dhabi, and Puerto Rico. She’s the proud mom of 2 kitties and a tattoo enthusiast.
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Paresh Rajwat
VP & Head of Product - VR/MR
Meta
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Dominique Wu
Founder
XReality Pro
With extensive experience as a spatial design consultant for renowned companies like Meta and Walmart, I bring over a decade of specialized UX design knowledge for 3D environments. As the founder of Hummingbirdsday Design Studio and XReality Pro, I've focused on delivering creative spatial design solutions across various industries. My expertise includes developing spatial design prototypes using Unity, designing user-friendly spatial interfaces, and conducting comprehensive user research and testing. I'm also the author of Breaking the 2D Paradigm: Spatial Design (available at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CM57X543), a book that explores ten key Spatial Design Principles and Patterns, enhanced by insights from interviews with over 35 XR industry leaders.
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Eric Wagliardo
Founder / Executive Creative Director
&Pull
Eric Wagliardo is an internationally recognized artist and creative director who serves as a Live AR Producer for the Coachella Innovation team. He also founded &Pull, a consultancy focused on innovative experiences in music industry and MXR Holdings a new creators tool that will provide automation and ease-of-use to the currently high touch, bespoke world of XR content creation. Eric does not live at the intersection of music and tech or the metaverse, he meanders through the path less traveled that lead to imaginative futuristic landscapes where technology melts into the background and the human experience shapes a new era of interconnected computer systems and modes of communication. Eric has worked with industry defining tech companies to create innovative experiences such as Water Ripples, a larger than life kinetic sculpture for Matt Damon’s non-profit, Water.Org, Algorythm, a multi-user AR music video for Childish Gambino, and most recently a live augmented concert set by Flume on the Coachella mainstage in partnership with Epic Games and YouTube.
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Enrique López Mañas
Android Chapter Lead
Code & Theory
Android and Java/Kotlin Software Engineer with excellent technical skills and over 13 years of experience. Familiar with iOS and full-stack development, including Google Cloud and other corporate frameworks. Excellent Java and Kotlin programming expertise (recognized as a Google Developer Expert in Android and Kotlin). Author of “Android High-Performance programming”, and international speaker. Experience as a Tech Lead. 4th top Java developer in Germany in GitHub awards. I breath Java, Kotlin and Mobile.
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Karl M Guttag
President
KGOnTech
Karl Guttag has 45 years of experience in Graphics and Image Processors, Digital Signal Processing (DSP), memory architecture, display devices (LCOS and DLP), and display systems, including Heads Up Displays and Near Eye Display (AR and VR). He was a CPU, graphics, image processor, and DRAM architect at Texas Instruments and became the youngest TI fellow. After leaving TI, he was the CTO of three startups working on display devices and systems. Since 2011, he has been writing the blog KGOnTech (www.kguttag.com), which analyses display devices and systems with a focus on Augmented reality. He is a named inventor on 150 issued U.S. Patents. Billions of dollars of yearly revenue have been attributed to products using these inventions.
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Neil Trevett
President
Metaverse Standards Forum
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David Yee
COO
Another Axiom
David Yee is the chief operating officer of Another Axiom and oversees the development of Gorilla Tag. Prior to Another Axiom, David led publishing and development teams for Sony, EA, Oculus/Meta, and others from concept to consumer across HD, online, handheld, and VR platforms. He has 30 years of experience in the games industry as a key contributor to franchises and partners, including Everquest, Command & Conquer, Battlefield, Harmonix, Insomniac, Ready at Dawn, and Valve.
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Sasha Belitskaja
Senior Designer
Microsoft
Sasha Belitskaja is an experienced 3D/XR designer with a proven track record in the art, architecture, and design industries. Her forte lies in creating immersive experiences using strong design and prototyping skills in Augmented and Virtual Reality. Sasha's research interests are focused on pushing the boundaries of Design, Innovation, NFTs, and XR technologies, always seeking new ways to innovate and create cutting-edge solutions. In 2016, Sasha co-founded iheartblob, an acclaimed Mixed Reality agency with a proven record of delivering numerous multidisciplinary projects worldwide. Her latest achievement includes co-authoring iheartblob - Augmented Architectural Objects: A New Visual Language, a book on Architecture and AR that explores the intersection of these two fields and offers insights into new ways of designing and experiencing the physical environment. Currently, Sasha works at Microsoft Mesh, where she focuses on delivering delightful experiences to end-users. She explores various design problems and develops interaction systems within 3D environments, aiming to enhance the overall user experience.
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Kat Moynahan
Senior Design Strategist
Microsoft
Kat Moynahan’s sweet spot is discovering and defining the customer experience for new technologies. With over twenty years of design experience over multiple mediums, Kat believes that collaboration with diverse folks is the key to project success, as the sum of talent and knowledge builds inclusive, informed experiences. She actively builds design cultures that foster an environment of experimentation, learning, camaraderie and mastery of craft. Currently with the Microsoft Mesh team, Kat focuses on end user experiences that build connection in virtual worlds. She also co-chairs the Privacy, Security and Identity Exploratory Working Group in the Metaverse Standards Forum, aiming to create industry standards that foster a safe and inclusive metaverse.
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Jonathan Hamel
Studio Design Director
Another Axiom
Jonathan Hamel is the studio design director at Another Axiom and a veteran game designer who has worked on titles like Tomb Raider (2013), What Remains of Edith Finch, Lone Echo, Lone Echo II, The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II - The Rise of the Witch-king, and more. Jonathan is a highly technical creative leader passionate about developing systems that focus on player choice and exploration.
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Jessy Escobedo
UX/Product Designer & AR/VR Prototyper
Magic Leap
Sr Product Designer working on Platform experiences and Accessibility for the MagicLeap 2. Previous founder of AWE Mexico City chapter.
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Aili Niimura
Technical Audio Designer
Microsoft
I'm a spatial audio designer and engineer dedicated to pushing the boundaries of spatial audio and AR/VR. Currently driving Metaverse voice experiences at Microsoft Mesh, and was previously at Bang & Olufsen, where I worked on spatial audio electronics. My focus revolves around end-to-end spatial design, aiming to bridge the gap between art and technology in these areas: Voices in the Metaverse, Spatial Audio Prototyping, Immersive Sound Design, Tuning Spatial Audio Algorithms, Audio Tooling for creators, Spatial Audio to enhance human interactions, Strategic Planning for Feature Roadmaps. Beyond the tech world, you might catch me performing with the Seattle Symphony Chorale, jamming at jazz nights, or delving into a book.
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Dave Zaboski
Co-Founder & CCO
Laetro
Dave Zaboski is the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Laetro.com, a tech-enabled community of the world’s finest creatives serving enterprise customers with best in class design services. He is a classically trained painter and was an animator at Disney, Sony and Warner Bros. during the Second Golden Age of Animation. He worked on “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King,” “Pocahontas,” “Aladdin,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Hercules,” “Fantasia 2000,” and others. Dave has illustrated several acclaimed children’s books, including titles for Dr. Ken Dychtwald, Dr. Deepak Chopra, finance guru Ric Edelman and actor Paul Michael Glaser. He has created concept art for film and television, shown his fine art at galleries internationally, been the expedition artist in search of a lost temple in the Andes and painted for the Dalai Lama. Along with teaching workshops at retreat centers like Esalen Institute, Summit and Rancho La Puerta, Dave also contributed as a faculty member at Singularity University, NextMed Health Conferences and contributed to the 2023 Research Board at Gartner on technology and creativity. Dave teaches creativity, leadership, innovation and collaboration to entrepreneurs, makers and organizations around the world. He lives with his wife, Robin, and a small menagerie on a ranchette in Southern California.
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Hugh Hou
Co-Founder / Head of XR
CreatorUp
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Keeley Turner
CEO
Metaverse Stage, INC
Keeley Turner has worked in Virtual Reality Production for seven years. She is the CEO of a company she founded, Metaverse Stage, INC, located in the greater Los Angeles area. She is an award-winning XR Filmmaker. She has directed and created many VR projects for Meta, WSJ, Dior, Canon, PETA, Netflix, Top Gear, Verizon, Virgin Voyages, and Ford. She works with her co-founder, Hugh Hou, a well-known director of photography in the VR space, to create VR narratives, music videos, and experiences in this new medium. In her line of work, they can travel around the world, creating VR experiences in places including the Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Spain, France, and Italy, to name a few. Her goal as an XR director is to entertain through storytelling while inspiring our audience through immersive cutting-edge technology.
