SPEAKER BIOS

Zach Abraham, United Nations World Food Programme -- TK

Ian Bogost is an academic videogame researcher, game designer, and educational publisher. Ian is Assistant Professor of Literature Communication and Culture at Georgia Institute of Technology, where he teaches and researches in undergraduate and graduate programs in digital media. Bogost's current research interests include videogame criticism (the subject of a forthcoming book from MIT Press, Unit Operations: An Approach to Videogame Criticism) and videogame rhetoric (including the function of ideology, politics, advertising, and education in games). Ian is also the founder of two companies, Persuasive Games, a game studio that designs, builds, and distributes electronic games for persuasion, instruction, and activism and Open Texture, a publisher of cross-media education and enrichment materials for families. He has over a decade of experience in digital media production for film, music, games, advertising, and eBusiness.

Cathy R. Fischer is senior producer for ITVS Interactive and Electric Shadows, part of the Independent Television Service (ITVS), which funds and presents independent films on public television, innovative projects on the Web and the weekly PBS series Independent Lens. The Electric Shadows initiative provides funding for interactive projects in keeping with the ITVS mission to give voice to underrepresented communities and foster cross-cultural understanding. The next Electric Shadows project will be a serious game, scheduled to launch in 2006. http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/interactive.html

Stephen K. Friedman is General Manager of mtvU, MTV Networks’ channel solely dedicated to college students and college life on-air, online and on campus. In this position, Mr. Friedman oversees all aspects of the college-based network, including programming, marketing, and distribution. mtvU can be found on more than 730 college campuses and universities across the country reaching 7 million students.

Nick Fortugno is the senior game designer at gameLab, where he has been a designer, writer and project manager on dozens of digital and nondigital games. Most recently he was lead designer on the downloadable hit Diner Dash. As a member of the Playground design team, Fortugno was a co-creator of the Big Urban Game, a large-scale, city-wide game for the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, played by thousands of residents in fall 2003. Fortugno also teaches game design and interactive narrative design at Parsons School of Design in New York City.

Medard Gabel is the CEO of BigPictureSmallWorld and BigPicture Consulting. He has developed simulations and conducted workshops for over 400 corporations, colleges, universities, high schools, organizations, and governments throughout the world—including the U.S. Congress, United Nations, GM, IBM, and Motorola. He is the former executive director of the World Game Institute, a UN-affiliated NGO. He worked with Buckminster Fuller for 12 years where he learned the power and utility of whole systems thinking, global perspectives and a good sense of humor. Mr. Gabel has been designing, developing, and delivering experiential educational programs since 1970, including the World Game and the Internet based global simulation, NetWorld Game. He is the author of six books on global problems, resources and strategies, the global energy situation, the global food situation, the U.S. food system, planning, and multinational corporations.

Barry Joseph , co-founder Games for Change, directs the Online Leadership Program (OLP) at Global Kids (GK), a NYC-based educational organization that support urban youth to become global citizens and community leaders. The OLP integrates the use of the Internet into GK's youth development, leadership, media literacy, and civic engagement programming using social impact games, online dialogues, and social action. Since 2003, Global Kids has been involving youth in the development of socially-conscious online games. Most recently, GK launched the Microsoft Corporation-funded Playing 4 Keeps program which will develop one commercially viable youth-developed game a year, in conjunction with gameLab. Barry has been an active member of the Serious Games community since December, 2003. More information can be found at globalkids.org/olp.

Allyson Knox, Microsoft - TK

Franklin Madison , Jr., recently named one of Crain’s Tech 100, a listing of the Top 100 individuals in technology in New York City as chosen by Crain’s NY Business, joined ITAC in 1999 as Technology Program Coordinator, and within four months was promoted to Technology Program Director. He is responsible for the strategic development and implementation of new programs to assist high-tech firms in NYC and managing the FastTrac Programs. He is also the SBIR Regional Specialist for NYC, Long Island and the Mid-Hudson Regions and Program Manager for the NASA’s SATOP Program (Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program. Franklin also works one-on-one with CEOs of high tech companies, providing technical assistance in the areas of business plan development, access to capital from private and public sources, R&D assistance, and technology partnerships.

Jean Miller is the project manager for Public Diplomacy and Virtual Worlds at the Center for Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California. Her interest in Public Diplomacy all started with her spending her senior year of high school in Braunschweig, Germany as an exchange student with the American Field Service. After that, she was forever hooked on traveling and the world. She finished her undergraduate degree at Georgetown University at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service with an emphasis on Regional and Comparative Studies of Europe and Asia. She worked for Charles Schwab and Co. Inc. and made the leap to video games when she joined LucasArts Entertainment Company. In 2004, she returned to academia in a joint masters program between the London School of Economics and Political Science and the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. She is currently in the second year of her degree in Global Communication and is expanding on her thesis entitled "Can Space Invaders Bring World Peace? A Study of Political Communication and Video Games."