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Austin Cause Caine
Co-Creator
Cause + Christi: Immersive XR Design
My name is Austin but most people in VR know me by my username, Cause. I am a co-founder of Cause + Christi, an XR production company specializing in mobile-optimized 3D environments, immersive storytelling, and interactive experiences suited for live large multi-user virtual reality events. Since our inception we continue to be instrumental in the creation and execution of many incredible metaverse projects. Our company has facilitated volumetric presentations, virtual festivals, live entertainment, red carpet premieres, digital twinning, platform development, game design, corporate retreats, education, award ceremonies, theatrical productions, holographic projections, and so much more. We understand good production, and we deliver it! As an XR developer I'm interested in a wide variety of applications for VR and AR that go way beyond simple games and social hangouts. These technologies hold amazing potential for immersive mass entertainment and education on a level never before seen and I am excited to be a part of the handful of people sharpening the cutting edge for the future of our world. My latest passion leans toward volumetric and motion captured recordings and how these could be combined with well designed animated environments to create all sorts of amazing productions from fully immersive 360 degree interactive hologram concerts to virtual puppet theaters to entire movies or TV episodes in a new spatial and semi-tangible format. The possibilities are endless as long as the story is solid! Before working in XR I already had a rich history in production from being a professional photographer/videographer to creating short films for competitions to growing up in the theater and nightlife scenes surrounded by insanely talented DJs, VJs, mixing and lighting board operators, stage directors, actors, comedians, and more who most certainly influenced and instructed me. I have worked as an audio engineer, music producer, visual effects designer, director of photography, film editor, code developer, construction framer, and graphics designer. I even used to design custom mod maps for Half Life and Team Fortress Classic back in the day which peppered some 3D experienced onto my resume. I now feel very well-equipped to design proper entertainment venues in this new spatial age of ours.
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Jim Melzer
Technical Advisor
HMDmd
Jim Melzer is Technical Advisor for HMDmd, Inc. in Solano Beach, California, providing strategy, design and human factors guidance for surgical head-mounted displays. He has been involved in their design and development for Flight, Simulation, Medical and Enterprise applications for over 35 years. He has extensive experience in optical and displays engineering, visual human factors, and is an expert head-mounted display and sensor systems. His research interests are in visual and auditory perception, cognitive workload reduction and in bio-inspired applications of invertebrate vision and animal navigation. He has authored over 50 technical papers, books and book chapters and holds eleven patents in head-mounted display design. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-melzer-b6918a7/ ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jim-Melzer-2
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Craig Allen
NewCo
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Ashley Stowe
Director
ORETTC
Dr. Stowe is the Director of the Oak Ridge Enhanced Technology and Training Center (ORETTC). His prior roles included CNS University Partnerships and Minority Serving Institutions Partnership Program (MSIPP) program manager. He was named a Y-12 Googin Fellow and Director of the Nuclear Forensics and Detection Initiative. In that role, he acted as a technical lead, coordinating technology transfer and partnerships for radiation detection technologies. Upon completion of his term as Fellow, Ashley became the Fellows Program manager. He joined the Y-12 National Security Complex in 2007 as a Senior Development Chemist. Dr. Stowe was recognized with a 2013 R&D 100 award for his pioneering development of the 6LiInSe2 semiconductor radiation detection crystal in collaboration with Professor Arnold Burger of Fisk University. Dr. Stowe holds multiple adjunct faculty positions at universities across the Southeast in physics, nuclear engineering, and business. He was also instrumental in founding the Southeast Section of the American Association of Crystal Growth. He served as President of the Oak Ridge Chapter of the Sigma Xi Research Society in 2009. He has received four Y-12 Special Recognition Awards; a Technology Use Award; and a Mentor Award for the Mentor-Protégé program, facilitating collaboration with Fisk University. Ashley is also founder and Vice-president of L.I.F.E. Consulting, a leadership development firm which grows leaders and their teams in schools, non-profits, and businesses.Dr. Stowe earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the Florida State University. He also holds a MBA from the University of Tennessee; conferred in 2012. He has twenty patents, has authored over 70 peer reviewed publications, and presented over 200 conference presentations. His successes have been recognized by the Knoxville Business Journal as a 2014 Top 40 Under 40 recipient.
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Mary Lin
Senior Manager
ORETTC
Dr. Mary Lin is the Senior Manager for Knowledge Acquisition and Performance Studies (KAPS) at the Oak Ridge Enhanced Technology and Training Center (ORETTC). She has a B.S. in Mathematics, a master’s degree in Instructional Technology, and doctorate in Learning and Leadership in Organizations. Her experience in programming coupled with her doctorate in education provides the necessary expertise for developing XR capabilities in scenario-based training. She and the KAPS team support curriculum development within the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Department of Energy, State Department, DTRA, DOD, IAEA, and other radiological and nuclear organizations in designing training for nonproliferation efforts and responding to nuclear or radiological events. Leading these efforts requires skill in both domestic and international diplomacy, the ability to collaborate across a spectrum of subject matter experts, and the innovation to stay up-to-date with the future training technologies.
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John R. Kennedy
Instructional Designer
ORETTC
John Kennedy is an instructional designer and video lead for the KAPS team within ORETTC. In his daily role, John works with subject matter experts to synthesize their knowledge and maximize knowledge transfer and engagement with ORETTC learners and course participants. John is the Y-12 ISD lead for the ORS program and works with other programs on various instructional design and video needs. As video lead, John leverages his experience in video production and education to align course objectives and client learning goals to ensure videos are used as learning tools and not as throwaway material. With several vendors and instructional technologists, John is the ORETTC lead to build an immersive volume video wall. He assists in creating the development pipeline and workflow for volume operations being used as an immersive learning space, a 3d tour tool, and an R&D resource for the future of extended and mixed realities used in education. Prior to Y-12, John was the Director of Operations at Jupiter Entertainment and an advisor for the University of Tennessee?s Office of Student Media. John graduated from The University of Tennessee in 2021 with a Master of Education in instructional design and in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Communication.
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Austin Arnwine
Instructional Technology Lead
ORETTC
Austin Arnwine, currently serves as the Instructional Technology Lead for Consolidated Nuclear Security (CNS)/ Oak Ridge Enhanced Technology and Training Center (ORETTC) in Oak Ridge, TN, Austin brings over a decade of expertise in the realm of instructional design, learning technology, and research and development. Throughout his career, Austin has been instrumental in the development and implementation of eLearning initiatives, instructional multimedia assets, and the successful integration of cutting-edge technologies for both fortune 500 companies and the Department of Energy (DOE). Austin's professional journey reflects a commitment to pushing the boundaries of learning methodologies forward. His current role involves leading research and development endeavors, with a particular focus on extended reality (XR) applications. This encompasses augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed reality training simulations, and the integration of haptic force feedback in high-risk/low-occurrence training scenarios. Equipped with a Masters of Education in Instructional Technology from James Madison University, Austin seeks to continually contribute to the evolution of instructional practices and immersive learning experiences in critical sectors such as nuclear security and emerging technology training.
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Evo Heyning
CEO
Realitycraft
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Julian Reyes
Chief Metaverse Officer
Founders Workshop
Julian Reyes implements Web3 and XR solutions for clients at the Metaverse Workshop, a division of Founders Workshop. Prior to joining FW, Julian was the CEO and founder of Keyframe Entertainment, which produced media projects, events, VR demos, and 3D worlds. Julian has also held positions at Meta, Cisco Systems, Jacobs Associates, and Exponent. Additionally, he received training from the Oculus Launch Pad and Oculus Start programs and the EveryRealm Metaverse Academy. Julian's past achievements in VR include being selected as 2018 finalists for the Mars City Design BoreDome project, and Executive Producing Fifer Garbesi’s ‘Con Te Damanhur,’ a Virtual 360° experience film in Italy.
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Rachel Joy Victor
Co-founder
FBRC.ai
Rachel Joy Victor is a consultant and the co-founder of FBRC.AI, a company focused on creating AI-supported tools for the future of content production--from films to games to location-based experiences. Rachel's work as a designer, strategist, and worldbuilder for emerging technologies (XR/AI/web3) focuses on creating cohesive narrative, brand, and product experiences. She designs for a range of applications: from multiplatform narratives and gaming experiences, to tools and platforms, to spaces and cities. She draws from her education in computational neuroscience and spatial economics to facilitate the creation of data-informed emergent experience where world simulation, systems design, and cognitive architectures intersect. Rachel’s clients have included Disney, HBO, Technicolor, Vans, Ford, Nike, Havas, Meow Wolf, Niantic, and many more.
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Ashley Coffey
Founder
Coffey & Code Podcast
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Andrew Dunar
VR Developer
HaptX
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Kaitlyn Franz
Senior Product Manager
HaptX
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Celeste Lear
Immersive Tech Specialist for Entertainment & Music
DJ Celeste
Combination triple treat, event producer, 3D visual artist & DJ, Celeste (Lear) has been on a deep dive in the VR/AR/XR world working with the most current cutting edge technology for turning out consistently epic, futuristic immersive events and concerts in Virtual Reality. Truly the future of entertainment, where visionary DJs not only curate & mix epic music, but also conceptualize & design their own festival type stages, visuals & show up as avatars to perform. She has logged thousands of hours designing 3D modeled art, stages & visual effects for various VR platforms including WaveXR, which is one of the leading futuristic nightclubs. She is also a regular guest DJ with TribeXR, AltSpace, Sansar & Second Life, has a regular VR Music Lounge & Talk show on Mondays in AltSpace and has been featured as a speaker on various conferences, including CES in VR in 2021. https://www.djcelestelear.com/vr-artist
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Dr. Sanika Doolani
Head of Product
Edstutia
Sanika Doolani is the Head of Product at Edstutia, a VR training and learning company. Previously, she worked as a Product (UX) Designer at Salesforce. She earned her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) in 2021, receiving the Schuchman Outstanding Doctoral Candidate award for her work on vocational immersive storytelling training. With a background in Computer Engineering from the University of Mumbai and a Master of Science in Computer Science from UTA, she has received numerous accolades, including the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award and the NSF-funded PETRA Conference Doctoral Consortium Award. Dr. Doolani's research focuses on Human-Computer Interaction, Immersive Realities (VR/AR/MR), AI, Gamificatin and Storytelling to enhance learning. She advocates for women in computer science and has practical experience, including an internship at The Walt Disney Company, where she developed AR apps, notably Toy Story 4 AR App. Her entrepreneurial spirit is evident through her success in securing development funds, showcasing her innovation and business acumen.
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Aaron Luk
Core Spec WG Chairperson for AOUSD
NVIDIA
Aaron Luk is senior engineering manager leading Universal Scene Description (USD) ecosystem engineering, including oversight, integration, and optimization of USD and Hydra paradigms across all components of NVIDIA Omniverse. Previously, Aaron co-developed and deployed USD into production pipelines at Pixar.
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Caspar Thykier
Co-founder & CEO
Zappar
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Henrik Edstrom
Distinguished Architect, Graphics
Autodesk
Henrik is a Distinguished Software Architect at Autodesk, leading the platform technology and strategy for graphics and visualization. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and brings over 20 years of expertise in 3D graphics across real-time and offline rendering, particularly within the AEC and product design visualization sectors. Over the last two decades, Henrik has made significant contributions to the graphics systems in products such as Revit, Fusion, AutoCAD, Inventor, and 3ds Max. Beyond his contributions to Autodesk, Henrik is deeply involved in the open standards and open source communities, collaborating with organizations such as Khronos, the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF), The Metaverse Standards Forum (MSF), and the newly formed AOUSD.
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Joe Michaels
Chief Revenue Officer
HaptX
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Olga Dogadkina
Founder & CEO
Emperia
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Botond Bognar
CEO
Pillantas
Botond Bognar co-founded two startups in Silicon Valley, REscan and Pillantas, in collaboration with the Stanford Research Institute and NASA scientists. His work entails the research, design and development, and digitization of built environments with spatial scanners, 3D digital reconstruction solutions, and novel human computer interfaces within spatial computing. For his innovations Mr. Bognar received six issued patents and under his design lead, REscan?s Spatial Communication System won the Red Dot Design Award 2021 in the Mobile App UX and Mobile UI categories and the Best of the Best distinction for its design concept. Most recently, he was appointed to be a visiting researcher at UC Berkeley?s Center for New Media to investigate novel 3D user interfaces for XR starting in January 2022.
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Trish Gianakis
Artist
BronxNet TV
Trish Gianakis is an acclaimed immersive artist, professor, and art director with over 20 + years of experience in user experience/interface design. Her innovative artworks have gained national and international recognition, blending technology with physical sculptures to create captivating immersive experiences. Holding a Master's Degree in Computer Art Installation from the School of Visual Arts in NYC, she has remained at the forefront of digital art and technology. Additionally, she holds an Emmy Award for on-air graphics created for an NBC documentary, and her expertise in user experience design has led her to work with renowned companies like Major League Baseball, AMC TV, and artists like Elton John and Queen Latifah. In the summer of 2022, Gianakis was selected as an artisan in residency for two years at Bronxnet TV, collaborating on building an advanced XR/VR/AR Lab and Video Production Studio. Her art projects have ranged from: New York City and The Bronx augmented reality tour of famous people from the Bronx, showcasing the city's rich history. NFT Fundraising featuring an NFT celebrating BronxNet TV's 35-year anniversary and 50 Years of Hip-hop NFTs. Currently, she is creating virtual reality set designs for their TV programming.
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Sly Spencer-Lee
Co-Founder & Co-CEO
Emerge
Sly Spencer Lee is a first generation Asian American entrepreneur, co-founder & co-CEO of Emerge, an LA based company building a new communication platform to bridge distance and time?by leveraging sight, sound, touch and brain activity, all powered by an emotion AI platform. He has spent a decade working in sensor fusion technologies, is a former co-founder of The Hydrous, a 3D mapping company backed by Google, Autodesk, Nat Geo and the United Nations. He grew up playing in a national acoustics laboratory where his father worked, learned soldering at age 13, and has been obsessed with consumer products and the concept of digital presence since his teens. He is co-chair of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council for Metaverse & AI, a Forbes 30 Under 30 class of 2018 recipient, a recent student of Daoism, and can be found surfing and climbing the coast of southern California occasionally.
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Terry Proto
CEO + Co-Founder
Virtual Reality Marketing
Experienced entrepreneur with a professional background in creative media in the US, Europe, and Asia. In 2015, when immersive technology exploded onto the scene, Terry saw the potential in a growing creative market whose professionals would need help with strategic and business advice. Since then Terry founded his XR Business Consulting agency and the leading XR/Spatial showcase and community: VirtualRealityMarketing.com
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Jon Karafin
CEO and Founder
Light Field Lab
Jon Karafin has dedicated his career to innovation in live-action cinema, VFX post-production, and light field technology, transforming bleeding edge concepts into market-ready solutions. As CEO of Light Field Lab, a breakthrough technology startup, Karafin applies his expertise to designing the world’s most advanced, scalable holographic systems. Karafin has an extensive background in light field and visual effects technology, having previously held executive roles at Lytro, RealD and Digital Domain. During his tenure, he was responsible for ushering in a new era of cinematic capture through the launch of Lytro Cinema, as well as delivering technology and content for many of the highest-grossing feature films, including Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, Michael Bay’s Transformers 3, and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Karafin holds graduate degrees from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and BFAs in multiple fields from Ithaca College.
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Michael Freeman
Technical Architech- Serious Gaming
CSE Software Inc
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Whitton Frank
Co-Founder
Ferryman Collective
Whitton Frank is a voice, film, television and theater actor from Los Angeles. Her work in VR includes directing the English premiere of Find WiiLii, performing in the award winning immersive VR worlds of The Under Presents and The Tempest, as well as the Ferryman Collective productions PARA, and the award winning Welcome to Respite and Gumball Dreams. A Ferryman team member since 2020 she is now producer and director as well. She is a graduate of two prestigious acting universities, Carnegie Mellon University and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and is a recipient of CMU?s Tartans on the Rise award. She is a sought after speaker at tech and immersive events around the world including, AWE 2023, Immersive Summit, Siggraph ASIA, and more.
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Ben Erwin
Creator
The Polys - WebXR Awards
Ben Erwin is the creator of The Polys - WebXR Awards, producer of XR Events and co-founder of XRCollaboraton.com. Ben is a subject matter expert on the vanguard of the Immersive Web, WebXR (AR/VR/MR), Spatial Computing, and Volumetric Video ecosystem of hardware, software, content, and use cases. Ben has been a web innovation frontiersman since the 90s, now applying his deep expertise as a developer to advise on next generation web-based immersive experiences and interfaces. On 20 February 2021, Ben brought together the WebXR Community for the first annual Poly Awards to honor achievements in immersive web development. in a first-of-its-kind event. The Polys were streamed live, distributed across multiple 2D platforms, into multiple XR Platforms which were cast back into the broadcast in a novel configuration called the Meta-Multiverse. The Poly Awards celebrated six experience categories, three technical categories and 2 honors. The ceremony, hosted by Julie Smithson was preceded by an hour-long ?Virtual Red Carpet? interview segment hosted by Sophia Moshasha. The Polys team followed up the Awards show with the WebXR Developer Summit on May 25th, hosted by Trevor Flowers. This worldwide virtual event featured 22 sessions focused on WebXR development and their content verticals. The next events being planned are the WebXR Business Summit in September and the WebXR Design Summit in October. Ben served as a webmaster for the Office of the Secretary-General at the United Nations for 13 years on humanitarian issues including the protection of women and children in conflict situations. His expertise delivered the first content managed sites to the section, including the first six-language WordPress site at the UN, as well as research tools and interactive microsites. Ben has a talent for acquiring massive datasets from disparate resources , transforming and optimizing them for publication in lightweight, data-rich web applications with high end user experience. Ben has over 20 years experience as a full stack developer, having honed his craft with years of agency work, including for The New York Times? native advertising section T-Brand Studio, subcontracting data-driven interactives for major brands, including Dell, NBC Universal, and Charles Schwab.  Based in Manhattan, Central New Jersey and sometimes Southern Sweden, Ben is a digital polymath, autodidact, power-user, early adopter, developer of technology, observer of ethics and advocate for privacy in society.