Beth Noveck is an Associate Professor of Law at New York Law School, where she directs the Institute for Information Law and Policy. She also founded and runs the Democracy Design Workshop, an interdisciplinary "do tank" dedicated to deepening democratic practice through technology design. Professor Noveck teaches in the areas of e-government and e-democracy, intellectual property, innovation and constitutional law. A Founding Fellow of the Yale Law School Information Society Project, her research and design work lie at the intersection of technology and civil liberties. She is the designer of civic and social software applications, including Unchat, Cairns, the Gallery and the forthcoming, Democracy Island. Professor Noveck is co-editor of the book series, Ex Machina: Law, Technology and Society (NYU Press). Together with the Berkman Center and the Information Society Project, she hosts the "The State of Play" annual conference on law and virtual worlds. A graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, she did graduate work at the University of Oxford and earned a doctorate at the University of Innsbruck with the support of a Fulbright.

Chinwe Onyekere , the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation - TK

Jerry Paffendorf – Based in New York City, Jerry Paffendorf is Community Director of the Acceleration Studies Foundation where he helps curate a broad, serious dialog on the future. His personal focus is on media-rich 3D virtual worlds like Second Life and their growing integration with the Web, and platforms for location-based search, social software, and transparency like Google Earth. Jerry has an MS in Studies of the Future from the University of Houston and a BFA from Montclair State University in New Jersey. Each month you can find him moderating the Second Life Future Salon mini-conferences within the virtual world of Second Life (blog at http://slfuturesalon.blogs.com). Recent virtual world projects include consulting for IBM and the Army on long-term metaverse (3D Web) scenarios, the American Cancer Society's Second Life Relay For Life fundraiser, and the ongoing Democracy Island project with the New York Law School. Several other innovative projects are in the pipeline. He can be contacted at jerrypaffendorf@accelerating.org.

Celia Pearce is an award-winning game designer, artist, researcher, teacher and author of The Interactive Book: A Guide to the Interactive Revolution (Macmillan, 1997), and other articles and papers on interactive media, game design and culture. She has worked as a games and attractions designer/producer for Iwerks Entertainment, Purple Moon Software, Walt Disney Imagineering, Universal Parks, and Lego Toys, and others, and more recently, as a researcher and teacher for the University of Southern California and the University of California, Irvine. She is currently serving as Creative Director/Lead Game Designer on Spaceship Earth: The Game, a massively multi-player environmental activism game being developed with the Buckminster Fuller Institute.

Marc Prensky is an internationally acclaimed speaker, writer, consultant, and designer in the critical areas of education and learning. He is the author of Digital Game-Based Learning (McGraw-Hill, 2001), the founder and CEO of Games2train (whose clients include IBM, Nokia, Pfizer, and the US Department of Defense) and creator of the sites www.dodgamecommunity.com and www.socialimpactgames.com. Marc has created over 50 software games for learning, including the world's first fast-action videogame-based training tools and world-wide, multi-player, multi-team on-line competitions. He has also taught at all levels. Marc has been featured in articles in The NY Times and The Wall Street Journal, has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, PBS, and the BBC, and was named as one of training's top 10 "visionaries" by Training magazine. He holds graduate degrees from Yale (Teaching) and Harvard (MBA).

Robert Runyon (Real Lives) - Educational Simulations is a privately held software company located in Loma Rica, California, in the Sierra Nevada foothills north of Sacramento. Established in 2002, Educational Simulations develops and markets software products and services that help people learn about our world and the people in it.

Katie Salen is a designer interested in the connections between game design, interactivity, and play. She wears many hats, including the directorship of the graduate Design and Technology program at Parsons School of Design, and has worked on a range of projects for clients such as Microsoft, SIGGRAPH, the Hewlett Foundation, gameLab, the Design Institute, the Director's Guild of America, mememe Productions, Salty Features, the Buckminster Fuller Institute, and others. Co-author (with Eric Zimmerman) of Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals, a textbook on game design (MIT Press), as well as the Game Design Reader (MIT Press), she is also member of Playground, a design team focused on large-scale, experimental, real-world games. She has been an international mentor and lecturer with Xmedia Lab (Sydney 2003 and Singapore 2005), a prestigious international masterclass environment where selected companies and project teams work directly on their own games, animation, and graphics ideas with some of the world’s leading new media creators and producers.

Ben Sawyer is the producer of Virtual U a million dollar plus foundation funded project to build a university management simulator. Virtual U, now shipping Version 2.1, was a 2000 Independent Games Festival finalist. Sawyer is also the author of Serious Games: Improving Public Policy through Game-Based Learning and Simulation Whitepaper for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (wwics.si.edu) and was a contributor to Game Developer magazine. Sawyer also has author of two books on gaming for Coriolis Group Books and is developing a book on simulations with Paraglyph Press (www.paraglyphpress.com). He has published several research reports on the games industry for DFC Intelligence.