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Helen Erwin
Novelist & VR World Creator
Powersimple, LLC
Helen is an acclaimed author whose novels vividly bring to life crucial periods in history. Her writing delves into the complexities of the early reproductive rights, suffrage, and abolitionist movements of the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as the intriguing sorcery trials of the 17th and 18th centuries. Recognized with the ?2021 Swedish Women?s Educational Association (SWEA) New York Scholarship? and a grant from The Puffin Foundation, Helen's work artfully promotes Swedish culture and history. In her compelling narratives, Helen explores the journeys of characters who are often based on or inspired by real historical figures. These characters navigate the challenges and triumphs of their times, providing readers with a deep understanding of the era's social and political landscapes. Helen's Sour Milk in Sheep?s Wool intertwines the struggles of women defying societal norms, while James? Journey portrays the transformative journey of a man from a pro-slavery upbringing to a key figure in the Underground Railroad. Her latest novel, The Lure of Water and Wood, marks her foray into historical fantasy, based on rigorous research, and set in 17th and 18th century Sweden, inspired by actual sorcery trials. Beyond her novels, Helen has established The Foremothers Café in the Metaverse, a space inspired by the cafe and women?s community in Sour Milk in Sheep?s Wool. Designed for community discussions and cultural events it?s a place to honor the foremothers whose shoulders we stand on. She is an active member of The Historical Novel Society-New York Chapter, The Suffrage Historians Collaborative, and XR Women, Helen also serves as Secretary of the Board for SWEA New York. Her talents extend to children's literature, with her book Officer Helga Hedgehog Meets the New Neighbors warmly addressing themes of diversity and acceptance.
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Marc Fernandez
CEO
Ron Revog Inc
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Sally Slade
XR Developer and VTubing Expert
Genies
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Blake Gross
Co-Founder
DB Creations
Blake is one of the co-founders of DB Creations. At DB, he focuses on engineering and design excellence on each of the titles they ship. Blake is always trying to match the designs of the games to the unique characteristics of each platform both from a design and performance perspective. He is particularly passionate about creating games that utilize the users space as the map the gameplay is set against.
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Molli Aronce
Community Developer
VR Create|Connect
Molli has been bridging communities in tech for over a decade for brands including Electronic Arts, Meta, and Cruise. As a Community Developer, Molli collaboratively creates the bridge and provides the journey to the immersive village along the way. She’s the llama unicorn who brings the sparkle to your banana shaped ears.
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Monica Hsueh
Global Marketing Manager
Speed 3D Inc.
Monica is a forward-thinking marketing professional with a keen focus on AI-driven strategies to enhance workflow efficiency. As a product owner, she excels in identifying global trends and ensuring the scalability and user-friendliness of AR implementations, particularly in transitioning from 2D to 3D AR try-ons for accessories. Her expertise encompasses product and project management, content and brand marketing, and entrepreneurship. Monica is adept at overseeing global marketing efforts, PR initiatives, and forging strategic partnerships. She brings a unique perspective to user interface and user experience design, ensuring smooth customer interactions. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese and English, Monica effectively navigates diverse markets and cultural nuances.
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Alan Smithson
Co-Founder
METAVRSE
Alan Smithson's purpose in life is to inspire and educate people to think and act in a socially, economically and environmentally responsible way. Alan makes tools for professional creators including METAVRSE, a creation platform for the future of human communication, collaboration, commerce and culture. TheMall, a 100m sf virtual retail and entertainment destination built on the MetaVRse Engine. Your Director AI, Automatic Face Tracking Video Switcher. Alan is also a board advisor to HSTAR Space, a new space transportation company. Previous, Alan created the Emulator touchscreen music performance system.
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Shahwali Shayan
Guest Lecturer
Royal College of Art
Shahwali Shayan is a London-based Pakistani creative technologist and multidisciplinary artist. His practice is at the intersection of art, technology and critical storytelling. He explores the use of augmented reality as a subversive tool and as an artistic medium for creative expression. Inspired by intensive autoethnographic research, his practice echoes Dadaist influences. Intrigued by 3D-scanned objects and the transformation of handmade art into digital artifacts, his work aims to explore and reshape perceptions of the mundane. This passion has led to the creation of multiple AR art installations worldwide, spanning cities like London, Paris, and Berlin. These installations provoke discourse on art, inviting viewers to question and engage with the creative process through immersive experiences. Additionally, he also shares his expertise as an AR educator and lecturer at the Royal College of Art with the next generation of artists and technologists. Through his creative studio, Shahnanigans, he has delivered AR campaigns for world renowned companies that have accumulated billions of views for brands like Samsung, Disney, Netflix, Adobe, Hugo Boss, Sony Music and many others. Collaborating closely with Snapchat's philanthropy team, Shahwali has led numerous workshops aimed at introducing students from disadvantaged backgrounds to the world of augmented reality. Furthermore, he has also spearheaded an outreach initiative in Pakistan with a primary focus on enhancing educational accessibility in the realms of Augmented Reality (AR) and creative technology. Beyond AR, Shahwali has also expanded his practice to create immersive audio-visual art which was shown at Frameless, one of London's biggest immersive galleries, as a part of a three month residency. His work has also been shown at SXSW in 2023 and 2024.
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Ariel Giacobbe
Creator
Ariel Giacobbe is a writer and narrative designer with more than a decade of experience working in gaming and entertainment. She has written for Screenrant, Cinewire Magazine, Culture Slate, Choices: Stories You Play, ARISE by Spellbound, Talespin XR, and Cures of Colors, among others Her passion for creating immersive and engaging stories extends to all forms of media and genres.
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Molly Lavik
CEO & Founder
Mentor InSight, Inc.
Molly Lavik founded Mentor InSight, Inc. in 2006 with a moonshot mission to facilitate the creation metaphorically speaking of an Obi-Wan Kenobi style mentor that is an AI Hologram that can help you anytime, anywhere on anything! Gaze up at the moon to see the results of some of Lavik’s work on this mission including on February 22, 2024, the Arch Mission Foundation’s (an organization Molly has worked with) Lunar Library successfully landed on the Moon ensuring for eternity that humanity’s knowledge is etched on a holographic arch. For the first time ever, we can now guarantee that humanity’s achievements, history, literature, languages, sciences, arts, music, film, philosophies and religions, and more, will persist, no matter what happens on Earth. Mentor InSight’s work also includes helping commercialize entrepreneurs holographic technology venture visions into reality. Lavik is the author of 5 textbooks that have been used worldwide in training and teaching all infused with her philosophy that Moonshot missions happen every day in every way when you shoot for the stars you can reach the moon and beyond!
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Louis Rosenberg
CEO and Chief Scientist
Unanimous AI
Louis Rosenberg, PhD is an early pioneer of virtual and augmented reality. His work began over 30 years ago in research labs at Stanford University and NASA. In 1992 he developed the first mixed reality system at Air Force Research Laboratory (the Virtual Fixtures platform). In 1993 he founded the early VR company Immersion Corporation and brought it public on NASDAQ in 1999. In 2004 he founded the early AR company Outland Research. He earned his PhD from Stanford University, was a tenured professor at California State University, and is currently the CEO of the artificial intelligence company Unanimous AI, the Chief Scientist of the Responsible Metaverse Alliance, and the Global Technology advisor to XRSI. He has been awarded over 300 patents for VR, AR, and AI technologies.