Suzanne Seggerman , Co-founder of Games for Change, is also a Director at NYC-based think tank Web Lab, whose mission is to develop innovative new media and cross-media projects that bring fresh perspectives and new voices to the discussion of public issues. At Web Lab she works on a variety of projects, including the Crossover Project and the Loop, a television show in development.  Her background in online media includes community-oriented interactive environments and the design of non-traditional games. Some of this work earned her awards from New Voices New Visions and Communications Arts. Before working in new media, she was a documentary film producer for PBS, including on the Steve Ives/ Ken Burns' PBS series "The West" and as Co-producer of "Race For Life," a humanitarian aid and documentary film about Eastern Europe.

Clay Shirky divides his time between consulting, teaching, and writing on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies. His consulting practice is focused on the rise of decentralized technologies such as peer-to-peer, web services, and wireless networks, and on the social software that takes advantage of this infrastructure. Clients have included Nokia, GBN, the Library of Congress, MITRE, Connecting for Health, and the BBC. In addition to his consulting work, Mr. Shirky is an adjunct professor in NYU's graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), where he teaches courses on the interrelated effects of social and technological network topology -- how our networks shape culture and vice-versa.

Kris Soumas, Vice President, Lifetime Interactive, is responsible for interactive content development, broadband and games for Lifetimetv.com. She launched a games section on Lifetimetv.com featuring original award-winning games such as RSVP—a Flash Forward 2005 People’s Choice recipient. Previously she was Director, Content Development, New Media. Before joining Lifetime in 1999, Soumas worked for ABC Television. During 1995-1999, Soumas was an original member of the team that developed ABC.com and ABCNews.com. She produced Oscar.com from 1996 to 1998 as well as some of the network’s first interactive television applications. Prior to that, Soumas worked on CD-ROM game development for Creative Wonders, ABC’s joint venture with Electronic Arts. From 1991-1995 she worked on the production units at ABC in Concert and ABC News Peter Jennings Reports. Soumas is a graduate of Barnard College. She is a member of NGO Committee on the Status of Women, CTAM and IGDA.

Benjamin Stokes is a co-founder of Games for Change. In his other job at NetAid, he has overseen program development of online learning initiatives for global citizenship since 2003. This includes the launch of the Peter Packet game and challenge (www.netaid.org/go/games) and the interactive guidance counselor known as the VolunteerGuru. Previously at NetAid, Benjamin managed the Online Volunteering (OV) Program in coordination with United Nations Volunteers staff. Before NetAid, Benjamin worked for two and half years at Bigchalk/ProQuest, where he produced and edited virtual fieldtrips and online research products; Bigchalk/ProQuest currently serves more than 43,000 K-12 schools nationwide. Additionally, in Hartford, CT, Benjamin was a researcher on a team that developed a living wage standard for the U.S.-Mexico border region at the Center for Reflection, Education, and Action. Benjamin has also designed and taught middle school courses in wilderness survival and applied logic at the Exploration Summer Program.

Bill Tomlinson is an Assistant Professor of Informatics and Drama at the University of California, Irvine, where he teaches in the ACE (Arts Computation Engineering) graduate program. He is a researcher and animator working with autonomous agents, and a designer of human-computer interaction paradigms that enable people to engage with these agents. Previous interactive projects have been shown at ACM SIGGRAPH, ACM CHI, Ars Electronica, the Game Developers Conference, the ZKM Future Cinema exhibition and other venues, and have been reviewed by CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Sculpture Magazine, Scientific American Frontiers, the LA Times, Wired.com and the BBC. In addition his animated film, Shaft of Light, screened at the Sundance Film Festival and was distributed by the Anti-Defamation League in its Anti-Bias/Diversity Catalog. He holds an A.B. in Biology from Harvard College, an M.F.A. in Experimental Animation from CalArts, and S.M. and Ph.D. degrees from the MIT Media Lab.

Connie Yowell is Senior Program Officer at the MacArthur Foundation, which is dedicated to helping groups and individuals foster lasting improvement in the human condition. Through the support it provides, the MacArthur Foundation fosters the development of knowledge, nurtures individual creativity, helps strengthen institutions, participates in the formation of effective policy, and provides information to the public, primarily through support for public interest media.

Eric Zimmerman, CEO of gameLab has been working in the game industry for more than a decade. He is the co-founder and CEO of gameLab (www.gamelab.com), a game development company based in New York City. gameLab creates award-winning singleplayer and multiplayer online games for sites like LEGO.com, Shockwave.com, Real Network's Real1Arcade, and Microsoft's Gaming Zone, including the hit downloadable game Diner Dash. Pre-gameLab titles include SiSSYFiGHT 2000 (www.sissyfight.com) and the PC title Gearheads. Eric has taught courses at Massachusettes Institute of Technology, New York University, and Parsons School of Design. He has lectured and published extensively about game design and game culture and is the co-author with Katie Salen of Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals (MIT Press, 2004) and The Game Design Reader: A Rules of Play Anthology (MIT Press, 2006), as well as the co-editor with Amy Scholder of RE:PLAY: Game Design and Game Culture (Peter Lang Press, 2004).