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Kaitlyn O'Connor
Partner
Nixon Gwilt Law
I am a Partner at Nixon Gwilt Law (NGL). NGL is the only law firm in the US dedicated solely to healthcare innovation, and I am the only attorney in the firm focused on helping extended reality companies launch and grow. I am also one of just three members of the Board of Directors of a pediatric augmented reality company, where I meet regularly with the company's executives to guide their strategic planning and promote access to XR for pediatric patients across the US. Finally, I am an active member of the International Virtual Reality in Healthcare Association (IVRHA) and have presented at several of their events in the past. In many ways, innovation in the healthcare XR outpaces the legal and regulatory landscape. As such, I often work with clients to solve complex problems that are not directly addressed or defined. For example, healthcare XR technology as it currently exists is far more advanced than the available reimbursement pathways available to healthcare providers and digital therapeutics companies. I make sure my clients know and understand how the current reimbursement environment impacts their business and revenue model and how to creatively leverage existing code sets to fuel their business. I also provide strategic advice to clients in the process of figuring out how to commercialize their technology within the healthcare industry - contractual considerations (e.g., IP), legal hurdles (e.g., reimbursement, fraud and abuse) , strategic opportunities (e.g., working with payers), and more. I would be honored to present or join a panel at AWE and educate attendees to ensure they are prepared to achieve success in the US healthcare industry.
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Dan Krolczyk
Director of Global Partnerships
ELB Learning
Dan Krolczyk is a highly accomplished professional in the world of cinematic storytelling and video production. He currently works for CreatorUp, a company that focuses on developing cinematic storytelling for enterprise and education. With a strong background in media and marketing, Dan has made significant contributions to the field of video production, using his expertise to help companies achieve their creative goals. Dan served as the regional VP for USA Today and iHeart Media, two of the biggest media companies in the world, where he honed his skills in marketing and media management, in both locations his teams were recognized for national audience and revenue records. Dan is an innovator in the field of filmmaking at scale, with a passion for finding new and creative ways to tell stories through video. He has helped numerous companies, including Verizon, McGraw Hill, Dell, Blackbaud, and Oakley, to develop cutting-edge video solutions that engage audiences and drive results. Dan has spoken on panels regarding innovations in XR storytelling at HLTH and Learning Solutions Conference. Throughout his career, Dan has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to the field of video production. He is highly respected by his peers, clients, and colleagues for his talent, creativity, and commitment to excellence. Dan's attended University of Minnesota, where he studied communication and journalism.  In his current role at CreatorUp, Dan continues to be at the forefront of innovation in the field of cinematic storytelling, helping companies to unlock the full potential of video to achieve their business goals. His passion for the industry and his commitment to excellence make him a valuable asset to any team.
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Kyle Render
CEO
Rendered Talent
Kyle Render, a visionary in the virtual reality (VR) comedy scene, founded the Failed to Render Comedy Club, marking a significant = milestone in live immersive entertainment. Launched in March 2020 initially on AltspaceVR, the club has since hosted over 1000 shows, captivating more than 2 million VR enthusiasts. It has welcomed over 700 professional comedians to its virtual stages, making it the longest-running professional comedy club in the VR domain. Expanding its presence to platforms like VRChat and Meta Horizons, Render's initiative has transformed the landscape of live entertainment, blending the digital and physical worlds. The Failed to Render Comedy Club's journey from AltspaceVR to its current platforms showcases the evolving nature of VR entertainment, offering unparalleled live immersive experiences to a global audience.
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Kirsten Hudson
Chief Metaverse Officer
Social Concept Group
Kirsten Hudson is a Partner of Meta Horizon and an expert in the realm of development within the XR industry. Kirsten has used her experience to help develop top performing platform games alongside Kyle Render within Meta Horizon. She also holds a certification for Meta Community Management and UI/UX Designing for AR and VR experiences. Kirsten takes pride in her work with Kyle Render and the Failed to Render team, attributing much of her success to their work.
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Elizabeth Baron
Founder
Immersionary Enterprises
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John Anderson
Professor
University of Idaho
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Julia A Scott, PhD
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Santa Clara University
Julia A. Scott, PhD is director of the Brain and Memory Care Lab at Santa Clara University. Her lab explores the use of immersive and wearable technologies for healthcare applications. She advises several immersive technology companies in their research practices. As a senior advisor for XRSI medical council, she works toward data privacy and user safety standards for immersive healthcare. She co-founded Gambit Labs to develop biofeedback, game-based interventions for ADHD.
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Kathleen Haase
Producer / Special Projects Manager
USC Institute for Creative Technologies
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Paul Hillman
Affiliate Faculty of Practice
Grand Valley State University
A seasoned business professional former managing partner of advanced technology strategic consulting firm, now turned towards academic. Mr. Hillman leads the XR Faculty team in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI. He is an expert in business communications and strategy, with over 35 years in consulting and business operations.
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Lucy Hayto
Lecturer in Immersive Media Technology
University for the Creative Arts
A technologically driven lecturer whose research is looking at how we can use VR to aid in public engagement in complex issues such as climate change.
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Amany Alkhayat
Adjunct Faculty
New York Institute of Technology
Amany Alkhayat is the co-founder and CEO of Language Cities. She is currently pursuing her Doctoral degree in Instructional Technology and Media at Teachers College, Columbia University. She’s also an adjunct faculty at New York Institute of Technology. She co-leads the Vlanguage team at Educators in VR, and the Guided Adventures at the Immersive Learning Research Network. She is also the founder and Chair of the NYS TESOL Technology Enhanced Language Learning SIG and the VirtuaTELL conference. As an author and instructional technology designer, Amany is always exploring emerging technologies to enhance the learning experience. She is committed to using her expertise to help learners and trainees reach their full potential.
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David Gainey
Project Director
Cañada College
David Gainey is Project Director of Apprenticeships and Adjunct Faculty teaching digital animation at Cañada College in Redwood City, California. A production industry veteran, he has worked on multiple feature animation, visual effects and video game projects with studios like Pacific Data Images, Industrial Light + Magic, and Electronic Arts. At Cañada College, he is part of a dedicated team developing a unique training program in Extended Reality.
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Cinthya Jauregui
AR Researcher
Santa Clara University
Cinthya is an Engineering Management masters student at Santa Clara University, where she created and obtained a bachelor’s degree in General engineering with a focus on Human Computer Interaction (HCI). As a research assistant at the HCI Lab under the supervision of Dr. Kai Lukoff, she’s the project lead for the Thámien Ohlone Augmented Reality (AR) Tour that’s been showcased on ABC news, NBC, and KTSF. Her other research involved using speech recognition in assistive robots at the Human Machine Interaction and Innovation (HMI2) lab under Dr. Maria Kyrarini. She’s a published author in IEEE and workshop co-organizer at CHI 2024. Her background focuses on leading teams and UI/UX design for startups and non-profit organizations. As former co-founder of Tour (acquired 2023), she’s now looking to transition into product management or systems engineering, with a particular interest in collaborative robotics. Outside of work, Cinthya is passionate about helping mentor other students discern their future, specially empowering first generation and undocumented students. For the past two years, she has helped organize, grow and lead the Summer Engineering Seminar (SES) for underrepresented high school students interested in engineering. The program won the 2022 and 2023 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.
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Christa Laser
Professor of Innovation Law
Cleveland State University
Professor Christa Laser is an intellectual property law scholar, speaker, and teacher and an experienced litigator focusing on issues including patent law, federal courts, and technology law (including blockchain, NFTs, stable diffusion, and artificial intelligence). Before becoming a professor, she practiced at the law firms Kirkland & Ellis LLP and WilmerHale in patent, trademark, copyright, and advertising law and policy consulting. She represented leading life sciences and technology companies in all stages of trial and appellate matters and consulted on legislative and regulatory changes to intellectual property laws. She was part of teams that developed global patent strategy for one of the top patentees in the world, evaded patent misuse allegations against one of the most valuable pharmaceuticals, and drafted the successful motion to keep a leading cellular device in the United States. Professor Laser entered teaching to help ensure that the law would develop not only in the way that was best for her clients, but in a way that would help to serve economic growth and new technological innovation for all. She is an Assistant Professor at Cleveland State University College of Law. Professor Laser's scholarship has been cited by respected scholars, by judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and in briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court.
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Amir Ahmadi
XR Researcher, Designer & Developer
Educator
Amir Ahmadi is an XR Designer, researcher, and developer. For the past eight years, he has been designing and developing XR experiences for training, brand awareness, medical purposes, product support, GIS and indoor mapping, and more. He worked for companies like 3M, ESRI, and Blue Mammoth and, through SCAD's innovation center, SCADpro, he has collaborated on different projects with companies such as Deloitte Digital, Google, Samsung TTT, JCB, Trane, MGM, and BMW. His art collaborations with renowned installation artists like Ira Lombardia have been shown in museums such as Elles x Paris Photo (Paris), Untitled Miami (Miami, FL), and SCAD Museum of Art (Savannah, GA). Amir Ahmadi is now an Interactive Design and Game Development Professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design. He has two design patents and is currently researching measuring XR Hand Gesture design and XR Product Quality.
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Ryat Yezbick
Arizona State University
Ryat Yezbick is a visual artist who uses their training in cultural anthropology to inform the issues they tackle as a maker. Yezbick investigates technology's impact on group identity, morals, and collective memory through public archives and collaborations. Figuring their lived experience centrally in their work, Yezbick addresses a complex set of questions around security, gender, home, family, love, violence, power, and responsibility in the era of digital surveillance and decentralized global conflict. They work in a variety of mediums – notably live performance, experimental documentary, installation, and new media – that have garnered support from audiences and curators internationally. They are a published author, multi-time grant recipient, art and technology consultant, and academic in the Narrative and Emerging Media Program at Arizona State University. They have over 8 years’ experience in emerging media curating and designing future-oriented programming for notable institutions and philanthropic foundations including The Music Center, the Guild of Future Architects, the Doris Duke Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, the Omidyar Network and more. As a visual artist, their work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, Melbourne, Glasgow, and Athens, and in notable group exhibitions and performances at the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Los Angeles), REDCAT (Los Angeles), Materials & Applications (Los Angeles), Human Resources (Los Angeles), The Akademie Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart), The Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Glasgow International 2018 (Glasgow), The Banff Center for the Arts and Creativity (Banff), Gertrude Contemporary (Melbourne), Space One (Seoul), the Bangkok Biennial MAHA Pavilion (Bangkok), LAXART (Los Angeles), Craft Contemporary (Los Angeles), and the Queer Biennial (Los Angeles).
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Jenny Dinh-Tran
Student & Researcher
Santa Clara University
Jenny Dinh-Tran is a first-generation undergraduate student pursuing a degree in psychology at Santa Clara University. As a UX researcher in the Human-Computer Interaction Lab, she works alongside Dr. Kai Lukoff and a team of researchers on Virtual Campus Tours, a project to create immersive virtual reality campus tours for prospective students worldwide. In her research with the Consumer Behavior Lab under Dr. Rebecca Chae and Dr. Rafay Siddiqui, she investigates the impact of virtual reality experiences on pro-sustainable behaviors. Jenny is committed to inclusion, diversity, and representation. With her work, she hopes to empower and amplify the voices of those in diverse and underrepresented communities.
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Erin Reilly
Professor/Founding Director, Texas Immersive Institute
University of Texas at Austin
Erin Reilly bridges industry and academia as an innovator, educator and strategist with 20 years of experience inventing new approaches, products, and experiences. Erin is Professor of Practice and Inaugural Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship for Moody College of Communication at University of Texas at Austin. Her area of expertise is combining storytelling, engagement and emergent technology, and recently founded Texas Immersive to offer curriculum, research and projects related to this. Erin has been a guest lecturer worldwide at universities and industry conferences. She is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences New Media Peer Group?s Executive Committee, Past Board President of NAMLE (National Association for Media Literacy Education) and serves on advisory boards, such as IPSOS Media Development, Infinity Festival, Disney Junior and PBS.
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Cristina Carl
Founder/CEO
Ediphi
Cristina Imperial Carl has always been inspired by innovation. A Yale University graduate and Filipino native, Cristina pursued her obsession with all things food and wine at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in New York City. Her own path provided Cristina with valuable insight into the immigrant?s journey, and it directly informs her passion for advancing equity in training, education and career development.
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Amelia Stys
Innovation Girls
My name is Amelia Styś, I'm a nineteen-year-old graphic design and multimedia art student from Poland. I've been a member of the IVG.World community since 2022. I had the pleasure of working with Meta, P&G and GE. My work along with my friends’ made an appearance on Meta presentation at the World Economic Forum's Davos 2023. I'm passionate about organic modeling, character design, zoology, 3d printing, creating VR spaces and working with AI.
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Najda Musta
Innovation Girls
I'm a devoted student at a HTL for Media Design, immersing myself in the tech realm to fine-tune my knack for problem-solving. I excel in tackling challenges, coding, maneuvering various programming languages, and exploring the intricacies of virtual design. Beyond my studies, I seamlessly manage multiple projects, demonstrating strong organizational skills. I am a tech and virtual design enthusiast, immersing myself in as much knowledge and projects about them as possible!
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Tereze Bogdane
Innovation Girls
Hi, I am Tereze, a 16-year-old innovator from Latvia whose world revolves around creativity and technology. I have one too many hobbies. Drawing, painting, music, reading, and 3D modeling are my favorite daily outlets, while video games and anime fuel my imagination. My love for cats, chocolate and boba helps me overcome any obstacle. My latest passion lies in merging VR and AI while walking the fine line between impossible and genius to tell a story only I can tell.
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Marta Teivane
Innovation Girls
Passionate about 3D design, both digital and physical. Love creating clothing virtually and in reality. Photography is my way of telling stories, one frame at a time. I love music, both through playing instruments and listening. Always excited to learn new things, and I cherish every opportunity to meet new friends along the way.
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Natalia Stys
Innovation Girls
My name is Natalia Styś. I'm fourteen years old and I come from Warsaw, Poland. I like to create digital drawings and 2D animations. I love animals and nature. I enjoy watching Studio Ghibli movies because they portray strong female characters which I find inspiring. I joined IVG.World because I believe women and members of minorities deserve equal chances in business. Since I joined IVG I have met many girls my age from all around the world. I’m really excited to launch our DAO!!!
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Richard Zreik
CIO
Innovation Girls
I am a husband, a father of two young girls and a techpreneur. Co-founded IVG.World, a B2B platform. We are a creator-led community of Gen Z female and non-binary phygital fashion designers in the Metaverse. Our purpose is to build true wealth for every contributing member of our community. Our vision is to solve the problem of environmental waste caused by the Fast Fashion industry. Prior to iVG.World, I launched businesses in Silicon Valley, Dubai and worked in the innovation space for some of the largest multinational companies.
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Michelle Weisblat-Dane
Project Manager
IAmCompuBear Consortium
Michelle is an award-winning writer and has been a computer and sound engineer. She co-hosted a computer help radio show, ran a chain of computer stores, ran Internet conferences, and helped to create the Internet. She recently created IAmCompubear Consortium, a group of the world's best VR world builders and VR event coordinators. Projects include Meta UI, adapting books into VR worlds, tele-operating robots using VR, VR talk shows and conferences, VR church services, Tarot card reading in VR, and VR handicap access.
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Paula Monteiro
Director Marketing Communications
ANYLINE
Paula Monteiro is a Tech advocate and female leader in augmented reality (AR), spatial computing, and wearable technology. Her journey began in 2014 at Wikitude, where she played a crucial role in expanding the company's reach to 150,000 developers globally, culminating in a successful exit in 2021, when she joined Qualcomm. Paula spearheaded Snapdragon Spaces' developer marketing strategy, contributing to a staggering 105% community growth in 2023. Now, as the Marketing and Communication Director at Anyline, she's innovatively connecting XR with the automotive industry.
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Balraj Bains
Technical Lead
Nexus Studios
Creative technologist with experience in AR, design, research and writing in ethical and social innovation spaces. Specialities include idea development, critical thinking and project management. I continue to expand in the AR, creative and tech spheres by collaborating with creatives of vast specialities, learning new AR design processes such as Unreal Engine 5 and coding with JavaScript, TypeScript, GLSL, p5.js and Three.js.
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Torsten Gross
Chief Marketing Officer
MarteriaMX
Torsten Gross is a maverick by every sense of the word. Not happy with the status quo, mixed with his entrepreneurial drive, Torsten enjoys the challenge of the word “no”. As C6 Quadriplegic since the age of 15, he has heard that word often, yet still finds his way to yes. This drive has led him to becoming the worlds only Quadriplegic that is a Rescue Scuba Diver, completing 12 marathons in 12 months, and into his latest adventure as a race car driver. In 2023, Torsten competed in International GT, HSR and World Racing League races in his hand-controlled Porsche 981 Cayman. His love of racing landed him in Pennzoil commercials as well as starring in the show Just Hands: For The Love Of Racing, a docuseries which follows his journey into becoming a race car driver. Alongside his adrenaline seeking events, Torsten has had a successful marketing career as a strategist, currently working as Chief Marketing Officer of MarteriaMX. He is also the co-founder of Just Hands Foundation, a charity which helps hand control drivers get into the world of performance driving. His past experiences include Deloitte Consulting, R/GA, TCS, BBDO and Partners & Partners. He lives with his wife Maggie and dog Beau, in Sharon, CT.
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Cagan Sean Yuksel
Executive Creative Director and Partner
Dreamspace
As the Executive Creative Director and Partner at Dreamspace, Cagan Sean Yuksel masterfully blends creativity with technology to create innovative solutions that capture global attention. His two-decade journey in the creative industry has been marked by leadership in award-winning initiatives across branding, digital content, and experiential media for various industries. An entrepreneur and a respected member of the Forbes Agency Council, he offers profound insights into emerging trends and best practices in the creative realm. His innovation journey began with the founding of GRAFX CO. in 2013, which merged with Dreamspace in 2017, creating a conglomerate of talent and vision. He is prominently known for his creative direction in AR gaming, having worked on NBA All World and Marvel World of Heroes for Niantic, the creators of the AR mobile phenomenon Pokémon Go. His leadership in these projects showcases his cutting-edge approach to interactive experiences, seamlessly blending the physical and digital worlds. He led teams of UX researchers, designers, and engineers. He contributed to developing an operating system for an upcoming headset in partnership with Qualcomm, demonstrating his capability to turn market insights into tech-driven brand projects. Actively involved in the digital art scene, his early background as a Club World Award-winning Video Jockey enriches his work, continually exploring the dynamic interaction between humans and digital art in immersive experiences.
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Troy Jones Jr.
Co-Founder and CEO
StatusPro
From Baltimore, Maryland, Troy Jones is a tech leader and executive in the sports and gaming world who is the brainchild behind StatusPro's core technologies. Jones brings the experience and focus of a former D1 Quarterback leading his team as CEO and Co-Founder at StatusPRO. StatusPro is an immersive entertainment company that leverages virtual and augmented reality to create what they've coined first-person sports products and experiences. He has raised over million in funding from reputable VC groups– Google Ventures, Greycroft, and Verizon Ventures, from remarkable athletes and entertainers such as Lebron James, Beyonce, Drake, Naomi Osaka, Jimmy Lovine, and many more, as well as NFL Ownership Groups— the San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings, and Cleveland Browns. Troy has led negotiations in partnership deals with Disney, Facebook, Sony, NFL, NBA, & many more notable organizations. Under his leadership, StatusPRO was the first company, outside of Electronic Arts (Madden), to receive a license from the NFL in 17 years and is poised to be the next biggest sports gaming and technology company in the world.
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Darya Sesitskaya
CEO & Co-Founder
Shader
Darya Sesitskaya is the Co-founder and CEO of Shader, the first real-time camera AI app with text-to-AR effects. Shader simplifies the creation of AR filters for content creators and video streamers using generative AI. The technical team consists of AR & AI engineers from Snap, Instagram, and Blizzard. Prior to this, Darya was on the founding team of WANNABY (acquired by Farfetch), which created some of the first ML-powered AR fashion lenses, technology that is still at the core of Snap’s try-on lenses. She diversified WANNABY's extensive range of client-centered services and secured long-term strategic partnerships with Apple, Gucci, Product Hunt, Adidas, and Snapchat, among others. After that, she joined Snap as a design lead for its AR creator tool, Lens Studio.
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Tom Ditzler
Portfolio Director - Research & Development
J.J. Keller & Associates
Tom Ditzler has been at J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. for 25 years and has served in sales, marketing, business analysis, project management, program management, and product management positions. He holds certificates in project management, online learning, instructional design, Lean, and is a Certified Scrum Product Owner. He is currently a Portfolio Director in R&D and responsible for product strategy for variety of cloud, learning, and service solutions.
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Justin Malloy
Senior Product Manager
LION Protects
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Stefy Bau
Board Member
Global Esports Federation
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Kidus Solomon
Student
Santa Clara University
Kidus Solomon is an undergraduate student at Santa Clara University pursuing a bachelor's degree in Psychology with a focus in Design Thinking and a minor in Graphic Design. Alongside Dr. Kai Lukoff and a multidisciplinary team, he currently serves as a UX Designer in the Human-Computer Interaction Lab. Together, they are redesigning Santa Clara University's virtual campus tour experience for prospective students, with a particular focus on supporting first-generation college students like himself. As an Ethiopian-American UX Designer, he approaches his work with a focus on inclusivity. He believes that design should resonate with all audiences, reflecting the experiences that people from various backgrounds bring. He previously developed his design skills as a Design Fellow at IBM, and this summer he is set to further his experience with an upcoming UX Design internship at Walmart Global Tech.
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Isabella Gomez
Santa Clara University
Student and Researcher
Isabella is an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in Philosophy at Santa Clara University. Isabella is an intern and researcher at Santa Clara, working alongside Professor Amy Lueck in community-engaged writing research and cultural programming. A key accomplishment from her internship has been planning and executing an Ohlone cultural campout for Ohlone youth. As a youth ambassador for the Muwekma Ohlone tribe, Isabella has collaborated with the SCU Herratige lab by working on the Ohlone AR walking tour.
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Darren Cox
Creator
GT Academy
The number of entrepreneurs that have had a Hollywood movie made about them is tiny. Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Jordan Belfort, Howard Hughes, Darren Cox . Orlando Bloom plays Darren Cox in the movie Gran Turismo. It tells the struggle, wins and failures Cox endured to get his breakthrough idea agreed, funded and renewed in a big, conservative corporation. Challenges Cox faced included the 2008 financial crash and a tragic accident. His ultimate success against the odds not only resulted in the Hollywood movie but also the opportunity to help shape the media and gaming world of F1 in the eye of COVID and the Drive to Survive phenomenon. Darren Cox is a pioneer in the F1 Drive to Survive era who has had his biggest project turned into a major Hollywood movie. As F1 grows exponentially in the ‘Drive to Survive’ era Cox is at the centre of the media and marketing transformation. His professional motorsport journey started when in 2005 he conceived an idea well ahead of its time. He asked the question - could a Playstation gamer transfer from his sofa to the race track? ‘Gran Turismo’ tells the story of how Darren fought to launch and keep the ‘Gamer to Racer’ concept against pressure from Nissan and Playstation and some big challenges including a fatal accident involving one of the gamers. His story of innovation and grit to change the face of Motorsport has many parallels to todays challenging environment. The project was eventually launched in 2008 at the moment of greatest peril for the Motor industry for decades and under instruction from Nissan President Carlos Ghosn himself not to ‘advertise’ sportscars. Later, as founder and CEO of a start up independent F1 media group he drove the business to lead in terms of results and reputation in the F1 paddock within 3 years, exploiting the tsunami of interest generated by Netflix. Innovatively using separate brands to target two different audiences he instilled a ‘digital content first’ mindset into his organisation that drove both brands to top all KPIs for views, listens, visits and engagement. Regarded as the ‘godfather' of racing esports, he led the charge towards using gaming as a route to new audiences for Motorsport before founding his independent F1 media company. Both genres were forced together when weeks after launching his main F1 media brand COVID hit. Darren quickly switched his new ‘real world’ media platform into running a weekly esports brand that was broadcast by ESPN and other global TV companies in place of traditional sport for large parts of 2020. As well conceiving GT Academy and other start up motorsport brands Darren is also behind landmark projects and concepts such as the Deltawing Le Mans entry, a new Marketing media awards platform for Motorsport and has run esports teams for Mercedes F1, Racing Point F1 (Aston Martin) and Fernando Alonso. Darren talks with openness and humour about ‘failing to win’ but ultimately delivering breakthrough innovations despite inherent industry inertia. His stories of building a F1 media group from scratch with the challenge of COVID balanced by the opportunity that Drive to Survive and new F1 owners Liberty provided, illustrates some of the best insights on how the new F1 media landscape can be exploited by brands.
Frederic Plourde
XR Lead
Collabora ltd.
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Laura Kusumoto
Consultant
Umeactive
Laura Kusumoto is a proven executive leader, skilled in the disciplines of technology adoption. Her expertise is “practical innovation” - identifying the business value that emerging and disruptive technologies enable, and putting them to work. Her passion is helping organizations identify the optimal problems to target with innovative tech solutions, and driving towards their successful piloting and implementation. Her work has paved the way for first-mover products such as AI chatbots in health care, VR for employee well-being, and immersive avatar-based training in VR and 3D web for diverse staff groups, from soldiers to nurses to call centers, and beyond. Laura formed IterationZero LLC to provide independent consulting and innovation services that draw upon time-tested methods from her experience with Meta, Deloitte, Disney, Kaiser Permanente, LEGO and various startups. Laura currently serves on the Board Executive Committee for the Virtual Worlds Society, and on the Advisory Board for XR Women.
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Amir Khorram
General Manager PICO
ByteDance | PICO
Over an 20-year career Amir Khorram has played key roles in the launch and scale of cutting edge technology. From 5G, cloud collaboration to XR, Amir has built business units that have lead enterprise growth. Amir now leads PICO North America, delivering world class VR solutions to everyone from SMB’s to Fortune 500 organizations.
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Vickie Nauman
Founder
CrossBorderWorks
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Adele Keane
COO & Creative Director
Imvizar
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Yvo Klare
XR Business Consultant & Data Specialist
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Yvo Klare has more than 25 years of experience at KLM as Project Manager, Ground Services Process Expert and Data Expert. He has a university degree in Social Anthropology, started his career at KLM as a service employee and has a wide knowledge of aircraft turnaround processes. Yvo is currently KLM’s XR Project Lead to simulate ground handling of KLM’s plane of the future, the Flying V. As a VR Business Analyst, he is also involved in the development of several XR products for Ground Handling, used for training and scenario testing. His area of expertise is how to ‘land’ XR successfully in the KLM’s operational environment at Schiphol Airport.
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Matthew Byrd
Founder & CEO
Reality Capture Network
Matthew Byrd is a visionary entrepreneur, advisor, and speaker, focused on advanced technologies and innovation across the built environment. His professional journey began in geospatial services, and his entrepreneurial spirit led him to establish Nexus 3D Consulting in 2016, a company that quickly became a global leader in geospatial and reality capture services. Nexus 3D’s growth led to its acquisition by Allen & Company in 2023, where he continues to serve as the Chief Innovation Officer. Matthew has advised and supported projects alongside companies like ExxonMobil, Tesla, Microsoft, Amazon, Micron, Albertsons, AECOM, HDR, the Department of Defense, and even the FBI. In 2020 Matthew founded the Reality Capture Network (RCN), featuring a podcast with industry disruptors, an online education center, and a globally recognized conference. RCN brings together the world's most innovative minds to share, learn, and revolutionize industries across the built environment. His goal is to inspire professionals to embrace change, adopt new technologies, and create a culture of innovation that leads to growth for the entire industry. He believes that through community and collaboration, we can build a better future.
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Dr. Aldis Sipolins
Senior Manager, Advanced Research & Development
Adeia
Dr. Aldis Sipolins is Adeia's Senior Manager, Advanced Research & Development. He’s a virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) researcher who applies principles of design and psychology to influence human behavior. Aldis earned a Ph.D. in Visual Cognition and Human Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying brain imaging and stimulation. During that time, he founded a startup in San Francisco developing VR brain training games. He later joined IBM Research as Head of Virtual Reality and Game Design, where he worked on combining VR/AR, sensor data and machine learning techniques to enhance learning. After IBM Research, Aldi led VR/AR research and development at Draper Laboratories, a not-for-profit R&D firm. With over 10 years of experience conducting VR/AR research, Dr. Sipolins has identified brain imaging markers of memory encoding in VR, used eye tracking in VR to track attention and cognitive load and even designed and tested AR interfaces for SOCOM Special Forces. His work at Adeia focuses on VR, AR and gaming.
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Kevin Park
Chair of Digital Art and Design Dept. - Assistant Professor
New York Institute of Technology
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Jenni Ogden
President
Eye Q Productions
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Scott Stachiw
VP of XR Design & Development
Roundtable Learning
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Neville Spiteri
Co-founder / CEO
Wevr
Neville Spiteri is the co-founder and CEO of Wevr, an award-winning interactive content and software studio. Wevr was named one of the top 10 “Most Innovative Companies” in AR/VR in 2017 by Fast Company, and Neville was honored in Variety’s list of the “Top 30 Digital Media Executives to Watch” in 2017. Neville is a creative executive who is credited on critically acclaimed franchises in film, video games, and immersive media and has been at the forefront of interactive content throughout his career. Neville is executive producer on “TheBlu”, a multi-award-winning virtual ocean experience, the “Harry Potter VR Experiences” with Warner Brothers, and Gnomes & Goblins created in collaboration with Jon Favreau. Prior to Wevr, Neville served as Producer and Senior Development Director at Electronic Arts where he led technology and game production teams including the Medal of Honor franchise. Prior to that, Neville was the Director of Product Management at EMC|Greenplum (now Pivotal/VMware), as well as Technical Director and Digital Effects Supervisor at Digital Domain and Square Enix. He pioneered machine vision technologies at the startup Perception Systems. Neville started his career at Wavefront Technologies (now Autodesk) as a software engineer on the first release of the 3D animation product Maya. Neville graduated Summa Cum Laude from Brandeis University in Computer Science and Cognitive Science in 1992.
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Tim Dillon
EVP Business Development
Wevr
Tim is an EVP with over two decades of XR business development experience exploring the front lines of interactive & immersive media, experiential & emerging technologies. From 2020 to 2023, Tim was SVP Real-time & Virtual Worlds at Media Monks, a leading global brand agency focused on digital growth for clients including Meta, Google, NBCU, Oreo, Hasbro, Duolingo, Riot Games, Disney, Pokemon, Nike, Verizon, CocaCola and many more. Tim joined MediaMonks as SVP Growth for real-time in 2020 (Unreal Engine, Unity, Gaming), then shaped and nurtured a gaming & virtual worlds offering that grew to include teams working globally across all markets. Previously from 2013 to 2019, Tim helmed the Experiential & Immersive team at MPC (Moving Picture Company) as Head of Immersive Content, leading a group focused on cutting edge experiences for Brands, Entertainment, Music, Fashion, Arts and Purpose projects. MPC is one of the world’s largest VFX studios, with over 30 years’ best in class experience.
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Anthony Batt
Co-founder & EVP Labs
Wevr
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Brian Hamilton
VP, Sales & Marketing
DigiLens Inc.
Brian is a recognized pioneer and leader in the deployment of Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR) and voice-enabled wearable computing across manufacturing, healthcare, education, automotive, oil and gas, logistics, IT, telecoms and entertainment verticals. Brian is currently the VP of Sales and Marketing for DigiLens, where he was brought on to scale the launch of their new ARGO smartglasses and waveguide licensing business and to accelerate their market growth. He is a former co-founder and Chief Business/Revenue Officer for RealWear, Inc., where he established a global sales force, ISV partner and channel reseller network, and successfully drove product adoption in over 57 countries — growing RealWear from concept stage to a world leader in industrial wearables. More recently, he was President and Co-founder of Hippo Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of Virtual Care solutions to the healthcare and medical education sectors. Previously, Brian served as Vice President of Sales and Business Development at DAQRI which raised over 0 million in capital from venture and family offices and which pioneered the commercialization of Augmented Reality. Brian has also been involved in pioneering VR technology in the field of sports simulation and was a co-founder of a micro-transaction platform connecting commerce and celebrities which was privately sold in 2011. Brian began his career with Siemens and graduated from the University of Rochester with a BA in Economics and Anthropology and holds an MBA and MS in Information Science from Penn State University.
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Nima Shams
VP & GM of Product
DigiLens
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Steve Feiner
Professor of Computer Science
Columbia University
Steve Feiner is a Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University, where he directs the Computer Graphics and User Interfaces Lab. He has been doing VR and AR research for over 25 years, designing and evaluating novel 3D interaction and visualization techniques, creating the first outdoor AR system using a see-through head-worn display and GPS, and pioneering experimental applications of AR and VR to fields as diverse as tourism, journalism, maintenance, construction, dentistry, and medicine. Steve is a Fellow of the ACM and the IEEE, a member of the SIGCHI Academy and IEEE VR Academy, and recipient of the ACM SIGCHI 2018 Lifetime Research Award, the IEEE ISMAR 2017 Career Impact Award, and the IEEE VGTC 2014 Virtual Reality Career Award. He and his colleagues have won the IEEE ISMAR 2022 and 2019 Impact Paper Awards, the ISWC 2017 Early Innovator Award, and the ACM UIST 2010 Lasting Impact Award.
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Kiuk Gwak
CEO
bHaptics
Dr. Kiuk Gwak is the CEO and co-founder of bHaptics Inc. During his PhD studies at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), he became fascinated with brain-computer interfaces and haptics, and started envisioning the next phase of human-computer interaction. In 2015, he founded bHaptics Inc. with a mission to create haptic devices that could deliver realistic touch feedback in remote settings, offering users a new dimension of digital immersion. Since then, Dr. Gwak has been leading the company to bring consumer-ready haptic solutions for immersive media into the global market.
Evan Helda
Spatial Computing
AWS
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Kurt Scheuringer
Principal Spatial Computing Prototyping Architect
Amazon Web Services